Mustapha Chérif

Islam Publication date : March 9, 2006

‘My heart has become capable of receiving all beings,’ said Ibn Arabi. This book is an attempt to reflect upon the issues that engage the common future, coexistence and capacity of living together of the peoples on both sides of the Mediterranean, and beyond,” writes Mustapha Chérif.
The time has come to put an end to confused thinking. What are the skills and failures of Islam in its relations to the Other? Is the Koran opposed to any opening up to the outside world? What were the contributions to this discussion of such great thinkers as Averroes and Ibn Khaldun? What does a socio-historical approach tell us? How can the danger of withdrawal be averted? Faced with globalisation, is Islam doomed to enter into a “clash of civilisations”, or does it possess other strengths?
“Since we know very well how to recognise the subtle intermingling and fermentation of the past, shouldn’t we be capable of imagining ourselves as the laboratory of a new, unprecedented culture? Mustapha Chérif wishes to think in that direction,” writes the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy about this book.
The author, an Algerian philosopher with a background in the school of Husserl, Jacques Derrida and Jacques Berque, offers us here an original reflection on the vision of Otherness in Muslim culture.
This is a powerful plea for openness and diversity, as much as an examination of the much-debated issue of conflict between cultures and civilisations.

Mustapha Chérif is a philosopher and Islamologist specialising in the dialogue between different cultures, religions and civilisations. He is a professor at the University of Algiers and has been a visiting professor at the Collège de France. He was formerly Minister of Higher Education of Algeria and an ambassador.