French literary star Michel Houellebecq’s new novel Soummission has been widely pilloried as islamophobic in the French media. The book depicts the “submission” of France to Islamic rule – or, at any rate, to the government of an Islamic party – in the not-so-distant future of 2022. But on closer inspection, Houellebecq’s novel is less about any external threat to France, Islamic or otherwise, than about a profound internal malaise. He brandishes the specter of “Islamization” in order to set in relief the folly and opportunism of France’s own elites, who, he suggests, in order ostensibly to “save the republic” would even be prepared to dilute its principles with a “moderate” dose of sharia.
See my review essay in the May/June issue of World Affairs and now available online here.