For those disinclined to believe in coincidence, the date of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, January 7, and that of the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, Soumission (Submission), in which a Muslim is elected President of France, were linked in some unspecified way, though it will now never be known precisely in what way.1 Certainly the novel had received an enormous amount of publicity before publication, so that almost everyone knew of its central...

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