Algerian writer Mohammed Moulessehoul, known under the pen name Yasmina Khadra, has accused well-respected Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun of sabotaging his career.
Speaking to French channel TV5Monde, the Algerian writer claimed that Ben Jelloun is the main reason why Yasmina Khadra’s novels did not achieve great success in France over the past two decades.
“I am someone who has been disfigured for twenty years in this country called France,” the writer lamented.
“There is a renowned writer, known throughout the world, [winner of] Prix Goncourt, influential member of the Academie Goncourt, called Tahar Ben Jelloun, who has been telling stories everywhere for 20 years, from January 2001 until this morning, that I am an impostor,” Khadra continued.
The Algerian writer accused Ben Jelloun of using his influence in the French literary sphere to convince intellectuals that Yasmina Khadra is “an impostor.”
The Moroccan writer has indeed accused Khadra of plagiarism. However, the accusations were not unfounded, as the Algerian writer attempted to convey. Ben Jelloun was not the only intellectual to accuse Yasmina Khadra of plagiarism.
In 1989, Algerian writer Tahar Ouettar accused Khadra of stealing the plot and main character in his novel “Le privilege du phenix.” Khadra’s novel was removed from bookstores after the accusations.
Again, in 2009, Khadra faced accusations for plagiarizing the work of his fellow Algerian Youcef Dris. The Algerian writer was unable to provide evidence against the accusations.
In what seemed as a sign of jealousy at Tahar Ben Jelloun’s reputation, Yasmina Khadra went on to present false claims about the alleged discrimination that he suffers on French media.
“My latest book, ‘Le sel de tous les oublis’ has been blocked by all French television [channels] and radio [stations],” the Algerian writer claimed.
“At some point, we think to ourselves, there is the [pandemic], maybe we will die overnight. It is better to burst the bubble now. People will now know that Tahar Ben Jelloun has gone so low,” Khadra said, explaining why he decided to “expose” the Moroccan writer.