Sunday, July 17, 2005

New Book on Philosopher Foucault's Support for Radical Islamism

It's scary to know that Foucault's writings are used by universities across the Western world:

New Book on Philosopher Foucault's Support for Radical Islamism

At a time when the United States is watching the religious and political changes in the Middle East, especially in Iran, two Purdue University professors are turning to writings published 25 years ago to develop a better understanding of radical Islamism - and the Western response to it - through the writings of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, who reported on the Iranian revolution. "Michel Foucault is one of the best known and most widely read philosophers of our time," Anderson says. "Foucault understood early on that Iran's revolution was going to be different from previous ones and that it would contribute to an Islamist movement that would change the role Middle East countries play in global politics in a substantial way," Afary says. Foucault, who reported for the leading Italian newspaper "Corriere della sera" and for French publications, visited Iran twice and also met with Khomeini in Paris. However, the philosopher's writings were controversial because of their lack of criticism for the revolution and its Islamist leadership. Much of Foucault's work is grounded in the problems of modernity in Europe. Foucault (1926-84) wrote that many forms of progress, as seen in medical and technological advances, were more about controlling people than liberating them. "Thus he became enamored with the Iranian revolution because it was a different kind of revolution that challenged the Western model of progress."


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