By Russell Berman, TELOS
In the wake of recent killings in Paris and Nice, as well as in Vienna, the debate over “Islamism” has regained prominence in Europe, especially in France. Islamism as a political ideology must of course be rigorously distinguished from Islam, the religion. That conceptual distinction ought to be readily understandable and familiar from previous iterations of responses to terrorism. What however appears to be new in the current French discussion is the perceived linkage between Islamism, terrorist violence, and academic post-colonialism, regarded as providing a justification for the violence. That association is being made at high levels in the Macron government, generating considerable controversy. That is the context for the open letter published in Le Monde, translated below. Do academic ideas have consequences in the world?