Feb 20, 2019 in Book Review

In The Name of Identity

In The Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong is kind of book that touches variety of timely problematic. It is about the natural and adopted types of behavior and ability to live easily with various allegiances at once. The author Amin Maalouf does not mean split personality; it is much more about tolerance and our ability to be skillfull in the changeble world. The central idea is that every individual should be able to identify both with the country he lives in and our present-day world.

Worldwide famous writer Amin Maalouf was born in Lebanon in 1949 in a Christian family. The first tellings and books he read were in Arabic; that was what inspired him for the rest of his life. At the age of 27, he moved to France and has lived there for 22 years. The majority of his books were written in French. Nevertheless, he never identified himself as half-Lebanon or as half-French. That is because he never sticked to one identification. He meant that his multicultural variety has formed his identity in the way that nothing cannot be accepted without prejudice for integrity of his own mixed identity. It is evident for the person who spent so much time in countries with a different mentality. May be that is why Maalouf’s book In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong is devoted to complicated relationships between affiliations.

There is a variety of the major issues the author adressed in the book. Maalouf writes that we live in a complex reality where the process of self-identification is quite challenging. We live in the period of modernity, and it is wrong to reject it. People cannot ignore the wind of changes that leads us to unity. This wind should be thoughtfully followed in order to create a worldwide community saving all our indivial affiliations and compartmetalized identities. All of us are so different, and our identity is a treasure that prevents us from being identical to anybody else.

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In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong is both a fascinating historical research and good food for thoughts. Amin Maalouf rises many political, social, and religious issues. Concerning politics, the author highlights identity as a perfect implement to start a war. But than he says the political identity should be accepted to avoid mistakes of the past. Unfortunately, our history exposes us doctrines that infringe upon natural human rigts. The author proposes us to accept those lessons, learn the history, and built a new society with the respect to traditions and views of others. Concerning religion, the author states that no religion, even if it is the majority of believers, has the right to lay down the law for the population as a whole. The tyranny of majority is no better than the tyranny of minority. Religion has enough power to spill blood. Despite it, we ought to be treated humanely, and our different beliefs should unite us instead of creating being fault lines. From the point of social aspect, Maalouf writes that societies become more and more different from one another. At the same time, people still have many characteristics in common. Society is a mixture of traditions, views, languages, and colors of skin. We will never be perfectly similar, our identity will be always unique. Maalouf only askes us to be more broadminded in order to build a worthy peaceful world, know our affiliation, and respect individual harmony of our neighbors.

In conclusion, it should be said that every single individual has to identify himself with the world around him. It has to be done, because we cannot control the wind of changes. All of us have a strong wish to belong to something, not to be lonely. Therefore, let's create the bright world of tolerance where everybody share their creativity, ideas, and innovations without harassment. We should be capable to adapt and pronounce far-sighted decisions that would not make harm to others. Thus, globalization will appear to be a friendly future, not the bloodthirsty enemy. Our affiliations are nothing more than invisible nexuses. Nevertheless, they are still so strong and can appear to be a reason for dissociation. That is how the title of the book may sound: Invisible Nexus. The author did not call us for action; he made us think deeply. He only analized the current situation and hoped that future generations will be surprised that humanity faced the kinds of problems he wrote about.

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