Lettres à Nour
The French-Moroccan Islamologist and researcher Rachid Benzine is one of a new generation of intellectuals that takes a critical and open approach to the Koran. His epistolary play Letters to Nour presents the exchanges between a father, a practising intellectual Muslim who experiences his religion as a message of peace and love, and his daughter, who has left for Iraq to be with an IS lieutenant whom she has married in secret.
The performance takes the form of a reading. We witness the dialogue between two people, a father and a daughter, who cannot break the ties between them because the love that binds them together turns out to be stronger than everything else. And yet this ‘everything else’ does separate them… The father’s critical attitude has turned against him: the principles he believed in have become weapons in his daughter’s hands. It is the incapacity of two people who are so closely linked, and so involved, to enter into a dialogue, to find areas of harmony, to come to an agreement, that makes this play so hard.
It reflects what we are experiencing at the present time.
'My mind has been occupied by a pressing question for a month now, one that returns like a familiar pounding migraine. Why do young men and women who were born in my country, are part of my culture and seem to have the same concerns, go off to a country at war to kill in the name of a god who is also mine? This burning question took on a new dimension on the evening of 13 November 2015, when a terrible realisation tore me apart inside: one part of me clashed with another and sowed death and destruction there. How can one live with this sort of inner conflict? This is how this epistolary dialogue between a philosophical father and a daughter taking part in the jihad gradually took shape. I devised this difficult, impossible dialogue.' Rachid Benzine