"Religion has to stay in the heart, not in politics. It is private."
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."Tahar Ben Jelloun on John F. Kennedy
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress but I repeat myself."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Mark Twain
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Plato
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Milton Friedman
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Joseph Stalin
"People must insist on the right to say no, to be alone, to stand out from the herd. Creative artists can say all this in their own way and in their own field, by hard, rigorous work."
"Beauty is first and foremost an emotion."
"I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that's not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity."
"Intellectuals try to keep going. But their situation is very difficult. Those who have had the courage to voice their opposition have often paid a very high price."
"Emigration is no longer a solution it's a defeat. People are risking death, drowning every day, but they're knocking on doors that are not open."