Rabat - Islamophobia is on the rise, the season of witch-hunting is open, for the extreme right to stigmatize Muslims and by spreading fear push them, maybe, to leave. They are not wanted in Europe anymore. The racist and extreme right, Le Pen, now, has all the ingredients necessary to be elected, to do the dirty job expected of her. She could always say that she was elected democratically to do that and that her actions are legal. Of course they will be legal, but are they moral? are they ethical? are they human?
Rabat – Islamophobia is on the rise, the season of witch-hunting is open, for the extreme right to stigmatize Muslims and by spreading fear push them, maybe, to leave. They are not wanted in Europe anymore. The racist and extreme right, Le Pen, now, has all the ingredients necessary to be elected, to do the dirty job expected of her. She could always say that she was elected democratically to do that and that her actions are legal. Of course they will be legal, but are they moral? are they ethical? are they human?
On this, Bloomberg reports:
“Of all political parties, the Front National stands to gain most from this atrocity,” Jim Shields, head of French studies at Aston University in Birmingham, England, said in an interview. “Public agreement with the FN’s ideas has been rising steadily and this event will play into the party’s anti-immigration, anti-Islam agenda.”
The Charlie Hebdo unfortunate and condemnable criminal act cannot be justified at all, whether in the Islamic religion or any religion, for that matter. It is an abominable act of violence and terrorism. It is a terrible face-off between religious radicals and intellectual extremists, that were at each other’s throat for some time; each believing to be, the one and only, to hold the universal truth, when truth is in fact multifaceted.
Alas, this heinous and inhuman act is going to justify the upcoming emotional and physical violence and, probably, who knows, the repeat of the Inquisition, after the fall of Grenada in 1492 and the Reconquista of Muslim Spain. The European Muslims are already in the grip of moral terror and nobody can protect them now. Maybe, like what happened with the Moors and the Jews of Spain, they will be given the choice of either to convert to Christianity or leave and that is what probably Eric Zemmour is referring to when he invoked mass deportation: indirect coercion.
As for the writer Michel Houellebecq, he is actually missing the point, the next President in 2022, or even before then, is going to be Le Pen not a Muslim. He knows that very well. His book is a tool to spread fear and, maybe, make the Muslims leave without any political, economic or ethical price. It would be nice, to get rid of the “Islamic evil” without any effort or cost. The political fiction of Houellebecq is ridiculous. How can 5 million Muslims win a presidential election, even if some other party gives them their votes or enters in alliance with them? How could they get a majority in the parliament and how could they sustain this majority?
Houellebecq cultivates fear in a horrendous way, he asserts that when Muslims arrive to power, though they will pretend to be moderate, yet they will allow polygamy, suppress women and bar them for working and going out, outlaw alcohol and make fasting Ramadan and praying five times compulsory.
However, in the midst of all this verbal violence, there are some voices that are calling for tolerance, like the journalist Christoph Hasselbach, who wrote in the German Qantara:
“We cannot deceive ourselves here: living together is not going to get any easier. This is why it is all the more important to remain level-headed. Yes, this is an horrific attack on our freedom, which can never be justified. We will not let anyone take this freedom from us. But nor must we let anyone take away our tolerance. There is no reason to put all Muslims under general suspicion or to doubt the model of a peaceful coexistence.”
Islamophobia on the rise
Prior to the Paris two brutal and violent incidents, there were demonstrations against Islam in various European cities; the most prominent were the Pegida protests of Germany. In France a controversial essayist, Eric Zemmour has called for mass deportation of the Muslims. To where, bearing in mind that most of them are second, third or even fourth generation French citizens?
All of this denotes, one and only one thing, probably a European desire to get rid of the migrants because, by now, they have become a true social burden on these countries: so much for the “multi-cultural society” discourse.
Western state terrorism
None wants to be apologetic for any form of terrorism, but one wonders why there is no debate on the state terrorism of the West on the Muslim world. The West has been emasculating the Muslim world uninterruptedly since the 19th century, to exploit unashamedly its riches. At times, using violence and, at other times, complotting, and this still continues today, and by so doing, deny democracy to the people of this vast area.
When the US-led coalition declared war on Saddam, they used all kind of weapons to bring down Iraq to its knees, killing and maiming thousands of civilians in this country. Iraq is gone to the dogs forever. Now, it is a fragmented country, where Sunnis and Shi’ites are exterminating each other, slowly but surely. Not to mention that the destruction of Iraq, undertaken methodically by the West, has led to the appearance of an absurd regime that calls itself The Islamic State -IS- and wants to take, by sheer force, the whole Islamic world to the time of the Caliphate, a rather ridiculous move and action. Today, sensible Muslims are wondering, quite rightly, who is behind this laughable and dangerous creation, and who wants to make the Muslims the laughing stock of the world?
In Afghanistan, the West and its military arm, NATO, has been destroying systematically the poorest country of the world and with it the wretched lives of its people, for over a decade, and today the former are pulling out of the country, without having achieved anything, but more hatred and more radicalism, which will breed more violence and more terrorism in the future.
They did not, even, apologize to the living, for their war crimes; they just called them collateral damage. Therefore, that means that the life of a single Western person is worth that of thousands in the Muslim world.
Can of worms
What is happening today in France is the result of what France is doing in Afghanistan, in Mali, Central Africa and Iraq. If you sow violence somewhere, expect it to boomerang to you at some point, sooner or later.
The West has always wanted its cake and wants to eat it, too. They want the oil of the Muslim world cheap when that suits their economic needs. They want the Muslims to do trade with them and buy their technology so that their economy can prosper. They want the Muslim world to adopt their way of life but without being too outspoken and too free to make decisions on their own, and if it were the case they would prefer a theocratic or autocratic regime instead, because it will become prisoner of their will. The West used Saddam to fight Iran, and when Iran was weakened, they devised a way to blow his megalomaniac desires, out of proportion, to justify getting rid of him.
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the West put pressure on Saudi Arabia to call for Jihad against the invading Red Army. Pakistan was solicited to train the thousands of young people coming from all over the world to fight. When the Soviets were defeated and sent home packing, there was pressure on Pakistan to send the Jihadists back to their countries of origin and those who escaped been rounded, created with Ben Laden al-Qaeda, with the aim of punishing America for its ungrateful treatment, which they duly did.
Since then, the Islamists are on the rise because the can of worms was opened and nobody could control the spread of the vermin, anymore. The result started with the unfortunate and unpardonable 9/11 and it continues unabated today with the condemnable Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris on January 7, 2015.
Education, to fight brewing anger
Unfortunately, the cycle of violence and counter-violence is not going to stop soon, on the contrary, it will increase in the months and the years to come because the world today is a planetary village and it is not such a rallying cry of grief as: “je suis Charlie” that will stop it, overnight, but the whole world has to consider other tags such as:
– Je te respecte (I respect you);
– Je te pardonne (I forgive you);
– Je veux te connaitre (I want to know you);
– Je veux te comprendre (I want to understand you); and
– Je veux dialoguer avec toi (I want to have a dialogue with you).
This, could start at primary schools where comparative religion course could be taught to un-demonize the other in his “otherness” but, also, teach cross-culture and foreign languages. At the secondary school, more of this could be continued, but, also, teach multiculturalism and world history and encourage schools to twin with other schools in different parts of the world and send students on studying tours to these. At the university level, send students to do semesters abroad to learn the language and the culture of other nations and undertake specific studies while living with families and doing community work in development.
In the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps, one of the best development assistance programs in the world, up to date. Actually, the success of this program has nothing to do with development but with inter-cultural exchange and cultivating peace and understanding between people, in total respect.
Another American success story in cultural exchange is, undoubtedly, semester abroad academic programs, initiated by such institutions as AMIDEAST, IES, CIEE, etc. after 9/11, for universities. However, these programs have to be revamped, in certain areas, but, yet they are successful in getting people to know and appreciate each other.
There is also an urgent need to train the media to respect the other, by avoiding slipping into stereotypes and clichés that are mostly the result of ignorance of the other in his difference. During the unfortunate Charlie Hebdo episode, the French media used widely the term “Mahomet,” to refer to the Prophet Muhammad, bearing in mind that it is a term that is terribly offensive because, it means “Satan,” in Latin, apparently. One wonders whether it was used out of design, or out of ignorance, anyway both are unacceptable. If the media did use the term on purpose, then their action is condemnable, if by ignorance, then, one questions their role of informing the people the right way.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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