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Maxime Rodinson

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Maxime Rodinson
Marxist historian, sociologist and orientalist. He was the son of a Russian-Polish clothing trader and his wife who both died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. After studying oriental languages, he became a professor of Ethiopian (Amharic) at EPHE (École Pratique des Hautes Études, France). He was the author of a rich body of work, including the book Muhammad, a biography of the prophet of Islam.

Rodinson joined the French Communist Party in 1937 for "moral reasons", but later turned away after the party's Stalinist drift. He was expelled from the party in 1958. He became well known in France when he expressed sharp criticism of Israel, particularly opposing the settlement policies of the Jewish state. Some credit him with coining the term "Islamic fascism" (le fascisme islamique) in 1979, which he used to describe the Iranian revolution.

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