Mustapha Chérif

Islam and the West A Meeting with Jacques Derrida Publication date : November 9, 2006

This book is the account of a public meeting between the Algerian intellectual Mustapha Chérif and Jacques Derrida, the renowned Algerian-born French philosopher. The meeting took place in Paris, in the spring of 2003 — a time when relations between East and West were characterised by intolerance, lack of dialogue, and ignorance.
The meeting, held at the Institut du Monde Arabe as part of the commemorations of the Year of Algeria, took the form of a discussion about the relationship with the Other, the relations between worlds and between Islam and the West, the dialogue between civilisations, and the issues of freedom, justice and democracy.
Aiming to reconcile the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean and to give us a new sense of hope despite all the misunderstandings, Mustapha Chérif recreates here a “great moment of intellectual friendship”.

In these discussions, the late Jacques Derrida expressed “what remained in him of Algeria” and opened some new critical perspectives — from the vantage point of his most recent books — on some major issues, including contemporary conflicts, progress, modern injustices and the form a real East-West exchange could take.
More than a homage to the author of Spectres of Marx and Rogues, this work is a unique occasion to learn what Derrida had to tell us about the crucial tensions of our times.

Mustapha Chérif is a philosopher and Islamologist specialising in the dialogue between different cultures, religions and civilisations. A professor at the University of Algiers, he has been a visiting professor at the Collège de France and has also served as a minister and ambassador of Algeria. He is the author of L’Islam. Tolérant ou intolérant? (2006).