Abdel-wahab Elmessiri (1938 – 2008), professor of English and comparative literature, an Egyptian thinker, one of the critics of western modernity, and a pro of founding an 'Islamic' version of modernism, author of the Encyclopedia "Jews, Judaism and Zionism".
Professor Abdel-Wahab Mohammad Ahmad Elmessiri, born in the city of Damanhour, in a province in the Nile delta, around 150 km north of Cairo, on the 8th of October 1938, died on 3rd of June 2008.
Childhood and early life
Professor Elmessiri has been raised in a countryside wealthy family, and has been educated in the elementary and secondary schools in his town Damanhour. His father was a businessman, but he was keen to raise his children on self-dependence. Dr. Elmessiri remembers this time and mentions that this way of raising up has made me a stubborn and dedicated researcher. (Islam online, Elmessiri speaks for his life).
He has been educated during the
elementary and secondary periods in Damanhour, and on 1955 joined
After his return to
his work as a university professor, he was appointed as a member of the council
of experts, and chief of the unit of Zionist thought, in the center of political
and strategic studies, Al-Ahram newspaper (1970-1975);
and as a cultural chancellor in the permanent delegate of the Arab league at the
UN, New York (1975-1979); and as an Academic chancellor for the International
Institute of Islamic Thought (from 1992 till the end of his life); and as a
member of the board of trustees of the University of Social and Islamic
Sciences, Virginia State USA (1993 till the end of his life); and as a member of
the board of trustees of the University of Social and Islamic Sciences,
Washington, USA (1997 till the end of his life).
In addition, he participated as an editorial chancellor for several magazines in
Since his youth, Elmessiri was active
politically. He participated, during the period of British occupation of
He resumed his political activities in mid
nineties when he participated and played a central role in establishing and
formulating the political agenda of the new 'Wasat
Party' (meaning the middle or midway party). The Wasat
is a party that acknowledges the democratic live of
Elmessiri's intellectual journey goes back to the secondary school period at which he embraced the communist thought and joined an Egyptian communist party for some time. At this early stage, he believed in the western modernist thought, in general, and the communist thought in particular. This conviction continued with him until the time of his studies at the states in the early sixties of the twentieth century.
Elmessiri during the sixties, in the States, both realistically and intellectually, has witnessed the essential transformations through which western modernity have been passing. This situation represents the starting point of the turn away from his modernist convictions, in general, and the communist convection in particular. He mentions that the beginnings of his conversion toward the Islamic thought go back to 1963. He adds that the essence of his view is that human being is a unique creature and is not a material one, and consequently, equality and justice between humans is an essential requirement, he says,
This essential vision is the common thread of all my writings, and in the evolution of my intellectual life. My philosophical position has been changed from one time to another, but the required vision is the same, despite the change in the methods and means to realize this vision. Gradually, through a journey that consumed thirty years I came back to Islam, not only as beliefs and rituals, but as a vision to the universe, the life and as an Ideology. (Islam online, Love is the start of my conversion to belief)
As a response to the Egyptian defeat by
From this starting point he wrote the first of his books, "The end of history: an introduction to studying the structure of Zionist thought" (1972), afterward, his "Encyclopedia of Zionist concepts and terms: a critical vision" was published on 1975, which was followed by a series of studies about Judaism and Zionism.
Within his efforts to expand his project, he decided to update and expand his 'Encyclopedia of Zionism'; he thought that such a process would take one or two years. Nevertheless, in practice he found that his earlier version of the encyclopedia was analytical, concentrating on the particulars and missing the wider collective and cultural view of the Zionist project. Hence, he realized that he should seek a synthetically oriented methodology to form a foundational collective view. The result was his 8 volumes well known major and seminal publication "Jews, Judaism and Zionism: a new interpretive model", 1999.
During working on expanding and widening his view of the Zionist project he realized that a prerequisite of constructing a collective view of the subject studying the social, political and intellectual as well as the philosophical background of such a project. This meant studying the modernist western thought with its philosophical and cultural basis. Consequently, the intellectual project of Elmessiri has surpassed studying Zionist thought and its social realization and turned out to be a critical study of Western civilization, in general. Moreover, in the later period his project has been expanded to present general thought concerning the construction of a contemporary 'Islamic" modernism that is capable of offering the remedy for the problems aroused by western modernity, especially after entering the post-modern state.
In this period he published several studies in modernity critique, such as "The problematic of partiality: a cognitive vision and a call for new views" (1992), "The world from a western view" (2001), "Materialistic philosophy and the dismantling of human being" (2002), "Modernism and Postmodernism" (2003), and numerous other publications.
Despite his wide philosophical project, the literal subject, which is his specialization, continued to be amongst his basic interests and 'his first love' as he says. Hence, he published "Selections of the English romantic poetry: some historical and critical studies" (1979), "Language, allegory between monotheism and Unity of Being" (2002), and several books in Arabic and English in the literature of the Palestinian resistance. Dr. Elmessiri has published a poetry work "the songs of experience and innocence" (2003), as well as several short stories for children. On 2007 he published in literature, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', with a critical study.
Children Fictions and his intellectual project
Elmessiri realized during his journey that the major problem of western modernity is its failure to assert human dignity and values. He also realized that this trait is transmitted to the subconscious of the modern human being through media, especially during the period of childhood. Therefore, he purported to plant humanist and Islamic values in the subconscious of children through a collection of short fictions, titled "Stories of this era". In his stories, the same cognitive view of Elmessiri's project was impeded.
Gamal Hemdan's Effect on Elmessiri
Professor Elmessiri mentions that he has been
under the influence of the methodology of Dr. Gamal
hemdan, an Egyptian geography specialist and the
writer of "The character of
I read his book "Jews anthropologically" during my work on the encyclopedia of Zionism, I have always felt a great admire of his method of writing as well as his life which was devoted to his project. After finishing the encyclopedia, I discovered that I was affected, to a great extent, by his way of thinking. Most importantly, it is clear that I have learned from Gamal Hemdan refusal of the one-dimensional materialist analytic method, as well as depending on mathematical models in Human sciences; and learned to reserve the value of intuition and imagination in the scientific thinking. The most important, which I have learnt from him, is to get out with the Judaic and Zionist phenomena from the circle of the Torah and Talmud and put it in several historical contexts, to become multi-dimensional phenomena. I learned from him how to uncover the general model from the collection of ever-changing particulars, and how to abstract reality from 'realities'. (Jews anthropologically, P 50-51).
The central concept in the philosophy of Abdel-Wahab Elmessiri is that of 'Worldview', albeit he uses several terms to express it, such as 'human vision of the universe', 'the cognitive system', and the 'philosophical system'. Based on this central concept, the rest of the elements of Elmessiri's thought are formulated. One of the essential elements, which is based on his use of the concept of 'Worldview', is his distinction between the Western modernist view and the Islamic modernist view.
The second essential concept, in his thought, is the 'Cognitive model', which is the cognitive representation of the worldview. Hence, the function of the cognitive model is to guarantee consistency between the different elements of our worldview as well as consistency with real facts under study. The cognitive model, in Elmessiri's thought, represents a conceptual framework that is composed of a net of particular concepts and a family of terms, which enables the thinker to use his model to grasp the collective nature of the phenomenon.
Elmessiri's thought has a theoretical side as well as an applied side. The theoretical one presents the basic concepts on which his critique of modernism, and its results, is constructed. Whereas, the applied side is represented by his treatment of the socio-political phenomenon of Zionism as a part of modernity thought. Hence, Emessiri's thought is basically an epistemological one not Ideological. For the epistemological thought founds its concepts on theoretical basis that possess an epistemological value, then constructs its overall view on it in an analytic/synthetic way. This form of thought is usually referred to as 'foundational'. On the other hand, the Ideological thought starts from fixed theoretical framework and deduces from it its principles, hence, moves from up downwards.
Within this general framework, Elmessiri founds his work on the wide spread thought of modernity critique, postmodernism, postcolonial, and sociology of knowledge. Therefore, his theoretical basis is composed of different lines of thought that already exist in Western philosophical literature itself, and, hence, has its legitimacy and strength as a theoretical basis. Over such a strong base, Elmessiri founds his conceptual framework that deals with the inherent problems of modernism, from on side, and the structural problems of Zionism, from the other.
Consequently, through these cognitive tools,
Elmessiri's thought can be characterized by its denial and rejection of the
Western modernist worldview, from one side, and by its advocacy of some form of
modernism that is constructed from an Islamic worldview, from the other. His
refusal of modernism in the way it presented itself in the past few centuries is
not radical. For, he does not refuse modernism as such, as an abstract concept,
but his refusal is to the non-humanistic nature that plagued modernism in real
practice. He supports his view, strongly, by the wide writings of modernist
critics, postmodernists and postcolonialists as well as, figures such as Max
Weber, and members of the
This general position entails two basic results. First, Zionism is not a mere simple sociological movement; rather, it represents one of the manifestations of western modernity, with all its anti-human inclination. Moreover, if Zionism is in conflict with Arabs and denies basic human wrights of the Palestinians in living free on their own land, then, this does not represent a political struggle, but a struggle between Western modernist view and the Islamic worldview. The second is the necessity to construct the counter Islamic view of modernism, not on the basis of the traditional Islamic thought, but on the basis of our contemporary Islamic 'modern thought'.
In his words, Elmessiri explains how he relates his general view of Western modernism to Zionism, as a realistic manifestation of this view, as follows,
I came back to the topic on 1980 when I wrote my book "The Zionist Ideology: a case study in sociology of knowledge", in two parts. In this book, I deepened the cognitive and civilizational dimension of my study of Zionism and I stressed on the importance to study the Nazi's phenomenon in the same way, such that it should be looked at both Zionism and Nazism as part of the western thought and the western civilization. Hence, it is not possible to study any of them in isolation from the different currents of thought of Western civilization. In addition, I pointed out in the second part in a section titled "Zionism and Nazism" that Western studies in the subject rarely exceed the political and apologetic dimension. These studies have failed to realize that Nazism was not an aberration from the essence of Western civilization, rather, it was an essential current in it, as much as Zionism was. (Zionism and Nazism and the end of history: 13).
The Philosophical Project
On this basis, it can be said that Elmessiri's project has four basic sides. The first is his methodology which is based upon the concepts of 'the view of the universe' (or Worldview), and the 'cognitive model' and on his view of using philosophical terms.
The second is his critique of western modernity, which is based on contemporary literature of modernity critique and postmodernism. However, Elmessiri did not follow the same rout of such a literature; rather he developed a different rout. He introduced new dimensions of criticism based on his own interpretation of enlightenment thought and the meaning of 'Secularism' as well as his explanation of the evolutionary side of modernism.
The third side of his project is his treatment of the Zionist thought and movement on an epistemological and cognitive basis as an application of his critical view of modern thought. Elmessiri analyses Zionism both on the level of its theoretical categories as well as on the social and political levels of real life. The fourth and final side of his project is his introduction of a specific view for constructing a contemporary Islamic version of modernism that, in his view, corrects the insane problematic of western modernism.
1- His methodology
Elmessiri's methodology is composed of four elements. These elements integrate together in his writings in an aim to grasp a deep, most general and collective view of the studied phenomena. Following is a brief description of these four elements delineated from his own writings:
The concept of Worldview
According to Elmessiri the essential aspect of any worldview, or cognitive model, is the absolute reference, or the absolute source of knowledge. This absolute may be either separate and independent from the universe, or latent and inherent in it.
"Every cognitive system revolves around an absolute, meaning 'a final pivot' or 'an end base'. It is also possible to define the absolute as the center that exceeds all the parts and nothing exceeds it, and that it is which its existence leads to the integration of the parts of the system, it is the source of unity and coordination of the system, and the final metaphysical reference of it. In addition, this absolute center is accepted by the followers of this system without questioning or argument. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history:232)
In addition, the 'worldview' has specific aspects that designate it, and can be formulated philosophically. However, because we cannot express in a complete way such a Worldview, this formulation becomes a 'model' of the it. And because its function is to be used to 'know' the world, then it becomes a 'cognitive model'. He expresses this as follows;
We belief that there is a cognitive model stands behind every verbal or human phenomenon. This model is the source of unity behind diversity, it is what binds together all the details to acquire a meaning and become a part of whole, not mere new information. The model is the specific delineation in a specified context of the human view of universe, which revolves around three pivots: God – Human being – Nature, which in turn are in deep conjunction, for they are mere three faces of the same phenomenon. Our comprehension of this conjunction is what makes us see that the move from the linguistic (the allegoric pictures and the relation of denotation to meaning) to the religious ( the view of God) to the psychic (the content of comprehension) is coherent with our methodology, which is analyzing the cognitive models. (Language and allegory between monotheism and unity of existence: 5)
The Use of Allegoric Models in Worldview
Elmessiri in his analysis of the different phenomena makes use of a methodological tool termed 'the analytic model'. The 'analytic model' is a concept, which is to be formulated from the phenomena itself in an 'Inductive-intuitive' fashion in order to be used to study the subject. The concept of the 'analytic model', in this meaning is a concept that purports to deal with cases, which belong to human sciences. For, phenomena of human sciences are not material and differ in its treatment from natural science. This methodological tool appears almost in all of his writings when analyzing different subjects, for example he says,
The nature of the method, which is used in this study, is to try to achieve a definition of the 'general secularism' by surpassing the partial definitions and concepts and the discrete isolated phenomena of the term in order to capture the hidden model that lies behind them all. And to uncover the unity that lies behind the diversity, and to show that the different discrete phenomena and the different partial definitions are no more than different manifestations of the same model. Then we use the model (or the general definition) to read other sides of reality. This means that the methodology of analyzing through models does not take the form of a strait line, but takes a spiral form: from the phenomena to the model, and from the model to the phenomena and other terms. (partial secularism and general secularism: 8-9)
In the same vein says Elmessiri,
I used in this study what is called 'the analytic models'. A model is a conceptual structure, which is to be abstracted by the human mind from a huge quantity of relations, details, facts and incidents. Then, the mind discredits some of them for being irrelevant (from the point of view of the researcher) and keeps some others, and arranges it in a special way in order to be (from his point of view) coherent in a similar way to real relations that exist between members of reality. In other words, when we abstract a model, we consider that it is inherent in members of reality, arranges it together, and gives it its form and identity. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 229)
Hence, the 'analytic model' depends essentially on allegoric expressions, which bear the duty of connecting different parts of human comprehension of abstract human phenomena. This conception of the methodology of analyzing human phenomena is close to the Hermeneutic school in German romanticism, such as in the works of Dilthey and the centrality of the concepts of 'Understanding' and the 'hermeneutic circle'. As well as, the works of Marten Heidegger and his stress on the ' hermeneutics of factical life'; and Gadamer's view of the hermeneutic explanation of phenomena and his stress on the ontological nature of events and truths, and that the interpreter is part of the subject of interpretation.
However, in Elmessiri's methodology objective observation of reality and objective overall vision of the partial definitions of the constituents of the subject, are never based on a hermeneutic interpretation. Rather, the process of 'Understanding' and 'Comprehension' is mediating between such an overall observation and the formation of the cognitive model. Hence, facts and linguistic terms are not 'interpreted' as in the case of the 'hermeneutic' interpretation, but collected, as it is (from the point of view of the researcher), and reformulated within a more general structure. This new general structure represents the 'new' context within which the 'old' discrete and partial parts 'gain' its new meaning. Hence, it appears that, his view is closer to the 'Contexualist' view in philosophy of language than to that of the hermeneutic one.
Holism in Scientific Method
It is also important to note that his methodology rests essentially on his adamant rejection of the reductive analytic methods, which he sees as plaguing the whole Western modernist thought. In his words,
The view of 'analyzing' and 'dividing' human phenomena, in order to study it, is wide spread in some of the academic areas which pretend to be scientific and objective, and in its name supports the strict divisions between the different areas of human activities. We belief that such view is anti-human and, even, anti-scientific. For, the duty of science is not to generate values or impose restrictions on us; rather it is to help explaining the world for us. This analytic, reductive vision is totally incapable to explain human phenomena, it does not see a difference between human beings and nature/matter, rather it views humans as part of nature, subject to its deterministic natural laws. (Language and allegory between monotheism and unity of existence:7)
This anti-reductive holistic view of the scientific method leads him to differentiate between the creative researcher, who has a holistic view, and the mechanistic one who has a reductive view. The first has developed an overall systematic view, which is composed of coherent parts within his general view of the universe. Whereas, the second collects many partial facts that are not necessarily related within one independent general view. (Jews anthropologically: 10)
Coining New Terms
An essential methodological tool in Elmessiri's thought is his view in formulating new terms and concepts that are needed to express the general concepts, or the cognitive models, which have been developed in an 'Inductive-intuitive' way. For, naturally, some of this 'cognitive models', due to the nature of his method itself, turns out to be new and does not have a linguistic equivalent. Hence, the solution is to 'coin' a new term to refer to the newly formed concept. Consequently, terms such as, 'dwelled materialism'( which expresses the model "that the absolute becomes the material itself, hence, it dwelled in it'), and 'concrete materialism' in contrast of 'liquid materialism' (as expressions of the model that differentiate between 'modernism' and 'postmodernism'), and the 'functional groups', 'partial secularism', 'general secularism', etc, are all coined in order to bear the meanings he gives to the models he creates. See for example his explanation to this view and his detailed description of the way of coining a new term in Arabic 'حوسلة' (pronounced hawsalah), by which he means the sentence 'to turn something into a mere material for use', (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 252).
2- Modernity Critique
We may divide Elmessiri's modernity critique
into two levels. The first represents the starting point for his thought in the
subject, and depends mainly on several sources of western modernity critique.
Hence, he depends on the writings of Max Weber, and we see terms and concepts
such as 'Western capitalist Rationality', 'disenchantment', 'the social
dimension of knowledge', etc. He also, depends on the well
The second level of his critique is developed by his own thought through his own constructed 'cognitive model'. Here appears his constructed terms such as the 'dwelling materialism', hard and liquid materialism, as well as his own interpretation of the concept of secularism as a continuous process which moves forward from the partial to the general secularism. These two levels of his criticism of modernity appears in the following dialogue,
There is no contradiction in the beginnings, but there are essential differences between the results, which I come up with, and those of the humanist and critical current in the west. The starting point is the same, which is that the critical current acknowledged the danger of the materialistic modernism and the consumptive trends and the inherent danger in some of the components of modernism, such as symbolization, alienation and the use of human beings as a commodity or an element in a machine, etc. There is a whole dictionary of the negative concepts, which led to the deviation from the essence of the human being. I have been affected by all these things, and opened my eyes on the problems that arouse because of modernity and through it. But when I define the human essence I find it different from the material nature; he is composed of matter but he also possess a divine bestowal. (Dialogue: Elmessiri tries to found an Islamic modernism)
Therefore, we will present here his critical position of modernism in accordance to the development of his thought. We will start by his concept of modernity, then his view of its internal contradictions, and finally, his developed concept of secularism, which expresses his deviation from classical modernity critics in the west.
His Concept of Modernism
Modernism is a social concept, for it expresses specific transformations that western societies have passed through during the 'modern' period. For Elmessiri the process of transformation continues until today, but in addition, it expresses a specific view to the world. What is important, in his view, is not the different manifestations of modernity in the society, but the modernist view to the universe. Hence, He defines modernity as a social process based on the theoretical thought of Enlightenment.
However, the banners of enlightenment, which have been raised by the modern European thought, such as freedom of human mind, responsibility of the human being of his future, the use of science to the benefit of man, etc, are all, Elmessiri's thought, accepted as such. Nevertheless, the problem, as he sees it, arises when reality shows the contrary of such banners. Hence, he concludes that the problem lies in the wide propagation of these banners, which gives the impression that it has been applied in reality, which is, in his view, not true. He adds that no one refuses the rights of freethinking and the use of human mind, but the problem lies in the kind of mind to be used, an instrumental mind, or a human mind which is capable of surpassing the matter. (The thought of enlightenment and its contradictions: 4)
Therefore, Elmessiri studies enlightenment thought in an effort to explain its negative results in realty. H defines it as a materialist view of the universe that revolves around a specific view of the relation between mind and nature, upon which is built its view to history, ethics, beauty, etc. And if every view to the universe is composed of three centers, nature, Human beings, and God, then in enlightenment, Mind replaces God in this trinity. (The thought of enlightenment and its contradictions:12-13).
Accordingly, 'Rationality', in the Western modernist view, is the belief that mind alone without the support of revelation is capable of attaining reality. And reality is the mere material reality, which is grasped by mind through senses alone. Hence, mind itself is no more than the material reality, and limited by it, and because of this, is capable of founding cognitive, ethical and atheistic meaningful systems upon which it can understand the past and the future and interprets them. (Zionism, Nazism, and the end of history: 238).
Contradictions of Modernity
Elmessiri cites several problems that faced western modernity and resulted in inherent self-contradictions. The first is the process of continuous decomposition of its thought. A process that is expressed in the fact that it started by asserting the centrality of the human mind (enlightenment banners) and ended up by the centrality of matter (its final reality). This is manifested in the continuous degradation of the roof of the social values, from higher human values to materialistic body values centered around sexual satisfaction. This problematic, in Elemssiri's view, has been reflected in the contest between two types of natural modernist models, both are classified as rational, the humanist model which assumes the superiority of humans over matter and the materialist model which assures its superiority over humans. (The thought of enlightenment and its contradictions: 28).
In this degradation and decomposition process, the human mind becomes a material object that receives negatively input from senses. This is translated on the social level in that humans lose their particularity and singularity and becomes a part of a huge machine, and lose control over their own destiny for the materialistic natural laws. (The thought of enlightenment and its contradictions: 35).
The second problem, which Elmessiri cites, is the problem of skepticism and absolute relativism, which he sees as an inherent problematic in Western modernism. Here, he makes use of one of his 'analytic models', namely his created concept of 'the surpassing meaning', which is developed within his view of the problem of meaning. He addresses this problem as follows'
Every thing has a center, without such a center we will not be able to define for that thing a beginning or and end, and chaos and relativism will prevail. Language, which is not different from any other human phenomena, must have a center, otherwise the words (the denotations) will be in a complete chaos. For example, any linguistic expression assumes the existence of a present, past, and a future, a human volition, and a cause and result. However, what guarantees for us the truth of such assumptions? The only guarantee is the existence of something surpassing those assumptions ensures its continuity in existence. This thing is the 'Surpassing meaning', the essential basis (the unique principal, the Logos) for all the denotations, which stands outside (or surpassing) it, for, it already exists before it, and is not plagued by this playing with it. It is not part of the language, which cannot become a tool for communication unless this dentations' playing stops at some point. The existence of a surpassing denotation is the only way to get out of the world of senses, evolution, and self-dwelled absolute and to stop dentations' playing and achieve stability, and hence, be able to form philosophical, cognitive and ethical systems. (language and Allegory between monotheism and unity of being: 131).
These basic contradictions, in his view, can be traced in may areas such as theory of knowledge, the relation of the individual to the state, the economic system, the role of technology in the society, the concept of history, the concept of advancement, and the theory of ethics. (The thought of enlightenment and its contradictions: 27-60).
The Concept of Secularism
Secularism is an essential social value in modern societies. However, social values can be defined on two levels, the procedural level and the conceptual level. For example, democracy is an essential social value in any modern society. Such a value can be defined on the procedural level by the process of 'the neutral electoral system', and on the conceptual level by the concept of 'freedom of people to rule themselves', i.e., the equal participation in decision-making. Secularism is no different, on the procedural level, it can be defined by 'separation between religion and state', and on the conceptual level by 'excluding the role of religion, including the religious values, from the society and the state'. It is true that secularism experiences a variety of opinions; nevertheless, this differentiation between these two levels keeps its validity.
This basic differentiation between the procedural and conceptual levels of secularism is what Elmessiri's expresses as the 'partial secularism' (the procedural level) and 'general secularism' (the conceptual level). This division, on the basis of these two levels, is manifest in his writings, for example,
The term 'Secularism' is, for several reasons, a controversial term, it has been commonly defined as the 'separation between religion and state', and hence has been conceptualized, commonly, on the exercise level. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 15)
For Elmessiri, the procedural level does not cause any problem for any society, or any religion, this includes the Islamic religion,
Hence, separation between religious and state organizations is a process that is not limited to secular societies in any way, rather it is a process that exists in most of the complex societies, in one way or another. The state here, in reality, means some political and economic procedures, which have, basically, a technical nature. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 18)
Within this basic differentiation, Elmessiri do not purport to reject secularism on its procedural level, rather, he rejects only its all inclusive conceptual level, in which religious belief systems are excluded practically, not only from the technical dimension of the society, but from all other 'dimensions' including higher values, education, family system, etc. Consequently, he places efforts to study the deep structural transformations through which Western secular societies have been passing in the last century, in order to uncover the conceptual and intellectual side of the concept of secularism, he explains,
The appearance of secularism is not due to corruption of some clerics, or the tight relations between Catholic Church and Western feudal system, or the rejection of the scientific revolution by the church, the problem is much more deeper. It is related to a deep structural transformation of the western societies in the world of politics and economy, and the rest of the human life. Those who participated in the appearance of such transformations did not know to what extent it will affect the view of human being to himself, to God, and to nature. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 22-23)
From his study he concludes that 'secularism' in reality has passed through what he calls 'a sequential of models',
Partial secularism has been related only to the early stages of development of Western secularism. But with time, through the realization of the secular sequential of models, it has been marginalized, for, the rate of secularization has been increased, and exceeded the areas of economics, politics and Ideology, and became an overwhelming phenomenon, so that there became no more space for general life that is not independent from private live. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 19-20).
This escalation of the rate of secularization is, basically, a product of one of the contradictions of enlightenment thought, which is the gradual and continuous degradation of higher human values to the lower material values. In this context, Elmessiri visions that this overall and all-inclusive analysis of the different aspects of Western secularism has been missing in Western thought. He notices that most of the Western studies deal with such a phenomenon on a reductive basis, in which the different manifestations of the phenomenon are studied separately in isolation form its holistic view. However, he excludes Max Weber from this accusation, as follows,
Perhaps, Max Weber is the Western social scientist who have been close to the process of establishing the relation between all the terms and phenomena of the concept, in a way that was nearly holistic through the concept of 'Rationalization'. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 43).
These structural transformations are epitomized by Elmessiri through one of his tools, the 'consequential of models' mentioned above, which means a series of models that developed consequentially through the course of transformations of modernity. These sequential models can be listed, according to Elmessiri, as follows:
1. The center of the universe is to be transmitted from humans to nature.
2. The duality of human and nature is eliminated, and material monism prevails, i.e., human being is to be dismantled, and his dignity is to be stripped. Hence, Every thing, including humans, is to be subjected to the logic of natural laws.
3. Humans become one dimensional, a functional one, stereotyped, programmed, and alienated from their human essence.
4. Nature becomes disenchanted and the world turns out to be a space for relentless struggle.
5. The world (i.e. humans and nature) becomes with no purpose, goal, or meaning, and can be controlled totally through knowledge. And the one who possess power becomes capable of conquering and exploiting it for his own interests.
6. All societies meet together, at the end, to be subject to the model of nature/matter, and technical rationality prevails, and history ends.
Elmessiri comments at the end that despite all this sequence of transformation, man does not give up totally, and realize the crisis of meaning, and may fall into nihilism if he does not formulate an alternative to the materialist monist model. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 194-196).
Zionism, in Emessiri's thought, is no more than a sociological movement that constitutes an inseparable part of Western modernism. Consequently, Zionism's thought is essentially a manifestation of Western enlightenment's thought. Therefore, study of Zionism, in his view, is, as much as every other sociological topic, subject to objective methodology. Elmessiri, on this basis, studies Zionism within the framework of his general view of Western modern civilization. As mentioned above, due to this method, his position from Zionism is epistemological, not ideological, one; its place is study room not political conventions. In his words,
The analytic Arabic discourse has
classified Zionism as a Jewish movement or phenomenon, and started to study it
in light of Torah and Talmud, and even
Consequently, Elmessiri asserts the faultiness of the conspiracy view about Jews, which gives them supernatural powers,
The other book is called 'The hidden hand', it will be printed within one month or two, a study of the Jewish secrete movements, an endeavor to explain some of these sides in order for the Arabs not to fall in the idea of conspiracy and relate supernatural powers to the Jews. What I am trying to do in this book is to proof that Jews are humans, and that all the phenomena surrounding them are human phenomena. (dialogue: Consciousness of the other is a necessity)
His study of Zionism, from his general view of Western modernism, has been extremely wide, covering up all the factors related to Zionism as a Socio-political phenomenon. It is not possible, naturally, in this limited space to present a comprehensive picture about this wide study, which is composed of eight volumes, but we can illuminate some of the basic principles upon which the study rests.
We will present here, in brief, his view that Zionism represents a part of Western modernity, and his 'analytic model' termed 'the functional groups', then his view about the problem of 'genocide' as a part of Western civilization.
Zionism and Western Civilization
In his study of Zionism as a part of Western Civilization and based on its modernist thought, Elmessiri goes from the general to the particular. For, in order to proof the general picture he had to, first, study Western civilization in its overall view and abstract its basic tenets, and, second, extract some examples that present clearly such basic tenets. Hence, after presenting his detailed study of Western civilization, Elmessiri picks up some of its most telling models.
The basic tenet of Western civilization, in Elmessiri's view is its relentless inclination for domination and exploitation of the world. Hence, as Elmessiri stresses, the most telling models of such a basic tenet, is the creation of the United States and the extermination of its indigenous inhabitants, the dictatorship of Stalin in the ex Soviet Union, and the Nazi rule in Germany. These models, in Elmessiri's thought, are no more than examples of other similar activities such as in Vietnam, Algeria, South Africa, Australia, and lately in Bosnia and Iraq, etc, in addition to mass slavery in the colonies, which constitute a continuous pattern and ideology of the 'White Man'.
He then establishes a relation between the general case, i.e., Western civilization in general, and the specific case, i.e., Zionism. Elmessiri concentrates on Nazism, as a representing model of the general case, and on Zionism as a particular case. Here, the central theme in both cases is the expulsion of the original inhabitants (or part of them) on the basis of some irrational banner, the ethnic origin in the first, and the religious origin in the second. He expresses his view as follows,
This is what we tried to do in this work, we study the deep structure of Nazism and put it in its Western civilization context, and uncover its relation to Zionism on the level of its deep cognitive discourse and regain Imperialism as an essential 'analytic model' in all the modern Western phenomena. We say that it is not possible to separate the modern Western civilization with its general secularism and its materialist rationalism from its Imperial disposition. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 16)
In the context of describing the common factors of all the Imperial phenomena of Western civilization, including Zionism, he writes,
There is a common phenomenon between Nazism, Zionism, and Western civilization, in general, that is the rationality of the procedures and the irrationality of the purpose. This phenomenon has been cited by Max Weber in his writings. Apprehension camps in both Nazi Germany and Zionist Israel is a good example of this side of Western civilization. These camps are organized in a rational and 'methodological' way in which gain and loss is accounted correctly.
May be the strongest
evidence on the close relation between Nazism and Western civilization is that
the Western response on the apprehension and concentration camps of the Jews was
not, in essence, different from the Nazi's crime. The West tried to solve the
Jewish problem by creating a Zionist state on the bodies of the Palestinians, as
if the crime of Auschwitz can be erased by the crime of
'deer yaseen' or the slaughter of
The Functional Groups
The concept of the 'functional groups' in Elmessiri's thought is a central concept and takes a big space of analysis. It is in fact one of his methodological tools, a 'cognitive model' he uses to analyze the Jewish and Zionist role in a totally rational and cognitive way. Here we cite part of his detailed description of the concept, then a brief analysis for the relation between the 'functional groups' and Judaism and Zionism. In defining this concept he wrote,
The functional groups are small human groups to which the classical society assigns different functions, which members of the society see that, for one reason or another, they cannot do it themselves. These functions may be degrading from the point of view of the society and is not viewed with reverence in its value system (such as astrology, prostitution, and Usury), it may also be important and prominent (such as medicine, especially for the ruling family, and fighting). These functions may require a great deal of neutrality and keeping with agreements due to the need of the society to stick to its holiness and higher values. The society might use the human functional member to fill a gap that might come up between his needs and his ability to fulfill these needs (such as the need for new settlers in rural areas, rare experiences, and the need for a capital). (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 269), and,
Members of the functional groups bequeath the functional experiences in their specialization across generations and monopolize it, and even unite with it. After importing the functional member, the following happens: a) a contractual relation. B) isolation, alienation and the feeling of impotence. C) isolation from time and space, and a false feeling of identity. D) ambivalence and relativism in ethics. E) migration. And, f) centrism around the self and centrism around the object. Within this circumstance, members of functional groups become isolated alienated characters ready for being used, with no roots nor loyalty. Nevertheless, at the same time they look to themselves and to their relation to the society as a material to be used. The view of the universe of these groups, in most cases, is a dwelling monistic one. For, the dwelling vision makes the member of the functional group a point of dwelling by god (and hence becomes self sufficient), and a member of a chosen people. This makes it easier to bear his painful position and get into a relentless contractual relation with the society. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 270-272)
Elmessiri then expounds the relation between the concept of the functional groups and Judaism and the appearance of Secularism as follows,
Members of the Jewish groups have participated in bearing the secular thought and its propagation. It is important to assert here that they did not do that due to their hidden purpose to hurt people, as it is a common idea, but they have moved as a group in the framework of a Western social system, which exceeds their volitions and inclinations. However, this does not immune the human being from his responsibility about his deeds. For, he stays responsible on the personal level on what he does. There are many Jewish groups who tried to confront secularism and stop it. However, it is well known that members of the Jewish groups have undertaken the role of the mediating functional groups in the Western society, which built in them a dwelling inclination and a disposition for secularism. We may add here that undertaking this role made them one of the most important elements of the direct secularization of the Western societies. They widened the space of commutative economy, and they represented a very much moving member in a society that was essentially characterized by being a stable one. (Partial Secularism and General Secularism: 309)
Through his concept of functional groups and its relation to his extensive analysis of the Western civilization Elmessiri studies the different aspects of Zionism and its relation to Judaism. Here we will present his view of the incidents of genocide which have happened during the last European world war.
Monopoly of the Genocide
In Elmessiri's view the problem is not to admit or deny the Jewish genocide on the hands of the Nazis, rather, the problem is that this incident have happened to several minorities and functional groups in the same time and circumstances. However, Zionism through the wide spread media have monopolized this incident giving the impression that it was only the Jews who have passed through it, in his words,
This study will try to accomplish its aims without reducing in any way the size of the Nazi's crime against the Jews (and the Slavs and Gypsies and others). For, reducing the size of the Nazi's crime constitutes a cognitive as well as ethical failure. On the cognitive side, failing to recognize it means failing to recognize one of the most important features of modern Western civilization, its disposition for committing genocide. On the ethical side, it represents the failure of a person who is responsible ethically who saw a crime committed against a group of people and chose to keep silent. ( Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 16)
After admitting the cognitive and ethical responsibility in confronting such an insane incident, Elmessiri then describes his idea of monopolizing the genocide as follows,
Zionists try to monopolize the role of the victim for themselves alone without other minorities and ethnic groups, so that they picture the genocide as a crime directed against Jews alone. For this reason, Zionists and their allies refuse any view of the Nazi's genocide as an historical model that exceeds the case of the Nazis and the Jews. They also refuse to compare what happened to the Jews by the Nazis to what happened to the Gypsies and the Polishes, for example, or to what happened to the indigenous inhabitants of America by the White Man or to what happened to the Palestinians on their hands. ( Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 94)
Elmessiri also discusses the question of the scientific research in the incident of Nazi genocide, and sees that it is not acceptable to impose a global ban on studying such an important historical incident,
Western and Zionist media attack strongly books that questions the number of the Jewish victims, scientific or non-scientific, and accuses any one declares his doubt around such number, even if he was a specialist scientist in the subject. This happens despite that there are studies written by some Israeli scientists in which they expressed their doubt of the number of six millions. May be it was more fruitful to distinguish between the scientific and non-scientific studies, and to open all the secret documents and archives in the West and the East, to explore the accuracy of these results. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 98)
Elmessiri, then, discusses the way Zionist media has manipulated the incident so that it becomes iconized as an incident that defies rational understanding,
The west defined the meaning of the Nazi's genocide of the Jews in a way that manipulates the general and particular levels and separating it from its modern civilization's and political Western context. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 98)
The procedure of manipulation goes as follows:
1. With respect to responsibility of the crime; the crime becomes too limited for the Germans alone, and at the same time becomes too wide as a crime of the whole non-Jews as such.
2. With respect to the victim; the crime becomes too limited so that it becomes against Jews alone, ignoring other victims, and at the same time becomes too wide as a crime against every Jew in the world, not against Western Jews alone.
3. After that genocide becomes an icon, which refers to itself and defies any rational scrutiny, it becomes the source of the end meaning. At the end, it becomes a metaphysical point that surpasses time and space. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 94)
4- The Future: Islamic Modernity
The futuristic vision of Elmessiri can be epitomized in the necessity of constructing what he calls the 'Islamic Modernity'. This means essentially to maintain the fruitful side of modernity, especially partial secularism' while presenting the remedy for the insane and non-human exercises of Western modernity, especially its general secularism. This means that the concept of 'Islamic modernity' does not entail isolation from contemporary human civilization, nor, reestablishing the same 'classic' societies of the old Islamic civilization, rather, it is a concept that expresses participation in contemporary civilization on the basis of preserving the culture of the self. Hence, the adjective 'Islamic' refers to participate in contemporary human civilization and thought through a creative thinking that reflect the 'Islamic' self as a unique major culture. He expresses this view as follows,
This study hopes to be a part of a new current of thought in the modern Arab/Islamic civilization that started to appear by the end of the forties [of the twentieth century] and started to be crystallized lately. This current aims at participating in the human civilization through getting started from the Arab/Islamic civil and cognitive particularity. And we belief that the Arab/Islamic civilization project, in its modern era, has been into a close ended tunnel when it has defined its aim as to 'reach the west'. For, this banner meant that the other is the purpose and that we become a means. Hence, we become humans of the third class, in most cases, and at best of the second class. In our endeavor to fulfill our aim we had to silence our creativity and drop our values. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 17)
Elmessiri clarifies his concept in another way in a dialogue about the problem of modernization,
With this meaning, some of the Arab/Islamic thinkers try to make use of Western modernity critique to try to found a new Arab/Islamic modernism that makes use of the previous experiences of the others, their views, and their mistakes, as well. We have seen the Western human being, moving within modernist systems, accomplished what he accomplished and destroyed what he destroyed. Now the question confronts us: are we going to make use from the accomplishments, and avoid some of the problems arising from modernism, such as the ascending rates of divorce, the fall of the institution of family, the huge anti-human cities. Can we establish a modernism that does not lead necessarily to pollution as a result of industrialization. Can we establish a modernism that is not non-normative? A modernism that is based on reason but do not exclude the heart? (dialogue: consciousness of the other is a necessity)
The cost of modernism
The motive for Elmissiri to present his view to 'create' a new 'Islamic' modernism is not only to preserve the Arab/Islamic particularity but also what he calls the high price of modernism, in a dialogue with Albagh newspaper says,
Modernity has, no doubt, a very high price, the modernist system has succeeded in presenting itself and hide, till today, the price; pornography, no doubt, brings enjoyment to the person on some level, but on the other side it disintegrates the family and the society, at the end every body must reassess his calculations. Consequently, I see that we have to open the file of the cost of modernist advancement; we have to accumulate the cost of the disintegration of the family, the cost of pollution, the cost of the recess of ethics, the cost of the speeding up of the rate of live, which affects human health in different ways. People must know that the great Western advancement is strongly related to four centuries of depredation of the resources of earth through colonialism. In my age, when I graduated things were clear, either you become socialist or capitalist, but at the end modernity is Western. Now you search for the socialist reference you do not find it, you search for capitalist reference you find it in a crisis, in such a case you become forced to think. It was not a mere chance that many like me have started their journey to come back to Islam at the end of the sixties, which is the time of the beginning of congestion of Western modernity and the appearance of postmodernism. Coming back to Islam is a worldwide phenomenon and one of its most prominent manifestations is that we started to acknowledge the importance and the need for creative thinking and the correct arrangement of priorities. (Dialogue: prerequisites of the contemporary Islamic activity)
His Concept of 'Islamic Modernity'
From some of his texts, we can extract Elmessiri's theoretical concept of 'Islamic Modernity'. First, it depends on a specific conception of 'rationality' in which 'rationality' is not taken in the Western modernist view which means that humans are capable of possessing unlimited knowledge of the world. Rather, reason has its limits; in addition, rationality does not exclude human feelings and beliefs. Second, his view rests on the 'separation-connection' relation between the material world and God. This is in contradiction to 'dwelling materialism' (i.e. eliminative materialism) and 'absolute idealism', where, in both cases, from his point of view, distance is eliminated between the absolute and the relative. Hence, both views are two faces of the same coin. Third, His view depends on the differentiation between the procedural side of secularism (partial secularism) and its philosophical side (general secularism). If this separation is acknowledged then we can apply the procedural side of secularism while depending, in the same time, on the Islamic humanistic thought. Moreover, Elmessiri expresses his optimism about the prospects of realizing such a view.
With respect to his view of 'Islamic' rationalism, he says,
Rationalism is the belief that mind is capable of comprehending reality through the different comprehension channels, among which the strict material calculations, but without excluding feelings, intuition and revelation. Truth according to this view might be simple material truth, or complex human one, or truths that cut with the natural system. Hence, it is possible for this mind to comprehend the known and does not refuse the unknown. This mind understands completely that it does not found cognitive or ethical systems, it receives some of the primary ideas and formulates it on the basis of a pre-existing cognitive and ethical system. (Zionism, Nazism and the end of history: 238)
With respect to the 'separation-connection' relation between the world and God, says,
We may say that the essence of the Islamic monistic system is its concept of the 'distance', which asserts the separation and connection between the creator and the creature. God is like no other, a complete empirical absence, can not be comprehended through our senses, but at the same time, he is closer to us from our own veins without being part of us and hence part of the world of change. (language and Allegory between monotheism and unity of being: 131).
With respect to the foundation of a modern society on the basis of an Islamic ethics, says,
Western material modernism dismantles the human being and transforms it into something that is not human, that is what I do not agree with. Rather my discourse is optimistic and finds the solution in surpassing the material surface and to start looking to the world as inclusive of ethical and humanistic systems, which exists in general in Islam, and in other humanistic philosophies even if it were atheistic. Therefore, I always say that I am ready to cooperate with an atheistic humanist thinker who believes in absolute ethical values, believes in equality between humans. Naturally, I do not see that he has a strong philosophical basis, but we can discuss that in specialized conventions. But when we found a social contract I am very much ready to establish a relation with him as long as he is ready to found a society on ethical basis, I see it Islamic and he sees it humanistic as such. (dialogue: Elmessiri tries to found an Islamic modernism)
In another dialogue, he explains how secularism can be applied in the Arab/Islamic societies on the basis of his distinction between partial and general secularism,
I differentiate between partial and general secularism; most of those who call themselves the Arabic secularists believe in the partial secularism, i.e., secularism of only, the political domain, and some of them believe in the ethical values, and the religious values as well. This is on the contrary of the general secularism which secularizes all the domains: the relation between man and woman, between him and his body, food, etc.
I think if we put this into consideration the discourse between secularists and religious people would take a different form. For, there is a wide common area, there is secularism of politics, which means official religious symbols should not sit in the ministry of foreign affairs, or defense, for example. Most of the religious people would accept that; they would see that the relation of religion to politics is not direct, rather, it is a relation through religious values. The procedural every day politics is left for the professionals. However, to decide to launch a war and evaluate whether it is a just war or not is something else. In this case, we revert to the absolute ethical and religious values. In such a case specialists are not capable of taking the decision, for the mind of the specialist is instrumental. In this way, we can formulate a new social contract. (dialogue: consciousness of the other is a necessity)
Works Published in Arabic
On Modernity Thought
The Profane Paradise: Studies and Impressions
on the American Civilization, the Arabic establishment of studies and
The Secrete Societies in the World, Dar Elhelal, Elhelal Book,
The problematic of partiality: a cognitive
vision and a call for new views, authoring and editing, two volumes, the
The thought of enlightenment and its
contradictions, Dar Nahdat Masr,
The Issue of the Woman between Freedom and Female
Centrism, Dar Nahdat Masr,
Scrutiny, with Dr. Aziz Al'azma, Dar Elfikr,
The World from a Western View, Dar Elhelal, Elhelal Book,
· Humans, Civilization and the Complex Models: a theoretical and Practical study, Dar Elhelal, Elhelal Book, 2002.
The Materialist Philosophy and Dismantling of
Humans, Dar elfikr,
Language and allegory
between monotheism and unity of existence, Dar Elshorouk,
Partial Secularism and General Secularism, two
volumes, Dar Elshorouk,
Zionism and the Modern Western Civilization,
Dar Elhelal, Elhelal Book,
A Defense of Human: a theoretical and practical
study in complex models, Dar Elshorouk,
Postmodernism, with Dr. Fathi Eltereiki, Dar Elfikr,
A Cognitive Studies in Western Modernism, Dar Elshorouk,
On Zionist Thought
· The End of History: an introduction to study the structure of the Zionist thought, Al-Ahram center for political and strategic studies, Cairo, 1972, the Arabic establishment of studies and publishing, Beirut, 1979.
The Encyclopedia of Zionist Terms and Concepts:
a critical vision, , Al-Ahram
center for political and strategic studies,
between Commerce and Nationalist Claim, the
The Zionist Racism, little encyclopedia series,
Ministry of Arts and Culture,
· Jews, Zionism and Israel: a study in the propagation and decline the Zionist vision to reality, the Arabic establishment of studies and publishing, Beirut, 1976.
· The Zionist Ideology: a case study in sociology of knowledge, two volumes, the national council for culture, arts and literature, Alam Alma'refa, Kuwait, 1981, 1988.
· Zionist Colonialism and the Naturalization of the Jewish Character: a study in some of the Zionist concepts and Israeli exercises, The Arabic establishment for research, Beirut, 1990.
Soviet Jewish Migration: a method in
observation and Information analysis (Dar Elhelal,
Secrets of the Zionist Mind, Dar Elhusam,
· Zionism, Nazism and the End of History: a new civilized vision, Dar Elshorouk, 1997, 1998, 2001.
Who is the Jew?, Dar
Encyclopedia of the history of Zionism, three
volumes, Dar Elhusam,
Jews in the Mind of Those, Dar Elma'aref,
The Hidden Hand: a study in the secret
destructive and secrete Jewish movements, Dar Elshorouk, 1998, 2001, the general organization for the
The Encyclopedia of Jews, Judaism and Zionism:
a new interpretive model, 8 volumes, Dar Elshorouk,
· Zionist Lies from the beginning of Settlement to the Aqsa Uprising, Dar Elma'aref, Cairo, 2001.
· Zionism and Violence from the beginning of Settlement to the Aqsa Uprising, Dar Elshorouk, Cairo, 2001.
· From the 'Intifada' to the Palestinian Liberation War: the effect of the 'Intifada' on Israel, several prints, Cairo, Damascus, Berlin, New York, Electronic publishing, 2002.
The Fall of
The Jewish Functional Groups: a new
interpretive model, Dar Elshorouk,
An Introduction to the study of the
Arab-Israeli struggle: its roots, coarse, and destiny, Dar Elfikr,
The Protocols, the Jews and Zionism, Dar Elshorouk,
On the Zionist terminology and discourse, Dar
The Zionist Comprehension of Arabs and the
Armed Discourse, Dar Elhamraa,
The Jewish Homogeneity and the Jewish
Character, Dar Elhelal, Elhelal Book,
The Concise Encyclopedia, two volumes,
· Zionism and the Spider strings, Dar Elfikr, Damascus, 2006.
Literature and Critical Works
Selections of the
English Romantic Poetry: some basic texts and some historical and critical
studies, the Arabic establishment of studies and publishing,
· Palestinian, it was, and still: the hidden and recurrent subject of the Palestinian poetry, self publishing, Cairo, 2002.
Studies in Poetry, the International library of
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the poem 'The Rime of
the Ancient Mariner', seven parts, printed in Arabic and English, translation
The Princess and the poet: a story for
children, Alfata Alarabi,
A collection of fictions, 7 stories, Dar Elshorouk,
· Songs to the beautiful things: a poem for children, Dar Elshorouk, Cairo, 2002.
· Israel and South Africa: with others, the general organization for information, 1979.
· West and the World, by Kevin Riley, translation with others, two volumes, the national council for culture, arts and literature, The World of Thought, Kuwait, 1985.
Openings of the Calm, by Steven Soundaiem and John Weidman, translation with others,
My Journey from the seeds to the fruits: a
non objective non subjective Biography, the general
organization of the palaces of culture,
The Songs of the Experience, Perplexity, and
Innocence: a poetic Biography, quasi subjective, quasi
objective, Dar Elshorouk,
Works Published in English
· Israel and South Africa: The Progression of a Relationship (North American, New Brunswick, N.J. , 1976; Second Edition 1977; Third Edition,1980; Arabic Translation, 1980).
Studies in English Literature:
· Zionism, translated by Louaa Roupary, an Iranian translation of the encyclopedia of the history of Zionism, Gap wantesharat organization, Tahran, 1994.
Do Sul: A Marcha Deum Relacionamento, a translation to Portuguese of the book
· A translation to the Turkish language of a study in English titled, 'Toward a more complex and general model of secularism, published in 'Secularism in the Middle East', ed. John Esposito and Azzam al- Tamimi, Istanpole, 1997, , London, 2000.
Studies About Him
· A conference in College of Economics and Political Science about the Encyclopedia of Jews, Judaism and Zionism , 29-31 Mars, 2000.
· In the World of Abel-Wahab Elmessiri, a book about his works, with participation of several major writers, 2004.
· Emessiri in the Eyes of his friends and critics, an Honoring book in a series " Honored Scientists", contains the works of the conference, "Elmessiri: the vision and the methodology", held in the higher council of culture-Egypt, Dar Elfikr, Damascus, 2007.
Awards and Honor Certificates
· Honor Certificate from the association of the Indonesian thinkers, 1994.
Honor Certificate from
Honor Certificate from the International
· International Educators, Hall of Fame 1996
Honor Certificate from the syndicate of
· Honor Certificate from Albehera Governorate, 1998.
· Honor Certificate from the union of the Indonesian students, 1999.
Honor Certificate from Faculty of Sharee'a and Law,
Award of the best book,
Best book award,
· Honor Certificate from FATH, Palestinian Organization, 2001.
Honor Certificate from the 17th
convention of the Arab writers,
· Honor Certificate from the Arab Physicians Syndicate, 2003.
· Suzan Mubarak award for best writer in children literature, 2003.
· The Honor National Award in literature, 2004.
Articles and Lectures
Professor Elmessiri wrote many articles in both
Arabic and English in different magazines and newspapers, such as, Al-Ahram, Alhayat, Alsharq Alawstat, Alsha'ab, Minbar Alsharq, Al-insan, Political
readings, Palestinian Affairs,
Al-Araby, New York
Times - Journal of
Arabic Studies - Journal of
References and Sample Texts
Following is a list of a sample of his articles and dialogues and some of the articles written about him and some of his texts, most of this material is in Arabic.
the Nazi genocide of the Jews (in English)
· Modernism and the Scent of Gunpowder (in English)
· Progress and Science (in English)
· Professor Elmessiri to 'Althaqafia'
· Alblagh makes a dialogue with Dr. Abel-Wahab Emessiri around
· A meeting with Algazira Satellite channel
· Dr. Abdel-Wahab Elmessiri in a dialogue with 'Albaheth Al-Araby" newspaper: Consciousness of the Other is a Necessity
· In a talk to 'Culture Today'
Articles About Him
· Elmessiri and the Conceptions Prolematic – Dr. Saad Elbazeghy
· Elmessiri and the rare moments of enlightenment – Khaled Alawad
· Centrality of Monism or defending the human through raising the 'philosophy of surpassing' – Algazira Althaqafyah
· Elmessiri and Western Modernity – hagag Abulkhair
· Abdel-Wahab Elmessiri the exempler of the organic intellect – Dr. Mahmoud Abdel-Fadeel
· The Philosopher of the thinkers and the layman – Fouad Elsaeed.
· Liberation of the Arabic mind from superstitions – Hamad Abdel-Aziz Al-Eisa.
· Abel-Wahab Elmessiri and the interpretive model – the functional groups – Abdallah Dalkus
· Emessiri defines 10 signs of the fall of Israel – Iman Abel-Mon'em.
· Elmessir: The protocols are fake and believing in it is a defeat – Islam online.
· Elmessiri: the Zionist conspiracy is a big lie – Islam online.
· Elmessir…a unique Arabic exempler of knowledge integration – Basiouny Fathy
· Elmessiri books an effective weapon against Zionism – Samira Sulaiman.
· Jury decision, Professor Abdel-Wahab Elmessiri – the winner of the humanistic and futuristic award, 2000-2001, Sultan bin Ali Al'ewas cultural foundation.
· Elmessiri; the last leave – Sayar Algameel.
· Abdel-Wahab El-Messiri: A scholar and three wolves (in English)
· In memoriam: Dr Abdelwahab El-Messiri (in English)
§ Selected Texts of His Works
· The term 'Secularism' – a chapter of his book 'Secularism under scrutiny'.
· Some internal contradictions in enlightenment thought – a chapter from his book 'Enlightenment and its contradictions'.
· The Zionist criticism of the Jewish character – a chapter from his book 'Zionism and violence'
By: Samir Abuzaid