Nietzsche's Peace with Islam: My Enemy's Enemy is my Friend
Author: Almond, Ian1 Source: German Life and Letters, Volume 56, Number 1, January 2003 , pp. 43-55(13) Publisher: Blackwell Publishing <> next article > View Table of Contents
Abstract: This article examines the many references in Nietzsche's work to Islam and Islamic cultures, and situates them in the general context of his thought. Nietzsche's praise of Islam as a `ja-sagende semitische Religion', his admiration for Hafiz, his appreciation of Muslim Spain, his belief in the essentially life-affirming character of Islam, not only spring from a desire to find a palatable Other to Judaeo-Christian-European modernity, but also comment on how little Nietzsche actually knew about the cultures he so readily appropriated in his assault on European modernity. Nietzsche's negative comments on Islam - his generic dismissal of Islam with other religions as manipulative thought systems, his depiction of Mohammed as a cunning impostor, reveal in Nietzsche not only the same ambiguities towards Islam as we find towards Christ or Judaism, but also a willingness to use the multiple identities of Islam for different purposes at different moments in his work.