Talk:Abdelwahab Meddeb

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Relation to Ben-Ali Regime[edit]

There are a couple paragraphs at the end of the Life and Career section, regarding Meddeb's relationship to the Ben Ali regime, that seem rather ambiguous:

Meddeb has been criticized for regularly praising the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia, particularly by French journalist Alain Gresh and sociologist Vincent Geisser who have accused him of minimizing the numerous human rights violations of the regime.[5][6] However, while the Ben Ali regime was falling apart in January 2011, he started to support the Tunisian revolution, as chronicled in his book Printemps de Tunis (2011: Albin Michel). And in a 2012 interview in "Le Courrier de l'Atlas," entitled "Islamism is an impoverished, stupid and detestable interpretation of Islam," Meddeb refutes the accusations head-on:
"Indeed, there is a chapter in Contre-prêches where I praise not the Ben Ali regime, but a Tunis which, under his dictatorship, continues to give its place to the liberated woman; Tunis is the only city in Islam (along with Istanbul), where one sees sovereign women, unveiled, liberated, sure of themselves, living coherently with feminism and gender theory (...) I have perhaps been the intellectual the most distant from this regime, without any ties of any kind, while some of our friends tried to reform it from within and failed, concluding that it was not reformable."[7]
In March 2004, the Tunisian embassy in France organized a reception in honor of Meddeb.[8]

The lead sentence almost seems to suggest Meddeb's support, claiming he "regularly praised" the regime, while the rest of the paragraph appears to me to directly contradict such a criticism, saying he supported the revolution overthrowing Ben Ali and quoting him directly addressing his criticisms. Given the ambiguity, it seems like the section doesn't have that much place in the article, unless it presents some kind of conclusion.Importemps (talk) 14:05, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Given that no one seems to object, I've removed the ambiguous section from the article. Importemps (talk) 11:09, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

He never really praised Ben Ali (that sentence has been rightfully removed), but he praised Tunisia under Ben Ali's rule, and never really criticised the Ben Ali regime, although he often talked or wrote about Tunisia. The new version is more inkeeping with the truth. -- (talk) 16:30, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

This case is a bit blurry: Abdelwahab Meddeb has shown himself more supportive towards the violence of Ben Ali’s regime than he has towards the violence perpetrated by the Islamists? How is that an important fact? If that man has never been an active supporter of Ben Ali’s, it seems a bit pointless to dig out his flaws in a couple of sentences that are too vague to be interpreted properly.

The source that is being used as a basis for this 1 is itself based on that other source 2 which, if we ignore the fact that its origin is doubtful at best, is no more than a copy/paste of a content that is supposedly official but unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore.


Dans le cadre des efforts de l’Ambassade visant à encourager les intellectuels et hommes de lettres tunisiens résidant en France, l’Ambassadeur Moncer Rouissi a offert une réception en l’honneur de l’écrivain et poète Abdelawahab Meddeb, récompensé par le Prix François Mauriac pour son livre " La maladie de l’Islam " et le Prix Max Jacob pour son recueil de poèmes ".

La matière des oiseaux ". Y ont été conviés des représentants des milieux littéraires, des médias et du corps diplomatique ainsi que de nombreux amis de la Tunisie. Dans son allocution de bienvenue, M. Moncer Rouissi a exprimé tout son plaisir d’honorer Abdelawahab Meddeb l’écrivain, le poète, le penseur et l’homme de lettres. Il a salué en lui la richesse de la production littéraire et la profondeur de la réflexion sur l’Islam et ses rapports avec son environnement social et politique. M. Samir Marzouki, ancien Directeur de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, a pour sa part salué la pensée originale de Abdelawahab Meddeb, " un des meilleurs écrivains tunisiens ", qui a consacré sa vie à " une oeuvre de réflexion et de rapprochement entre les peuples ".

Enfin, l’universitaire Mezri Haddad a rendu hommage à l’oeuvre de Abdelwahab Meddeb qui y parait un " redoutable opposant aux thèses intégristes " ».


If we refer ourselves to this text, which doesn’t say anything about Ben-Ali’s regime being the host of the event, the best addition would be “in March 2004, after obtaining the Francois-Mauriac prize for his book La Maladie de l’Islam, Abdelwahab Meddeb was invited to a reception in his honour at the Tunisian embassy in Paris”. Unfortunately, this information isn’t relevant for the encyclopaedia.

Otherwises, your (few) contributions are all focus on Abdelwahab Medded... This discredits your speech and your trustworthiness. Coffeedrinker115 (talk) 10:09, 4 september 2014 (UTC)

Meddeb being a controversial character, the part about his critics is relevant. But I agree with the comments about his prize at the embassy, that part has rightfully been removed.-- (talk) 10:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The current paragraph seems better and relevant. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 13:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
"Journalist Alain Gresh claims that Meddeb has never invited any opponent to the Ben Ali regime on his radio program on France Culture, and that in the name of the fight against "islamism", Meddeb practiced a kind of censorship similar to the one existing in Tunisia at that time." Seriously ? "A kind of censorship" ? Anyone read what I have said before ?! One again, a mysterious IP address comes undo my edit (which only modify Meddeb's page, suspicious : that is the least that can be said!). The smear campaign has lasted enough. The sources are irrelevant, such as the contributors who come from nowhere. Coffeedrinker115 (talk) 10:49, 15 september 2014 (UTC)

No mention of his critics and controversies[edit]

All the references to his critics and controversies have been erased, except this ridiculous sentence: "A voice of tolerant Islam, Meddeb is no stranger to controversy from militant Muslim quarters." The fact that Meddeb ignored the anti-Ben Ali militants for years on his radio program, and that he only became a critic of Ben Ali after the regime was overthrown, was not only noticed and criticized by "militant muslims".

Meddeb also made several controversial statements such as "90% of current muslims are stupid" (source here), which is clearly islamophobic... and a very silly statement, such a sweeping generalization being unworthy of a College Professor.-- (talk) 09:08, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

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