Deadly Identities by Amin Maalouf

Topics: Culture, Religion, Lebanon Pages: 2 (525 words) Published: December 23, 2007
According to Maalouf, a person shouldn't have to define himself or his identity to people if he were exposed or raised according to different cultures. It is unfair to him- as it is to other people- to have to choose between certain aspects of his identity, or even hide those facets and "save" them for a different gathering or group of people who can cope with those different sides "The identity cannot be compartmentalized" .

As a matter of fact, Maalouf has been asked several times if he felt " more French or more Lebanese" and when he answered "both"1, people actually took him aside and tried to make sure if that was what he really thought to himself, not just what he told people. Most people expect us to have a "Fundamental Belonging" where your utmost loyalty lays. This loyalty must be to a religious belief, colt, tribe or political cause. Anything more complicated than that, and you're either a liar or too much to handle. Maalouf, a native Lebanese and a French citizen for 22 years, believes that a man should "embrace his different identities though he may be viewed as a traitor like Rhine -Turk born but German in upbringing- who cannot assume both identities freely" . This predicament "manufactures slaughterers" according to Maalouf because it emphasizes fractioning instead of unity in a community, and thus induces murder in the name of a "cause". In other words, this kind of thinking -forcing the society to fixate all its passion on a certain dogma- encourages fanaticism and allows people to impose their parochial concepts on people of different circumstances and lifestyles. I believe that his allegation on "Manufacturing Slaughterers" is true, because making people confine certain aspects of their character could drive any sane man crazy. I being half Philippino half Lebanese grew up in Lebanon with people pushing me to be more "Lebanese". I honestly don't think I'm dangerous, but the stress is unbearable. In fact, I...
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