Islam, Bulliets and Braille

One of the more important contributions to serious thinking about the deliberately misunderstood history of Muslims and Christians is a short, profound book by Richard Bulliet called The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization (Columbia 2004). The book’s central observation is that the term ‘Judæo-Christian Civilisation,’ which trips so easily off the American and European tongue today as … More Islam, Bulliets and Braille

Life’s the Thing

As Logan Pearsall Smith lugubriously remarked, “People say that life’s the thing, but I prefer reading.”  Few would go quite that far, but I admit that my house is fuller of books than my wife would really like it to be, and in a mysterious way they keep arriving. I find it hard to keep … More Life’s the Thing

Language Wars

On my desk in front of me I have a copy of The Little Prince, or rather al-Amir al-saghir, translated into ‘Moroccan Arabic,’ by Abderrahim Youssi. I bought it a few weeks ago from a newspaper stall in Marrakech, more as a curiosity than anything else: I read Arabic only very slowly, and in ‘Moroccan … More Language Wars