Nietzsche was Muslim?

Nietzsche and Islam

By Roy Jackson

Routledge, 2007

Reviewed by Nicholas Birns,
The New School

As is well known, Nietzsche tended not to look upon monotheism, rationalism, or egalitarianism with favor. Yet, fascinatingly, his few references to Islam tended to be “generous” (1). Jackson does not cite any of Nietzsche’s comments. This omission, on the first page, foreshadows a major flaw of the book, which is that it is far more about Islam than about Nietzsche. Nothing new about Nietzsche per se will be learned from this book. Jackson’s sketch of Nietzsche’s life and work in the third chapter of his book is a competent account which would make a good, high-level encyclopedia article, but, as in all such, the specialist will find some aspect of his recounting of a complex body of material to be simplifying or incomplete. But Nietzscheans should be very interested in the possibilities for Nietzsche as an agent for insight into Islam that Jackson limns, Nietzsche is, in the author’s words, “the platform for this study” (19) which is occupied with the question of how Islam can keep its integrity and identity while no longer hypostatizing its hope in transhistorical, needlessly fossilized ideals. The book’s topic is far more “How Nietzsche can help Islam become Modern” than a full-fledged exploration of Nietzschean thought and Islam’s engagement with each other.

This is only a moderate liability for most of the book. But the reader misses any concrete evidence of Nietzsche’s benign stance towards Islam at the beginning of Jackson’s monograph. Fortunately, this lack is remedied by Ian Almond’s 2003 article, “Nietzsche’s Peace with Islam: My Enemy’s Enemy is my Friend”. This piece appeared in German Life and Letters and provides exactly what is needed. Jackson stipulates Nietzsche’s proclaimed affinity with Islam, and sees as a fact of great interest that Nietzsche had a positive view of Islam. This positive view existed in spite of these ground-level realities: Islam was more monotheistic than Christianity, disdaining any talk of an incarnate son of God or a Trinity. Islam’s borrowings from Greek thought, as compared to Christianity were far more rationalistic—Mu’tazilite, in Islamic parlance—than Dionysian or ecstatic.

Given that Islam is even more opposed to ‘paganism’ (which it would call jahiliyya) than Christianity, Nietzsche might well have found it more life-denying. Furthermore, Islam’s appeal has always been a mass one. Islam spread in a demographic, not just geographic, way, because its egalitarian ideas appealed to the proletariat of the countries its conquering armies encountered. Islam in many ways seems the sort of flattening, conformist ideology Nietzsche most opposed.

But Roy Jackson shows that Islam and Nietzsche’s thought do have much in common, so much that the great Pakistani poet and essayist Muhammad Iqbal uses Nietzsche for the basis of his vision of what an Islamic modernity might look like. More recently Khalid al-Maaly has published Nietzsche’s work in Arabic. Al-Maaly has, in the interview with him conducted by Suzanne Granzer and Arno Böhler available on the Nietzsche Circle website, stated that the Saudi author Abdallah al-Qassimi used Nietzsche to critique ossified and entrenched ideas of Islam. Furthermore, Nietzsche’s contemporary Arabic translator, Ali Mosbah, says the same, in an interviewconducted by the same two scholars and also available on the Nietzsche Circle website. But Iqbal’s embrace of Nietzsche, though as modernizing as the later Islamic thinkers, also had an apologetic aspect: Iqbal wanted to make the case for core Islam on a Nietzschean basis. Muhammad was, for instance, for him, an Ubermensch, a “paradigm of life-affirmation”.

The most tangible aspect Nietzsche and Islam have in common is the idea of a redemptive vigor coming in from the margins. In his fifth chapter, Jackson gives a substantial analysis of the classical Islamic thinker most akin to Nietzsche, the fourteenth century North African Islamic thinker Ibn Khaldun. In his Muqqadimah, Ibn Khaldun lauded the Bedouins, tribal dwellers in the fringes of settled Islamic society, for periodically introducing a renewal of energy which ignited and catalyzed Islamic urban cultures that had become nescient and decadent. The Bedouins posed an asabiyah, a solidarity that animated them and gave their identity purity and force. The Bedouin exists in a “markedly crude and instinctive world” (103) which is egalitarian and cohesive” and yet also exhibits “individuality and independence”. Asabiyah gives the Bedouins the energy to take over the city. But each wave of Bedouins becomes ensnared in the decadent ways of the city, or is co-opted by the routine required of administration. This constitutes a state of mulk, or a frozen and corrupted asabiyah.

Perhaps this stress on virility, vigor, primal solidarity unconstrained by the normativizing politesse of the city explains why women have so little role in either Nietzsche or Islam, and indeed why both are often accused of misogyny, (Not Ibn Khaldun, though; as Jackson notes, he was just being descriptive). Women and polite society become the cyclical undoing ofasabiyah disconnected from its activating pulse, detached from its constitutive homosocial solidarity.

Jackson makes a helpful digression that this practice of outsider energies becoming routinized helps explained by Sunni Arab countries (presumably, he is thinking especially of Syria) are often ruled by non-Sunni military cadres even today. This dynamic of vigor and decadence is very Nietzschean. Also Nietzschean is Islam’s surprising embrace of the body and of materiality. Islam does not deny the body as much as some versions of Christianity do. Robert Lowell noticed this (in a tone that would have been less jocular had he written it four decades later) in these lines from History:

The Pope still twangs his harp for chastity–
the boys of the jihad on a string of unwitting camels
rush paradise, halls stocked with adolescent
beauties, both sexes for simple nomad tastes
—Lowell, Selected Poems, (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1976, p. 163)

In Islam, according to Jackson, “daily life is sacrament, and salvation comes from living every aspect of your life as a Muslim” (23). Islam also has a very different anthropology than does Christianity. It sees man as a ‘theomorphic being” whose innate substance can bring him to unity (tawhid) with Allah. This is very different from the Christian view that man is irremediably fallen and can only be brought to salvation by the radical intervention provided by Jesus Christ. Only Mormonism, within the religious bodies that call themselves Christian, could approach the theomorphic quality of Islam. This is not often realized, possibly because the extreme monotheism and iconoclasm of Islam makes its God seem very distant from man. Nietzsche’s thought has intermittently theomorphic tendencies. This view of human potential—of which, again, a Christian would and should be severely skeptical—is something he has in common with Islam.

Nietzsche might also have appreciated the Islamic posture of proclaimed supersession with respect to Christianity. Islam came not just after Christianity but came in order to rebut it. It proclaimed Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets not just to close off further revelation. It did so in order to deflect Christianity, by far its most formidable opponent, into a junior and preparatory position. Islam had already attempted the Nietzsche and task of superseding Christianity. Islam had not only, like secular modernity, declared Christianity out of style. It had amended it, expanded it, and effectually rescinded it. This Nietzsche could not help but admire.

Just like Bucaillism, the body of thought that sees Islam as more in touch with modern science than Christianity is, partially because it was later in time, Islam’s lateness and supercessionist intent link it with the prophecies of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, “willing to put comfort and security aside in his quest for greatness” (145) or with Zarathustra’s sense of looking forward and cutting the ground under Christianity’s network of consolation and consolidation. (That the figure on whom Zarathustra was based, the Persian prophet Zoroaster, was the basis of the religion of the major political regime full overthrown by the first wave of Islamic conquest makes this matter tricky, but the entire problem of the historical Zoroaster is a tricky one for Nietzsche and for Nietzscheans).

Also, of course, there is the syndrome so neatly captured by Almond’s title, My Enemy’s Enemy is my Friend. Nietzsche was prone to do this with respect to Germany, as witness his somewhat tongue-in-cheek praises of Poland and France, and he does this with respect to Christianity as well. Nietzsche knew that praising Islam would taunt Christianity and he was intellectually curious, and sensed that the way Islam was neglected in Western intellectual discourse was short changing an important contribution to human culture. This was heightened by the fact that, in general, Imperial Germany’s attitudes towards Islam and towards Arabs were very negative indeed anti-Semitic in the literal sense. This was not true earlier (one only has to look at Goethe) and not true later, when Turkey, in the First World War, and certain Arab interests, in the second, were allies of Germany. But at the time in which Nietzsche wrote Islam was seen as an excrescence on the antique and holy lands of what was then called the Near East. This “admired monumentalism back then, sordid Islam now” attitude was just that excoriated by Edward Said in Orientalism. This was an attitude dominant for most of the twentieth century as well as the nineteenth. It lingered even in as anthropologically sensitive a figure as Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose meditations on the remains of ancient city of Taxila in Tristes Tropiques were virulently anti-Islamic in tincture, basically out of rage against the lateness of Islam, and how its conformism had flattened a more diverse Greco-Buddhist-Hindu mélange.

This is the flip side of Islam’s potential to supersede Christianity; its potential to be modern in the mediocre sense that Nietzsche despised, egalitarian, monotonous, leveling. That Nietzsche, according to Almond (who is not cited in Jackson’s bibliography, even though his article came out four years earlier), also made adverse remarks on Islam may well be an epiphenomenon of this the equation.

Jackson’s stress, though, is on one crucial way Nietzsche can help correct the mistakes made by fundamentalist or traditionalist Islam. Jackson feels that Islamist defenses of Islam—he distinguishes between Islamist, who “seek to increase the Islamicisation of society through political measures” (166) and an Islamicist who, although believing in the tenets of Islam, does not “necessarily perceive politics as the means by which conversion to Islam can be achieved” (166).

Jackson’s analysis of modern Islamism’s desire to resurrect a pristine past is reminiscent of Paul Berman’s well-known analysis of the modern Egyptian thinker Sayyid Qutb in Terror And Liberalism, which has made Qutb well-known in the West as the fount from which contemporary Islamism derives.

Qutb is also mentioned twice by Jackson, whose major example in Islamism is the Pakistani thinker Mawlana Mawdudi, who founded the Jamaat-e-Islami, the well-known Islamist organization which wants to turn Pakistan into an “Islamic state rather than one merely populated by Muslims”. Both thinkers have American connections: Qutb, notoriously, was offended by the sexual license of northern Colorado in his youthful sojourn there, Mawdudi died in Buffalo, New York, no doubt seen by him as equally an epitome of jahiliyya as Qutb found the quiet, in my experience well-behaved university town of Greeley. (One only imagines what Qutb would have made of Haight-Ashbury or Greenwich Village!). Berman’s line on Qutb and Jackson’s line on Mawdudi share similarities: they both fault their subjects for exalting a transhistorical version of Islam, utterly beyond nuance, fallibility, or contingency, into the foundation for a modern ideological creed.

But Berman and Jackson differ on both the nature of this Islamic transhistoiricity and the role of Nietzsche in understanding this phenomenon from a Western perspective. Berman mentions Nietzsche in his analysis of the roots of Qutb’s thought, stating that Qutb saw a wrong turn in history much as Nietzsche did in his critique of Socratic rationality, only that Qutb found this in later Judaism’s legalizing and rationalizing of an originally pious monotheism. (That St. Paul made this same critique of Judaism is not highlighted by Berman, and raises the question as to whether St. Paul was Nietzschean).

Inferentially, Berman sees a Nietzschean critique of Christian tradition as being analogous to fascism and Marxism in rejecting and displacing settled ways of thinking in order to inaugurate a modern political religion with totalitarian overtones. Nietzschean contingency, Berman tacitly contends, is dangerous in throwing the baby out with the bath water, allowing new extremists to fester.

Jackson, on the other hand, sees a Nietzschean sense of critique and contingency as just what Islam needs; Islam needs its projections cut down to size, needs to understand the “changing circumstances” (70) in which the Qu’ran is read, and its “applicability” (70) to diverse contexts. To fail to do this is the symptom of an ideology that, for Nietzsche, uses its moral power (its will to power) to assure its survival” (108).

Here both Christian and anti-Christian have to make a choice. In my review of Roger Arnaldez’s Three Messengers For One God for Christianity and Literature in 1995, I suggested “Islam in the seventh century presented a far more severe and bracing challenge to Christianity than secular modernity, Marxism, and Freudianism, and so on ever did in the nineteenth and twentieth”. I wrote this in reaction to what I considered excessively paranoid responses to various modern forms of critique by Christian intellectuals. The implication was that, if secularism, Freudianism, and Marxism were really the chief opponents of Christianity, Christianity should ally with Islam against these religion-displacing ideologies. If they were not Christianity’s chief opponents, the inference went, then Christianity should drop its vendetta against various modes of Western critical thought and concentrate on warding off Islam. Either the three monotheisms had to converge in being monotheistic, or Christianity and modernity had to converge to oppose Islamic fundamentalism. After September 11, it seemed clear what course to take. But the problem is that many of those who denounced Islamic fundamentalism after the attacks had spent many of the previous years denouncing various Western forms of secular critique such as Marxism, Freudianism, and deconstruction. Who was the real enemy?

Jackson is playing along the other side of the triangle here. He is trying to defend, not fundamentalist Islam, which he vigorously opposes, but a liberal, humane Islam and relate it to a Nietzschean critique. Yet Jackson would surely agree with Berman that contemporary Islamism is intolerant and bases its intolerance on a cult of rigidly idealized origins. Berman, though, through he mentions the idea of the Caliphate, the political authority exercised by successors of Muhammad who acted in his stead and in Allah’s name, sees the problem as much with credulousness with respect to the Qu’ran as to the Caliphate. Jackson is much more inclined to criticize those who fasten on to the Caliphate. It is for this reason that this book is basically only about Sunni Islam. Shi’a Islam, with its “idea of the imam” allows more divinity to directly infuse earthly authority. Sunni Islam, on the other hand, uses the Caliphate as an elongated mode of transmitting authority that is handed on from one successor to the next. It is the propping-up of this early, though not primal, transmitted authority as a model of transhistorical of state power and social control with which Jackson is preoccupied, and on page 108 he directly tells the reader that Shi’a Islam will not be discussed in this book. Berman, on the other hand, though he writes largely about Sunni ideologies, anatomizes the torque of contemporary fundamentalism in such a way as it can also be apples to Shi’ite terrorist groups such as Hezbollah as much as Sunni ones such as al-Qa’eda and Hamas. Berman attacks religious fervor as such. Jackson attacks religious fervor only when it clothes itself in a state apparatus or some other form of power that claims historical legitimacy.

Jackson specifically attacks Sunni Islamism’s idealization of the early Caliphate, its projection of the early Caliphs beyond history and contingency. This was done, Jackson points out, in compensation. Since it was explicitly announced there were to be no more prophets after Muhammad—there is no Holy Spirit in Islam!—the Caliphs did not have that authority. They were “a form of successor” (136), the term originally meant “a viceroy or lieutenant acting for a sovereign (136)”. (Jackson uses both the terms vice-regent and vice-gerent, which can be confusing; regency refers to legitimacy, ‘gerency’ to managerial capacity). Islamism attempts to disguise the provisional and derivative nature of Caliphate authority with a theory of rashidun, the impeccable purity of the early Caliphs, which can, so the Islamists say, be brought back in our own day if only everybody is pious enough and the right series of political changes and revolutions occur. Jackson bitterly denounces the transhistorical mythologization of Rashidun as the bedrock of all of Islamism’s authoritarian credulities.

There is a opportunity for comparison here that Jackson misses. In the beginning of the book, when it is still as much about Nietzsche as about Islam (it later becomes nearly exclusively about Islam, and Nietzsche’s potential to enlighten Islam), Jackson makes some interesting comparisons between Modern Islamic thinkers’ uses of Nietzsche and that of Christian such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who, jailed by the Nazis, used Nietzsche’s critique to indicate life-affirming Christianity that did not pin down God into a set of human norms, attempt to trap God’s inconceivable power within a man-made box. Jackson also proffers Hans-Georg Gadamer as an example of how a tradition can be self-aware and dialogic without losing touch with its core beliefs.

But other Christian or Western parallels are missed. When Jackson gets to the question of political authority in Islam, and particularly the inflated claims of rashidun, he could have brought to bear the substantial body of thought about Christianity and political authority in the West in the work of such diverse figures as Carl Schmitt, Eric Voegelin, Hannah Arendt, Marcel Gauchet, Alain Badiou, and Giorgio Agamben. Anyone of these thinkers’ very different perspectives on Western political authority and its relations to Christianity would have shed light on the beliefs of those who promulgate rashidun. That the relevance of these comparisons is maximized by Jackson’s focus on with a particularly Sunni model of historically transmitted succession makes their omission have all the more truncating an effect on the scope of the book’s argument.

One thinks of European analogues as well when Jackson talks about attempts to actually restore the Caliphate, whose last vestiges died out in 1924. The Caliphate represents “political absolutism sanctioned by divine law” (164). This was said to have died out in the twentieth century. But there were also a score of people who tried to bring it back in one way or another and they often used Nietzschean, individualistic castigations of modern leveling and egalitarianism to do so. To want to bring back the Caliph, the Emperor, the Czar, and so on, after all marks one as special, as gifted. One is no longer part of the herd mentality content with the unexciting shuffle of democratically elected leaders. But these desires take different forms in the West and in Islam.

One of the differences between European restorationist conservatism and the Islamist variety is that European seems to want to restore a concrete state in the past, most likely a Catholicized universal Christendom with the Pope and a revamped Holy Roman Emperor co-reigning (and eventually after a time sniping at each other once again, but restorationist scenarios never take this into account). Islamists seem to care less who the Caliph is, but want to re-create a cherished and impossibly pristine past.

A Nietzschean sense of genealogy can thus be used to undermine not Islamic monotheism as such, but a fetishized construction of what pure Islamic monotheism is said to have been like. Both the exceptional individual and the transhistorical state are not mandated by the Qu’ran, though often espoused by those who promote Islamic militant ideology. Nietzsche was very obviously no friend of the transhistorical state. That, in Zarathustra, he is not totally an advocate of the extraordinary individual is one of Jackson’s major arguments.

Often, Jackson writes for such an inside audience that very perceptive and potentially fruitful statements of his go by the boards for everyone those who already know a good deal about Islam:

Al-Mamun sought a restoration of caliphate authority in Shi’ism, first by designating the eighth Imam of the Imami Shi’ites as his successor (Ali ibn Musa al-Rida) and next to assume for himself the prerogatives of this imam! If the Caliph thought that the only way to preserve caliphate authority was to hand it over to an “Alid, he evidently also believed that the Abbasids no longer had any legitimacy or religious authority” (144).

The reader who does not know that Al-Ma’mun, and all the Abbasids, were Sunnis, or that the eighth Imam was older than al-Ma’mun, could not reasonably be expected to outlive him, and that thus this ‘offer’ was mostly an act of expediency will be lost. Furthermore, the double point being made—that al Ma’mun was so desperate to quell sectarian strife within Islam that he was willing to, at least rhetorically, to fuse the Shi’a power structure into the Sunni by, as it were, combining legitimacies (much like a title reunification in boxing!) and that this tacitly conceded that the transmitted Caliphate authority previous Sunni caliphs had claimed was imperfect, deserves far more explication. It is put forth and then dropped. Part of the problem here is that Jackson seems to be writing for specialists on Islam. The book is published in a series of monographs in Middle East and Islamic studies, not in political science or philosophy. This is unfortunate as the point being made is an important one. What Jackson calls ‘Transhistorical Islam’ occurs when Muslims buttress their supratemporal vision if Islam not so much on Muhammad or the Qu’ran but therashidun, the first few ‘pure’ Caliphs. They seek a vision of Islam that does not just adhere to strict Qu’ranic mandates but restores the political authority of the time of the rashidun. This is much like restorationist Christians in the West, who want a return not just to reading the Bible but to anterior structures of political authority. In other words it is not just a theocracy but a theocracy with a historically guaranteed and transmitted authority. Thus the importance of the idea of a Caliphate to contemporary Sunni fundamentalism.

The problem with the Caliphate as a metaphysical idea, though (as the al-Mam’un example illustrates) is the identity of the Caliph. As an individual any specific Caliph, in their own personal makeup and convictions, can inflect the transhistorical ideal of the Caliphate in a way that necessarily modifies any pristine sense of a past moment in time somehow frozen so as to “mythologize the past” (145). This idealization of the past underlies the specious exceptionality felt by members of terrorist networks and also the dreams of Islamic militants of reestablishing the Caliphate. One can see European right-wing Christian restorationists battening onto some Habsburg prince for this purpose, but it is harder to do this in Islam. The last period in which the title of Caliph was used in Islam was when, for nearly four hundred years, it was “applied to the Ottoman Sultans” (144), and one cannot see Arabs or Pakistanis wanting a Turkish sultan, even if dynastically regenerated, as a spiritual leader. Just as there was no emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, (the formal name of the country when it was ruled by the Taliban) the Caliphate fantasy seems Caliphless. What is wanted is, as Jackson suggests, not a specific governmental set up, but an impossibly cathartic return to a transcendental, transhistorical ideal.

There was a brief time immediately after the September 11 attacks when it seemed possible to some that the Taliban could, after negotiations, give up Osama bin Laden to the US. One of the questions I wanted any prospective members of the negotiating team to ask is, “Who is the Emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan?” The answer would have been interesting. Apparently certain groups in Waziristan, the Pakistani province mostly dominated by elements sympathetic to al-Qa’eda, call themselves ‘The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan”. They seem similarly emirless. The idea seems to be that, by calling their would-be state, what Jackson reminds us is called a dawla in the Islamic world, as an Emirate, the Islamists gain some sense of identity, of exceptionality, by proclaiming they are acting in the name of a sovereign, they cease to be more than ordinary brigands. Thus the question of who is the Emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would not have just been a taunting triviality in the aftermath of the devastating terrorist atrocities. It would have called attention to the particular shape of power and authority that, at the very least, stood behind the Taliban, and, in terms of Caliphate ideology, al Qa’eda itself.

Nietzsche would not have seen this sort of phenomenon, of personal excitation by affiliation with real or projected state sovereignty, as entirely alien to his own culture, even if it assumed very different forms there than it does in Islam. Part of Nietzsche’s objections to Wagner and to what Louis Althusser might call the expressive link between his music and Imperial Germany that the composer seemed to endorse. For Nietzsche, Wagner was harnessing his art to a Teutonic Protestant version of a Caliphate ideology, to the, as it were, dawla of the Second Reich. Wagner yoked artistic achievement to aReich possessing actual present authority and theoretical historical legitimacy, “ruling in accordance with already formulated governance” (106). He thus inflated his art into a bombastic subservience to a given order. Nietzsche, as Jackson points out, distrusted, after his break with Wagner, ideas that made art into “salvation” (58). He distrusted them most when they were gathered under the auspices of a Kaiser/Caliph authority figure.

Jackson closes the book by making the cogent point, mirrored in recent work by Lawrence Hatab and Christa Davis Acampora, that “Nietzsche believes that democracy is the political form of the modern world that is best able to offer the best protection of culture; that is, of art, of religion, of creativity’ (164) and that Nietzsche: “is not antidemocratic so long as it leaves space for the antique, the rare, and the noble.” Jackson argues that it is not that Islam and democracy are inherent antagonists but that the Islamic articulation of people’s need for what Nietzsche, in the first book of On the Genealogy of Morals, calls “political superiority” and “spiritual priority”, has not found a way to define itself within democratic forms. As the contra-Wagner Nietzsche would concur, the Christian West, though perhaps more proficient in this process, has not historically practiced it in a seamless way either. Jackson thus makes an urgent point—that a liberation of spirituality from overly restrictive formulations can enable religious beliefs to unfold themselves in a pluralist polity. Jackson rejects “the emptiness of the secular” (164). But Jackson calls for recognizing a plurality of beliefs and traditions” (164). Though some might want something more edgy than this admirable conceptualized pluralism, which resembles the hermeneutic approaches of the Christian thinker David Tracy, few would object were Jackson’s model to be widely advanced within contemporary Islam. Jackson has thus made his case creditably and in a mode that commands attention. The topic, though, is important enough to merit its argument being made for a non-specialist audience. That Jackson writes only for specialists (and that the book’s price is prohibitively expensive) will limit the audience of a book whose ideas potentially solicit a very wide readership. That it was published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, a firm with a logistical ability to disseminate its books widely, makes this all the more disappointing.

The reader also wonders about Jackson’s personal stake in this issue. Form the evidence of the acknowledgments Roy Jackson appears to be a British man married to a Muslim woman and who is a practitioner of Islam. (Alternately, I guess, he could be a cradle Muslim of Caribbean origins). One understands why these merely subjective aspects of his life, if my admittedly extrapolative suppositions are true, should not be part of an objective academic framework; but an unfolding of his subject position would have given the reader a more tangible sense of his position, especially since Jackson endorses Nietzsche’s non-Platonic model of the vulnerable, all-too-human thinker, who is not anUbermensch himself even if he foresees or projects one.

Islam, individualism, distinction; state authority, political pluralism, tolerance. These issues command the public sphere today, and Jackson’s view should be unfolded in such a way that they can have discernable and positive impact.

Reviewed by Nicholas Birns, The New School

Download whole review as |  Nietzsche and Islam |

All Rights Reserved. © Nicholas Birns-Nietzsche Circle, 2007.

Read Horst Hutter’s review of Nietzsche and Islam.


Read The Nietzsche Circle’s interview’s with the first translator and publisher of Nietzsche’s works into Arabic.

An Interview with translator Ali Mosbah




An Intervivew with publisher Khalid Al-Maaly




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