Summary of “Deadly Identities”

Amin Maalouf in “Deadly Identities,” (2012) rejects the human tendency to believe in having one fixed identity and argues that we need to think of identity as composed of different components that should be claimed all. He begins his article by describing how his immigration has led to the constant questioning of his identity by others. Maalouf is vexed by the constant questioning altering his attitude towards the question about identity. According to Maalouf, people now a days are pressured using provocation to search inside themselves for “this so-called fundamental belonging “ (p.66) Many people presume that we must have a belonging where your utmost loyalty lays. According to Maalouf identity is summed up from all the components gained throughout your life. Maalouf describes how one’s identity is not limited to our nationality, race, or religion. It is our experiences and affinities as well.

Whoever claims to have a complex identity becomes disregarded. Maalouf describes “delicate” (p.67) situations of people who are in extreme identity dilemmas. The numerous situations describe the sensitivity of two opposing nationalities that do not allow the person to fully belong in either. Maalouf further explains how people with a multiracial background have a specific and important role to play by creating connections between the two opposing worlds. To conclude, Maalouf states that when people are pressure to choose only one component of their identity, they encourage the manufacturing of slaughters, and close-minded people. The author disagrees with the thought of identity as something composed of one part, and argues that identity cannot be divided, as it is all our components together. Reference

Abinader, E. (2012). Just off main street. In A. Shine (Ed.), Majlis of the ‘Others.’ (pp. 1152- 156). London: Pearson.

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Summary of “Deadly Identities”. (2016, Nov 25). Retrieved from