Roger Garaudy: From Stalinist to Islamist

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Question: when do the media in the Muslim world pay more respectful attention to the death of a famous French philosopher than the French and other Western media do?  Answer: when the “philosopher” in question is Roger Garaudy.

In Gulf News, Shakir Noori, a writer in Dubai, described himself as “deeply sorrowed” [sic] by Garaudy’s death on June 13 and noted that “intellectuals in Jordan” called him “the most important cultural figure in the twentieth century.”  Others in the Muslim world shared this view: Muammar Gaddafi, who gave Garaudy a “human-rights” prize in 2002, called him “Europe’s greatest philosopher since Plato and Aristotle”; former Syrian vice president Abdul Halim-Khaddam considered him the “greatest contemporary western philosopher”; and the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) responded to news of his demise by lauding him as a “great thinker” and calling on “Allah, the Almighty, to receive him with His Bountiful Mercy, and to accept him among the righteous.”  At Garaudy’s funeral in Paris, he was eulogized as “a man of faith,” “the summit of human values,” and “a great hope for mankind.”

On July 2, a memorial service for Garaudy was hosted in Iran by the Institute of Islamic Culture and Thought in association with the Iranian Philosophy Institute, Al-Mustafa International University, and a half-dozen other important-sounding institutions.  Just a few days ago, a memorial conference was held in Tunis on the topic “Roger Garaudy: the science of history and the search for truth.”  Among the “researchers, historians and human-rights activists” who gave presentations was philosophy professor Mohsen Mili, a “specialist in the thought of Garaudy,” who said that Garaudy “embodied the thought of the twentieth century.”  Yacob Mahi, a Moroccan Muslim living in Belgium, wrote that Garaudy had “contributed enormously to the development of Islamic thought…He was a philosopher, a thinker, a master of wisdom. He was one of my spiritual teachers.”

Who was this great “spiritual teacher”?  The answer can be summed up in two words: Holocaust denier.   There’s more to say about him, but his extraordinary reputation in the Muslim world has its roots in one simple fact: that Garaudy was a poisonous anti-Zionist who in 1996 published a book – accessible in English, in its entirety, here – the centerpiece of which was an elaborate, mad argument that the Final Solution was a lie.  (The book was published in English under the title The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, though its title on the website linked above, The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics, represents a more literal translation of the original French title.)  The book lost Garaudy friends, publishers, and 240,000 francs – the fine he was charged for having violated the French law against Holocaust denial.  Garaudy also wrote books “exposing” the “Israeli-Zionist” lobby, which, in his view, secretly pulled the strings of government in both France and the U.S.  After 9/11 he argued publicly that the Bush administration had plotted the terrorist attacks.

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  • Radegunda

    "Irrational hate" pretty much sums up the heart of Islam, doesn't it?

    • HoR_Emperor

      Tragically true.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Remember Tisha B'Av (July 29th 2012) – Pray for Israel!

  • Andrea Ostrov Letania

    "The book lost Garaudy friends, publishers, and 240,000 francs"

    Is frontpage for censorship?

    • reader

      I suggest you look up the definition of censorship.

    • HoR_Emperor

      A sneakily dishonest question. Why would you be so concerned for the "rights" of a vile Holocaust denier?

    • RonL

      I am not. But the French who suffered under Nazi occupation and collaboration see things differently.

  • Andrea Ostrov Letania

    When will Jews stop being bolshocaust deniers?

    • reader

      What a crack-pot Jew-hating mumbo jumbo. First of, Zionists were always the enemies of the Bolsheviks, simply because the Bolsheviks were the defitists, while Zionists supported Entente fighting against the Turks in particular during the WWI. Secondly, the first Bolshevik government Sovnarkom – of 18 members – had only one alleged ethnic Jew Trotsky, who not only refused to identify himself as Jewish, but, according to a Russian researcher of Pushkin's lineage, was not even Jewish ethnically.

      • reader

        …of 16 members, to be precise.

      • muammer gokergil

        talk like NAZI

    • HoR_Emperor

      Ah, there we go. I knew you had to be a demented Jew-hater.

    • RonL

      I guess the Holdomir was a Christian event, because Stalin was trained to be an Orthodox Monk? Wait, that's crazy?
      So is blaming Jews for the actions of apostates who join an antisemeitic death cult of communism. Judaism was banned in the USSR. And had Stalin lived any longer, Soviet Jewry would have been sent on a death march to Birobaijan

  • Silverfinger

    I can understand easily why anybody, until the early 1940s, would be a communist. I can understand until the early 1980s, why anybody would be a socialist .

    But after that time, given the "inflationary effects" on the massive money printing, re: homes and stocks, I cannot understand how anybody would become a commie socialist. Capitalism is ugly, brutal but natural.

    To be ruled by a big fat govt full of academics and underachievers who think they deserve a lie long job and pension, to allow them to control our treasury and make policies they do not fully comprehend, to pay so much of pay in income taxes, prop taxes, sales taxes,,, death taxes to them for them to abuse, is not normal.

    How the West got into this mess, is a good question. But it will not last. It cannot last, our land cannot produce the revenue to keep it going.

    This clown Garady was so full of anger and hate for the West he desired its suffering.

  • Ghostwriter

    I hope Monsieur Garady isn't in a comfortable place right now. His Jew hatred was disgusting enough but to deny the Holocaust,with it's Mount Everest-sized evidence to say that it happen is off the chart vile. What a slimeball he was. I hope the devil puts him right along side Hitler and those like him. He deserves it.

  • Mensch Keymelon

    Kind of like David Horowitz: From Red Diaper Days to Conservative Craze…

    • Ghostwriter

      As anyone ever told you that you're a vile piece of garbage,Mensch Keymelon?

  • richard sherman

    Abbas is a Holocaust denier. He got his PH.D. in Holocaust denial. Remember that when he is presented by the media as rational.

  • Jakareh

    Muhammad, the "Perfect Man" and the "Seal of the Prophets", hated Jews and personally beheaded some of them. How can any pious Muslim not aspire to do likewise?

  • Irandissident

    Garaudy was a guest in Iran, had his book ( The Myths…) translated into Farsi, received large funds and became a hero. His book has become an academic source for a whole new generation of Jew haters in that country. Who were his hosts? Not Ahmadinejad ( this was in the mid 1990s), but the "moderate" Muslims who have always been supported by the US State Department, from Carter to Obama.
    There used to be one "Protocols" and one "Mein Campf" , now there are ten major books for each anti Semitic taste, each level of literacy, intelligence and conspiratorial mind, many funded by Iran ( which is incidentally providing a whole Iranian province this week,with free garbage bags, each imprinted with an Israeli Flag ( Star of David) !

  • muammer gokergil

    WHY muslims hate jews. do u really have doubts why. how many palastinians were killed by the Israil goverment. you may say it is a myth as the Garoudy said for nazi holocast. jews and GB haven't occupied palastinia. no one needs the Garoudy to hate israil goverment and the ones-jew or not- support it.