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What do the Socialists do? They do a deal to keep out the far Right.


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They throw their weight behind Ben Abbes, who sweeps to power in the run-off. The Muslim Brotherhood is effectively in charge of the republic, and the process of Islamification is so gradual that the frog so to speak does not realise it is being boiled. It begins with the mandatory teaching of the Koran in schools; then French women start wearing veils and abandoning skirts; then men start having up to four wives, and as many concubines as they can afford; and then the genial Ben Abbes embarks on a great and visionary programme to change the whole contour and complexion of the EU, to admit Turkey and the Maghreb countries.

The hero is a seedy-looking, chain-smoking intellectual who becomes a Muslim, and is rewarded with a luscious, Gulf-funded university post and a nubile young wife. Otherwise — and this is the really spooky bit — the country just carries on. The point of the book is to send a shiver up the spine, to play upon Islamophobia, and to make you wonder what it really would be like if Europe were under Muslim rule.

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I was brooding on this vanishingly unlikely contingency when the plane touched down and it hit me. We have spent a couple of nights in Granada in southern Spain, and on Saturday there was a procession through town to celebrate the expulsion of Boabdil, otherwise known as Muhammad XII, the last sultan of Granada.


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You may remember this wretch. The Muslims ruled this part of Spain for years, and their legacy was colossal. No, there is no easy way you can retrofit medieval Spain to become some prototype of modern urban pluralism and tolerance.

Snapped Urban Renaissance

But what you cannot deny is the scale of the Muslim achievement. It was the intellectual flowering of the Cordoba caliphate that helped to protect and transmit ancient Greek texts and eventually to propel the European Renaissance.

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The Islamic architecture of Granada is simply astonishing. When I went for a run yesterday I saw files of Japanese and Koreans waiting to get in, and you can see why. With its honeycomb ceilings, reflective pools and jasmine-scented gardens, the Alhambra, many would argue, is the most beautiful building in the world.

Our age is likely to be bedevilled by anxiety about Islam — or at least about Islamism.

Urban renaissance - Wikipedia

We will be forced constantly and ruthlessly to insist on the distinction between Islamic extremism and a religion that is followed around the world by more than a billion people who are no less peaceful, no less loving, no less kind or good than ourselves. In the tensions now between Iran and Saudi Arabia, between Shia and Sunni, we can see the outline of what could become a chronic and disastrous struggle for mastery within Islam itself. Amid all this gloom and all this apprehension — upon which people like Houellebecq are able to harp so skilfully — it is worth celebrating an epoch in which a specifically Islamic culture made a great and imperishable contribution to European civilisation.

Ayuda sobre accesibilidad. Now Merlin must come to grips with the fact that Cojo may be carrying his brother's child.

Snapped (Urban Renaissance)

For Gina Meadows, Merlin's mother, it's a brutal reminder of the dysfunction that has always plagued her family. Tension escalates when Gina pops up pregnant after a night of drunken revelry, and an icy finger points to her deviant son as the father. The drama that ensues forces them all to take stock of their lives.


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Hurt, angry, and confused, Merlin is caught up in a complex struggle between yesterday and today; between a mistress who wants to give him real love and a wife who doesn't know how; between nasty lies and secrets and their life-altering revelations. In his struggle to mend a marriage that is as fragile as a cobweb, Merlin learns that the past, present, and future are tangled in a knot that he can never unravel.