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Mehdi, Z. (2017). In Focus: The other Side of Islamophobia: A Review of the Conference on Islam and Psychoanalysis - University of Manchester, June 26-28, 2017: Department of Religion, Columbia University, New York, USA. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 14(3):252-255.

(2017). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 14(3):252-255

Review

In Focus: The other Side of Islamophobia: A Review of the Conference on Islam and Psychoanalysis - University of Manchester, June 26-28, 2017: Department of Religion, Columbia University, New York, USA

Review by:
Zehra Mehdi

In Moses and Monotheism (1939), Freud narrates the mytho-historical journey of an outcast Egyptian king who became the leader of Jews. This book becomes his first writing on religion where he speaks of religion1 with reference to existing religious communities namely of Jews and Christians. He explained the difference between the two communities through the sin of patricide. For him, while Jews had killed the father and repressed it, Christians admitted guilt for the original sin. Freud had nothing much to say about Islam excepting an analytic comment in the book where he incorporates Islam in the discourse of patricide and writes how Arabs were able to recuperate the great and unique Father, Mohammad and therefore a unique self-consciousness about it which made them attain material success. He goes on cryptically to say how Arabs do not have the same inner depth like the Jews who repressed the murder of the Father. In my reading of Freud's words, I have always felt how he uses this moment to stress the significance of repression as a psychic mechanism. What he seems to be saying is Arabs are too self-conscious because they haven't repressed anything. They lack depth because they won't ever be able to remember what they have forgotten. Every time I have heard commentaries stressing how violence espoused by Islam is not only inscribed in the Quran but also a consequence of sexual repression pervasive in the religion and the stringent practice of it, I have often thought about

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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