Radical Islam – “Books are the perfect antidote against acts of darkness and violence”, says writer Tahar Ben Jelloun

Wise advice – Books are the best way to protect young people against the excesses and evils of violence, terrorism and brutality, said Sunday in Nouakchott, Moroccan Author, Taher Ben Jelloun.

In the light of his participation in a cultural debate held at Morocco’s cultural center in Nouakchott under the theme “Youth and Literature”, Ben Jelloun stressed that young people’s lives have been taking bad turns for a few decades now, including young Moroccans living in Europe.

The debate came to mark the ninth literary meeting session organized by “Traversées Mauritanides” cultural association.

“We live at a time when most young people have been widely influenced by new technologies, therefore, they do not read books for they believe it is reluctant,” said Nouakchott cultural meeting honorary guest, Taher Ben Jelloun; MAP reported.

Ben Jelloun who currently lives between Paris and Tangier, has also noted that the surge of new technologies, which we can not oppose at this stage, has actually reached a certain degree that “makes us lose our own memories and totally neglect reading as a concept”, says the same source.

     + The crisis we relate to is mainly cultural +

Youth is the most critical time of every human’s life circle, for it decides his/her personality, given that people at a young age are easily manipulated by extremist, barbaric and terrorist views, Ben Jelloun stated, stressing that books and culture in general are like “an antidote we take during times of vulnerability to protect ourselves against acts of darkness and violence”.

Taher Ben Jelloun held the educational and cultural systems responsible for such deviations, revealing that negligence has opened the door to all kinds of exploitation and brutality, which can become more serious issues in the light of ignorance and fear”.

The author has also highlighted the importance of interacting with different cultures and reading various literary productions, for it is the best way to explore further and travel through different times and spaces, as well as to end all sorts of ignorance and violence.

“Today, the Arab world is in a deep crisis that is neither financial nor economic! The crisis we relate to is mainly cultural, always keeping Arabs  a step or two backwards in their efforts to reach real modernity,” 1987 Goncourt prize winner concluded.


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