Facebook bans Iran’s Press TV page

The idea of ‘exceptionalism’ is deeply ingrained in our national DNA: American author

By Mohammad Mazhari

January 18, 2021 – 11:34

 TEHRAN – An American author says toppling governments around the world is one of Washington’s “specialties”. 

“Overthrowing governments is one of our specialties,” Stephen Kinzer tells the Tehran Times.   

Kinzer also criticizes U.S. exceptionalism. 

“The idea of ‘exceptionalism’ is deeply ingrained in our national DNA,” Kinzer tells the Tehran Times. 

“Last week gave us a glimpse, on a greatly reduced scale, of the havoc we have wreaked elsewhere.”

Kinzer, a former New York Times journalist, says no nation like the U.S. intervenes in others’ domestic issues. 

The following is the text of the interview: 

 Q: How do you assess the recent mob attack on the Capitol building by pro-Trump protesters? What is the message of this incident for the U.S and the world?

“In the U.S. as in most countries, politics often is more powerful than the law.”A: Over the last century, no nation has intervened as often as the United States in so many countries so far away from its own borders.  Overthrowing governments is one of our specialties.  Last week (January 7th) gave us a glimpse, on a greatly reduced scale, of the havoc we have wreaked elsewhere.

Q: U.S. administrations and institutes mostly back protests against governments all around the world but when it comes to the U.S., they rally around national integrity. Isn’t it a kind of double-standard?

A: The idea of “exceptionalism” is deeply ingrained in our national DNA.  Americans grow up presuming that, as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously asserted, “We are the indispensable nation, we stand taller and we see further than other countries.”  Our leaders believe they know what is good for the world better than the world itself knows.  This has led the United States to incite rebellion and subversive violence in dozens of countries.  To replace the governments we overthrow, we often promote corrupt demagogues.  Now we face the same combination at home: insurrection and demagoguery.

Q: Why did you publish a tweet saying: “My friends abroad keep reassuring me:  There can never be a coup in the United States because there is no American embassy there?”

“Now the U.S. faces the same combination of ‘insurrection and demagoguery’ at home.” A: The joke is that coups in most countries happen not for domestic reasons, but because of intervention by covert agents who work from the U.S. embassy.  This is not completely true, but true enough so that everyone gets the joke.

Q: Is there any mechanism in the American constitution to prosecute a president who violates the law?

 A: We do have an impeachment procedure but it is political in nature, not legal.  In the U.S. as in most countries, politics often is more powerful than the law.

Q: The Democratic Party of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden succeeded to take control of the Senate. Do you expect the victory would lead to a change in U.S policies, especially in foreign policy areas?

A: Biden will make substantial changes to government policies relating to education, transportation, labor, energy, immigration, and other domestic issues.  There will be no major change in foreign policy.  The U.S. will continue seeing Russia and China as enemies and working more often to confront them than to compromise.  There will, however, be some change in policy toward Iran.  How substantial the change will remain unclear?  It is the subject of intense debate behind the scenes in Washington and the incoming Biden administration.

Q: How do you assess American police’s behavior after pro-Trump fans stormed the Capitol Hill in comparison with its reaction to the summer protests? Was the Insurrection Act applicable?

A: President Biden himself said it: “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.  We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view.”

 

What to Expect in 2021: Madness, Mayhem, Manipulation and More Tyranny

John Whitehead
ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD. Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

Global Research,

January 06, 2021

By John W. Whitehead

“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”―George Orwell, Animal Farm

What should we expect in 2021?

So far, it looks like this year is going to be plagued by more of the same brand of madness, mayhem, manipulation and tyranny that dominated 2020.

Frankly, I’m sick of it: the hypocrisy, the double standards, the delusional belief by Americans at every point along the political spectrum that politics and politicians are the answer to what ails the country, when for most of our nation’s history, politics and politicians have been the cause of our woes.

Consider: for years now, Americans, with sheeplike placidity, have tolerated all manner of injustices and abuses meted out upon them by the government (police shootings of unarmed individuals, brutality, corruption, graft, outright theft, occupations and invasions of their homes by militarized police, roadside strip searches, profit-driven incarcerations, profit-driven wars, egregious surveillance, taxation without any real representation, a nanny state that dictates every aspect of their lives, lockdowns, overcriminalization, etc.) without ever saying “enough is enough.”

Only now do Americans seem righteously indignant enough to mobilize and get active, and for what purpose? Politics. They’re ready to go to the mat over which corporate puppet will get the honor to serve as the smiling face on the pig for the next four years.

Talk about delusion.

It’s so ludicrous as to be Kafkaesque.

A perfect example of how farcical, topsy-turvy, and downright perverse life has become in the America: while President Trump doles out medals of commendation and presidential pardons to political cronies who have done little to nothing to advance the cause of freedom, Julian Assange rots in prison for daring to blow the whistle on the U.S. government’s war crimes

You’d think that Americans would be outraged over such abject pandering to the very swamp that Trump pledged to drain, but that’s not what has the Right and the Left so worked up. No, they’re still arguing over whether dead men voted in the last presidential election.

Either way, no matter which candidate lost to the other, it was always going to be the Deep State that won.

And so you have it: reduced to technicalities, distracted by magician’s con games, and caught up in the manufactured, highly scripted contest over which beauty contestant wears the crown, we have failed to do anything about the world falling apart around us.

Literally.

Our economy—at least as it impacts the vast majority of Americans as opposed to the economic elite—is in a shambles. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Our government has been overtaken by power-hungry predators and parasites. And our ability—and fundamental right—to govern our own lives is being usurped by greedy government operatives who care nothing for our lives or our freedoms.

Our ship of state is being transformed into a ship of fools.

We stand utterly defenseless in the face of a technological revolution brought about by artificial intelligence and wall-to-wall surveillance that is re-orienting the world as we know it. Despite the mounting high-tech encroachments on our rights, we have been afforded a paltry amount of legislative and judicial protections. Indeed, Corporate America has more rights than we do.

We stand utterly powerless in the face of government bureaucrats and elected officials who dance to the tune of corporate overlords and do what they want, when they want, with whomever they want at taxpayer expense, with no thought or concern for the plight of those they are supposed to represent. To this power elite, “we the people” are good for only two things: our tax dollars and our votes. In other words, they just want our money.

We stand utterly helpless in the face of government violence that is meted out, both at home and abroad. Indeed, the systemic violence being perpetrated by agents of the government—inflicted on unarmed individuals by battlefield-trained SWAT teams, militarized police, and bureaucratic government agents trained to shoot first and ask questions later—has done more collective harm to the American people and their liberties than any single act of terror or mass shooting.

We stand utterly silenced in the face of government and corporate censors and a cancel culture that, in their quest to not offend certain viewpoints, are all too willing to eradicate views that do not conform. In this way, political correctness has given way to a more insidious form of group think and mob rule.

We stand utterly locked down in the face of COVID-19 mandates, restrictions, travel bans and penalties that are acclimating the populace to unquestioningly accede to the government’s dictates, whatever they might be (as long as they are issued in the name of national security), no matter how extreme or unreasonable.

We stand utterly intimidated in the face of red flag laws, terrorism watch lists, contact tracing programs, zero tolerance policies, and all other manner of police state tactics that aim to keep us fearful and compliant.

We stand utterly indoctrinated in the collective belief that the government—despite its longstanding pattern and practice of corruption, collusion, dysfunction, immorality and incompetence—somehow represents “we the people.”

Despite all of this, despite how evident it is that we are mere tools to be used and abused and manipulated for the power elite’s own diabolical purposes, we somehow fail to see their machinations for what they truly are: thinly veiled attempts to overthrow our republic and enslave the citizenry in order to expand their power and wealth.

It is a grim outlook for a new year, but it is not completely hopeless.

If hope is to be found, it will be found with those of us who do not rely on politicians that promise to fix what is wrong but instead do their part, at their local levels, to right the wrongs and fix what is broken. I am referring to the builders, the thinkers, the helpers, the healers, the educators, the creators, the artists, the activists, the technicians, the food gatherers and distributors, and every other person who does their part to build up rather than destroy.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, “we the people” are the hope for a better year. Not Trump. Not Biden. And not the architects and enablers of the American Police State.

Until we can own that truth, until we can forge our own path back to a world in which freedom means something again, we’re going to be stuck in this wormhole of populist anger, petty politics and destruction that is pitting us one against the other.

In that scenario, no one wins.

There’s a meme circulating on social media that goes like this:

If you catch 100 red fire ants as well as 100 large black ants, and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen. However, if you violently shake the jar and dump them back on the ground the ants will fight until they eventually kill each other. The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy and vice versa, when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar. This is exactly what’s happening in society today. Liberal vs. Conservative. Black vs. White. Pro Mask vs. Anti Mask. The real question we need to be asking ourselves is who’s shaking the jar … and why?

Whether red ants will really fight black ants to the death is a question for the biologists, but it’s an apt analogy of what’s playing out before us on the political scene and a chilling lesson in social engineering. So before you get too caught up in the circus politics and conveniently timed spectacles that keep us distracted from focusing too closely on the government’s power grabs, first ask yourself: who’s really shaking the jar?

WC: 1347

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US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

January 14, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) for the Saker Blog

The FBI says armed protests are being planned in all 50 states from January 16 until Joe Biden’s inauguration day on January 20.

It’s a living nightmare in the US right now – what else can be said?

“Hysteria” is the one word which described the United States in 2020, but in 2021 we are witnessing what happens when a hysterical sprinter just can’t stop sprinting – it is ugly.

I can objectively report that since the Electoral College decided the presidency – following the end of the Capitol Hill protest – seemingly everybody here is depressed and unhappy. The US cannot handle what is going on and everyone feels things are spinning out of control. What’s worse is that they cannot even help themselves from contributing to the spinning: The solution of those who opposed the armed protests is to antagonise the potential armed protesters?

It is ugly.

This is a pretty ambitious column, if “ambitious column” isn’t a journalistic oxymoron: I think all of the upcoming paragraphs can be turned into stand-alone columns because the US is, sadly, in such a hideously twisted shape.

It’s totally absurd to compare 9/11 to “1/6”, but that is what The New York Times did today – it only shows how inoculated modern Americans are from war on their own soil. Do Americans realise that the Capitol Hill protests are exactly what Washington has encouraged in Hong Kong, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Iran, etc.? And that’s just in your recent memory banks – go back to World War II and the’ve done this in half the world. I can report absolutely nobody in the Mainstream Media here is making that connection. Well, America, the sight of a bloody and brewing civil war is pretty terrible, isn’t it? Like I wrote this is a whole column, but the US has hit what is a comparatively tiny bump in the road – when compared to what they have so gleefully fomented for so very long and with such self-righteousness – and Americans are absolutely falling to pieces.

Do Americans realise that the worst thing to do right now is to spend much time consulting their corporate-dominated media? The Capitol Hill protest was spectacular for ratings, and this country – which totally lacks a sizeable, patriotic and neutral government media – wants to make big bucks until at least inauguration day by hyping what should not be hyped. Do not tune into the news during this time of hysteria – you will thank me for it.

I also have encouraged people to not tune into social media. It’s not that the average person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about – I always insist that the “person on the street” interviews I do often provide me with better insights than interviews with degreed experts – it’s that there simply is no filter. Trump is toxic on his social media because that’s what American social media is – toxic. Western, uncensored social media is seemingly designed to provide a direct counterweight to the Asian cultural model of “saving” and “giving” face. I would guess that the overwhelming majority of Americans – after this roughly 15-year experiment with it – would say that social media has been a societal and personal disappointment.

On the macro level of social media: the US has created a monster, as there simply is no way to regulate Big Tech. They are clearly a monopoly power which can shut down political speech, like with the app Parler, and yet it is their “legal right” to do so because they are a business and not a press – i.e., they have no social responsibilities, but do have all the human rights America insanely grants to corporations. This, of course, enrages an American populace which (falsely) believes their country is a global leader in defending the human right to free press. Facebook took down PressTV’s page for a few hours – of course: If they will ban President Trump on Twitter why would they hesitate much longer for Iran? We are only just comprehending what “social media” can really do to a society, but the negative case study is: the US 2020 election.

Joe Biden is being tasked with healing the whole country even though he also spent the last four years demonising half the country. That is perhaps the best way to gauge what the upcoming chances are for “reconciliation” in America. I just don’t find the idea that the United States will rally around a hugely discredited and wilfully, remorselessly divisive Democratic Party even remotely credible.

Biden has just picked his head of the CIA – it was a person who was also a top candidate for the Secretary of State (foreign minister) post. That the nation’s top spy and top diplomat are interchangeable – and that this goes uncommented upon – says a lot about the United States. Washington does not try to persuade anyone – they just apply pressure, spy on them and make sure the national needs of their allies are subverted to the national needs of the US. Angela Merkel denounced Trump’s Twitter ban, just as she denounced Obama spying on her calls. The US has no allies, and while they will blame Trump for losing all their “international standing” the reality is they had none and want none.

Today’s impeachment of Trump is a spectacularly foolish errand: they will never get the Senate supermajority to actually impeach Trump; he’s leaving in seven days; Trump is correct that it will – of course – cause “tremendous anger”; it is clearly designed to sabotage Trump’s 2024 election chances, at whatever cost to national unity; 40% of the country already feels like their presidential vote was disenfranchised – now you want to impeach their leader (which comes after the censorship of him and before the prosecution of him)? It’s just useless theatre – the US election circus continues.

Is it possible that I was wrong to say that a violent right-wing movement – something comparable in determination (though not at all comparable in aims) to what the US saw last summer in response to never-ending police brutality – cannot ever grow strong enough in the US to “Occupy Capitol Hill”, or something similar? I still don’t think I am wrong and that once this final week passes so will these protests. American conservatives are too status-quo loving, too law and order-worshipping and too jingoistic to really try and change America.

I think the Capitol Hill protest was a one-time act of civil disobedience which spontaneously grew beyond the intentions of the mass majority of protesters – I have seen that happen countless times in person as a journalist. It obviously never morphed into an “Occupy Capitol Hill” multi-day protest because it was obviously never intended to (and for the same reason above). The people at the front lines of such protests are always a different breed; always run the range of political views from right to left; always have a range of motivations, from being mere adrenaline-seekers to genuine political integrity. I have also seen the video footage – captured by a left-wing Black Lives Matter member (because there is always this range of values) – of a Capitol cop, whose life was not threatened, shoot and kill female protester Ashlii Babbitt. I’m appalled there’s not more MSM discussion about that, because the footage is so clear that this was police brutality, but any such discussion radically changes how the protest has to be covered by the MSM: it means taking a break from demonising the protesters, and the US corporate media does not want that.

It was totally clear in the week since Capitol Hill: It’s not enough that Biden won – the US anti-Trump elite wants blood. They want Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump, so they can censor and others (as they just did with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Iranian state media PressTV). They want to imprison the Capitol Hill protesters, so they can prevent any anti-Biden political protests in the next four years. They want to impeach and jail Trump, so they can prevent Trumpism from growing beyond their idiotic, “how did I get here” leader into something which could upend the world’s oldest duopoly.

These are all columns because they are all huge issues which cannot be resolved in a few sentences – only summed up. I’m only stopping because I have word limits – feel free to point out which issues weren’t included.

The bottom line on the Democrat side is: Many Americans have spent four years hysterically demonising Trump supporters – they can’t turn it off: Winning the Electoral College obviously wasn’t enough. They want animals put in cages whom they can go poke; they want to fabricate a moral high ground which they believe is so high that it exonerates them from open debate; they want compound interest on the four years they wasted on the perennial US political circus.

The other bottom line on the Republican side is: Trump supporters are in shock that they lost – every one I talked with was so very certain of his victory. Then many of them were certain the Donald would pull it out, but what the Donald did was pass up every opportunity to take a courageous stand and to essentially say, “I’ve been using you supporters all this time.” Trump supporters now see this atrocious past week as if the US elite is presenting them with only two choices: either return to being mainstream Republicans or leave politics altogether. Many will choose the latter. Many Americans will not miss them. They will still be here, I point out to the victors.

I also point out to the victors: Trump losing the election did not solve all this country’s problems, as it was long promised. America in 2021 has way too many problems for such a simple solution.

*************************************************************

Dispatches from the United States after the presidential election

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA – December 5, 2020

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote – December 8, 2020

Biden won? 2016-2020 showed what the US does to even mild reformers – Dec 18, 2020

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed – January 2, 2020

This week in the US: The ‘model nation’ for no nation anymore – January 7, 2020

Biggest threat to global leftism returns to power: US fake-leftism (1/2) – January 8, 2021

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

The American riots: A vertical trench in process

By Abir Bassam

January 11, 2021 – 10:28

On Wednesday evening, it was not the first time that Americans poured into the streets in protest. However, a long time has not passed since the world has witnessed that rioters and demonstrators assaulted the symbol of American democracy: The Capitol. 

It is an irony! When the riots filled the Arab streets in several countries, they were identified as the “revolutionaries”. The rioters were assaulting governmental buildings and national symbols of the states, but it was portrayed under the name of democracy and freedom of speech by the Wild West. While the American riots were immediately branded by Europe and Western officials as chaotic anti-democratic behavior. 

During the last 10 years, the rioters have filled the Arab streets and attacked government buildings, stolen documents, and burned them, especially in Syria and Libya. The two countries were initially targeted by the Wild West to change regimes and the system in the name of “democracy” and the West was anticipating the moment to attack like a predator. 

The same irony brings back the role played by the media, in particular Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, and many others. The media has played a major role in advocating for the rioters and demonizing the opponents of radical behaviors. This role was also perfectly executed by the Western media in supporting the riots against the government institutions in the Arab countries. In reverse, the same American media is pushing towards demonizing their incumbent president and its supporters because they attacked the Capitol, the temple of the American democracy. And now they are pushing towards the impeachment of their president for instigating it.

The impeachment of Trump looks as humiliating as the impeachment of president Gaddafi in the same media, with the exception that in the U.S. the riots on the Capitol were a real version of what was going on, whereas the scenes that were transmitted by Al-Jazeera and many others were costume made. 

The American media is now promoting more than 200 bills waiting to be examined by Congress. All of them were set to criminate Trump and isolate him. Trump was always identified as silly, shallow, and arrogant, even though the American media role is best described as an attempt to bully the man and his partisans. Whether we like the man or not, Trump was supported by around 75 million Americans in the elections, who believed that it was about time to make America great again.

 After all, he is just another American president that led the American policy to the best interest of the American lobbies that enabled him to reach his position. Electing Trump in 2016 was the beginning of the end to the American system and democracy as we know it. Accordingly, the attack on the Capitol is a sign that the temple is about to fall down! 

American democracy is proved to be a masquerade beyond doubt.  Our region has been suffering from it, as well as different countries in the world, especially Latin America. The Americans worked excessively on toppling down elected governments that did not match their policies.  

In addition, it seems that the situation is going to be escalated in the coming days. Even though Trump is no longer able to tweet on social media, his partisans are tweeting for another rally during Biden’s inauguration ceremony as the U.S. president. Besides, the U.S. media are promoting the impeachment of the president. 

There is a miscomprehension of the danger of the impeachment on the American society, which is now vertically divided. After the impeachment, the vertical crack will become deeper and weaken America furthermore. For this reason, the Wall Street Journal has accused Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, of planning a coup against the president by demanding the chief of staff to refuse to execute Trump’s orders. The journal was wondering “what if the U.S. was under nuclear attack?”

In addition, the radical right-wing groups are calling for more escalation and plan to attend the demonstrations with their guns. What would this lead to? Actually, to one of two following results: the first one would be intimidating other national groups whether they were the middle or the left wings. Secondly, clashing with the authorities, if they try to stop them or arrest them for disturbing the peace.

In either way, this would mean that the U.S. is on the verge of civil war.

Over the last ten years, there have been several calls for separation from different American states. They have even gone to federal courts, but they have failed. Hence the intent to divide America is present in the Americans’ minds. This cry for division shows how much incohesive the American social tissue is, even before Trump. Add to that that racism is rising within American society but in reverse.

Nowadays, there is a rising sense of unfairness among the White Anglo Saxon Protestants [WASPs], who initially immigrated to America believing that it was the Promised Land, which was once again occupied by the inferior subjects that the WSPs had imported in the first place as their servants and slaves. It seems that the inferior subjects proved to be smart and hard-working and reached the highest positions leaving God’s chosen people behind.

Therefore, the slogans made during Trump’s campaigns that “Let us make America great again”, or in his declaration that he will go national instead of international, were most appealing to Trump’s partisans, amongst them the WASPs that constitute the majority. However, the slogans went against the deep state’s goals, especially the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and transnational corporations, and many others. The latter was highly affected by the economic sanctions applied by Trump. 

It is clear that Trump’s slogans and behavior were an embarrassment for his vice president Mike Pence and the Republican Party. However, they betrayed him. Many of Trump’s partisans, who elected them to the House of Representatives, feel that they were betrayed as well. Accordingly, the Republicans will need to work harder than ever to gain the trust of their voters again. Therefore, the announcement by Donald Trump junior that now they need to reconstruct the Republican Party again, is a serious message to be considered, since the impeachment of Trump will not go without consequences in the American streets. And his partisans are unlikely to slow down.
 

RELATED NEWS

Insolent Lebanese Boast about Beirut Streets Named after French Conquerors, Reject Raising Altruistic General Suleimani’s Statue

Beyrouth: la ville où les rues portent encore les noms d'hommes d'État  français | Arabnews fr

Source: Al-Manar English Website

 January 8, 2021

Mohammad Salami

How insolent the Lebanese political parties and figures who boast about Beirut streets, named after French conquerors, yet reject raising the statue of the martyr General Qassem Suleimani despite all his support to Lebanon in the capital.

If you wander through some Beirut streets, you may feel, at first glance, that you are in Paris. However, the fact says that certain Lebanese political parties approved naming several streets in the capital after French Conquerors. Thus, you move from Rue Gouraud (General) to Wegand (General) Street before reaching Rue Clemenceau (Prime Minister).

These are few instances of the streets in Beirut which were named after French commanders who occupied Lebanon and confiscated its sovereignty.

Certain Lebanese parties, figures and media outlets voice their satisfaction with those names; however, they themselves reject completely raising portraits and statues of IRGC’s Quds Force Commander, General Qassem Suleimani.

General Suleimani did not undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty, nor did he lead Iranian troops to occupy the Lebanese towns and cities. On the other hand, the martyr provided all kinds of support to Lebanese Resistance which has protected the nation from the Israeli and the takfiri enemies.

Consequently, those who boast naming streets in their capital after its occupiers may never welcome raising statues for anyone who support its resistance against the occupation forces.

A statue of martyred Iranian commander Lt. General Qassem Suleimani was unveiled in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh) on Tuesday.

The statue was unveiled during a ceremony held by Ghoubeiry municipality on the first martyrdom anniversary of Gen. Suleimani.

On January 3, 2020, a US drone attack claimed General Suleimani after targeting his convoy near Baghdad airport. The attack also killed the former head of Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi, Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Beirut: The city where streets still have French statesmen’s names

Beirut: The city where streets still have French statesmen's names
Rue Georges Catroux is located in Beirut’s Badaro residential area
  • After the creation of Greater Lebanon in 1920, the French reconfigured the capital to conform to the new political order
  • The French mandate authorities changed the names of Beirut streets after modifying the city’s architecture

BEIRUT: After the French entered Lebanon in 1920 after the declaration of the State of Greater Lebanon, they reconfigured the capital Beirut to conform to the new political order.

Among the most visible transformations was the introduction of identity cards for residents, a move that sought to establish a Lebanese entity separated from other Arab states.

In 1921, the French mandate authorities conducted the first census of the Lebanese population, and on the basis of this the Lebanese were granted a new identity card in place of Ottoman tickets. The census was boycotted by those who refused to separate from Syria and recognize the new state.

The streets of Beirut, which were under Ottoman rule for more than four centuries, were referred to as haraat (alleyways).

Beirut: The city where streets still have French statesmen's names | Arab  News PK

The alleys were named after the families that inhabited them, leaders and princes, or even sects. The city’s markets were named after the professions found in them, according to the records of the Sharia court in Beirut.

The French mandate authorities, however, changed the names after modifying the city’s architecture. Twenty-meter streets were paved to connect the capital’s neighborhoods and make life easier. And while the neighborhoods preserved the names of the families that lived in them, such as Al-Barbir, Al-Bashoura, Karm Al-Zaitoun, Zaroub Saba and Zaroub Al-Arawi, the mandate left its mark on modern streets by naming them after French generals and high commissioners who ruled Lebanon after the fall of Ottoman rule.

Although Lebanon won its independence in 1943, some prominent streets in Beirut still have the names of French generals who became famous during the two world wars.

Rue Gouraud is a residential and commercial street in Gemmayzeh in the Achrafieh district of Beirut. It is one of the trendiest thoroughfares, full of fine restaurants, French cafes and jazz bars.

Beirut: The city where streets still have French statesmen's names

General Henri Gouraud was the French high commissioner in Syria and Lebanon and army commander on the eastern side. Gouraud declared the State of Greater Lebanon from the porch of the Pine Residence in Beirut, and adopted the French military strategy known as “battle of annihilation.”

General Gouraud, who led the French forces in the famous Battle of Maysalun, lived on this street in Beirut.

A parallel street, Rue Pasteur, was named after the famous French scientist Louis Pasteur. It is also a commercial street and features shops of Lebanese innovators. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was a French chemist and one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. His medical discoveries contributed to reducing the fatality rate of puerperal fever, and he prepared vaccines against rabies and anthrax. He was known to the general public for inventing a method for pasteurizing milk.

Beyrouth: la ville où les rues portent encore les noms d'hommes d'État  français | Arabnews fr

The street adjacent to Beirut Municipality, Rue Weygand, bears the name of Maxime Weygand, a high-ranking officer in the Mandate-era French Army. He was the second high military commissioner appointed by France to rule Syria and Lebanon, from April 1923 to Nov. 29, 1924. Weygand, who saw action in both the world wars, died in 1965.

Rue Georges Catroux is located in Beirut’s Badaro residential area. Catroux was a general in the French Army (1877-1969), a diplomat who served in World War I and II, and an adviser in the Legion of Honor.

Rue Clemenceau, located in Ras Beirut, is named after the French prime minister Georges Benjamin Clemenceau (1841-1929). He was a statesman, doctor and journalist who was elected twice to head the French government.

His first term was between 1906 and 1909, while his second was during the critical period 1917-1920 during World War I. One of the leading architects of the Treaty of Versailles, he was nicknamed Father of Victory and the Tiger.

Beirut: The city where streets still have French statesmen's names | Arab  News PK

Avenue General de Gaulle (1890-1970) is the waterfront road of Beirut and named after the most prominent French figure during the Second World War. Charles de Gaulle lived in Lebanon for two years (1929-1931) when he was a major in the French army. He went on to serve as president of France.

Rue Verdun is one of the most high-end lively residential streets in Beirut. It has luxury retail stores, beauty and hair salons, and several cafes. In the center of the street is the Lycée Franco-Libanais school. The French St. Joseph School was situated on this street before it moved to a new location outside the capital. Although this street has been renamed after former Prime Minister Rashid Karami following his assassination in 1987, the name Verdun has remained popular.

Rue Verdun was so named in honor of the victims of the Battle of Verdun, which took place during World War I.

Beyrouth: la ville où les rues portent encore les noms d'hommes d'État  français | Arabnews fr

Foch Street, or Marshal Ferdinand Foch Street, is in the commercial heart of Beirut. Foch was a supreme Allied general in the World War I. One of Beirut’s streets was named after him following the Allies’ victory over the Germans.

Monnot Street, located on the eastern side of Beirut’s central district, is full of restaurants, bars and libraries. It hosts painters and creative events and holds concerts and plays in its famous theater, which is named after Father Ambroise Monnot, the head of the Jesuit mission to Lebanon in the late 19th century.

Father Monnot contributed to the establishment of schools and printing presses so that Lebanon could become a cultural and intellectual center in the Near East.

Twitter: @najiahoussari

Britain’s Colonial Past and Brexit. The Real Link Which Remainers Can’t Deal With

Britain's Colonial Past and Brexit. The Real Link Which Remainers Can't  Deal With
Martin Jay is an award-winning British journalist based in Morocco where he is a correspondent for The Daily Mail (UK) who previously reported on the Arab Spring there for CNN, as well as Euronews. From 2012 to 2019 he was based in Beirut where he worked for a number of international media titles including BBC, Al Jazeera, RT, DW, as well as reporting on a freelance basis for the UK’s Daily Mail, The Sunday Times plus TRT World. His career has led him to work in almost 50 countries in Africa, The Middle East and Europe for a host of major media titles. He has lived and worked in Morocco, Belgium, Kenya and Lebanon.

Martin Jay

January 6, 2021

The Brexit deal snatched at the last minute by Boris Johnson is not the amazing coup, trumped by his media officials or the conservative press. But it is a good deal for the UK and a pretty good escape plan for the EU which was faced with a new battle in 2021: to deal with the political turmoil of Britain ‘going alone’. Given that the EU already has enough political tumult with Poland and Hungary blocking a 2 trillion dollar rescue package for countries hit hard by Covid, the last thing the EU needed was a new crisis of its own making.

Yet the deal is still controversial both in the UK and in Brussels as in many ways the real test will be in the coming years, whether EU giants like Germany and France chose to allow the UK to grow – thus becoming a bigger and bigger customer to the EU 27 – or for it to become a pariah which the EU punishes through its arbitration system, agreed in the fine print of the final draft. Some sceptics will argue that when Britain starts to grow in certain sectors, it will have its wings clipped by an overzealous EU which will cry foul play every time one EU member state complains that it can’t compete with British goods or services. This is the real heart of the deal: whether this part of the agreement will be exercised fairly.

But does the EU really do “fair”? One look at how it treats Iran within a human rights prism while not condemning Saudi Arabia’s appalling war in Yemen should tell you much. Or how it supports the repressive regimes of many North African countries who acknowledge its fake hegemony while signing up to training courses for its police forces in how to effectively spread fake news through social media platforms and carry out better “surveillance”. Or just the number of human rights scandals on home soil which dog the EU, as more and more debating chambers in the European Parliament are named after journalists murdered while uncovering graft – while the perpetrators remain free.

The EU doesn’t really do well when we examine it in this light. Fairness and equality are not really its traits. In fact, the quip from Vladimir Putin that the EU “can’t even create a single market in its energy sector” when complaining about market access in Germany is very true. The “level playing field” is very much just a buzz phrase in Brussels to distract the embedded journalist to not look too hard at how ineffective the EU is at playing on it. A sort of reverse theory of logic which dictates the more you talk about something the less likely you are to do anything about it. And there are too many examples of this doctrine. SMEs is another. “Small and medium-sized business” which we are told in tomes of EU reports provide the solution to unemployment as studies show that they are the ones who employ workers quickly. And yet, the EU does almost everything it can to destroy them in reality through allowing the European parliament to be an orgy scene of multinational companies – invariably non-EU ones – who use the lobbying system to ensure than new EU directives push them out of the market altogether.

There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in Brussels and for remainers in the UK, who are still angry over Brexit now going though, much of their grief is really based on ideals built on the foundations supporting a pantheon of ignorance and mythology.

The EU doesn’t do fairness. It doesn’t even do democracy and in fact doesn’t even faintly pretend to. Yet it remains quiet when its millions of supporters harp on about how democratic it is, chiefly sighting the most useless and futile institution ever created: the European parliament. “Look, the EU is democratic. It has its own parliament!” people often say without taking stock of how the European parliament is probably the only assembly in the world which has no power whatsoever to propose draft legislation and is more or less run by powerful lobbying firms. For the EU itself, it is a farcical, last minute idea bolted on to allude to the idea of being democratic. But most portly MEPs who blow hundreds of millions of dollars each year travelling to Strasbourg every three weeks – burning a hole in the ozone layer the size of London – will tell you after two glasses of Chilean house red that they are nothing more than EU civil servants rubber stamping the important stuff that the adults do down the road in the European Commission. And that’s on a good day.

Yet fairness and its opaque interpretations is a big part of what Brexit is really all about. Certainly, the feral remainers in the UK who still dream of the deal being scuppered. Many are left-wing and believe naively that to belong to the EU assures Britain stays multicultural and will never fall victim to a rise of the far right – a desperate, yet equally hilarious notion, given that the EU itself is a white supremacist organisation essentially ran by white, middle aged men, many of whom are European freemasons whose delusion views about taking more power in Brussels is actually feeding the far right movement in Europe. The more the political crisis the EU finds itself in, the higher the number of far right seats in the European Parliament. It’s no longer a mystery or an enigma. Many top EU officials now admit that the EU has a real identity problem and are dumbfounded to see that its power grab is part of the solution.

But it’s also about how British people see themselves and how they cope with achievement. Winners and losers, if you like. Many remainers believe that any excursion to win in any given field should be discouraged and that being an EU member state was a perfect way of instilling this assiduous virtue which comes from the same loins as “it’s not the winning that matters, but the taking part”.

For 11 years I worked in Brussels as a journalist pouring over the texts of financial services directives, many hundreds of pages. A theme always became clear though in all of them which was that the City of London needed to “harmonize” its rules more in line with new rules which France and Germany wanted to introduce. The effect of this each and every time was to take away the business from London. And this is really the crux of Brexit. The EU has been trying to diminish the UK’s lead in many sectors through a disingenuous ruse which led Britain to believe that its membership was a genuinely fair and decent one. In reality it was entirely indecent and in the end enough people woke up and realised that EU membership really wasn’t worth much, given that it meant Britain handing over much of its gains from being a leader.

And what in God’s name is so wrong with leading? Remainers who pen clever op-eds now in the left-wing press are the real conservatives obsessed with Britain’s colonial past when they make the erroneous link with Britain’s pink history. It is just plain wrong to assume that British leadership at anything is colonial. Those same journalists fail to see that Britain’s colonial past was a failed venture and ended up almost bankrupting the country. Many, by contrast, who voted for Brexit see the UK embracing new relationships all over the world and signing trade deals with countries like Turkey, free now of the “colonialism” of old white men in Brussels who probably dance naked around trees once a year and have funny handshakes. Brexit is very much about an anticolonialism and yet many remainers are still joined at the hip with their khaki pasts. They are, by definition, conservative and racist as they equate anything to do with coming first with Britain’s war with the Mau Mau in the 1950s. They want Britain to be an “also ran” and dependent on Brussels for help tied to a colonial and abusive master who can’t look forward, is out of touch with reality and is racist to the core. If anything, Brexit is an end to colonialism and the embrace of a new set of economic ideals which places Britain as equal partners in trade with countries like India. If India can put aside its colonial past and wrongs by Britain, then why can’t remainers? The real link between Britain’s imperial past and Brexit is that the European Commission is still stuck with this model of governance itself, complete with the Brylcreem, the Sten and the khaki shorts. Remainers are not anti-imperialists at all. They are just anti-British imperialists who much prefer to be enslaved by Jean-Christophe, Luc or Hans in Brussels.

Freedom of Expression: Good for the Western Goose, Forbidden for the Muslim Gander

By Kim Petersen

Source

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When French President Emmanuel Macron was pilloried in some quarters for defending freedom of expression as a French value, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison backed his European counterpart: “We share values. We stand for the same things.” This professed French/Australian value for freedom of expression has now come back to bite the backside of the Australian prime minister.

When it comes to publication of inflammatory western depictions of the prophet Mohammed that raise the ire of many Muslims worldwide, many western voices will step forth to defend freedom of expression. However, this fidelity to the freedom of expression will often change when what is being expressed casts the West in a negative light; a case in point being an image of an Australian soldier slitting a Muslim child’s throat.

News.com.au featured a 60 Minutes Australia report about “disturbing allegations of the murder of children and a ‘killing as a sport’ culture” among Australian fighters deployed in Afghanistan.

A sociologist, Samantha Crompvoets, spent months interviewing Special Forces soldiers about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Among the insouciant acts noted were soldiers tallying their kills on wall boards — kills that included civilians and prisoners.

60 Minutes described the killers as a “rogue band” of special forces soldiers. One especially “disturbing allegation” described how Australian Special Forces soldiers mercilessly slit the throats of 14-year-old boys, bagged their bodies, and tossed them in a river.

Guardian exclusive exposed depravity with a photo of an Australian soldier drinking beer from a Taliban fighter’s prosthetic leg.

The findings by Crompvoets and the 60 Minutes report were corroborated by the Australian government’s redacted Brereton Report of “possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia’s military history”:

… 39 unlawful killings by or involving ADF members. The Report also discloses separate allegations that ADF members cruelly treated persons under their control. None of these alleged crimes was committed during the heat of battle. The alleged victims were non-combatants or no longer combatants.

What particularly stuck in the craw of political Australia was a tweet by a Chinese official, Zhao Lijian, of a gruesome throat-slitting image.

Australian prime minister Morrison was apoplectic, calling the post “repugnant,” “deeply offensive to every Australian, every Australian who has served in that uniform,” “utterly outrageous,” and unjustifiable noting that it was a “false image.” Morrison demanded an apology from the Chinese government, the firing of Zhao Lijian, and for Twitter to remove the post.

“It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever, the Chinese Government should be totally ashamed of this post,” Morrison said.

First, calling the image false is deflection because anyone who gives more than a cursory glance to the image will right away realize that it is has been photo-shopped and does not purport in any way to be an untouched photograph.

Second, the Australian prime minister obviously has backward moral priorities. I submit that what should be deeply offensive to Morrison and every human being — not just Australians — and especially offensive for every Australian who has served in the Australian military are the egregious war crimes committed by those wearing the same uniform. The starting and focal point for condemnation must be the war crimes. Logically, if the spate of gruesome war crimes had not been committed by Australians in uniform, then outcry at the crimes would not have been filliped.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did address the outrage by Morrison in a TV address.

“These cruel crimes have been condemned by the international community,” said Hua.

“The Australian government should do some soul searching and bring the culprits to justice, and offer an official apology to the Afghan people and make the solemn pledge that they will never repeat such crimes. Earlier, they said the Chinese government should feel ashamed but it is Australian soldiers who committed such cruel crimes.”

“Shouldn’t the Australian government feel ashamed? Shouldn’t they feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians?”

According to Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani, Morrison did express — not a full-fledged apology — but “his deepest sorrow over the misconduct by some Australian troops.” Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne also wrote to her Afghan counterpart to extend “apologies for the misconduct identified by the inquiry, by some Australian military personnel in Afghanistan.” The wording would seem to diminish the atrocities as “misconduct.” There is also a overarching emphasis that the crimes were committed by some troops, seeking to exculpate the bulk of the troops from bad apples among them.

It would seem Australia is trying to distract from its horrendous war crimes. Colloquially put, Australia’s political honcho is trying to cover the military’s bare ass.

World Socialist Web Site was scathing in denouncing the Australian Establishment’s response,

The tweet by a mid-ranking Chinese official, condemning Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, has been met with hysterical denunciations by the entire political and media establishment. The response can only be described as a staggering exercise in hypocrisy, confected outrage and an attempt to whip-up a wartime nationalist frenzy.

The illustration is based on an investigative report by the Australian Department of Defense, Hua pointed out, noting that “although it is a painting, it reflects the facts.”

Hua pointed to Morrison’s real purpose: to divert attention and shift pressure from Australian war crimes to criticism of China.

Australia Liberal MP Andrew Hastie preferred that the war crimes had been kept buried. Hastie (who as a captain in the Special Air Services was cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation into soldiers under his command who chopped the hands off dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan) criticized the Australian Defence Force for releasing allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, saying it has allowed China to malign Australian troops.

Bipartisan support was forthcoming for Australian government indignation as Labor leader Anthony Albanese also criticized the image and shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong called it “gratuitous” and “inflammatory.”

Prosecuting Western War Crimes

At the end of World War II war crimes tribunals were set up. In Europe there was the Nuremberg Tribunal and in Asia the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. It was victor’s justice and no Allies were tried. This although the United States and, to a lesser degree France, engaged in a deliberate policy of starving German prisoners of war (who the US re-designated as disarmed enemy forces to evade the Geneva Conventions on POWs, as president George W Bush would later similarly do in Afghanistan when he refused to recognize POWs, labeling them instead as unlawful enemy combatants) and civilians. Germans stated that over 1,700,000 soldiers alive at the end of the war never returned home.

In the Far East, there were no allies prosecuted at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. It must be noted that just as Nazi scientists were brought back to work at the behest of the US, class A Japanese war criminals were also protected by the US from prosecution.

Australia is not alone in the commission of war crimes. Canadian Airborne Regiment troops tied and blind-folded 16-year-old Shidane Arone, beat him with a metal bar, and burned with cigarellos for hours (he was later found to have burns on his penis), and took “trophy pics.” Arone was dead the following morning. The Canadian Airborne Regiment would be disbanded. US war crimes are numerous. They include My Lai in Viet Nam, Bagram in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, etc.

Western war criminals are seldom punished, or when punished, then not in a meaningful way proportionate to the crimes committed. In fact, if you expose the war crimes perpetrated by a western allied country, then you risk becoming targeted for imprisonment. Such is the situation that Julian Assange finds himself in today. Although an Australian citizen, Morrison has been unsympathetic to the WikiLeaks founder and publisher who exposed egregious US war crimes. Said Morrison, “Mr Assange will get the same support that any other Australian would … he’s not going to be given any special treatment.”

This is what adherence to the tenet of freedom of expression genuinely signifies in much of the western world. In other words, freedom of expression is good for the western goose but bad when it is for the Muslim gander.

For further background view the damning allegations of serious war crimes, including the execution of innocent civilians and detainees.

Australian Lowlifes – American Empire’s Bitches

Australian Lowlifes – American Empire’s Bitches

December 01, 2020

By Allen Yu for the Saker Blog

I have picked on America for some time … and for good reasons … because American leaders and media on the world stage have been tragically hypocritical and arrogant for too long.

Just look at the recent murder of Iran’s top nuclear scientist – Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Imagine if a top scientist in the U.S. (or U.K. or France or Germany for that matter) was murdered in a similar fashion: American leaders and media would all be all up in arms, calling out the despicable act for what it is, an affront against basic civility.

But because this happened to Iran, there is no moral indignity expressed in the U.S. media or its leaders. Trump seemingly smugly tweeted the news. Other leaders acknowledged nonchalantly almost as if it were news about bad weather. The killing is treated at worst as political intrigue by Israel – with certain approval by Trump – to prevent Biden from improving relations with Iran and perhaps rejoining the JCPOA.

It’s truly despicable … but expected. And now we see something just as disgusting in … Australia!

A few weeks ago, news came out that Australia troops have murdered at least 39 innocent civilians in Afghanistan in the course of the Afghan war. Over the weekend, an obscure artist in China made an art about the tragedy which was widely circulated in Chinese social media, and which Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Li JianZhao twitted.

The Australians are now all up in arms over the image! The angle Australian (and U.S.) media and leaders is taking is that this is all “fake news”! Australian Prime Minister Morrison pronounced it to be a “fake image”! In this Australian news video, one Australian politician pronounced that the image is “gratuitous, inflammatory, deeply offensive.” The reporters fumed that China was “childish” and a “bully” and that Australians must “stand up” to Chinese aggression. China is doing this – in their view – because it is mad at Australia for speaking up about Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and banning Huawei. Australian must not back down because who knows what else will China demand of Australians later, and what else evil China will demand of Australia’s children and grandchildren down the road!

I kid you not … that’s what they are saying in Australia!!!

So a few quick responses.

First, this is not “fake news.” It is real news. Watch “Killing Field: Explosive new allegations of Australian special forces war crimes | Four Corners.” It’s a documentary made by the Australian Public Broadcast Service and can be easily found on YouTube at https://youtu.be/-GPplTKCYpQ The issues are real. The events are real. The tragedy is real. The pain is real.

Second, this is not a “fake image.” It’s art – commonly understood to be an expression or application of creative skills to produce artifacts that evokes beauty and/or emotive power.

I remember a few years ago, many the West laughed at Muslims for getting for mad at “art” that satirized the Muslim prophet Muhammadin in what has been called the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. The Muslims accused the West of defaming their religion, but the West hollered “Freedom of speech”! But even in their fervor, never did Muslim supporters raise the issue about a “fake image”!So to Australian media and politicians again … this is Art.

Third, talk about “gratuitous, inflammatory, deeply offensive”! It is the Australians who are “gratuitous, inflammatory, deeply offensive” for attacking Chinese who are creating and spreading art that expresses a shared human pain. The art evokes a primal, innate expression for basic human rights, especially taken in larger view of the West’s endless wars in the world – including the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America, among others. It is a basic human right to feel and communicate such emotions from human tragedies and offenses.

Fourth, about China being “childish” and a “bully,” please look in the mirror. Please look first into the mirror and reflect upon what you as a nation have done to others. You who say you are a gate keeper of peace have betrayed that trust and blindly killed some 39 – probably much more(!) – innocent men, women, and children. China is not “bullying” you by holding a mirror up and hoping that you can reflect upon the crimes you have conducted.

Fifth, stop crying about how you must stand up to China … Over the past two or so years, you have taken dramatic actions following U.S. lead in fighting a trade, technology, and ideology war against China the last few years. This is your choice, not China’s. You have spread lies about Huawei’s 5G insecurity, you have sided with and inflamed foreign-sponsored hooligans in Hong Kong, and you have created false, unsubstantiated reports about so-called Xinjiang “concentration camps.” Yes, you should stop. But not because of China per se, but because that’s the common, basic, decent, human thing to do.

Please understand that even after you do stop, you still have to face the music for the music your troops have conducted in Afghanistan.

China does not want to be your judge or savior, Australia. You have to face up to the court of history and humanity yourself. Please grow up, get some bones, stop being America’s bitch, and take some responsibility for yourself, Australia.

Iranians: The people the West are allowed to assassinate

November 30, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

(Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections.
He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV
and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a
daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported
from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and
lsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored
Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin
Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)

The recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – and the total silence regarding any sanctions on those who illegally played judge, jury, invader and executioner – reminds us how very unique Iranians are: Iranians are the people whom Westerners feel they are legitimately allowed to assassinate.

The citizens of which other country get so shamefully and shockingly assassinated by Westerners with such regularity in the 21st century?

We can’t compare the assassinations of Iranians with allegations (which did arise amid a once in a half-century Russophobia campaign in the West) that Russia poisoned a convicted double agent inside the United Kingdom. Not only did Western countries issue actual condemnations, unlike with the illegal murder of Fakhrizadeh, but they even expelled over 150 Russian diplomats.

The largest point to make clear is regarding why Iranians get this extraordinary (inhumane) treatment. It’s important for journalists to answer the short-term question of, “Why Fakhrizadeh?”, but we must also answer the long-term question of “Why Iran?”

The reality is that the average Westerners doesn’t even know how they got to this point. The Iranian hostage crisis was long ago, Israel is the belligerent one which keeps invading (and losing), the US is the belligerent one which keeps invading (and losing) – the refusal to allow Iran to defend itself is something which the average Westerner mostly doesn’t agree with and which they definitely cannot explain. That is to say: the reason is political – but Westerners are atrocious politicians, atrociously cynical about politics and atrociously misinformed about politics and socioeconomics due to their ever-more obvious censorship, propaganda and self-censorship.

There are several answers to “Why Iran?” Firstly, Iranians are an “expendable” people:

For a few centuries Westerners have regarded Iranians (as well as many others) as people who own things of value (natural resources), but who can produce nothing of value. Value is derived from supporting not just Westernism, but a Westernism which is totally unleavened – Westerners might say “contaminated” – with any non-Western ideas. Those who work for systems which do not conform to Western desires – no matter how great the democratic legitimacy of these systems -can be assassinated at will, in Western eyes. This is why the killing of a Qasem Soleimani or Fakhrizadeh does not merit consequences, unlike the assassination of a French general or a Japanese scientist.

Secondly, Iranians are a “ignorable” people:

Even though Iranians are so very expendable, they must also be ignored in the 21st century. The problem is: Iran keeps attracting well-wishers and like-minded people. Iran has allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon due to centuries-old cultural ties, but Iran also has allies in places like China and Venezuela precisely because Iran can talk about more than just religion.

Lastly, because Iranians refuse to be expendable and because they do things which are worthy of meritorious recognition, Iranians are thus an “assassinatable” people:

Iranians are assassinated because they show to the Muslim world and beyond that resistance to Western imperialism is not only possible, but that it produces far, far greater domestic success than continuing to ape Western nations.

Iran is not so special – they are merely the last one standing. Israel assassinated Egyptian and Iraqi nuclear scientists in the 1960s and 1970s, but these two countries either decided to collaborate with Israel or were too culturally divided to resist invasion by Israel’s ally and/or master. Iran is extraordinary in the 2020 context because they have rejected cooperation with Western imperialism, something which is always obscured by Western leftists and their fake-leftist media, and – history since 1917 proves – this means the West must assassinate you.

The West became a superpower by violence, not by merit, persuasion or mutually-beneficial cooperation, of course.

As long as Iran keeps earning meritorious recognition, assassinations (acts of war) will continue

This theory of Iran as the “assassinatable people” does not include the recent lie of Al-Qaeda’s #2 being assassinated in Tehran. This allegedly occurred in August but was not reported by The New York Times until just two weeks before the murder of Fakhrizadeh. Obviously, this was false propaganda designed to pave the way for the acceptance of brutally assassinating more Iranians, like Fakhrizadeh, in the minds of Westerners. It is guilt by association, no matter the historical record and the anti-terror fighting facts on the ground.

We must remember that so very much Western fake news is designed not to sway the world, nor logical people, but to plant false consciousness in their own citizens. Many Americans were shocked at the totalitarian brutality in the assassination of Soleimani – many Americans even publicly protested in Soleimani’s favor, something unthinkable in the 1980s or after 9/11. Considering how absurd it is – that Iran would peacefully host the #2 of the group which Soleimani and Iran fought for so very long (and The Times even admitted this contradiction in its (anonymous, as always) “scoop), the alleged death in Iran of that seemingly endless funeral procession of “Al-Qaeda #2s” should be disregarded. This is how 21st century Western propaganda works – it has no real political motivation/indoctrination, but only a motivation of furthering belligerent attitudes: it is designed to fuel panic and suspicion among Western citizens, which then grants their militaries approval for more war.

Israel is being blamed for the murder of Fakhrizadeh, but of course the US had to approve it. However, an Iranian reprisal against Israel or the US would definitely not trigger a large-scale war, for two obvious reasons: Iran does not want one, and because the West has absolutely zero chance of defeating Iran in a large-scale war. The proof of this truth is that Iran retaliated by firing on American forces occupying Iraqi soil after the murder of Soleimani, and there was no war with the US. The US simply lied about the damage, precisely because there is no way Western forces could hold a fraction of Iranian territory that they can in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What a major, immediate Iranian retaliation would achieve would only be to give fuel for decades of Western propaganda that Iran is a belligerent nation, even though Iran is clearly this exceptional victim of exceptional belligerence. But this false narrative is being domestically exposed in the West with each assassination.

The reality is that Fakhrizadeh’s death is something which must ultimately be bitterly swallowed by Iranians, because I doubt that Fakhrizadeh himself would want the country to go to war over his own assassination. Just as the “next man up” doctrine was successfully applied after Soleimani, so it will be applied for the martyr Fakhrizadeh, which is precisely why this physics teacher taught – for the good of the community, not the good of the individual. That’s a rather anti-Western notion, but a very successful one: Despite having just 80 million people Iran is regularly among the top 5 nations in the world in producing total STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) graduates, thanks to selfless humanists and patriots like Fakhrizadeh.

That staggering achievement of modestly-sized Iran will go totally unexplained in the West, of course, and such wilful ignorance can only but continue to neuter the West’s understanding of Iran. There is no invasion of Iran possible, and there is no stopping the nation’s nuclear energy project – there is only the West’s attempted implosion of Iran’s meritorious and successful culture, which would then result in the posting of US troops in Iran.

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh is designed to inflame tensions and entrap Iran into war – this plan will not work, yet again. It’s being said that the murder is a way by Israel to “salt the earth” and prevent a restoration of the JCPOA, but it’s clear the West views Iranians as exceptional from other humans on earth: Iranians should believe that people can be assassinated on their streets without a word of condemnation, but also that Europeans are on the cusp of doing fair business with Iranians in Iran?

Maybe Joe Biden will actually win the US election, and maybe he has also had a change of heart and truly does not want to support foreign interventions and invasions after so many decades of doing precisely that? But what’s known for certain is that many Westerners only want war, and not with just Iran.

Iran is actually just like Palestine – totally assassinatable by Israel and other Westerners. But while they can take Palestinians’ land they cannot take Iranian culture and intelligence – the teaching of physics, as well as anti-imperialist thought, continues in Iran.


Prominent Iranian physicist assassinated near Tehran

Friday, 27 November 2020 2:08 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 27 November 2020 9:10 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of martyred Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

Prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in a terrorist attack near the capital Tehran.

The Fars news agency reported that he had been targeted on Friday in a multi-pronged attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

The attack targeted the vehicle carrying Fakhrizadeh — who headed the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), the agency said.

The Defense Ministry’s media office said Fakhrizadeh “was severely wounded in the course of clashes between his security team and terrorists, and was transferred to hospital,” where he succumbed to his injuries.

Fars said 3-4 people were killed in the shooting, all of whom were said to be terrorists.

Photos and footage shared online of the attack showed bullet holes on the windshield of Fakhrizadeh’s car and a pool of blood on the road.

The photo shows a car that was targeted in a deadly shooting attack by terrorists in Absard city, near the Iranian capital of Tehran, November 27, 2020. (By Fars news agency)

‘Serious indications of Israeli role’

In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif roundly condemned the terror attack, saying there were “serious indications” of the Israeli regime’s role in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University of Tehran.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” he said in a tweet.

The top Iranian diplomat called on the international community, especially the European Union, to “end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”

‘Harsh revenge awaits criminals’

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri blamed the “savage” attack on “terrorists tied to global arrogance and the evil Zionist regime.”

The assassination, he said, did deal a blow to Iran’s defense industry, but the enemies should know that “the path opened by the likes of Martyr Fakhrizadeh will never end.”

The photo shows the site of a terror attack, which targeted an Iranian scientist, in Absard city, north of the Iranian capital, Tehran, November 27, 2020. (By Fars news agency)

Baqeri said “harsh revenge” awaits the terror groups as well as all those who had a hand in the terror attack.

The commander assured the Iranian nation that the perpetrators of the terror attack will be pursued and brought to justice.

In a similar message, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami vowed a “harsh revenge and punishment” for those behind the act of terror.

The assassination of the Iranian scientist “was planned and run by the fake, terrorist and infanticide Zionist regime,” the chief IRGC commander added.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi also said in a statement that an operation had been launched to identify the terrorist elements complicit in the “brutal crime,” pledging that the Islamic Republic will avenge the martyr’s blood.

In turn, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, also reacted to Fakhrizadeh’s martyrdom in a tweet, vowing a crushing response to the perpetrator.

“We will come down hard on those who killed Martry Mohsen Fakhrizadeh like thunder and make them regret their deed,” he said.

“In the final days of their allied gambler’s political life, the Zionists are after intensifying pressure on Iran in order to trigger an all-out war,” said Dehqan in a reference to outgoing US President Donald Trump’s final days in office.

Fakhrizadeh’s name was mentioned multiple times in a presentation in 2018 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program.

Netanyahu described the scientist as the director of Iran’s nuclear program and threatened, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands by a screen with a purported image of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

The Tel Aviv regime has made several attempts over the past years to throw a wrench in Tehran’s peaceful nuclear work.

The regime has been behind the assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists. It has also conduced cyberattacks on Iranian nuclear sites.

‘The crime won’t block Iran path to scientific progress’

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi said the “big crime” was carried out by “traitorous elements linked to foreigners and international Zionism with the sinister goal of hindering the country’s scientific progress.”

Raeisi further praised the scientist’s role in speeding up Iran’s advancements in various scientific fields, including the nuclear industry, saying Fakhrizadeh’s martyrdom will not block the country’s path forward.

He called on the country’s security and intelligence institutions in addition to relevant judicial bodies to do their utmost to arrest and serve justice to the criminals and mercenaries involved in the crime as soon as possible.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Political Analyst: Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination An Act of War, Antagonists Will Be Punished

Political Analyst: Fakhrizadeh’s Assassination An Act of War, Antagonists Will Be Punished 

By Elham Hashemi

Tehran – On 21 November 2020, The Times of ‘Israel’ said that the ‘Israeli’ regime along with the US are planning ‘covert ops’ against Iran as Trump’s term ends. Only six days later, prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in a terrorist attack in Damavand area near the capital Tehran.

This crime comes as a desperate attempt to put more pressure on Tehran amid the constant US and allies attempts to hamper Iran from advancing in the different fields, including nuclear development for peaceful purposes. Iran’s Fars news agency reported that Fakhrizadeh had been targeted on Friday in an attack involving at least one explosion and shooting by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

The media office of Iran’s Defense Ministry said Fakhrizadeh, who headed the ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research [SPND], “was severely wounded in the course of clashes between his security team and terrorists and was transferred to hospital,” where he succumbed to his wounds and was announced as martyr. 

Commenting on the topic, political analyst and University of Tehran Professor, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi said “This assassination shows that western intelligence agencies and the terrorist organizations that they support such as the MEK along with the apartheid regime and the other regional actors are waging war against Iranian people.” 

He explained “It is interesting when one remembers that every time a terrorist is arrested, or a terrorist is executed or a spy is captured, Western media immediately say that these people are innocent, and that they are hostages; as if they have some sort of special knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes. Yet it is these very same spies and terrorists that accumulate knowledge and carryout murder and destruction.” 

“Nevertheless, this is an act of war, and the Iranians will make sure that its antagonists are punished as a result of the murder of this high ranking Iranian official,” Dr. Marandi noted. 

Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, vowed in his tweet a crushing response to the perpetrators.

The tweet read “We will come down hard on those who killed Martry Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, just like thunder and we will make them regret their deed. In the final days of their allied gambler’s political life, the Zionists are after intensifying pressure on Iran in order to trigger an all-out war.”

Also, Iran’s Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said in a statement that “The assassins of martyr Fakhrizadeh will see a harsh revenge,” promising that they will be punished. He also assured that the path Farikhzadeh started will never stop. 

The political analyst pointed out that “It is ironic that when Western regimes claim that the Russians attempted to murder or assassinate an asset of theirs in the UK, the whole of NATO, Europe and North America is up in arms. But when an actual act of murder is carried out in Iran, Western media outlets gloat and try to show the victim as the guilty party rather than the terrorists and the regimes that stand behind those terrorists.”   

Fakhrizadeh’s name was mentioned in a presentation in May 2018 by ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program. Netanyahu described the scientist as the director of Iran’s nuclear program and said, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

Related

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei

November 27, 2020

Source

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei

While this press conference contains a shorter Belarus update, it has a wider context and is posted to illustrate Foreign Minister Lavrov’s clear expression of irritation with the west, which he now covers in each of his routine press conferences.  In this one, he handles among other topics, protests across the world, Heiko Maas, Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CMCE), International agencies, including the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner being silent and not doing their jobs, as well as strategic stability.

Joint session of the collegiums of the Russian and Belarusian Foreign Ministries, November 26, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have held a joint session of the collegiums of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. By tradition, it took place in a confidential and truly friendly atmosphere.

Using this opportunity, I would like to thank again our Belarusian friends for their traditional hospitality and excellent organisation of work. We highly value these annual meetings in the format of members of the collegiums and other representatives of the two ministries’ top management. They allow us to discuss in detail the most urgent international issues that involve the interests of our countries and need to be addressed.

Despite the complicated epidemiological situation, we managed to meet offline and talk face to face. We had four items on our agenda: relations of our countries with the European Union, participation in UN peacekeeping missions (in part, in the context of the prospects of the CSTO’s involvement in the UN peacekeeping activities), cooperation in the EAEU on forming the Greater Eurasian Partnership and ways of ensuring international information security.

We achieved specific agreements on all of these issues. They are reflected in a resolution that we signed in addition to the plan of consultations between our foreign ministries in 2021. We also spoke about broader cooperation in international organisations, including the CIS, CSTO, EAEU, UN and OSCE.

We and our Belarusian colleagues had to state that unfortunately our US-led Western partners continue persistently promoting their narrow selfish interests in a bid to preserve their hegemony in the world arena. They are using the concept of the “rules-based” world order, setting it directly against universal, commonly recognised standards of international law, including the UN Charter.

We are concerned about the attempts by the Western countries to establish control over international organisations, up to and including privatisation of their secretariats. When this fails, they try to replace collective work in universal formats with private get-togethers where all those who agree with the Western policy make decisions that are later presented as multilateral and binding. It is hardly possible to make us follow these rules. The overwhelming majority of countries are firmly committed to the old, tried-and-tested principle – respect for international law, primarily the UN Charter.

We noted numerous facts of crude interference by the US and those who follow in its wake (I am referring to some European capitals) in the internal affairs of sovereign states. The dirty methods of colour revolutions continue to be used. These include manipulation of public opinion, instigation and support of overtly anti-government forces and contribution to their radicalisation. We are seeing how these methods are being applied to the Republic of Belarus. We spoke about this in detail today both with Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, who received us before this meeting.

We were informed in great detail about the current developments in Belarus. We are not indifferent to them. The Republic of Belarus is our ally and strategic partner and also a fraternal nation. We are interested in a calm and stable situation in that country. This will be facilitated by the Constitutional reform that was launched by the Belarusian leadership as a major transformation of the political, economic and legal systems.

We believe the Belarusian people are wise and always act in a balanced manner. They are capable of resolving their problems without any outside prompting or obtrusive proposals on unwanted mediation. It is obvious that attempts to jeopardise normalisation are being made. There are many examples of this: a desire to radicalise the protesters, encouraging people to engage in subversion and high treason, which are made, in part, from abroad.

Today we again reviewed in detail the entire range of our ties and ways of protecting the interests of each of our countries, as well as the interests of the Union State of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.

I would like to emphasise again that we are content with our joint discussion. We will carry out everything we have agreed on today.

Question (addressed to both ministers): On November 18, 2020, your German counterpart Heiko Maas accused the authorities of Belarus of violently suppressing peaceful protests. Having said this, he urged the Council of Europe to use its instruments for monitoring the situation even in those European countries that do not want to join the organisation. Could you comment on this, please?

Sergey Lavrov (speaking after Vladimir Makei):  We took note of how Germany took over the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CMCE). German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas first made a speech at a closed CMCE meeting and then held a news conference. His speech was unconventional for the presidency of this pan-European body because the main goal of the Council of Europe, which is recorded in its statute, is to promote greater unity of all European countries. By definition, the President, all the more so in the Council of Europe, must focus on enhancing unity in his future work rather than stir up confrontation.

It is no secret that at the CMCE meeting prior to that news conference, Heiko Maas presented his programme for the next sixth months in a politicised vein and unacceptable tone, in a crude, undiplomatic manner. He made a number of Russophobic statements. He had grievances not only as regards the Republic of Belarus but also made groundless Russophobic accusations in respect of Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria and southeastern Ukraine. His opinion on the Nagorno-Karabakh agreement also sounded rather strange.

At the news conference Mr Maas urged everyone “to respect the rules-based order.” Our Western colleagues are not going to respect international law as a matter of principle. He did say that the principles of the Council of Europe must be imposed by using relevant instruments, including on those countries that are not members of the Council of Europe. I consider this absolutely unacceptable.

It is indeed strange that of all countries it is Germany that has recently decided to act as a driver of aggressive approaches to the countries that are not NATO or EU members.

Those who are objective and pay attention to double standards will note that neither Mr Maas, nor other Western representatives or UN human rights agencies have said a word about rather serious incidents in France and Germany. There were protests by yellow vests in France, demonstrations against COVID restrictions in Germany and some other countries, and protests against a ban on abortions in Poland. They were dispersed in a very tough manner.

International agencies, including the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner, stayed silent. Human rights champions in France covered the yellow vests protests in a completely different manner than they cover events in Russia and Belarus. Only in the beginning did they cautiously urge the sides to overcome their differences. But later the yellow vests began to encounter a tough police response. In the estimate of French human rights activists, almost 15,000 rubber bullets were shot at the protesters; 2,500 people were wounded and 12,000 detained, including 2,000 who were sentenced, in part, to real prison terms. But nobody speaks about this. This is considered normal because these are their compatriots. It is necessary to get rid of this attitude, especially for those who head the Council of Europe.

About a month ago, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric asked us in Moscow about our assessments of the events in the Republic of Belarus. She received our answers and inquired whether the Council of Europe can contribute to normalisation there in some way. We promised do convey her wish to those concerned. She emphasised that this will be possible only if the Republic of Belarus makes this request itself. But as you can see, the German Presidency has different plans in this respect. This is regrettable.

We will try to compel the Council of Europe, all the more so under the German Presidency, not to forget about the issues that the West is trying to hush up in many different ways. This applies to discrimination against Russian speakers in the Baltic states, the disgraceful lack of citizenship, and the so-called reforms in the field of education and language in Ukraine that are aimed only against the Russian language, as distinct from the languages of other national minorities because they are EU languages. We will not accept the efforts of the Council of Europe (or some of its members) to hush up the facts of the purposeful harassment of the Russian media, not to mention the glorification of Nazism. The German Presidency must remember all this and must not divert the Council of Europe to the discussion of issues that are more comfortable for the West and justify its positions, while ignoring the problems that have become chronic for our Western colleagues.

Question: What are the prospects for concluding new strategic stability treaties with the United States once the new administration is in office? Last year, President Trump mentioned a new trilateral document involving Russia, the United States and China. What will happen now?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a long-standing matter. True, the Trump administration was consumed (I can’t come up with any other word) by a desire to involve the People’s Republic of China in disarmament talks. Initially, they talked about the need to include the PRC in the START Treaty which is still in force, although this is impossible by definition. Then, they proposed creating a new treaty and not renewing the current one, because it’s outdated and bilateral, whereas they would like to take a step towards multilateral disarmament and arms control. Their position was erratic. As a result, they came up with a proposal to extend the treaty for another year, but on the condition that we recount each other’s warheads and put in overseers at the defence plants’ checkpoints. Counting warheads and ignoring carriers and innovative technologies that directly affect strategic stability is a frivolous and unprofessional approach.

Earlier this year, we made proposals to our US colleagues about structuring our future dialogue on arms control and non-proliferation. They stood their ground and insisted on warheads alone. They have long been interested in Russian tactical nuclear weapons, hence their interest in warheads at the expense of everything else. We say we will be ready to discuss non-strategic nuclear weapons, including warheads, when the Americans withdraw their tactical weapons from other countries. In Europe, these weapons are deployed in five NATO countries. Also, NATO structures conduct training in handling nuclear weapons for military personnel from non-nuclear countries in flagrant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

With regard to the People’s Republic of China, President Putin has repeatedly stated that we have nothing against it, but the decision is up to the PRC. China has officially and publicly stated on several occasions that it is not going to join the talks with Russia and the United States, since its nuclear arsenal is an order of magnitude smaller than the corresponding arsenals of Moscow and Washington. We respect this position. If and when the Americans persuade China to join multilateral talks, we will have no objection to that. We will be willing to participate in them if the PRC agrees to this of its own accord. But we are not going to persuade Beijing to do so just at the whim of the Americans. But if and when a multilateral format in disarmament and arms control talks is created, we will push for France and the United Kingdom to join it as well.

When we told the Americans about this, they told us that these counties are their allies and they vouch for them. Precisely because they are allies of the United States, we would like to see them at the negotiating table, if the talks become multilateral. Washington’s absolutely hostile doctrine towards Russia cannot but raise questions about the motives of the US allies, whether in Europe or Asia. When they enter into a military alliance with a country that declares us a hostile state, we must draw our own conclusions regarding these allies.

I don’t see how we can seriously discuss anything related to the continuation of the arms control process with the Trump administration. We do not know yet what kind of administration will move into the White House or what kind of policy it will conduct. The voting results have not yet been announced officially, but there’s already an understanding that the change-of-command process is underway. Let’s wait and see what kind of assessments will eventually form in the minds of those who will shape the US strategic stability policy after January 21, 2021.

Question (addressed to both ministers): Popular protests have been growing around the world for various reasons, including political ones. The law enforcement reaction is the same everywhere, going as far as the use of force and special equipment. At the same time, such events in Belarus are receiving heightened attention from foreign politicians. What do you think is the reason?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already cited examples of protests being suppressed in France. Those drastic figures are rarely revealed to the general public. Human rights agencies in the UN system, as well as numerous human rights rapporteurs are trying their best to avoid any topics that are uncomfortable for Western representatives.

Speaking of the protests in Paris, there is a huge wave of protest against the global security bill, which includes a ban on photographing, filming or otherwise identifying law enforcement officers. I can imagine the kind of racket a bill like that would have sparked if it were proposed in Russia or Belarus. The French public and human rights groups are concerned, yet we can see no reaction from international bodies. The police used water cannons and noise grenades during rallies against the bill. The protesters, too, provoked the police, using stones and sticks. One police officer was injured. And yet, I repeat, this does not prevent the West from lecturing anyone who is not their ally.

Voting processes in Russia and Belarus have been scrutinised through a magnifying glass. When a similar story happens in the United States, it is declared “normal, it’s democracy, and everything is just fine.” Though, even respected and influential think tanks in the United States openly write about “the problems with the US electoral system.” To put it mildly, that system does not fully comply with the principles of democracy or the rule of law. They write these things themselves, but our international partners prefer to ignore them and concentrate on the countries whose “regimes” they find undesirable.

When UN rapporteurs, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, describe violent clashes in Western capitals, they urge everyone to find a solution through dialogue. When they criticise us or Belarus, they demand a change of the system. This difference is visible to the naked eye. We have long lost any illusions about what kind of standards the West is promoting and how they use double standards. We will fight, and will defend our position at the UN bodies, where these issues should be considered. We will not allow the vices that the Western community is demonstrating to be forgotten.

Question (addressed to both ministers): How can you comment on Pavel Latushko’s last interview, where he spoke about the possibility of unofficial contacts with Moscow?

Sergey Lavrov: Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has just shown me part of that interview. Not only did he mention the possibility of unofficial contacts with Moscow – he said such contacts were underway and were coordinated. He shamelessly declared he could not cite any names, but mentioned “contacts at a sufficiently high level.” He speculated whether I will be allowed to tell my Belarusian friends about it. I will answer briefly: this is a blatant lie, and it once again says something about those trying to make some kind of career with foreign handouts.

Canada, U.S. have ‘selective’ approach toward human rights: lawyer

By Mohammad Mazhari

November 23, 2020 – 10:56

Sari Bashi, a consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN)

TEHRAN – A human rights lawyer says the U.S. and Canada follow double standards toward human rights, noting that they “support human rights selectively”.

In an interview with the Tehran Times, Sari Bashi, a consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), says that U.S. policy in terms of human rights is not consistent. 

“Unfortunately, the United States and Canada support human rights selectively, and the United States, in particular, has not done nearly enough to call out its allies for human rights abuses,” Bashi points out.

Canada and the U.S. accuse other countries of human rights violations while they themselves sell weapons to tyrannical regimes in West Asia, which are used against defenseless people, especially in Yemen. 

Canada claims a global reputation as a human rights defender, while the Ottawa government has a bad record when it comes to the rights of the indigenous peoples. According to reports revealed by the Human Rights Watch, the Natives are deprived of the right to safe drinking water, and police mistreat and abuse indigenous women and girls.

Bashi also says the U.S. is misusing its influence to allow its allies, such as Israel, to commit crimes.

 The following is the text of the interview:

Q: Certain Western states have a bad record in view of human rights, so are these countries entitled to condemn other countries?

  A: I think the fact that all authorities abuse human rights do not disqualify any particular government from raising human rights issues with others. Certainly, the best way to encourage respect for human rights is to lead by example, and every government in the world that has invested more energy in improving in own human rights record could be more credible to criticize other government who may not be; but at the same time I think it is always legitimate to raise the issue of human rights abuses and we should make sure that we are holding our governments accountable to universal standards of human rights as articulated by international instruments.

“We should make sure that we are holding our governments accountable to universal standards of human rights as articulated by international instruments,” the consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) says. Q: When it comes to Israeli crimes against Palestinians, why do countries like Canada and the U.S. give full support to Tel-Aviv? How is it possible that Israel wins such support?

A: I think lack of accountability for Israeli violations of human rights and international law against Palestinians reflects a weakness in accountability of the international system.

Unfortunately, the UN Security Council cannot act in the Israel-Palestine case because of the veto power of powerful members, especially the United States, while other mechanisms of accountability such as the International Criminal Court are struggling to have jurisdiction over war crimes committed in Palestine. So we have a lot of work to do in obtaining a stronger mechanism of accountability, and the fact that Israel enjoys such a strong military and financial support from the United States reflects a distorted political system in which the U.S. as a superpower is using its significant influence to allow its allies to commit abuses.

Q: Why is Canada not really concerned about human rights violations when it clinches arms deals with a value of 15 billion dollars with Saudi Arabia? Is it justifiable to say that Canada is not aware that these weapons are used against children and women in Yemen?

A: Canada, like all countries, has a responsibility to ensure that it does not violate human rights or international humanitarian law including in its military deals; so selling weapons to actors who are committing war crimes in Yemen will be a violation of Canada’s obligations and certainly, the Canadian government and the Canadian people have a responsibility to ensure that their foreign policy respects human rights and does not contribute to war crimes. 

Q: Washington has imposed harsh sanctions on Iran that are hampering Iran’s access to medicine. At such a hard time, countries like Canada have been cooperating with Washington in pushing ahead with its unilateral sanctions by refusing to sell humanitarian goods to Iran.  What is your comment?

 A: Unfortunately, the United States and Canada support human rights selectively, and the United States, in particular, has not done nearly enough to call out its allies for human rights abuses. At DAWN, we believe that U.S. policy should be consistent. So the same standard in terms of respecting human rights that are applied towards Iran should also be applied towards Israel and every other country because these are universal standards of how government should treat the people under their control.

Q: Why have Western countries, especially Canada and the U.S., preferred to turn a blind eye to Khashoggi’s murder while they knew that Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for that crime? How could Saudis distract attention away from their crimes and influence human rights bodies in the UN?

A: I think the lack of accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi reflects a weakness in the system of international politics and especially the United States, which is selling Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in the arms trade and providing diplomatic cover that allows the Saudi government to act with impunity. The lack of accountability for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder regarding the role of Mohammad Bin Salman indicates that real change is needed. What is encouraging is that in the United States, there is pressure not just from the American people but also in the American Congress seeking accountability, and I remind that the U.S. Congress has required the federal government to provide information about those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the form of a DNI (Director of National Intelligence) report that was to be published last year. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has ignored that mandate and refused to release the report.  The refusal is the subject of litigation in U.S. courts, and we hope that the incoming administration will follow the law and do what Congress has required, which is to reveal what American intelligence services know about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. 

RELATED NEWS

And now, a message from our friends of the American Jewish Congress about free speech

Source

November 18, 2020

Got that in my inbox today.  And when they say “enough is enough”, they mean it.  The hate free speech and the First Amendment which protects it.


An Encore for Charlie Hebdo

November 13, 2020

Posted by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Insulting Islam

In mid October 2020 a French schoolteacher, 47-year-old Samuel Paty, decided to show his Freedom of Speech class cartoons demeaning Islam’s founding prophet, Mohammed. The cartoons were the same ones originally published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) in 2014-2015. At that time, the magazine’s actions resulted in the murder of twelve of its staff, including the editor, Stephane Charbonnier. The murders were committed by Muslim extremists associated with al-Qaeda. Samuel Paty’s fate turned out to be similar. Shortly after having shown the caricatures of the founder of Islam, the teacher was murdered by an 18-year-old Muslim immigrant. Other attacks have followed.  

In all of these cases, the killings were provoked as well as indefensible. The cartoons in question are all too easy to interpret as gratuitous insults against Islam and therefore against the almost 9% of the French population that are Muslim. Nonetheless, murder is incompatible with stable society. The latter being prima facie true, the next question is, What alternatives were available to those who were/are disgusted by the Charlie Hebdo caricatures? Lawsuits for defamation have been repeatedly filed. Some are still ongoing. However, to date, none have stopped the magazine’s demeaning ways. Well-organized public protests combined with steady political pressure might work in the long run. It was perhaps because such an effort was not forthcoming, at least not consistently, that action defaulted to emotionally driven individual fanatics.

By the way, Charlie Hebdo, with its own brand of fanaticism, is what you might call an equal opportunity defamer. Topics ranging from the Catholic Church to Italians killed in earthquakes have been depicted in distasteful, sometimes semi-pornographic fashion. As it stands, the right to publish gratuitously insulting cartoons is not only legal in France but, because of all the related violence, also now defended as an important expression of French national culture. To make this point clear, French officials have announced the publication of a booklet to include the Charlie Hebdo images. This will be “handed out to high school students as a commitment to defend the values of the Republic.”

Part II—A Trap 

The value referred to in the booklet is freedom of expression. As Charbonnier said in a 2012 interview, “We can’t live in a country without freedom of speech. I prefer to die than to live like a rat.” Of course, it is now obvious that Charbonnier’s ardent determination to avoid a rodent’s fate, and his nation’s embrace of the man’s grossness as a symbol of free speech, has led France into a trap. Here is how the Sorbonne Professor Pierre-Henri Tavoillot puts it: “what is at stake now is France’s laicite—the secularism that underlies its culture. If the nation compromises on laicite in this instance, this cultural principle may well unravel.” Refusal to consider a balanced way out of the situation paints the French into a corner while explicitly tying the culture to often semi-pornographic cartoons. 

The trap has many other dimensions. French enthusiasm for Charlie Hebdo has fueled Islamophobia and led others to use the situation to argue for the restriction of civil rights. France’s interior minister believes that the country is “at war against an enemy who is both inside and outside.” While it is true that the country’s 5.7 million Muslims (the highest number in any Western country) are increasingly alienated and fearful, the vast majority are peaceful. Yet they all have now been placed under suspicion of being terrorists. Now, the mayor of Nice is calling for a “modification of the Constitution” so that the nation can “properly wage war against Islamic extremists.” President Macron has announced a widespread crackdown on “Islamist individuals and organizations.” This includes closing French Muslim civil rights organizations and Arabic language schools. 

The whole affair has also brought France into conflict with Muslim populations and governments around the world. Presently, the French and Turkish governments are now trading insults. In Bangladesh, 40,000 people took part in an anti-French demonstration and called for the boycott of French goods. French goods were removed from shelves in shops in Qatar and Kuwait. 

Part III—Rationalizations

The French will tell you that their take on free expression was born in violence: in “eradicating the power of the monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church” during the French Revolution. Later, a 1905 French law made faith a strictly private matter and secularism the rule for the public sphere. There is nothing wrong with this arrangement. However, over the years the French have generally lost common sense relative to the subject and failed to be consistent in their approach to religion. On the one hand, laicite has caused some French men and women to see religion as a belief system that need not be taken seriously. Criticism of religion is seen as a “dear right.” On the other hand, recent history has led French governments to be very sensitive to even the slightest suggestion of anti-Semitism (which is illegal in France). Except in this case, the stipulation that one should not be critical of someone simply because he is observant is often forgotten.

Against this backdrop, French Muslims, the  most religious of French residents, have been held at arm’s length. Those who retain their traditional dress and ways stand out as outsiders and assimilation has not been made easy even for those Muslims who desire it. 

The French will also tell you that the art of caricature “is an old tradition that is part of our democracy.” French Muslims make the argument that “there should be limits to offensive satire [in the form of demeaning caricature] when it comes to religious beliefs.” They say that this is so because such satire “fuels extremism.” For millions of French Muslims, this suggests that “cartoons putting a prophet who is fundamental to millions of believers in suggestive and degrading postures” should not fall within the right to be satirical.

One can, of course, argue the issue of censorship. Free speech/expression rights are explicitly meant to protect speech we may not approve of. On the other hand, all societies impose some limits on speech—you can’t cry fire in a crowded theater. Who decides when, or if, there should be a legitimate restriction to free speech/expression? How about when there is a present atmosphere that leads to multiple murder and the breakdown of otherwise friendly foreign relations? Under such circumstances, can such competing issues be finessed by the application of common sense? The flamboyant display of such “art” as practiced by Charlie Hebdo, much less its presentation as a cornerstone of French culture, might be such a case.*

Part IV—Conclusion

How many cultures make rudeness a symbol of cultural excellence? It doesn’t seem to be a common practice. Yet, the French have done so in this case. It has gotten them nothing but trouble at home and abroad. 

The problem with the present French position is that it gives wide latitude to people who care little or nothing for cultural awareness. Stephane Charbonnier, the murdered editor of Charlie Hebdo, seemed uninterested in the real cultural consequences of his personal practice of freedom. In truth, he was an extremist who persisted on insulting a religion of 1.8 billion adherents, the vast majority of whom are peaceful folks. As he knew no bounds to his freedom to be brutally insulting, so his behavior activated a small number of Muslim extremists willing to be even more brutal than Charbonnier. This led to his violent death. In death he has become a French cultural icon—in total disregard of the extremist nature of his behavior and the counter-extremism it triggered.

If US sanctions on Lebanon are about corruption, Saad Hariri should be top of list

Protesters denounce politician Gebran Bassil in downtown Beirut on 8 August (AFP)

13 November 2020 10:55 UTC |

Source

Marco Carnelos

Marco Carnelos is a former Italian diplomat. He has been assigned to Somalia, Australia and the United Nations. He has served in the foreign policy staff of three Italian prime ministers between 1995 and 2011. More recently he has been Middle East Peace Process Coordinator Special Envoy for Syria for the Italian government and, until November 2017, ambassador of Italy to Iraq.

If the US was truly concerned about corruption in Lebanon, it should have targeted the discredited prime minister

المدن - حيرة سعد الحريري: "أبو السنّة" أم "إبن التسوية"؟

The US Treasury recently sanctioned Gebran Bassil, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement party and member of parliament, for his role in corruption in Lebanon, using the Magnitsky Act. This provision is deployed when human rights abuses and corruption reach such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic system. 

Unfortunately, as frequently occurs with the US government’s decisions, even the application of this provision is not immune to double standards. In the case of Lebanon, for Washington, corruption is not a problem – provided that you are aligned with US policies. 

In this case, however, we are facing a real mystery. According to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Bassil “has helped to erode the foundation of an effective government that serves the Lebanese people”. He noted that this decision “further demonstrates that the United States supports the Lebanese people in their continued calls for reform and accountability”.

Economic mismanagement 

The overall US analysis behind this decision is essentially correct. Lebanon has long suffered from endemic corruption and economic mismanagement by its historical power brokers, who have advanced their own interests at the expense of the Lebanese people. Since October 2019, widespread protests with participation from a broad segment of Lebanese society have called for political, social and economic reforms. 

All Lebanese governments have failed to curb inflation and mounting debt, as well as to improve the country’s failing infrastructure and to ensure basic services. Socioeconomic conditions for ordinary Lebanese people have continued to deteriorate, while political leaders remain insulated from the crisis. 


The US decision remains inexplicable, to say the least. It did not target one of the top people responsible for Lebanon’s chaos

The country is experiencing an energy crisis that leaves people without electricity for hours or even days at a time, and government officials appear unable to fix the problem. The political dysfunction was exemplified by the catastrophic explosion at the Beirut port on 4 August, which many saw as a further example of the negligence and corruption that victimises Lebanese citizens.

Financially, the country has already defaulted, thanks to a Ponzi scheme run for years by its central bank, and ordinary savers have been forced to settle for highly limited access to their bank deposits, bringing many to the brink of starvation.

Yet, while long overdue, the US decision remains inexplicable, to say the least. It did not target one of the top people responsible for Lebanon’s chaos: fourth-time Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who once again returned to power after he was ousted by a popular revolt in October 2019. As though nothing had occurred in recent decades, when Hariri repeatedly served as premier with zero results, he has been supported to assume the role again by the usual power brokers.  

Christian parties marginalised

Bassil, the Christian leader who aspires to succeed his father-in-law, Michel Aoun, as the country’s next president, has this time refused to support Hariri’s comeback to power, which had been pushed by some Sunni and Shia parties, including Hezbollah. The second-most important Christian party, the Lebanese Forces, took a similar decision. 

It is probably the first time, then, that a Cabinet has been formed in Lebanon without the participation of the main Christian parties – an unprecedented development that took place as major world powers watched idly, especially France, which since the 4 August explosion had taken the lead in attempts to save the country from complete collapse. 

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in September 2019 (AFP)
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in September 2019 (AFP)

After the blast, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut twice. He made specific, sound proposals and asked for clear commitments on reforms, but his appeals went unheeded by the traditional Lebanese power brokers. 

While France has always been proud of its strict secular approach to politics, up to the point of creating deep and probably avoidable fissures  with its Muslim minority, it has also attributed to itself the historical role of protector of the Christian minorities in the Levant. 

It is thus disconcerting how Macron has tolerated the marginalisation of Christian parties in the Lebanese decision-making process, facilitating Hariri’s disgraceful comeback. How is it possible that one of the main enablers of Lebanon’s chaos has again been assigned to rule and reform the country, amid a deafening silence from Paris?

A final disappointment

The US has maintained a similarly questionable position. After mobilising against the country’s endemic corruption and Hezbollah, the Trump administration has not objected to the fact that Hezbollah’s main power-sharing partner in recent decades, Hariri, is again in charge with the support of this same movement – which, incidentally, figures prominently in the US terrorism list, as Washington pushes its European allies to follow suit with a terrorism designation.Beirut explosion: A weapon of mass corruptionRead More »

If the targeting of Bassil really aims to show that the US “supports the Lebanese people in their continued calls for reform and accountability”, then why – considering his abysmal record – has Hariri not been sanctioned as well? If the primary US concern is the struggle against corruption, why it has decided, again, to go after a relatively small fish like Bassil instead of the bigger fish, such as Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri or veteran politician Walid Jumblatt? 

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and MP Walid Jumblatt  during their meeting in Beirut on Sunday evening - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English  Archive

Even on its way out, the Trump administration never misses an opportunity to surprise. The sad news is that this time, in serving one of its last disappointments, it is in good company with the French presidency.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] Birth Anniversary

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] Birth Anniversary

Translated by Staff

Speech of His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of the birth of Prophet Muhammad
10-30-2020

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.
God Almighty said in his glorified book:

{In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. And give good tidings to the believers that they will have from Allah great bounty. Almighty God has spoken truly.}

To start with, I congratulate all Muslims in the world as well as all the Lebanese who are one people and partners in happiness and sorrow.

I congratulate Muslims and everyone else on the birth of the greatest Messenger, our Master, and Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH], as well as on the birth of his great grandson, Imam Jaafar bin Muhammad Al-Sadiq [PBUH].

I’ll begin by talking about the occasion a little. From there, I’ll talk about some files and topics relevant to the current stage.

Our Master Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH] was born approximately 1495 years ago, in what was known as the Year of the Elephant [Am Al-Fil], in the month of Rabi ‘al-Awwal – this month. Some say he was born on 12 Rabi al-Awwal, others say 17 Rabi al-Awwal.

This blessed birth was the natural introduction to the birth and proclamation of the final divine message, after which there is no abrogation, modification, or alteration. Hence, ‘what is permissible [halal] during Muhammad’s era is permissible until the Day of Judgement, and what is forbidden [haram] during Muhammad’s era is forbidden until the Day of Judgement.’

It was also an introduction to rebirth of the true human life, for generations that would emerge from darkness into light, through this newborn child, and also the birth of a nation that would remain immortal until the Day of Resurrection.

We all know that the prophets and messengers performed miracles and accomplishments, especially when we are talking about great prophets like Ibrahim, Musa, and Isa [PBUT]. They all had miracles that were witnessed by the era they lived in and the generation that lived there.

These accounts were told to us. They were preserved in holy books, especially the Holy Quran, as well as history books. These accounts reached all the people – Muslims, Christians, and Jews. 

The Messenger of Allah Muhammad [PBUH] performed various miracles as well. The people of his time bore witness to them. Now his time has passed, and accounts were passed on to us through stories and history books. We, however, did not witness these miracles. The Messenger of God Muhammad [may God bless him and his family and grant them peace] had various miracles as well, as is the case with the miracles of the previous prophets. 

However, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad [PBUH] possesses an immortal miracle that will continue to live on until the Day of Resurrection and will be witnessed by all generations in all times and in all places. This miracle is His sacred book that God sent down to him – the Holy Quran.

One of the miracles of this great book is that its words, verses, and surahs have not been subject to any distortion, forgery, or modification for more than 1450 years. This means that despite the reasons, factors, and motives – among Muslims and non-Muslims, from within Islam and otherwise – to distort this religious book, its verses and surahs, it remained preserved form 1450 years.

This holy book remaining in this accurate and wondrous form is in itself a miracle. It is the fulfillment and validation of the divine promise: {Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.}

A religious book so important to the lives of millions and hundreds of millions, and now nearly two billion people cannot be preserved in this manner without being touched despite the existence of all reasons, doctrinal reasons, and political reasons to distort, falsify, or amend it.

This is evidence of divine preservation of this Prophet’s book. This Qur’an has been challenging humanity for the last 1450 years. And this challenge will remain until the coming of the Hour – if they all gathered to produce the like of this, to bring forth ten surahs like it, or produce a surah of the like.

And this Qur’an, which is still vibrant and brings people out of the darkness and into the light, is its immortal miracle. The prophets and messengers also have their accomplishments, and the greatest achievement of our Prophet and our Master, the Messenger of God Muhammad is this human achievement that has been achieved by his hands. It is in itself it the closest thing to a miracle – this deep and tremendous transformation that has been achieved in the society of the Arabian Peninsula by his hands and thanks to his vocation, efforts and jihad.

If we go back in history, the Arabian Peninsula was made up of Mecca, Yathrib [it was not called Medina yet], the city of Taif, a group of large towns, tribes, and clans, all the way to Yemen including its cities, civilization, and former kings. This entire region that we now refer to as the Arabian Peninsula was the main setting for the Prophet’s movement and missionary work.

Let us take a look at the people in that community before the birth of the Prophet and his missionary activities – their way of life, their religious life [What did they worship? What did they believe in?], their education [reading and writing], their level of knowledge, their culture, their values, their traditions, the values governing that society, poverty, deprivation, their security situation, the wars, the tribal wars, and their dispersion.

The Messenger of God [PBUH] did not come to address one aspect of the lives of these people, but rather all aspects, foremost is the doctrinal, belief, knowledge, cultural, ethical and behavioral dimensions. If we then studied the way of life of the people in the Arabian Peninsula after the Prophet’s missionary work, efforts, and jihad, what has become of these people?

What are the serious, deep, and very important transformations that took place, especially on the human side? Their faith and belief? The way they shifted from worshipping idols to worshipping the one God? Their sciences, their culture, and the system of values? Their perception of man, woman, other human beings, and the followers of other religions? Their customs, traditions, discipline, behavior, and morals?
This tremendous human transformation that took place in the Arabian Peninsula and constituted the main basis for the launch of this nation and the spread of its voice and message to the whole world, making it the basis for global change, is Prophet Muhammad’s accomplishment. 

The most important and very remarkable aspect is that this accomplished in 23 years only. We know that bringing about huge change in the lives of people within 10, 20, 30, and 40 years is hard, especially when it comes to culture, doctrine, values, and behavior. But this was achieved by the Messenger of God. He also paved the way, as we have said, for this humanitarian and religious pillar until the Hour of Resurrection.

I wanted to make this introduction so that I can delve into the topics that I want to speak about. All Muslims throughout history until the coming of the Hour have love, adoration, respect, and appreciation for this great Prophet, unmatched with any other human being and despite their love, appreciation, and reverence for all the prophets, messengers, awliya, imams, and righteous and good people throughout history.

All Muslims have a distinct view, a special faith and love, for this man, this person, and this figure. Muslims may disagree throughout history. This happened in several cases – intellectual cases of sometimes ideological nature, Islamic rulings, in cases of halal and haram, evaluating Islamic history, evaluating persons. In contemporary time, they may disagree on important social and political issues, conflicts, wars, etc.

But there are unanimous points and issues that Muslims have not disagree on throughout history, and they cannot depart from until the Hour of Resurrection. Among the most important of these unanimous points is their belief in Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH], his message, his prophethood, his greatness, and his stature.

They see him as the seal of the prophets since there is no prophet after him, the master of messengers, the master of creation, the master of beings, the most perfect man and the greatest human being, and the closest of God Almighty’s creations to Him, the most beloved and dearest of them to Him. This is how Muslims view this Messenger and this Prophet.

With this faith, his love is mixed with their blood, flesh, being, bodies, souls, minds and hearts because this belief is not only an epistemic belief, a philosophical belief, or a cultural or intellectual belief. No, there is a kind of distinct emotional, spiritual and psychological relationship. Of course, this is and will always be required towards the Prophet as they glorify him in this world and see his greatness and special stature in the Hereafter.

From here, we will use one point as a springboard to move on to other topics. Therefore, Muslims cannot tolerate any offense or insult directed at this great Messenger, and they consider defending the dignity of their Prophet as one of the highest priorities that comes before any interests and calculations, be it political, economic, or related to their lives. They consider this matter a top priority. They cannot be forgiving about it, nor can they remain silent about any behavior or practice that insults or offends the Great Messenger of Allah.

From here, I delve into the first file in tonight’s talk, which is the current problem that concerns all Muslims in the world today – the current problem between the French authorities [from the top of the pyramid] and Islam and the Muslims. I would like to speak calmly, objectively, and scientifically in order to dissect this issue and search for solutions, that is to reach a solution and not perpetuate enmities or search for new ones.

We begin with the latest incident that took place in the French city of Nice, in which a Muslim man killed three people and wounded others. 

We will start from the end and return to the beginning. We strongly condemn this incident, and Muslims from the various scholarly, religious, and political positions, as well as the Islamic world and Muslim communities in France, Europe, and everywhere condemned it.

Islam also condemns such incidents, and it is not permissible for anyone to regard it as belonging to Islam. Islam and the Islamic religion, which forbids killing, assaulting, or harming innocent people just because of differences in ideological affiliation, reject it and reject every similar incident that preceded it or comes after it.

For us Muslims and Islam, it is always rejected and condemned, wherever this incident occurred and whoever was targeted – in France or anywhere in the world.

Let us establish this point as a basis so that there is clarity later.

Secondly, in the context of this case, it is not permissible for the French authorities or others to hold the religion of the perpetrator or the followers of the perpetrator’s religion responsible for the perpetrator’s crime. In other words, if the perpetrator of the crime is a Muslim, it is thus not permissible for anyone to hold Islam or the Muslims in France or in the whole world responsible for this crime. This is fundamentally an incorrect, unrealistic, illegal, and immoral perception.

When a person commits a crime, he must be held responsible for this crime, regardless of his motives, even if he believed that his motives are religious. This happened in France and in Europe, and it is happening in other places in the world.

We might have to speak in terms of Muslim and Christian. We will, however, not come near the Jews. If a Christian man committed a crime of this kind – and this happened in France and most of the crimes that are committed in France are not committed by Muslims as well as in Europe – the media usually does not shed light on it. But whoever follows it knows about statistics and figures. Is it right for someone to say the one who is responsible for this crime is the Jesus Christ [PBUH], God forbid? Or the Christianity? Or hold the Christians in the world responsible? Or the Christians in the country where the crime was committed? No one accepts this behavior. Unfortunately, the French authorities are doing this.

President Macron and the rest of the French officials spoke about Islamic terrorism – now someone has translated it to Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism, a lack of difference. There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism. If someone is committing an act of terror, then he is a terrorist. And if he commits a crime, then he is a criminal. But we cannot say Islamic terrorism and Islamic fascism.

Today the United States of America is committing massacres all over the world from the year 2000 onwards, the wars they’ve committed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in the region after September 11. Let us put aside World War I and II, Hiroshima, and the likes and just talk about the current generation.

Millions of people have been killed, and the Americans admit that hundreds of thousands have been killed in these wars, even if some were killed by mistakes such as weddings that were bombed in Afghanistan, sometimes deliberately. Does anyone come out and say that since the United States of America’s president and government are Christians and its army is mostly Christian, then this American terrorism is a Christian terrorism? Or that the one who bears the responsibility for this terrorism, God forbid, is Jesus Christ or the Christian religion whose values and teachings contradict these terrorist acts? 

Muslims did not say that what the European armies, including the French army, did in Algeria and what the others did in Libya and elsewhere in our region is a Christian terrorism and that the Christian faith is responsible. Not at all. And if someone said this, then they are mistaken.

This phenomenon is at the very least not present. Therefore, it is absolutely impermissible to generalize and hold a religion or the Prophet of a religion or the nation that believes in a religion responsible for a crime committed by any person belonging to a certain ideology or religion whether he was a Muslim, Christian, or Jew. This is wrong and should stop. The French and French officials do it every day. However, there are those who are correcting and saying no, we respect Islam as a religion. If you respect Islam as a religion, you have to change the term “Islamic terrorism” and “Islamic fascism”, and you do not have to follow Trump who uses this kind of terms.

Third, we heard in the past few days that you are objecting that someone in France offended your Prophet. The most important is that some Muslims also offend your Prophet and your Islam. I would like to say here that some Muslims definitely offend Islam and that some Muslims offend the Prophet of Islam, and some commit very, very serious offenses.

And what we have witnessed in the past few years in terms of terrorist acts and crimes, including the demolition of mosques, churches, and historical monuments; the killing of people; the beheadings; the cutting open of chests; and the slaughtering of people like ewes based on their affiliations – foreign media have also promoted and photographed them in the world.

These are major offenses to our religion and our prophet, and we were attacking this and we strongly object to this, but suppose this is correct and not an assumption, if some Muslims offend our Prophet this does not justify you to offend our Prophet, if some of you offend your sanctities, are we allowed to offend your sanctities? This is absolutely no logic, the prophets, the apostles, the religions, the religious symbols, the sanctities of the nations must be respected, even if the followers, the nation or the group come out from within the community who does not perform this respect and exceed this respect.  

These are major offenses to our religion and our prophet, and we attacked this and strongly objected to this. But let us suppose, this is true and not an assumption, that some Muslims are offending our Prophet. This does not justify you to offend our Prophet. If some of you offend your sanctities, are we allowed to offend your sanctities? This is absolutely not logical. Prophets, messengers, religions, religious symbols, and the sanctities of nations must be respected, even if followers, a nation, or a group do not respect them.

Fourth, here I continue to address the French officials and the public. Instead of holding Islam and the Islamic nation responsible for these terrorist acts that are taking place in France, Europe, and other places, let us discuss together your responsibility towards these actions and groups.

Let us go back 10 years, from 2011 onwards – we won’t say 50 years ago – there was a terrorist takfiri ideology that adopted killing just because of ideological, intellectual, sectarian, and political differences. They even committed brutal crimes just because they disagreed with the other about a detail.

You protected this ideology. The Americans, the US administration, the French governments, the European governments, you protected it, you provided it with all the facilities in the world.
People that disagreed with your way of thought faced difficulties in obtaining a visa when they wanted to take part in an activity in your country. But doors were widely opened to those with this [takfiri] ideology and were protected.

You facilitated the presence of these groups that were formed and adopted this ideology in Syria and Iraq. You helped support, arm, and fund them until these groups gained experience and a fighting spirit. Now, you are surprised about a massacre or a beheading?

Where did this begin? Did it start in our region and countries? Who did this? You supported them politically, via the media, and financially. You provided them with international protection and international conferences. You opened borders for them, gave them passports, and facilitated their arrival to the region. Acknowledge your responsibility first and how much responsibility you bear regarding this matter.

I invite you to go back to the 2011-2012 archives where I or many others told this to you, especially to the Europeans – do not be part of this global war against Syria, Iraq and the region; these groups could not penetrate into Lebanon. Do not adopt them. Do not defend these people. Do not facilitate their arrival and do not strengthen them because you will lose this battle, and these groups will turn on you. This ideology will turn on you. These groups and these people will return to your country and will flood them with terror and destruction. 

They will return to your countries and do what they did in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries. On that exact day, we told you, America is far away, and the closest to our region is Europe, and the most serious threat is to Europe and you have to be aware. But you were too proud to listen. You believed that you will win this war, and it is known afterwards where you ended up.

Today, you must also acknowledge your responsibility. Do not blame those who have no responsibility. What is the relationship of the Messenger of Islam, Muhammad bin Abdullah, with these crimes? What is the relationship of his religion, Islam, and the Quran with these crimes? What is the relationship of a nation of two billion Muslims with these crimes?

The people you embraced, protected, nurtured, and brought to your countries are the ones who are responsible. This is what you should reconsider because you are still pursuing these sorts of policies. I will repeat what I said and use the same tone that we used when we were stating our position: We cannot be in a front alongside those who behead, cut chests open, eat livers, and slaughter. 

These were your allies and your groups, and they were protected by you. That is why you – the French, the Europeans, the Americans, and their allies in the region – must reconsider your behavior and methods, including the employment of these takfiri terrorist groups as tools in political projects and wars. You never learn. You did this in Afghanistan, and you paid for it on September 11. You made mistakes and are repeating the same mistakes. The use of these type of groups as tools must stop. Otherwise, you too will be paying the price of these mistakes.

Secondly, the French authorities have put themselves and France and also want to involve all of Europe and the European Union in a battle with Islam and the Muslims for flimsy and sometimes incomprehensible reasons. I will speak from a position of concern and not to score points. What is the reason? Meaning these developments that took place in the past weeks and was clearly shown by the media – an open and clear war in France from the president to the government, from the ministers to the parliament, and from the media to the street. What is the reason? What started this problem? Who assaulted the other? Who offended the other?

This issue began when the sinister French magazine published insulting cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, so Muslims rose up to protest in more than one place in the world. This matter then developed into a series of events, including the killing and beheading of the history professor.

Instead of taking the initiative to deal with this matter, to absorb it, and to have a real and correct attitude towards it – let us wait, not confuse truth with falsehood, not to mix things together; there is a main reason that led to these repercussions – instead of dealing with the repercussions, unfortunately the French authorities declared a war of this kind. They insisted that this is freedom of expression, and we want to continue practicing freedom of expression and the satirical cartoons. This came from the top of the pyramid. Basically, what is the message you are sending to the two billion Muslims in the world?

What are we talking about here? It is not about a political, financial, or economic matter, nor is it a conflict or a battle. We are talking about a matter related to their Prophet, their Messenger, and their Master, whom I spoke about at the beginning and stated what he represents to them. To the French authorities, what deserves this sacrifice?

You took it upon yourselves to protect this battle and adopt it, then you tell us you’ve got values including freedom of speech and that you don’t want to abandon them. Let us discuss this a little. Why did I say at the beginning, we want to speak calmly and objectively? The first discussion is operational and procedural. If it was really this and the way things are in France or in Europe, one could have said that let us see how we can approach the subject from another angle.

However, the issue is not like that. You must first convince the Muslims in the world that this claim is sincere. They do not accept that. This is not an honest claim. This is not a true claim. We have a lot of evidence and examples in France and Europe on practices by authorities that prevent freedom of expression, rather suppress freedom of expression. There are matters that may be less sensitive than a topic related to a prophet two billion people in the world believe in.

In order not to waste all the time, I will give one well-known example because it does not need much explanation. It’s about the French philosopher Roger Garaudy. You can find this example in television archives, documentaries, films, and articles. What the man did was write a book and a study regarding the myths behind the genocide of the Jews, or the so-called Holocaust. He presented a scientific discussion and figures, discussed numbers, wrote an academic scientific study, and spoke about the political exploitation of this incident. To date, Europe, especially Germany, is being blackmailed by international Zionism because of this issue. The man did not curse, insult, mock, or draw satirical cartoons. He did not even touch on Judaism. He only tackled an important and sensitive issue that happened in Europe. What did the French authorities do to this French philosopher?

The judiciary sued him. He was tried and defamed, and he was sentenced to prison. It is possible that because he was very old, they did not implement the sentence. The man was suppressed. Is this freedom of expression? Is this the value you are defending? Yes, it may be said that when the matter affects a certain sect, “Israel”, or the Zionists, then freedom of expression ceases to exist. But when it affects another sect, an entire nation with two billion people and their sanctities, freedom of expression remains absolute.

There are many more examples like Roger Garaudy that one can mention in different occasions, confirming that freedom of expression in France and in Europe is not absolute, but rather it is limited by legal, political, security, and other restrictions.

This claim – that it is an absolute freedom which allows anyone to do whatever they want, for a newspaper or a cartoonist to draw cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, or for someone to make a film mocking the Prophet of Islam – being acceptable is not right. We can give you many more examples. But this is unacceptable.

This means that your battle is now based on a non-existent and non-realistic basis. This is not your reality, and we can come up with a list of how you behave on television, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations because they adopt, for example, certain ideas or broadcast certain programs. This is in the archives. This is first.

The other aspect, which is also important, is the discussion – is it true that you really possess this value in this manner? If we look at it from a humanitarian and moral perspective, is there such a thing as absolute freedom of expression? Meaning, isn’t there a limit? Why does freedom of expression cease to exist when it comes to anti-Semitism? When a person insults, exposes, and attributes lies and crimes to others, is this acceptable? You don’t have a problem with this in France and in Europe? Is it really like this?

Is this true? If a person publishes secrets and documents affecting national security under the rubric of freedom of expression, how do you deal with him? How do America and the West deal with him?

If someone said some things, announced some things, or wrote about matters that may lead to internal strife or a civil war or breach national security, how do you deal with him? Does freedom of expression end when someone’s dignity is on the line?

We wish and demand a reconsideration because this is not a humanitarian value. This is contrary to humanity. This is not a moral value. This is against morals and moral values. Therefore, it must be reconsidered.

I would like to conclude this part and this file. I would like to address the French authorities and tell them, today in the Islamic world no one is looking for new enmities or new battles, and I do not think that two billion Muslims think in this way.

On the contrary, Muslims are working to alleviate enmities in this world and keep the specter of wars away from them and confrontations they always pay the price for. You should think about dealing with this sin and this great mistake that has been committed.

I heard French officials saying that we do not submit to terrorism. It is not required that you submit to terrorism. You are required to fix the mistake, and addressing the mistake is not submitting to terrorism. On the contrary, insisting on a mistake and going into confrontations that do not serve anyone is submitting to terrorism. It is heeding to the demands of terrorism and terrorists who want to blow up all the squares in the world. You must go back to the source and address this mistake. This is not submitting to terrorism.

First of all, you are applying it incorrectly. Apply it correctly. Apply it to Muslims just as you would apply it to non-Muslims. Be fair and be just. Offending our dignities, the dignity of our prophets, and the dignity of our Prophet is something that no Muslim in the world can accept. I would like to clearly tell you – even if the political regimes in the Arab and Islamic world found excuses for their conspiracies, concessions, and betrayals, they will not be able to remain silent and cover up the insults before their people when it comes to offending their holy Prophet who is adored and respected by the people. Therefore, this battle that you insist on fighting is a lost cause.

What will happen to the political and economic interests of France and the French people as well as its relations with the peoples of the Islamic world if it continues on this path? This matter must be addressed, and you can find a solution for it. 

I conclude by saying that instead of dealing with the repercussions and mobilizing more soldiers and security services to prevent terrorist operations of this kind, address the root of the problem. Stop the excuses and treat the root of the problem. Do not allow this mockery, this aggression, and this insult to continue, then the whole world will stand with you.

In any case, terrorist acts are condemned as I said at the beginning, but it is your responsibility and everyone’s responsibility to address matters from their roots.

Here, it is possible to consider His Eminence the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar’s proposal that calls for an international legislation to prohibit this type of action which concerns Muslims and the Islamic nation. The same or similar wording can be adopted. For example, we can talk about adopting international legislation criminalizing the act of insulting the prophets and messengers, insulting divine religions, or insulting the sanctities of nations. Any form of this kind.

Of course, if an international legislation of this kind is adopted, this will form a legal ruler over freedom of expression and will create a way out for the French government and for all other governments that claim to preserve freedom of expression as being part of their values and laws.

A solution to this matter must be found. The world does not need any more problems, confrontations, and wars. It is not permissible to push the world and its people, especially our Islamic nation and the European countries that such positions, into confrontations and wars of this kind for the sake of trivial, absurd claims that lack any humane, moral, and legal grounds. The responsibility of dealing with it today lies primarily on the French authorities, and everyone must cooperate to address this file and put an end to this strife.
This was the first file. In the context of marking the birth of the noble Prophet and the massive crowds we saw yesterday in Yemen’s Sana’a and in a number of Yemeni cities and governorates, one cannot help but take note of this scene and its indications.

Despite the devastating war – when we say war, that means there is killing, wounding, displacement, and destruction of buildings that is now in its sixth year – despite the blockade, the starvation, difficult living conditions, outbreaks and diseases, and despite all these difficult circumstances, we find the masses gathering in Yemeni cities. For what? To commemorate the birth of the Messenger of God and to defend him. I would like to talk about this topic for a few minutes. 

In Lebanon and elsewhere, we know what it means when a country is in a state of war. There is the possibility of an aerial bombardment at any moment, and the aggression does not hesitate to kill civilians including men, women and children. Despite all the security, health, and environmental dangers as well as the state of war, these people come out to express their deep faith in the Messenger of God, their great love for the Messenger of God, and their unparalleled willingness to defend the dignity and honor of the Messenger of God. Is this not a sign, a strong message that all people must take note of?

First and foremost, I call on Muslims in the world who believe in this Prophet, respect, and adore him to take note of what we saw yesterday in Yemen. These people chant for hours, repeat songs and slogans, and listen to their dear leader, His Eminence Sayyed Abdul Malik Al Houthi, as he explained and clarified. In the conclusion, he affirmed that they stood firmly and categorically by the Palestinian cause and alongside the Palestinian people.

Take a look. The besieged Yemenis, the strangers in this world today, the ones being attacked, those who are fighting diseases, hunger, blockade, and all difficult circumstances do not resort to any excuse to abandon Palestine, the Palestinian cause, or the Palestinian people. They declare their determination and adherence to Palestine and the Palestinian cause and their defense of the Palestinian people.

In return, there are those who have luxury and affluence, those who are immersed in the pleasures of the world, who did not engage in a war with the “Israeli” enemy in the first place rush to abandon Palestine, recognize “Israel” and normalize with it. Is this not a divine argument?

They affirmed that they will stand by the countries, people, resistance movements, and the axis of resistance in the face of American and Zionist projects, even though they are in dire need for the world to stand beside them and defend them. Muslims and all peoples of our Arab and Islamic region and the world should retake note of what we saw and heard yesterday.

They should take note of it with a humanitarian, ethical, and religious background. I tell you today this is a new, divine, religious argument on all Arab and Islamic scholars, officials, leaders, elites and people all over the world. It is a new, divine argument for them to break their silence. Those who support this American-Saudi-Emirati and unfortunately, Sudanese aggression against the people of Yemen must withdraw this support.

And those who are still silent about this daily crime should break their silence. A large and powerful wave and movement must be formed in the Arab and Islamic worlds to put pressure on those leaders, the leaders of the aggression who insist on continuing the aggression and the war. This is the least thing we can do to show loyalty to them – the people of knowledge, the people who adore the Messenger of God, and the people defending the Messenger of God [PBUH].

It is time for this unjust and criminal war to stop. The greatest and most urgent duty today is to work on ending this war. The greatest thing a Muslim can offer on these days to the Messenger of God is to stand by those who deeply believe in him, those who love him with affection, those who defend him with their souls, blood, money, and children. This is also in the context of the commemoration.

Time is over. I, in fact, wanted to talk a little about the topic of normalization in the region, the land border demarcation negotiations with occupied Palestine, the security situation at the southern Lebanese border with occupied Palestine, the “Israeli” military maneuvers, and the general situation in Lebanon. But considering that the first file took a lot of the time allotted, God willing, I will deliver a speech on Martyrs’ Day on 11-11, the day commemorating Hezbollah’s martyr. Therefore, I will postpone these topics. I will only talk about the formation of the government in Lebanon.

Of course, we hope that the Prime Minister-designate, in cooperation and understanding with His Excellency the President of the Republic and in cooperation with the rest of the parliamentary blocs, will be able to form a new Lebanese government as soon as possible. Of course, everyone knows that the financial, economic, and social conditions in Lebanon cannot be managed and addressed without a government with legal powers. The caretaker government cannot continue, so we carry this hope.

Our data indicate that the atmosphere is reasonable, positive, and good. We do not want to exaggerate the positivity, but the atmosphere is reasonable. We will cooperate from our part and will facilitate in whatever way we can, God willing.

Much of what is reported in the media and in articles is not true. Some are not accurate, while others are baseless, especially with regard to our approach to forming the government.

God willing, we are positive, and we will remain positive. We will provide whatever help we can to aid the concerned officials in forming the government as soon as possible. We will not spare any effort in this regard, God willing, especially now. This is the real challenge.

Regarding the anniversary of the October 17 movement, what was awaiting the country, and what some people were expecting, God willing, if there was time, we will talk about it later.

It’s not the time to engage in disputes and quarrels. It’s time for understanding, cooperation, and openness to form a government, God willing.

I want to conclude by mentioning the dangerous rise in coronavirus cases. Now, we are recording 2000 cases. This is a very dangerous thing. At the beginning, people used to complain when the numbers hit the 60, 70, or 100 mark. Now, the numbers are hitting 1600 and 1800 cases, and we will be nearing 2000. You know the situation of the hospitals. The death toll is rising day by day, and it seems that many people have become accustomed to this situation and are coexisting with it.

I repeat and say that negligence is inhumane, immoral, and illegal. In the religious sense, it is a sin, and it is haram.

There are countries in the world today -since we were talking about France- that are heading into lockdowns, the same in Germany, in Spain, and in Italy. The Americans cannot see in front of them – there are 80 thousand or 90 thousand cases. Some people in the world are going mad, while others are opting for new measures.

We cannot continue in this way in Lebanon. It is not a matter of the Health Ministry, but rather the whole government, the whole country, scholars, religious authorities, political leaders, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, parents, brothers, sisters. It is a humanitarian responsibility that concerns everyone. Everyone should wear masks, adhere to social distancing, and sanitize. These measures reduce the dangers of getting infected. Lockdowns that cause people to lose their jobs and starve are not the only solution. Coexistence is possible by adhering to the measures.

I would like to call on people once again and I will never tire because it is my legal, moral, religious, and humanitarian responsibility as well as the responsibility of each and every one of us to commit while we call on others to commit [to the health measures]. Otherwise, we are heading towards a very dangerous path at the health level that requires a major cry in the country and dissatisfaction with the existing reality.

I ask God to protect everyone, heal everyone, and guard everyone with his eye that does not sleep. Once again, I congratulate you on the birth of the Master of Messengers and the Seal of the Prophets Abi Al-Qassem Muhammad bin Abdullah. I ask God to make us among those who believe in him, his lovers, and those who are following on his path and are committed to his teachings. May He grant us his intercession on the Day of Resurrection and put us with him and never separate us from him in this life and in the Hereafter. May He allow us to mark this occasion again with goodness, blessing, victory, peace, and health. Many happy returns. Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you.

Disbelief in human rationality; The Trump Factor

November 08, 2020

Disbelief in human rationality; The Trump Factor

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

Disbelief is probably the best word to describe today’s world. Disbelief that in the short span of my own lifetime thus far, I have lived to witness black whitewashed to become white, and when it doesn’t turn white, brains are brainwashed to see it white.

In am in disbelief that the political Left that I have grown to choose to either like or dislike is now owned and controlled by Western billionaires and oligarchs who have turned developing countries into slave labour camps.

I am in disbelief that the former promise of liberalism has been turned by the new-Left to become a mass movement that is devoid of free-thinking, one that literally coerces one to unconditionally accept it and follow its agenda without any questions or else face persecution, humiliation and slander.

Love or hate Castro and Guevara, I am in total disbelief that their political heirs, as it were, are Greta Thunberg, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the main benefactor of whom is George Soros; just to name a few.

I am in disbelief that decent people have condoned violent protests and looting and considered them as rightful civil rights activities.

I am in total disbelief that rudeness, thought-policing, political correctness, hypocrisy and double standards have become the new norms.

And now that Biden has illegally declared himself a winner, I am in disbelief that many of his supporters do not seem to care as to whether or not he has indeed committed electoral fraud or not despite allegations that indicate that ballots might have been fiddled with and which at least warrants an investigation. They seem happy to get rid of Trump even if this meant that fraud was actually committed.

I am in disbelief that world leaders are breaking the standards of political protocol and congratulating Biden before he is formally declared a winner.

I am in disbelief that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are allowed to censor personal opinion and make their own rules on what constitutes freedom of expression and what doesn’t. Even more, I am in disbelief that those giants are free to decide to ban publishing reports about allegations of corruption in the Biden family camp because they have not been legally and formally substantiated, but at the same time promote and publish unsubstantiated accusations about Trump and his supporters.

I am in disbelief that it became illegal to prescribe and sell hydroxychloroquine even though there are indications that it can treat COVID-19.

I am in disbelief that intelligent, well-meaning people, including many personal friends have believed the myriad of unsubstantiated stories that have been fabricated about Trump ever since he was elected. I am in disbelief that they believed in the Russiagate fiasco and that upon reflection did not feel any remorse when they were proved to be a lie. I am in disbelief that those who fabricated the story were not prosecuted.

I am in disbelief that the BLM movement appears to blame Trump for centuries of racial injustice in America. I am in disbelief that those same people do not look at Obama’s track record on race issues.

I am in disbelief that many mature and intelligent men and women believe that Greta is an expert on climate all the while ignoring what many eminent scientists are saying to the contrary. I am in disbelief that Trump is blamed for that so-called ‘Climate Change’ and that Biden truly believes that he is able to reach zero CO2 emission.

When I was growing up, reform and justice meant iconic issues such as freedom of worship, free speech, free education and medication. I am in disbelief to see that the new definition has morphed into the ‘rights’ of late term abortion and school children having gender change surgeries.

I am in disbelief that the same West that once mocked the use of the term ‘democratic’ in the rhetoric of the USSR and the names of entities like the German Democratic Republic finds itself at ease kicking democracy in the guts and have the so-called American Democratic Party ruled by a new ‘species’ of dictators and thugs.

I am in disbelief that the new definition of being progressive does not include decency and respect and that parents no longer teach their children simple rules like giving up their bus seats to the elderly.

I am in disbelief that the impact of COVID-19 and ‘alleged’ loss of life was blamed on Trump. I say ‘alleged’ loss of life not because I believe that the virus does not exist; it does, but because I have seen enough evidence to substantiate that the figures we have been presented with were highly exaggerated and that many people died of causes other than COVD-19 but were counted as COVID-19 victims; just to make Trump look bad. To this effect, if Trump does initiate a court challenge to the election results and loses, then all that Biden has to do is to start publishing the real figures of deaths caused by COVID-19, and that alone will make him look like a hero who managed to turn around the figures.

I must say that as a Syrian-Lebanese, Trump has been horrible for Syria. He did not manage to contain Erdogan. He sanctioned the theft of Syrian oil. He allowed for Syrian crops to be burnt. He intensified sanctions against Syria with his Caesar Act. For the above and other reasons, Syrians should be rejoicing to see him leave even though Biden and his team of Democrats have been beating the drums of war, but if they draw first blood, it will be a war they cannot win. In more ways than one, a military escalation in Syria now, one that does not expand to become an all-out war between America and Russia, may break the stalemate and create the foreground for moving forward in a new direction. In other words, as far as Syria is concerned, Biden can inadvertently be a better president than Trump. Time will tell.

I therefore have real, concrete and thought-out reasons to dislike Trump and even loath him. But I find myself in total disbelief when I ask many people the reason, the real reason, for which they hate Trump; they are unable to provide a single one. Some revert to his looks and/or his vocabulary, but come on, is this enough for them to hate him with the passion they do? I am in disbelief that they echo like parrots the words of the media, knowing from previous experiences that the only thing that the media is good at is lying. I am in disbelief that seemingly rational people are increasingly finding it easy and plausible for them to adopt very strong views, make loud and uncouth comments, without taking the effort of fact-finding.

I am in disbelief that the moment one speaks of fact-finding-based rationality, he/she is either ‘accused’ of being a Trumpie or a denialist. You are either 100% with them or against them. I am in disbelief that they do not see the grey lines in any given argument.

The perception of Trump by the world reminds me of that of President Assad in the Arab World a bit; not that a real comparison can be drawn between the two men. Many Arabs who hate Assad cannot provide one single legitimate reason for hating him, but when squeezed in a corner, they admit that they dislike him because he is an Alawite.

The planners of the anti-Trump campaign have worked very hard in order to demonize him and create a multi-faceted global anti-Trump hysteria. They planned to put together a coalition of haters of different persuasions united only by their hatred to Trump; again in a manner akin to how the ‘War on Syria’ started.

The public both within America and abroad has been bombarded with stories about Trump, portraying him as the public enemy number one at different levels and on many issues.

The Chinese have a great interest to see Trump go because Trump is a tough trade deal negotiator.

The EU nations, and NATO members to be specific, also have a great interest to see Trump go because he forced them to make larger contributions to the NATO budget.

And even though Trump canceled the Iran nuclear deal, endorsed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and facilitated peace settlements with three Arab states, the Israelis have no qualms about seeing Trump go because they know for a fact that Biden will not waver in his support to Israel. To Israel and the Israel lobby, the identity of the resident of the White House is totally immaterial.

Erdogan will be happy to see Trump go because he knows that Biden will be a much softer putty to mould. Biden is more than likely to give him a free hand dealing with the Kurds than Trump ever did.

The huge American industrialists and globalists will be happy to see Trump go because they do not wish to repatriate their factories and create American jobs. They do not want to pay higher salaries and higher taxes. They are totally indifferent as to how far and wide the rust belt expands; for as long as their companies are making profit having factories overseas.

Big Pharma is keen to see Trump go because it is tipped to make hundreds of billions of dollars selling vaccines.

Last but not least, the Deep State wishes for Trump to go. No former American President has ever dared to even mention the term ‘Deep State’ let alone take charge against it. I find myself in a state of disbelief because the alleged foot soldiers who are meant to stand up against the ‘Deep State’, ie the Left, are the ones taking charge against Trump. Work this one out.

Even the old guards at the GOP, the Republican Party are against Trump; because they are part-and-parcel of the Deep State, they have their fingers in the pie, and Trump does not represent them. In reality, in both of his election and re-election bids, Trump ran more like an independent than a GOP candidate. History will possibly mark him as the American President who was closest to being an independent candidate.

With all of the above said, I can fully understand why some have good reasons to dislike Trump and even hate him, and as mentioned above, I can have my own reasons. I can equally understand why some can be shortsighted enough to wish to see him go without giving much thought to who is to replace him. But for anyone to believe that Joe Biden is the man to restore America’s position in the world and make the world a better place, than unsubstantiated wishful thinking is the most polite manner to describe such aspirations.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the world is undergoing an inevitable polar shift and this is now unstoppable. The West is losing its technical edge and financial prowess as both are moving east. And even if Trump wins his touted court battle and is declared a winner, changes the constitution and gets re-elected for ten more terms, he will not be able to reverse this torrent even if the Democrats worked wholeheartedly with him.

If Biden ends up in the White House, he may and probably will attempt to gain initial support by publishing real COVID-19 death related figures as mentioned above. But what will he be able to conjure up in order to be able to save face when it comes to public debt, unemployment and other huge problems that America and the rest of the world face?

The cracks within America are sadly widening and the underlying foundations are crumbling, and if Biden is foolish enough to take the war gamble as a way out of the financial dilemma that he will have to deal with if he becomes president and squanders a few more trillion on a new war somewhere in the world, he will hasten the financial collapse. If he warms up to China and escalates his anti-Russian rhetoric to the extent of creating war with Russia, then God help us all. I suppose Greta and her minions will blame Russia for the nuclear fallout, provided that any of them and us will still be around to talk about it.

Whether Trump stays or goes, he has definitely and inadvertently accelerated the events in the age of disbelief. The word disbelief was once associated with heresy, but now, at least in my dictionary, it refers to the disbelief in the current state of human rationality.

I can go on and on but enough is said. With all the above reasons to have disbelief, I wonder if there is still any benefit in writing articles like this one and trying to talk people into having some common sense.

The world is quickly and steadfastly approaching a rather frightening stage of mass hysteria of Biblical proportions. Rational people now feel that they are surrounded by lunatics, and yet some say we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’.

May God have mercy on humanity, because humanity did not have mercy on itself.

FRANCE’S WAHABI SECULARISTS (READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE, IT’S VERY INFORMATIVE)

On October 29, 2020

In BlogLetters To FinkelsteinNews.

Dear Professor,

I hope everything is fine with you.

I just read your piece on Freedom of Speech & Holocaust Denial. It was like a breath of fresh air in the putrid atmosphere choking us around here. I don’t think you follow the situation in France, but things are crazier than ever since the gruesome murder of a teacher, Samuel Paty. In the name of Free Speech –because the only country criminalizing the slightest questioning of the Holocaust’s official version thinks he’s the world leader in this area– all Muslims are now explicitly branded as fair game, and the public debate revolves around Charlie Hebdo’s pornography and the alleged courage & wisdom it takes to publish their hateful caricatures or show them in class to 13 years-old pupils, many of them Muslims.

Let me fill you up with the details as they unfolded. 

In the first days of October, in a Middle school located in the Paris suburb, a History-Geography teacher showed Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet to his 13-years-old pupils in a Moral & Civic class devoted to Free Speech. A pupil and her father denounced it on Facebook videos, stating that the following had happened:

The teacher told his pupils that he was about to show some depictions of the Prophet that might shock some of them. Before doing so, either he asked the Muslims in the classroom to identify themselves and get out, or merely allowed them to do so. Most of the Muslim pupils got out, but this particular girl chose to stay and then protested against this outrageous display. One of those drawings was among the most offensive ones, showing the Prophet totally naked in a lascivious position, zooming on his hairy testicles & dripping penis, and depicting his anus as the Islamic five pointed star, with the legend “A star is born”. The pupil claimed that she got expelled 2 days for refusing to leave the room that day. The father denounced this teacher online as a “thug” who “ought to educate himself before educating others”, and called on people to protest by contacting the Middle School, giving its address and the name of the teacher. He said he was submitting the case to the CCIF, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France. He also went to the police and filed a complaint for display of pornographic images to children (rightly so in my eyes, there is no other way to put it).

Later it was said that this particular pupil wasn’t even in class that day, and that she was expelled from the school for 2 days for other (unspecified) reasons. But the teacher’s account to the police is roughly the same as to what happened, and he just denied having asked Muslims pupils to identify themselves or go out, saying he only suggested those who might be shocked to look away. He filed a complaint against the father for defamation.

The case got some attention on social media. From here, I suppose that the murderer, an 18-years-old of Chechen background living 50 miles away, saw the case online and decided to come and kill the teacher. On the afternoon of October 16th, he went to the school and asked some pupils to show him the teacher, paying them to do so according to the police (they are now indicted for complicity in the murder, though they had no way to imagine he intended to kill him). He followed him as he was going home and murdered him. He beheaded him and posted the severed head on Twitter with this message: “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. From Abdullah, the Servant of Allah, To Marcon, the leader of the infidels, I executed one of your hell dogs who dared to belittle Muhammed (peace be upon him), calm his fellows before you are inflicted harsh punishment.” 

Police found him right after the killing and as he refused to surrender and “opened fire” (with an “Airsoft gun”, as the media puts it, instead of using the much more common “soft ball gun”), they killed him.

From here, the collective anti-Islam hysteria reached new depths. News shows are awash with hatred against Muslims (most of the time, only the right, far right and extreme right are seen debating on BFM and CNews, our CNN & Fox News channels), the Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet are shown on TV (though the most offensive one shown by the teacher is rarely to be seen), cities project some on buildings, and the government wages war on the most prominent Muslim organizations, branding them as “enemies of the Republic” and vowing to banish them for the most preposterous reasons (anonymous comments on social network mentioning them, etc.). A mosque that merely shared the father’s original video is already shut down.

The police arrested the father and another man who denounced the case online –as well as the killer’s family and some pupils–, indicting them for complicity of murder & terrorism (while only defamation seems relevant if they indeed lied). Macron came to the place of the killing right away and made a fiery speech, vowing that “They shall not pass” –a few weeks ago he had devoted a whole speech to denounce “Islamic Separatism” and vowing to reform it (a project Law against Separatism was rebranded Law for Secularism for fear of being censored by the Constitutionnal Council, as had happened shortly before with the Avia Law against online hatred that was rejected as violating free speech, as it was forcing websites to preventive censorship of all suspected contents). Our Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin (accused of rape & abuse of a vulnerable person: he asked for sexual favours in exchange for providing social housing to a woman in need when he was mayor; despite multiple blowjobs, she never got the house), vowed to dissolve 51 Muslim organizations, including mosques, private schools, a Charity called Baraka City, and the CCIF, merely because it was mentioned by the father in the video. It’s a real crackdown against Muslims, linked or not to the case. Darmanin clearly said that Police operations have been launched against “dozens of individuals” who are not “necessarily linked to the investigation but to whom we want to send a message”. Here is the reaction of VIGI, a very tiny & marginal Police Union (most cops are with the fascist Union “Alliance”): “We are not thugs who pass a ‘message’, at the request of a mafia godfather, but law enforcement police, dear @GDarmanin. The nuance is important.

Darmanin went as far as saying that he is shocked that supermarkets have shelves with exotic food, thus shaping a new concept: culinary separatism. I didn’t believe it at first. Things got so far it’s hard to tell between the real news and satire. 

What happens with the Collective Against Islamophobia, is revealing: simply because they were mentioned and informed of the case by this angry father, the government wants them banned. It’s an all-out, blind witch-hunt, chasing any display of Islam. It’s like they are encouraging terrorists by blocking the way to any kind of defense or legal complaints in cases of Islamophobia. The far right coined a nice concept years ago, “judiciary djihad”, but now it has gone mainstream. If you kill you are a terrorist. No problem with that. But even if you protest legally and file a complaint to the police, you are a djihadist & complicit of murder. If you denounce something online, it means you called for violence, even if you didn’t, so you’re still an “online terrorist”, the “intellectual author” of a future crime. The media & government clearly denounced the two men who went online with the case as being complicit with the terrorist, without any proof whatsoever (“The video was made to lead to something violent”, claimed the Education Minister, as if he was the public prosecutor). I guess following this logic, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists could be indicted as well, if the one making things public is responsible for any reaction of any madman. I’m sure that if you were French, your own article comparing Charlie Hebdo to Der Sturmer would have gotten you into trouble.

And don’t dare criticize the police. The Interior Minister himself filed a complaint for defamation against an obscure, anonymous blogger who denounced the systematic killing of terror suspects even when they pose no threat (the murderer was on foot and had a knife and toy gun, clearly identified as such by the police officers who surrounded him before the shooting began; he was riddled with 9 bullets, and killed -or “neutralized” as the bashful media put it- as he laid on the ground, Elor Azaria style). 

The irony is that the murderer had the status of political refugee (he came with his family from Chechnya at 6 years-old). And some of his tweets simulating a decapitation were signaled months ago to the authorities who did nothing and didn’t even have him on their radar (I guess they’re too busy tracking Unionists, bloggers & Muslim charities), so it’s a clear fiasco for the Interior Minister. Our government is allied with the beheaders of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia & creates and supports terrorists everywhere, from Afghanistan to Chechnya to Libya to Syria to Yemen. In 2013 our Foreign Minister Fabius famously said that “Al-Nosra does a good job in Syria”, when he was protesting the US decision to brand them as terrorists. And when these terrorists come back home and attack the wrong innocents, they pin the blame on the main victims of the West’s plots, Islam and Muslims, before anyone can blame them. The Yellow Vests & awful management of the pandemic made them the most unpopular government in France’s history, and their last hope before the next elections is to capitalize on the tragedy and steal electors from the racist Far Right whose anti-Islam, anti-Immigration speech is now mainstream.

Thank God it’s holidays. Blanquer, the Education Minister, is preparing a “strong, powerful and strict educational framework” for November 2, when pupils will get back to school. Will he make the Charlie Hebdo pictures mandatory? We can’t rule out anything with such a world-class opportunist (in 2007, when Sarkozy was campaigning and cozying up with the UOIF, a Muslim’s organization, Blanquer kicked out a prefet, Alain Morvan, because he was delaying the construction of a Muslim school out of security & extremism concerns), considered as the grave-digger of what remains of school and teachers’ status and rights (for one, they have no right to express themselves, and can be disciplined for online comments or strikes). This man casually wears the kippa in the synagogue, along with all the government, but publicly said that the Islamic veil “is not desired” not only at school but in any part of society because of “what it says about women”. Funny conception of secularism that allows him to have the final word about what a religious item means. Blanquer also denounced the “ravages” of “Islamo-leftism” in Universities, in the student’s Union UNEF (I guess it’s because their spokesperson, a French-born convert, wears the Islamic veil) and teacher’s radical Union SUD, and in the France Insoumise, Mélenchon’s leftist political party allied with the Communist party, the only strong opposition besides Marine Le Pen’s neo-fascist far right: just because the left denounces Islamophobia, they are explicitly accused of paving the way for the terrorists (“These people favor an ideology which then, ultimately, leads to the worst.” Blanquer said.)

Even a Teacher’s Union, published a Charlie Hebdo caricature and called on teachers to use them in class, and all High Schools will have books devoted to them. It’s insane: do they want to make out of schools, supposedly neutral and peaceful, a violent battlefield? Given the racism & islamophobia of many teachers, many zealots will certainly show the Prophet’s pictures to their pupils, even in places with a majority of Muslims, and it’s asking for trouble. Here is how Pierre Tevanian, a  High School Philosophy teacher, rare drop of wisdom in an ocean of madness, put it:

Then, just a few days after the terrible attack, without any consultation on the ground with the concerned profession (i.e. teachers), there was astonishing news in the press (that’s how we got the information, as usual): all the Regional Councils of France have decided to distribute a “collection of caricatures” (we do not know which ones) in all High Schools. “If one has to give his blood. Go give yours”, says the song. So let these elected officials go and distribute their little Republican Bibles themselves in the markets. But no: it is our own blood, shitty little teachers, despised, underpaid, insulted for years, that must be shed, it was decided in high places. And possibly the blood of our pupils as well.

Because we have to face the facts: if this information is confirmed, and if we accept this role of heroes and martyrs of a power that plays little tin soldiers with teachers and pupils of flesh and blood, we officially become the preferred target of terrorist groups. To an enemy which functions, in its choice of targets and in its political communication, only with challenge, symbol and the invocation of the honor of the Prophet, our leaders answer in full irresponsibility by challenge, symbol, and targeting the image of the Prophet. What should we expect? Are we ready for it? I am not.

All this is done in the name of Free Speech, Secularism & the Republic’s values. While Jules Ferry, the father of the so-called “Republican School” (and godfather of French colonialism and theory of “superior races having the duty to civilize inferior races”), stated in a famous “Letter to teachers” in 1883, about Civic and Moral classes (the very one Samuel Paty chose to illustrate with Charlie Hebdo):

If at times you were embarrassed to know how far you are allowed to go in your moral education, here is a rule of thumb that you can stick to: before offering your students any precept, any maxim, ask yourself: Is there, to your knowledge, only one honest man who could be offended by what you are about to say? Ask yourself if a father, I say only oma single one, present in your class and listening to you, could in good faith refuse his assent to what he hears you say. If so, refrain from saying it; if not, speak boldly, because what you are going to communicate to the child is not your own wisdom, it is the wisdom of the human race, it is one of those ideas of a universal order that several centuries of civilization have made part of the heritage of humanity. However narrow such a circle of action thus drawn may seem to you, make it a point of honor to never go beyond it, to stay within this limit rather than expose yourself to crossing it; you’ll never touch with too much scruple this delicate and sacred thing, which is the conscience of the child.

I can’t believe I miss this reactionary imperialist.

“Fear is going to change side… Islamists won’t sleep peacefully” said Macron. Since “Islamists” clearly means “Muslims”, he nailed it all right. My wife is afraid to go out with her hijab, especially after she heard that two Muslim women were savagely attacked next to the Eiffel Tower and stabbed a dozen times shortly after Samuel Paty’s murder. First the mainstream media ignored it completely, and it was only seen on militant social media –because Muslims cannot but be the aggressors. Then the main media outlets mentioned it as semi-fake news, denying the attack had anything to do with the women’s hijab. Then when the police opened a case for aggravated racist aggression, they were forced to accept the fact reluctantly (and without apologies, of course).

We’ll see what happens in November. I am really worried. I hope for the best but try to prepare for the worst.

Best,

SH

PS: Here are a few examples of the constant hatred heard on TV:

A BFM TV anchor deplored that he didn’t see many Muslims at the funeral of Samuel Paty, as if they all had visible features like beards and veils or represented more than 10% of the population; if they had come ostensibly anyway, it would’ve been denounced as a provocation, as happened with Muslims (veiled women) or pro-Muslims (UNEF members) who were insulted for their presence.

Eric Ciotti, official from the right party Les Républicains, said that the Islamic veil is a weapon, and that bearing arms should be forbidden to Islamists. Thus the veil is to be banned altogether. CQFD.

Ivan Rioufol, far-right columnist, stated about the Covid-19 that he is sick of hearing alarming news about the health situation, and that we should stop scaring people for nothing –after all, it’s merely a life-and-death matter– and care about what really matters, meaning France’s cultural death. Better dead than “colonized”!

Elisabeth Levy, far right anchor in Cnews, said that Muslim women should stop wearing the veil for 1 week to pay tribute to Samuel Paty.

Manuel Valls, former Interior Minister and Prime Minister, said that France should’t be afraid to trample on the rule of law and the European Convention on Human rights. “We are in a state of war. Now is the time to act, strike”, he said. Indeed, there is such a thing as blasphemy in European law, and France know they’ll be condemned if the case gets there. So they speak of forgetting the rule of law and forbidding Muslims’ legal defense groups like CCIF.

Marine Le Pen said the hijab should be forbidden everywhere, and that any person suspected of radicalism and holding 2 nationalities should lose his French nationality right away, without any kind of judicial procedure. However, it is known that Police’s files on terror suspects (“fiches S” as they call them) are merely a tool, encompassing the most innocent (like someone not shaking hands with women) and the most dangerous (like having fought with Jihadis in Syria) forms of radicalism, and often targets Unionists and bloggers.

Among the many questions of the TV debates, there was the expulsion of all women wearing the hijab (not only from schools & administration jobs, but also from universities, public places, streets and the country altogether), the forfeiture of nationality for those wearing it who would be French, the reopening of the “convicts penal colony” “in the Kerguelen Islands”, the reinstatement of the death penalty, and finally the “criminalization” of all conservative Muslim ideologies, “not only jihadism but also Islamism”.

Etc, etc.

PPS : Here are some pictures / cartoons I am sure no teacher will show his pupils, except if he wants to be disciplined (or indicted for apology of terror & incitement… against Charlie Hebdo!):

THE AYLAN KURDI CASE & CHARLIE HEBDO’S REACTION

Proof that Europe is Christian: Christians walk on water, Muslims drown

He was so close… Mc Donald’s discount: 2 children’s meal for the price of 1

Migrants: What would Aylan have grown up to be? A sexual harasser in Germany.

OTHER CASES OF RACISM & HATRED

In 2015, a French teenager who posted the picture on the right was indicted for apology of terror.

UNEF’s spokesperson, Myriam Pougetoux, shown as an animal.

Simona Halep, Roma winner of Roland Garros, shown yelling “scrap metal, scrap metal” (because the Roma are metal-stealers, it’s well-known)

Boko Haram sexual slaves shown yelling for their welfare pension for children

Macron saying he didn’t care about Islamic veil, while the “Islamic Republic” is in marchCARICATURES AGAINST CHARLIE HEBDO

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