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Log out of ReadCube. It wasn't a ban against some countries, it was a ban against Muslim countries or pithily against Muslims. In the existing discourse on Islamophobia, how do we understand not only the Muslim who isn't allowed to enter but also the Muslim who is quite simply killed for having entered ages ago. In this paper, I share the trajectory of Muslims in India through history, politics, and psychoanalytic theory to present the case of Islamophobia in India. Developing on Edward Said's Orientalism and Gil Anidjar's, Secularism , I explain how in the secular nation state of India, the phobia isn't of Islam; rather, it is of religion.

The religion is identified as Islam. In this identification, national identity and religious identity are at loggerheads such that Muslims in between are left with an impossibility — they cannot be Indians as long as they are Muslims and they can never not be Muslims. Volume 14 , Issue 3. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.

If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Zehra Mehdi Corresponding Author E-mail address: zm columbia. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Get access to the full version of this article. View access options below. You previously purchased this article through ReadCube.

Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. In this issue we examine themes which are linked to memory studies and which have witnessed significant development in recent decades due to the strengthening of multiculturalism in the s.


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In Israeli society this has meant re-appraising the Zionist master narrative and giving expression to the different histories that are a part of the collective memory of the Jews of Arab Islamic countries, those who arrived in Israel 2 from the end of the s, but also to the histories of Palestinian Israelis.

In the task of memory re-construction, literary works can function as memory archives and contribute to a deeper and more greatly diversified understanding of the past, especially if there is access to a vast literary corpus, as is that constituted by the Jews originating from the Arab Muslim countries. The use of a literary corpus allows the re-integration into historiography of a memory which the history written by those holding power has marginalized or erased.


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Thanks to literary narration, to the novel and to poetry, those who have been marginalized can make an addendum to the official historiography; the voice of the underdogs can be heard and integrated into the master narrative. Another tool that has showed itself to be useful in re-constructing migratory paths between memory and oblivion is the use of life stories corresponding to a biography in the form of narration, where the subject gives a particular significance to their own life story or conduct.

The use of these terms has often sparked off lively debates and they are rarely used in daily life by the ordinary members of these communities, although political and intellectual debate may well lay claim to them. Two academics in particular, Ella Shohat and Yehouda Shenhav, have used and discussed the term Arab Jews, which the writer Albert Memmi had already employed in the s. Albert Memmi must be cited in these discussions as it was he who publicly made use of the term, 15 only to then deny the possibility of using it.

They stand for those Jewish communities that immigrated into Israel coming from an area stretching from North Africa to India, also including Ethiopia.

We are dealing with a grouping that has been invented, as has been amply demonstrated by Ella Shohat. As Arnold Lewis has remarked, 18 basing himself on a field study conducted on a city of inhabitants with partly North African origins Kurdistanis, Tripolitans and Tunisians , the ethnic category of Oriental Jews held little importance for most of these people. In a research that one of the authors of this introduction is presently carrying out on the ethnic Moroccan museums in Israel, 19 the same phenomenon has been observed in the course of interviews conducted with the planners of these museums.

More specifically in this issue we propose to consider the shared and unshared memory of Jews from the Arab-Muslim countries of the Diaspora and of those Jews from the Arab-Muslim countries who have found themselves on the edge of the master narrative of the new State of Israel and the memories that are unshared or contested in the narratives of Jews and Palestinians. In the case of Morocco, the memory that Muslims have of the Jews who lived among them has also been taken into consideration.

Aleida Assman, in her essay 20 where she mentions de-legitimisation, one of the characteristics of the functions of memory, has written that it is easier for the winners to forget history than for those who have been defeated: the winners can afford to forget while on the other hand the defeated — those who are not resigned to their fate and are forced to go back and rethink how it could have been — cannot. We know how this has been relevant for the Jewish people, characterised by an excess of memory compared to others who have too little memory , as has been pointed out by Paul Ricoeur.

In other words we propose to reconsider the voices of actors who were not winners and the history of the State of Israel and of nation building from the perspective of non-hegemonic groups. The memory of non-hegemonic groups can be recovered, as stated above, through literary sources, oral histories and images but also from photographs, films and documentaries; it may also be representative of different forms of resistance. Aleida Assman mentions several examples of resistance that are carried forward by the defeated and the oppressed performing a function of de-legitimisation against a system which is deemed as oppressive.

It is in the light of the interpretation of memory as a form of resistance to different systems of power in the Middle East that we wish to publish the articles in this issue. It is an issue that will deal both with shared and unshared memory and with selective oblivion, which means the possibility to select memories. Paul Ricoeur 21 points out that not every track is considered worthy of being followed and then stored away in order to be organised later in the official history and that the oblivion that occurs during this phase of storage may be the subject of memory of second degree, a history of the memory of oblivion.

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The forgetting that did not enter into the official history and that gave rise to primary and secondary narratives will become also a matter of particular relevance in this issue. The memory that is recovered through interviews focused on personal memories enhancing the emotions and tied to memories. Collective memory that depends on the ways in which individual memories are kept, transported and stabilized by the social groups to which the individual belongs, generates a current of thought that maintains that the past can still continue to live within the group that holds it.

These memories provide the specificity and consistency of the group especially when facing major historical changes. Through the transmission of symbols and places of memory that are felt as shared, the individual participates and maintains its collective memory, a memory that is still alive in the individual memories and is part of a broader set of memories.

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In this issue we will take into account the work of construction and reconstruction of identity such as in moments of great historical changes and in this regard we will consider literary and the historical sources as well as oral testimonies, knowing that the little stories or the individual cases help to form the greater history.

And so, little by little, language melted into language, landscape into landscape, and culture into culture. The years brought changes, small and large, and Iraq somehow seemed now close, now faraway. But the stars that flickered over our Baghdad rooftop are the same stars I can still see-on a cloudless night- from my balcony in Tel Aviv. Sasson Somekh, Baghdad, Yesterday. To the reader is left the task — and the pleasure — of scrutinising them by exploring the issue.

A Contested Notion

A first group of essays by Cohen-Fournier, Cohen and Messika, and Trevisan Semi, deals with memories as recollected by individuals, Jews and non-Jews alike, about Jewish life in North African and Middle Eastern countries, mainly in the second half of the twentieth century. That was the time, starting with the end of the s and carrying on into through the s and 60s, in which the major waves of emigration of Jews from the North Africa and the Middle East drastically reduced and almost put an end to the Jewish presence in these countries. All three articles are based on interviews and life stories, which means oral sources, collected in different countries, both of origin and of arrival after emigration, such as Morocco, France, Israel and Canada.

Contested Memories and the Demands of the Past - Staff

The first two articles mentioned above focus on a limited number of life stories, which are part of the project Life stories of Montrealers displaced by war, genocide and human rights violation, CURA-Concordia, In her contribution to this issue, Cohen-Fournier tackles the question of how the departures of Jews from their countries of origin, in the context of a post-Shoah and post-colonial migration, have been represented by individual memories within the collective experience of uprooting.

In particular, the researcher examines the narratives of four people from different countries: Algeria, Egypt and Iraq. Leaving is presented as a personal choice and decision. Indeed, the interviewees do not present themselves as victims but rather they show a strong form of resilience, thus granting their departure a strong sense of legitimisation.

This represents a construction of the individual memory that contrasts with the collective one, creating a conflict between shared and unshared memories. In the same framework of a post-Shoah and post-colonial migration, Cohen and Messika investigate the memories hold by Jews about life in their country of birth mainly Morocco and Tunisia and the motivations to leave. The aim of the research is to question the constitution of a shared memory and of a group memory. The authors analyse the shared and unshared memories of departures and depictions of colonial society as they are found in different social groups, choosing two peculiar perspectives: the generational perspective and the affiliation to one of the sectors into which colonial Moroccan society was divided, sectors based on ethnic, religious and gender lines, as the authors rightly point out.

Articulating questions related to education, culture and language allows Cohen and Messika to consider the different discourses about emigration and departure.