Stefan Weidner’s Book on Islam and the West – The End of Imperialism

Source: Qantara

With his new book, Stefan Weidner would like to straighten out our simplified, cliché-ridden perception of Islam by looking at phenomena such as Sharia from an unusual perspective. Albrecht Metzger read the book

Stefan Weidner is one of the most intelligent commentators on the mood and situation in the Islamic world. This book, which is divided into five thematic chapters, is a collection of his essays, reportages, analyses and reviews dating from 1999 to 2011. Weidner considers the Arab Spring – in the course of which four autocratic rulers have so far either resigned or been driven into exile or killed – to be a watershed in the relationship between the West and the Islamic world.

Weidner writes that the age of imperialism and post-colonial regimes that remained in power with the help of the West has finally come to an end. Now, he writes, it is necessary to reflect on and come to terms with the “injuries” that were sustained on both sides and now take the form of permanent, mutual mistrust.

The West mistrusts the Islamic world, especially since 9/11, because it considers Muslims to have a fundamental propensity to violence and to be incapable of democracy; the Islamic world mistrusts the West because Muslims believe that the USA and the Europeans are pulling the strings and hatching conspiracies behind the scenes in their part of the world.

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