Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed

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)
In this photo from the Twitter page of the Nashville Fire Department, damage is seen on a street after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee on December 25, 2020.

by Ramin Mazaheri  and crossposted with The Saker

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV’s.)

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) 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 entire world breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out that the alleged Nashville, Tennessee, bomber was not a Muslim – now nobody can get dragooned into supporting yet another war on a Muslim-majority country.

Isn’t it spectacular how after 9/11 the US impressed almost the entire West into never-ending military service? Western piracy in Afghanistan continues today; Iraq was reduced to shambles; France used the ruse to invade Mali, the Central African Republic and to create a roving “anti-terrorist” force across the entire Sahel; Libya is no longer really a nation; Syria stands despite all the money, guns, terrorists and concrete fortifications the West could muster. I am probably missing some others.

It was true that in the years after 9/11 Muslims silently held their breath when they heard about a terrorist attack, but after 20 years and so many bombs, drones and assassinations it’s abundantly clear that Muslims are not the aggressor nor the transgressor: The pointed finger alleging cultural failure was clearly a false accusation.

The question Muslims now often feel confident enough to ask non-Muslims in public is, “What did Islam ever have to do with terrorism, anyway?” The answer is the same as it was on 9/12/01: “Nothing”.

The Nashville bombing occurred on Christmas day – maybe this was an act of “Christian terrorism”?

The sad irony is that many Christians will flinch at such a term because they view “Christianity” and “terrorism” as being total opposites. Do such persons realise that Muslims view joining “Islam” to “terrorism” also creates an oxymoron? Muslims and Christians should permanently unite around this concept: the sadness of feeling totally misunderstood when the word “terrorism” is affixed to either religion. The only barrier to this is the Islamophobic nonsense which pours out of the West’s chattering classes.

Terrorism is always defined as violence which has a political motive. Was the Nashville bombing, allegedly caused by Anthony Warner, terrorism? We don’t know at this point, so it’s wrong to call it terrorism.

Some report that Warner was paranoid about the effects of the new 5G technology – that seems rather more social than political.

There are unproven accusations that Warner was bombing storage facilities used by the voting machine company Dominion, which is being sued for allegations of vote tampering – if proven to be true then it’s possible this was a political act. It’s looking like Joe Biden will prevail in the still-disputed US presidential election, but is Warner the advance scout of a battalion of right-wing, pro-Trump terrorists which the US media warned about so hysterically in 2020? Considering how insistently they promoted anti-Trumpism and the fear of right-wing violence, it’s surprising that US media hasn’t immediately called Warner a “post-Trumpian terrorist”?

Maybe they will get there, but what this unfortunate episode can teach us is that the West rushes to demonise Muslim citizens and the teachings of Islam whenever they think they have an opportunity to do so. If Warner had been a Muslim there would have been an unjournalistic rush to judgment by Western media that Nashville was undoubtedly an act of – ugh – “Islamic terrorism”.

It’s unfortunate that Islam is so easily slandered in the West, but the problem to discuss here is not religious misunderstanding but reactionary political thought: Islam is slandered so easily precisely in order to create false justifications for the West’s endless imperialist wars in the oil-rich, Israel-surrounding Muslim World.

In the Western world talking of “imperialism” is (incredibly, to me) denigrated as anachronistic, eccentric and unrealistic. It’s not even taken seriously – if I was writing about transgender bathrooms I would be taken infinitely more seriously, and that is no exaggeration. And yet, doesn’t using the lens of imperialism explain the very different US media treatment for Anthony Warner as opposed to “Omar” Warner?

After all, who can the US media suggest we invade as a result of Warner’s alleged act? Which culture can be insulted and ordered to change at the point of a spear? How can Americans feel a misguided sense of superiority – which helps deflect from their ever-increasing inequality, poverty and socioeconomic instability – when Warner’s culture is their own?

And thus Warner is getting treated far more sympathetically than any Muslim menace to society, even though Warner is no more human.

I do not begrudge sympathy for Warner: The unpredictable actions of severely mentally ill people often have devastating consequences on people, and this is an unfortunate part of life and must be discussed.

What I do point out is that, for example, in the majority of France’s terror attacks following Charlie Hebdo’s publication of pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad the attacker was also just another mentally-ill person, and not some political mastermind and zealot. I covered these attacks year after year and the perpetrators always fell into one of two categories: the largest was mental illness, while the smaller grouping were political (not religious) terrorists who – without fail – expressly said their attacks were retribution for France’s many imperialist attacks on Muslim countries.

The problem in the world today is not religious – as the West and Israel asserts – but political, as the developing world asserts.

But – as the four-year “daily cultural insanity” of the Trump era proves – the US is incapable of discussing political nuance intelligently and without resorting to hyperbolic slander or wild-eyed absurdities. This explains why if Anthony Warner had been a Muslim the violence would have undoubtedly been declared “terrorism”, immediately – I am referring to endemic American political hysteria of the “other”.  

I am not here to complain – as a professional wordsmith often pedantically does – about the misuse of words and the confusion caused by refusing to abide by established definitions. Instead, I am suggesting that non-Muslims in the West should wake up to just how easily they are intellectually manipulated when it comes to any violence which employs something more brutal than a handgun: Had Warner been a Muslim Americans and Westerners would have shouted at to maintain their awful, destructive and immoral two-decade long war posture towards Muslims and Islam.

When there are acts of political terrorism, the West needs to examine the politics behind it and make sure their politics are just. When there are acts of violence, just because a Muslim was the perpetrator doesn’t make it political. However, in the identity politics-obsessed West, it seems one is always defined solely by his or her tribe and is never just another son or daughter of Adam.

“Anthony” or “Omar” shouldn’t make a difference to you but it certainly does, depending on where you live: manipulative Islamophobia may have sent your children off to die in hopeless wars, gutted your individual political rights and caused you to see anyone with a different political view as your lifelong enemy.


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قراءة في كلمة الرئيس بشار الأسد في مشاركته في الاجتماع الدوري لوزارة الأوقاف في سورية

زياد حافظ

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استوقفنا عنوانان في الصفحة الأولى لصحيفة «واشنطن بوست» الأميركية الصادرة في 8 كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2020: العنوان الأول: «الإنجيليون يسيّرون ترامب ما يعني فشل الدين»، والعنوان الثاني: «شرعنة المخدرات». العنوانان يمثلان الذهنية القائمة في الولايات المتحدة عند النخب وخاصة عند من يسوّق لليبرالية. وهذا الموضوع بالذات تناوله رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية الدكتور بشار الأسد في كلمته لمجمع العلماء والعالمات (التشديد على العالمات كان من الرئيس السوري) في افتتاحية الاجتماع الدوري لوزارة الأوقاف. لم يكن المقصود الردّ على ما أتت به الصحيفة لأنّ كلامه سبق ما صدر فيها بل لأنه ربط الموقف السياسي بالبعد الثقافي والمجتمعي لما يمثّله الدين بشكل عام والإسلام بشكل خاص والعروبة والعلاقة بينهما واللغة العربية والقضايا المرتبطة بكلّ ذلك في السجالات التي تدور في الفضاء الثقافي. فلماذا نعتبر كلمة الرئيس في غاية الأهمية في هذه الظروف ومن خلال المنصة التي اختارها؟

السبب الأول هو أنه لأول مرّة نشهد مقاربة من شخص يعتلي أعلى موقف في المسؤولية السياسية أيّ الحكم ويقدّم مقاربة حول ترابط العديد من القضايا الثقافية الفكرية بالسلوك الفردي والجماعي وبالسياسة وبشكل دقيق يتجاوز تعداد العناوين العريضة. فالمواضيع التي تناولها الرئيس بشار الأسد تشمل السياسة والثقافة والدين والمجتمع والفكر كما طرح الإشكاليات المتعدّدة وكيف تنعكس على السياسة. ولم يكتف الرئيس بالتوصيف والتشريح بل رسم الخطوط العريضة لمعالجة الإشكاليات التي تكلّم عنها وجميعها تستحق النقاش المعمّق. وبالتالي أن تأتي هذه المقاربة عن مسؤول يعني أنّ القيادة لمشروع عربي نهضوي موجودة في أعلى هرم المسؤولية وأنّ التجدّد الحضاري هو سينتج عن المقاربات التي يقوم بها المجتمع العربي والإسلامي لكافة قضايا العصر. هذه النقطة في رأينا في بالغ الأهمية خاصة وأنّ الأمة مستهدفة بكلّ ما يكوّنها من مجتمع ودولة وثقافة وحضارة وخاصة في ما يتعلّق بالدين واللغة والموروث الحضاري والفكري. فالحروب التي شُنّت على هذه الأمة منذ قرون عديدة ما زالت قائمة ولم تفلح حتى الآن في محو هذه القوّة الذاتية التي تقاوم الاحتلال والاغتراب.

السبب الثاني هو أنّ الكلمة أتت دون قراءة لنصّ ما وبتسلسل ما يدلّ على عمق الاستيعاب لمجمل القضايا الشائكة وبالتالي تسكنه. كما أنّ إشاراته المتعدّدة لوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وما يدور من سجالات فيها يدلّ على أنه ليس منقطعاً عن واقع المجتمع. بعض القضايا التي عرضها كالهجوم على القرآن الكريم كالوصف بأنه منتوج سرياني هو هجوم موجود في تلك وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وقد اطّلعنا عليها. وفي هذه الكلمة عبّر الرئيس عن قناعات عميقة يستطيع المرء من خلالها فهم كيفية التفكير وكيفية المقاربة وبالتالي المواقف التي يتخذها. فهي إحدى المفاتيح لقراءة تفكيره ومواقفه والضوابط والخطوط الحمر التي لن يتجاوزها. فالعروبة خط أحمر وليس شعاراً بل ممارسة لهوية جامعة.

السبب الثالث هو أنّ جوهر كلمة الرئيس السوري يجسّد أدبيات التيّار العروبي الواسع والموجود في مخرجات المؤتمر القومي العربي ومنشورات مركز دراسات الوحدة العربية. وهذا ليس مستغرباً أن يكون كذلك الأمر في سورية وقيادتها بل هو أمر طبيعي بينما العكس لن يكون ذلك، أيّ أن يكون على قمة الهرم السياسي في سورية إلاّ من يجسّد الروح العروبية. فهذه هي سورية قلب العروبة النابض والتي استهدفها العدوان الكوني عليها خشية من تلك العروبة. ويأتي كلام الرئيس ليحسم فكرياً وسياسياً جدلاً عبثياً في الفضاء الفكري والسياسي حول العلاقة بين العروبة والإسلام. فالعديد من المثقفين العرب حاولوا في مراحل مختلفة وضع العروبة في وجه الإسلام كما حاولوا تسويق الهويات الفرعية على حساب الهوية الجامعة. فجاء كلام الرئيس السوري ليدحض كلّ ذلك ويعتبر ألّا تناقض بين هوية العائلة والقبيلة والمدينة والمنطقة والإقليم مع الهوية العربية الجامعة لكلّ تلك المكوّنات. وهذا هو متن الخطاب العروبي للمؤتمر القومي العربي ومن يؤمن بالمشروع النهضوي العربي. فهذه العروبة الجامعة تحلّ المشكلة المصطنعة للأقلّيات التي أدخلتها الحقبة الاستعمارية منذ القرن التاسع عشر.

هذه الملاحظات تستدعي التوقف عند النقاط العديدة التي أثارها الرئيس في حديثه إلى مجمع العلماء والعالمات كما شدّد في بداية كلمته. والنقاط العديدة أثيرت في سياق خط بياني واضح. فالحرب التي تخوضها سورية حرب متعدّدة الأوجه منها ما يمسّ بتماسك المجتمع ويضعف صموده. والتماسك المجتمعي مهدّد إذ الهجوم يستهدف مقوّمات ذلك التماسك وهي الهوية من جهة والدين من جهة أخرى والعلاقة بينهما. ومقاربة الرئيس السوري كانت لها عدّة أبعاد بدءاً بالفكر وثم بالسياسة وتداعياتها على قدرة المواجهة وعلى المستقبل. واستند في المقاربة إلى مخزون فكري وفقهي في آن واحد إضافة إلى ربط ذلك بالخيار والموقف السياسي.

لن نستطيع في هذه المقاربة تناول كلّ الأفكار التي أتى بها الرئيس السوري في كلمته لضيق المساحة أولاً ولأنّ العديد منها يستحق مقاربات منفصلة كحديثه عمّا سمّاه بالليبرالية الحديثة مثلاً أو حول أصول اللغة العربية أو حتى دور الإسلام في بلاد الشام. لذلك سنتناول بعضها لما نعتبره من أساسي في فهمنا لكلمته.

في البداية، الخط البياني للكلمة هو تشخيصه لطبيعة المواجهة التي فُرضت على سورية عبر العدوان الكوني عليها. لم يكرّر أسباب العدوان ومن اشترك وما زال في ذلك العدوان لكنه أراد أن يركّز في تشخيصه للمشهد على استهداف المجتمع في سورية. وأحد محاور الاستهداف هو عبر الهجوم على مكوّنات الوعي أيّ الدين واللغة في بعديهما التاريخي والمستقبلي وفي دورهما في تماسك المجتمع. ومن هنا تأتي أهمية المنصة التي اختارها لدحض الكثير من الاتهامات التي وجّهت لبنية الدولة والمجتمع ليس فقط من قبل الخصوم والمتشدّدين الذين استعملوا الدين كوسيلة لأهداف سياسية لا علاقة بالدين بل للذين اعتبروا أنّ الحداثة هي عبر نقض الدين في المجتمع والدولة. والرسالة التي أراد إرسالها هي التكامل بين الدين والدولة عندما تكلّم عن «العلمانية» وبعض المفاهيم المغلوطة التي يتمّ ترويجها وعن إمكانية إخراج الدين من الدولة. فهذا لن يحصل إلاّ إذا تمّ إخراج الدين من المجتمع. وبما أنّ مقاربته للأمور تفيد بأنّ الدين ضرورة لتماسك المجتمع فإنّ ذلك يعني أنه لا يجوز وضع الدين في قفص الاتهام كعائق لتنمية المجتمع لأنه قاعدة أساسية لتماسكه وبقائه. وتشديده على الدور الذي يقوم به مجمع العلماء والعالمات هو لتثبيت تلك العلاقة ودحض أيّ فكرة أنّ الدولة القائمة في سورية هي ضدّ الدين كما يروّج له خصومها أو كما يعتقد البعض من «المتحرّرين» أو «العلمانيين». من جهة أخرى نفى مزاعم جماعات التعصّب والغلو والتوحّش بأنها تمثّل الإسلام. فهذه الجماعات ترتكب الكبائر المحرّمة في الدين وذلك عبر قتلهم للأبرياء والتمسّك بالطقوس على حساب المقاصد. وتشديده على المقاصد كان لافتاً لأنّ ذلك يعكس فهمه للإسلام وتمسّكه به والمختلف عن التفسيرات الضيّقة والحرفية والخارجة عن السياق.

صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» في عنوانها عن «فشل الدين» تنتمي إلى تيّار ليبرالي انتقده الرئيس السوري. استفاض الرئيس في كلمته عمّا سمّاه بـ «الليبرالية الحديثة» التي تهدف إلى سلخ الإنسان عن هويته ليس فقط بالمعنى السياسي أو الثقافي بل أيضاً من هويته الجنسية أو الجندرية كما سمّاها (الجندرية تعريب لكلمة «جندر» الإنكليزية التي تشير إلى جنس المرء من ذكر أو أنثى). وهذا يتنافى مع موروثنا الثقافي والديني. فكيف يمكن للمرء أن «يختار» هويته الجندرية بينما الطبيعة هي التي تقوم بذلك؟

وأوضح أنّ الليبرالية الحديثة تنقض مفهوم مرجعية الجماعة وتريد نقلها إلى مرجعية الفرد ما يسهل نزع الهوية وما تمثّلها. فمرجعية الفرد مدمّرة للمجتمع عبر تدمير الوحدة الأساسية له وهي العائلة ومن ثم القبيلة وأو العشيرة ومن ثم الوطن. كما تدعو تلك الليبرالية إلى تعميم ما هو مناف للأخلاق والصحة العامة كالدعوة لتعميم المخدّرات كما ذكر الرئيس وكما جاء في عنوان آخر في الصحيفة الأميركية، وهي إحدى الأبواق البارزة لليبرالية وتدّعي ذلك بدون خجل. فالدين غير مقبول عند هؤلاء الليبراليين الحديثيين على حدّ قوله خاصة لدوره في المجتمع. في هذا السياق يفتح الرئيس، سواء قصد ذلك أو لم يقصد، باب التفكير بالموروث الثقافي المستورد من الغرب. الرئيس الروسي بوتين انتقد الديمقراطية المستوردة والرئيس السوري انتقد الثقافة المستوردة. ونحن ندعو إلى بناء منظومة معرفية عربية منبثقة عن موروثنا الثقافي مع التمسك بالمخزون العلمي الذي كوّنه العالم عبر القرون.

الهجوم على الدين في المجتمع السوري، واستطراداً في المجتمع العربي أجمع، يأتي عبر كتابات تشكّك في مكوّنات الشرع الإسلامي بدءاً بالقرآن الكريم وثم في الحديث ووصولاً إلى الفقه. وحرص الرئيس السوري أن يربط بين الحالة السورية التي يعتبرها متقدّمة في هذا المجال وبين حالة العالم الإسلامي التي اعتبرها متراجعة، فسورية هي جزء من العالم الإسلامي ولها مكانتها المميّزة تاريخيا، في الماضي، والحاضر، والمستقبل. فهو حريص على الحفاظ على تلك المكانة وهذه هي إحدى مهام مجمع العلماء والعالمات. وفي ما يتعلّق بالقرآن الكريم أشار الرئيس إلى ما يتمّ تداوله في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي حول «سريانية» القرآن. هذه إحدى الاتهامات وليست الوحيدة ولكن نكتفي بما ذكره الرئيس السوري. والمقصود في «سريانية» القرآن، أنّ القرآن الكريم مؤلّف منقول وليس من كلام الله الذي أوحى به إلى الرسول الأكرم. والتشكيك بالقرآن الكريم هدفه ضرب عصفورين بحجر واحد. الأول هو ضرب أساس الإسلام والثاني ضرب العروبة. صحيح أنّ العروبة موجودة قبل الإسلام ولكن على حدّ قول علماء آسيويين أشار إليهم الرئيس السوري في كلمته أنهم لا يتصوّرون الإسلام خارج العروبة. ونحن نقول إنّ العروبة مفتاح لفهم الإسلام كما أنّ الإسلام مفتاح لاكتشاف العروبة. ولا يغيب عنّا أدبية أحد مؤسّسي حزب البعث الأستاذ ميشال عفلق في محاضرته الشهيرة «في ذكرى الرسول العربي» حيث قال: «فالإسلام هو الهزة الحيوية التي تحرّك كامن القوى في الأمة العربية فتجيش بالحياة الحارة، جارفة سدود التقليد وقيود الاصطلاح. مرجعة اتصالها مرة جديدة بمعاني الكون العميقة، ويأخذها العجب والحماسة فتنشأ تعبّر عن إعجابها وحماستها بألفاظ جديدة وأعمال مجيدة، ولا تعود من نشوتها قادرة على التزام حدودها الذاتية، فتفيض على الأمم الأخرى فكراً وعملاً، وتبلغ هكذا الشمول.»

من هذه الزاوية انتقل إلى الهجوم الآخر على الدين وهو التشكيك باللغة العربية فقدّم مطالعة سريعة حول أصول اللسان العربي وعلاقته بالسريانية والآرامية. ومن جهة أخرى اعتبر الاجتهاد الفقهي إنجازاً مشكوراً للفقهاء الذين قدّموا التفاسير والاجتهادات ولكن كانت مبنية على أرضية معرفية غير التي هي موجودة اليوم. لكنه رفض تقييم تلك الاجتهادات بمعايير الحاضر لبيئات مختلفة في الماضي لما يحمل ذلك من إجحاف بحق الفقهاء الذين قدّموا ما لديهم ضمن ظروفهم. لذلك اعتبر أنّ من مهامّ مجمع العلماء والعالمات الذي يمثل أمامه هو تقديم اجتهادات متماهية مع شؤون العصر دون بالضرورة ترك الموروث الفقهي. نعتقد أنّ هذا موقف في غاية الأهمية ولكنه شائك لأنه يفتح باب عصرنة الفقه في عصر معادي للدين بشكل عام وللإسلام بشكل خاص. فالتمسّك بالموروث الفقهي من تماسك المجتمع المسلم عبر القرون وبالتالي يجب الانتباه والحذر من الشروع في اجتهادات قد تكسر ذلك التماسك. وبالنسبة لنا التماسك هو عنصر استراتيجي في عصر التجزئة والتفتيت. كما يجب الحذر من الوقوع في إنشاء فقه الدولة التي تتغيّر مع الظروف وبالتالي يهدّد بتماسك الفقه والشرع.

كما ذكرنا أعلاه ليس بمقدورنا تفصيل كلّ ما جاء في كلمة الرئيس بشّار الأسد لضيق المساحة ولعمق الإشكاليات التي تتلازم مع الطروحات الفكرية التي ذكرها. من الواضح أنّ أمامنا قائد شاب ولكن مخضرماً وواسع الاطلاع بالتاريخ والثقافة وبأهمية التجدّد الحضاري عبر التمسّك بالهوية الجامعة التي تصون وحدة المجتمع كمرتكز لتحقيق وحدة الأمة. فلا تجدّد في رأينا في ظلّ الضعف ولا قوّة في ظلّ التجزئة. كما أنّ المعركة ليست سياسية فحسب بل مجتمعية وثقافية وحضارية. هذا ما خرجنا به بعد الاستماع للكلمة مع الشعور بالاطمئنان حول مستقبل سورية ومستقبل الأمة العربية.

*كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي

والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

Assad and Islam of the Levant الأسد وإسلام بلاد الشام

الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Photo of الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched from a gathering of scientists in Damascus a call for the renaissance of scientists with the task of leading the confrontation with the liberalism project, which aims to strike the national identity and the ideological depth represented by Islam, together with social and family values, considering that this project aimed at dismantling societies and opening the way to the project of hegemony, This project stands behind both fragmentation, Misrepresentation and extremism, Assad accused French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Erdogan of sharing roles in managing extremist climates to strike the true identity of societies, He called for realising the lack of contradiction between their Islamic affiliation, their national identity and their secular state.

Assad and The Islam of the Levant

Nasser Qandil

 When an Islamic reference with the rank and knowledge of Sheikh Maher Hammoud said that when he listened to the speech of President Bashar al-Assad yesterday, in a council of leading scholars in Syria, he was surprised that the level of talk and depth in the issues of jurisprudence, doctrine, Qur’an and interpretation matched the senior scholars, as he was surprised by the clear and deep visions in dealing with issues affecting the Islamic world in deeper matters than politics, this is some of what will be the case for anyone who has been able to hear the flow of President Assad in dealing with matters of great complexity, sensitivity and accuracy, over the course of an hour. He is half-spoken in the sequence of the transition from one title to another, and supports every idea of religious evidence, Qur’anic texts, prophetic hadiths and historical evidence, and he paints the framework of the battle he is fighting intellectually to address decades-old dilemmas known as titles such as secularism, religiosity, Arabism and Islam, moderation and extremism, the task of scholars in interpreting and understanding biography and providing example in the front lines of identity battles, in drawing the paths of social peace, and establishing a system of moral, national and family values.

 Assad is crowned by efforts led by great reformers in the Arab and Islamic worlds to address these thorny issues, courageously advancing to this difficult, risky course, taking it upon himself as an Islamic, nationalist and secular thinker, to present a new version of the doctrinal, intellectual and philosophical understanding, seeking To replace imaginary virtual battles with historical reconciliation between lofty concepts and values related to peoples and elites, but divided around them, and fighting, instead of looking for the points of fundamental convergence that begin, as President Al-Assad says, of human nature, divine year and historical year. High values cannot collide, people’s attachment to them cannot be contradictory, and scientists and thinkers must resolve the contradiction when it emerges, and dismantle it. This is the task that Assad is dealing with by diving into the world of jurisprudence, thought and philosophy, and he is putting his hand on a serious intellectual wound, which is his description of the role played by the liberal school based on the destruction and dismantling of all societal structures, and elements of identity, to turn societies into mere individuals racing to live without meaning and controls, closer to the animal instinctive concept, and to the law of the jungle that governs it.

The historical role of Islam in the East, its structural and historical overlap with the manufacturing of major transformations, and universal identities, a title that needs the courage of Assad to approach it in terms of adherence to secularism, nationalism, prompts Assad to reveal the danger of realizing those who look to take control of this East of the importance of occupying Islam, as an investment less expensive than occupying the land, and doing its place and more. Whoever occupies Islam and speaks his tongue cuts more than half way to achieve his project, and reveals the danger of Assad realizing this in the heart of the war on Syria as one of the most prominent titles of the war prepared to control Syria, and in parallel the demonstrations of Islam in Syria, elites, scientists and the social environment. of resistance to the projects of intellectual, political and related occupation Seeking to destroy identity, belief, family cohesion, morality and value system, which carried the project of extremism financed and programmed with hundreds of satellite channels to spread strife and sow fear and encourage terrorism, with a neat rotation between the two sides feeding each other, and pushing Syrian scientists in the face of the precious sacrifices of the ranks of scientists, and they played in this confrontation a role that President Assad places as the role of the army on the front sands.

 Historically, Syria has been the focal point of the national identity, from which Islam has established its status as a cultural political project, and in front of doctrinal and religious schools divided between Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood led by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the aspiration for Islam in the Levant has always been to promote the Islam of al-Azhar, and together constitute the historical turning point in the course of the East, in harmony with the understanding of the national identity of society and the secular foundation of the state. In this historic conversation, it is clear that President Assad has taken this important task upon himself as a thinker, not just as head of state.

الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Photo of الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

أطلق الرئيس السوري الدكتور بشار الأسد من لقاء علمائي جامع في دمشق الدعوة لنهضة العلماء بمهمة قيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة الذي يستهدف ضرب الهوية القوميّة والعمق العقائديّ الذي يمثله الإسلام، ومعهما القيم الاجتماعية والأسرية، معتبراً أن هذا المشروع الهادف لتفكيك المجتمعات وفتح الطريق لمشروع الهيمنة، هو الذي يقف وراء التفلّت والتطرّف معاً، متهماً الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون والرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان بتقاسم الأدوار في إدارة مناخات التطرّف لضرب الهوية الحقيقيّة للمجتمعات التي دعاها الأسد الى إدراك عدم التناقض بين انتمائها الإسلاميّ وهويتها القوميّة ودولتها العلمانيّة.

الأسد وإسلام بلاد الشام

ناصر قنديل

 عندما يقول مرجع إسلامي بمرتبة وعلم الشيخ ماهر حمود أنه عندما استمع الى حديث الرئيس بشار الأسد أول أمس، في مجلس ضمّ كبار العلماء في سورية، فوجئ بأن مستوى الحديث وعمقه في قضايا الفقه والعقيدة والقرآن والتفسير يُضاهي كبار العلماء، كما فوجئ بالرؤى الواضحة والعميقة في تناول القضايا التي تطال العالم الإسلامي في شؤون أعمق من السياسة، فهذا بعض ما سيقع عليه كل مَن أتيح له سماع تدفّق الرئيس الأسد في تناول شؤون شديدة التعقيد والحساسية والدقة، على مدى ساعة ونصف متحدثاً بتسلسل الانتقال من عنوان الى آخر، وتدعيم كل فكرة بالشواهد الدينيّة والنصوص القرآنية والأحاديث النبوية والشواهد التاريخية، وهو يرسم إطار المعركة التي يخوضها فكرياً لمعالجة معضلات عمرها عقود طويلة عرفت بعناوين، مثل العلمانية والتديُّن، والعروبة والإسلام، والاعتدال والتطرف، ومهمة العلماء في التفسير وفهم السيرة وتقديم المثال في الخطوط الأماميّة لمعارك الهوية، وفي رسم مسارات السلم الاجتماعي، وإرساء منظومة القيم الأخلاقية والوطنية والأسرية.

 يتوّج الأسد مساعي قادها إصلاحيّون كبار في العالمين العربي والإسلامي لتناول هذه القضايا الشائكة، متقدماً بشجاعة لخوض هذا المسلك الوعر، والمحفوف بالمخاطر فيأخذ على عاتقه كمفكر إسلاميّ وقوميّ وعلمانيّ، تقديم نسخة جديدة من الفهم الفقهيّ والفكريّ والفلسفيّ، تسعى لاستبدال المعارك الافتراضيّة الوهميّة بمصالحة تاريخية بين مفاهيم وقيم سامية تتعلق بها الشعوب والنخب، لكنها تنقسم حولها، وتتقاتل، بدلاً من أن تبحث عن نقاط التلاقي الجوهري التي تنطلق كما يقول الرئيس الأسد من الفطرة البشريّة، والسنة الإلهيّة والسنة التاريخيّة. فالقيم السامية لا يمكن لها أن تتصادم، وتعلّق الشعوب بها لا يمكن أن يأتي متناقضاً، وعلى العلماء والمفكرين حل التناقض عندما يظهر، وتفكيكه. وهذه هي المهمة التي يتصدّى لها الأسد بالغوص في عالم الفقه والفكر والفلسفة، وهو يضع يده على جرح فكري خطير يتمثل بتوصيفه للدور الذي تقوم به المدرسة الليبرالية القائمة على تدمير وتفكيك كل البنى المجتمعية، وعناصر الهوية، لتحويل المجتمعات الى مجرد أفراد يتسابقون على عيش بلا معنى ولا ضوابط، أقرب للمفهوم الحيوانيّ الغرائزيّ، ولشريعة الغاب التي تحكمه.

 الدور التاريخيّ للإسلام في الشرق، وتداخله التركيبي والتاريخي مع صناعة التحوّلات الكبرى، والهويات الجامعة، عنوان يحتاج الى شجاعة الأسد لمقاربته من منطلق التمسك بالعلمانيّة، والقوميّة، يدفع الأسد للكشف عن خطورة إدراك الذين يتطلعون لوضع اليد على هذا الشرق لأهميّة احتلال الإسلام، كاستثمار أقل كلفة من احتلال الأرض، ويقوم مقامها وأكثر. فمن يحتلّ الإسلام ويلبس لبوسه وينطق بلسانه يقطع أكثر من نصف الطريق لتحقيق مشروعه، ويكشف الأسد خطورة إدراكه لهذا الأمر في قلب الحرب على سورية كواحد من أبرز العناوين للحرب التي أعدّت للسيطرة على سورية، وبالتوازي ما أظهره الإسلام في سورية، من النخب والعلماء والبيئة الاجتماعية من قدرة مقاومة لمشاريع الاحتلال الفكري، والسياسي، وما يتصل بها من سعي لتدمير الهوية والعقيدة والترابط الأسري والأخلاق ومنظومة القيم، وهو ما حمله مشروع التطرّف المموّل والمبرمج بمئات الفضائيّات لبثّ الفتن وزرع الخوف والتشجيع على الإرهاب، بتناوب متقن بين طرفَيْه يغذي أحدهما الآخر، ودفع علماء سورية في مواجهته تضحيات غالية من صفوف العلماء، وأدوا في هذه المواجهة دوراً يضعه الرئيس الأسد بمصاف دور الجيش على الجبهات.

 تاريخياً، كانت سورية هي نقطة الارتكاز التي تأسست عليها الهويّة القوميّة، والتي امتلك منها الإسلام صفته كمشروع سايسيّ حضاريّ، وأمام مدارس فقهيّة ودينيّة تتوزّع بين الوهابية والأخوان المسلمين بقيادة سعودية وتركية، كان التطلع دائماً لإسلام بلاد الشام ليستنهض معه إسلام الأزهر، ويشكلان معاً نقطة التحول التاريخية في مسار الشرق، بالتناغم مع فهم الهوية القوميّة للمجتمع، والأساس العلماني للدولة. وفي هذا الحديث التاريخي، يبدو بوضوح أن الرئيس الأسد قد أخذ هذه المهمة الجليلة على عاتقه كمفكّر، وليس فقط كرئيس للدولة.

فيديوات متعلقة

Joe Biden Is Unlikely To Fix The Problem Of American Islamophobia

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

In the United States, representatives of the Muslim community have high hopes for the new head of state, Joe Biden. The reason for this was the promise to lift the ban on the Islamophobic campaign and create comfortable living conditions for American Muslims. However, experts are confident that the promises made by Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris are populism.

According to the expert community, the restrictions imposed on Muslims in the United States can hardly be lifted on the basis of a single decision by the head of the White House. Islamophobia is ingrained in the life of American society, as a result of which it cannot be neutralized by political will alone. In this regard, American intolerance towards Muslims is a certain manifestation of internal aggression maintained at the mental level mainly in relation to its own citizens. Undoubtedly, it was the state institutions of the United States that over the decades have created the “ideal” conditions for the development of Islamophobia. Exercising total control over the activities and movement of representatives of the Muslim community and supporting programs to combat “radical Islam”, Washington purposefully instilled hatred of the followers of Islam in American society.

It is worth noting that, according to experts, only in the period from 2001 to 2015 in the United States, Muslim public and religious figures were much more likely to be prosecuted on terrorism charges than representatives of other confessions. Moreover, it was American Muslims who received much harsher criminal penalties, which is evidence of a biased American justice system.

Similar cases became popular under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, when only Muslims were involved in the “anti-state conspiracy” case. It is noteworthy that weapons were found on practically all Muslims accused in this case. At the same time, not a single “white” American or supporter of ultra-right ideology was involved in the case, even as a suspect.

The same Islamophobic trend is evident in the American media environment. Thus, in the specified period of time, 2001-2015, the number of anti-Muslim publications in the New York Times and Washington Post alone was 7.7 times higher than the number of publications in which representatives of other religious denominations were mentioned.

Meanwhile, this is only the public part of American life. There are many more manifestations of Islamophobia at the everyday level, when ordinary Muslims face many restrictions on a daily basis on the basis of following the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. In particular, in some American catering establishments, Muslims are prohibited from entering, and the local police can arrest a person without charge only because of his belief in Allah.

These problems are ingrained in the United States, as a result of which the new head of state, Joe Biden, is unlikely to be able to instantly change the situation.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Donald Trump still refuses to admit defeat. Based on this, he can deliberately use the factor of Islamophobia to provoke new acts of violence in order to put pressure on the Joe Biden cabinet.

It would be naive to believe that Islamophobia in the United States arose under Donald Trump. However, it was with the assistance of Donald Trump that American intolerance towards Muslims was elevated to the level of a national brand. Therefore, to eradicate this phenomenon, it will be necessary not only to change attitudes towards Muslims using political decisions. Work is also needed to overcome anti-Muslim hatred at the mental level of American society.

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized

November 09, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized
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.

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

It’s impossible for the US presidential election to have gone worse for the empire: America now has two presidents.

That can’t be denied, yet their mainstream media is spinning like mad the idea that there is no problem: The election is over and that Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect. This is likely a biased view, but it’s certainly terrible journalism. Journalists have the right to do whatever they want – project election winners, ignore half the electorate, talk about “partition” – but we have no legal power to decide who actually won.

Not only has a certainly narrow vote not been certified, but the votes aren’t even all counted yet. And it’s not as if this vote wasn’t already disputed for months in the public eye. And it’s not as if there were’t several hundred lawsuits filed before the vote even took place. And it’s not as if there won’t be many lawsuits dated after the November 3rd vote.

But to their clearly anti-Trump mainstream media: “Nothing to see here, move along.”

Seriously? American journalism in action is really something to see.…

The media keeps pointing out that all the lawsuits have failed so far, but it just takes is one and it goes to the top – the Supreme Court deciding this election continues to look not just possible but probable. The idea that American judges are mostly liberal rebels and not by-the-book conservatives is preposterous – they are judges, after all. Record absentee balloting and an incumbent who focuses on his rights and benefits first, last and always both remind us how very not by-the-book this election is.

The ultimate fault for the current “Avignon Papacy” situation – the Roman Catholic church had two popes for most of the 14th century – lays not with the media but with the candidates, and especially Joe Biden. For months he bemoaned the unpredictability of Trump, and yet Biden declared victory Saturday based merely on an AP projection. It was an incredibly self-interested, dangerous, destablising and confidence-shaking move to make – it was a very Trumpian.

If the very slim numbers (Biden is up by an average of just 30,000 votes in three different states) were flipped and Trump declared early the mainstream media would be up in arms, and rightly so. Biden continues to – as the first debate reminded us – willingly jump down to the Trumpian unpresidential gutter, and yet because Trump licks the gutter’s floor Biden is somehow given a free pass.

Red state/blue state now officially outdated: it’s Trumpism vs. ‘universal values’ holdouts

The former was based on two things: a nation divided by new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a nation with huge inequalities between rural and urban/suburban citizens (in access to technology, cultural influence and standard of living). It was rural Americans who fought in these wars of imperialism (and not mere revenge for 9/11), which drastically shaped the communities they lived in, thus making the divide especially inflamed.

However, in 2020 Texas almost flipped Democrat?! Arizona – the proud home of reactionary radical John “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” McCain – is currently flipping Democrat?! Several Great Lakes states have already flipped back and forth in the Trump era. Trumpism has – for better or for worse – obviously changed American politics in a major way because unthinkable realignments are happening, and this forces us to eject old paradigms if we want to understand what is going on here.

The new partition is “brazen imperialism” versus “soft imperialism”.

But here’s our dilemma: Which party represents which? That we pause is entirely the change to grasp in 2020.

Democrats have become the party which backs the Deep State, “humanitarian interventions”, “universal values” which are a code phrase for their preferred values, free trade (which benefits the rich the most), censorship and which evinces a dangerous evangelism and hysterical self-righteousness (as their failed three-year Russophobia campaign showed). Violent evangelism is forbidden in Islam, but not in the Protestant or Catholic West.

What can we call French President Emmanuel Macron’s unprecedented declaration that Islamophobia is now state policy but a hysterical evangelism in favor of Western secularism? It’s hardly as if secularism has produced more moral or just governance than in religious-inspired nations, yet Macron’s faith cannot be shaken no matter how many innocent people his anti-Muslim tirades get killed.

And who is more globalist, “universal values” and pro-European Union than “neoliberal strongman” Macron, no matter how many French Yellow Vests lose an eye just for insisting that neoliberalism means the colonisation of the average of Westerner by an international 1%, and also that the post-1991 EU is a “neoliberal empire”?

I broaden out the US experience because in the other Western imperialist nations we clearly see similar cultural movements – engaging in imperialism inherently produces exceptional and distorted cultures. Ex-Labor chief Jeremy Corbyn was just suspended by his own party for absurd anti-Semitism allegations because that is what hysterical imperialists do to those who don’t embrace 1%-led globalisation. It used to be that such denigrations were limited to conservatives, but Corbyn proves how flexible our analysis needs to be precisely because traditional Western paradigms have become outdated.

Trump has signalled the start of a new era: the Cold War ended in 1991, US unipolar dominance (and thus Western dominance) ran from 1992-2016, and Trumpism coincides with the Great Recession-era propelled return to a multipolar era.

The undeniable electoral rejection of a “Democratic Blue Wave” in favor of “Trumpian Republicans” – where Trump increased his vote totals with every ethnic group and gender except White males – shows that the concept of White male supremacism being the foundation of Trumpism is as false as the labels of anti-Semitism pinned on Corbyn and the Yellow Vests. Trumpism is something bigger: it certainly must now include the idea of a Western domestic rebellion against their politicians who have presided over (or caused) the establishment of our new multipolar era.

The digital era does not seem to lend itself to the values still required to thrive in rural areas, so far, but last week’s vote totals prove that we cannot say that Trumpism is simply a “red state” phenomenon anymore.

This is not new: heads are divided in the US metaphorically, and maybe soon literally

Trump is planning to hold “recount rallies”, to publish the obituaries of dead people alleged to have voted in the election, to sue various state election boards, and to generally keep refusing to play by the rules of the globalist/“universal values” dominated US establishment (which is the basis of Trump’s popularity). You might be shocked by all that, or oppose all that, but you cannot say that Trump supporters should be frozen out of how this election concludes unless you openly prefer unilateral declarations to democracy with checks and balances.

A concession speech by one candidate is not legally required, but it is obviously a cultural necessity. How long can US media pretend that the election is over even though there has been no concession speech?

That’s an incredibly dangerous question to ask, and undoubtedly terrible journalism, and more proof that this election could not have gone worse for Americans if it had tried.

What would have happened Saturday in Chicago if pro-Trump supporters had gone to Trump Tower, where all day and night there were hundreds of people celebrating Biden’s “victory”? I can tell you, as I was there: a whole lot of innocent young people would have gotten their heads split open.

That’s the danger Biden just caused, and which is being increased by poor journalism and which has only just begun.

Biden set off this era of two presidents rather than counselling patience and faith in the process amid crisis. Biden has also set the stage for dramatic domestic disillusionment with their electoral process and political structure. Trump voters are incensed, and Biden just trolled them even though the US mainstream media was already doing exactly that for him.

In 2009 the moderate candidate declared early in Iran’s presidential election and after periods of peaceful rallies and counter-rallies it got violent. America should have learned from Iran’s experience (shared by countless other examples in modern history) but apparently Biden is not smart enough despite 47 years experience as a public servant. Nobody ever assumes great public service and intelligence from Trump, and certainly not the virtue of forbearance, but Biden promised better yet failed to deliver on what he said was his Day 1.

Biden was supposed to be better than Trump, but this was the worst start possible.

He can smile for the cameras, and create a corona task force which can’t start until January 21, and ignore the calls to finish counting the vote and to certify it, but the simple reality is that 70 million Trump voters are not going away in 2020 any more than they went away after they won in 2016. They need to be understood – they were unexpected, at the very least, and seem to herald a new era, at the most.

Trump’s re-election would probably not be good for the same countries as in 2016 – Iran, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela and any other of the few nations with a socialist-inspired revolution/movement – and so we see why leaders and diplomats from these nations especially want him gone: Trump cannot be reasoned with regarding these revolutionary (unique) nations. Who knows what a Trump second term would bring? But Biden continues to show plenty of worrying evidence that he plans to get away with the same unilateral nonsense Trump set the precedent for, rather than re-establishing basic decorum, concern for others and diplomacy. I examined this notion last month in an editorial titled, “US debate debacle shows Democrats will adopt Trumpian self-interest globally”, and Biden’s reckless premature declaration shows the idea has a worrying amount of merit.

Unilateral nonsense is not good for the American 99% or the 99% of any other nation. With two presidents, American nonsense has only doubled.

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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 wasn’t a cult of personality (2/2) – November 6, 2020

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

Why Is American Islamophobia Dangerous?

By Dennis Korkodinov

Source

t is noteworthy that in the period from October 22 to 26, 2007, neoconservatives in the United States first introduced the concept of “Islamo-fascism” into public discourse. Thus, they intended to draw an analogy between the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the ideology that during the Second World War posed a threat to humanity.

Modern tendencies of Islamophobia in the United States, which have spread, moreover, in most European countries, testify to the traditional denigration of the followers of Islam.

It is noteworthy that in the period from October 22 to 26, 2007, neoconservatives in the United States first introduced the concept of “Islamo-fascism” into public discourse. Thus, they intended to draw an analogy between the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the ideology that during the Second World War posed a threat to humanity. This defamation policy, despite strong criticism from the Muslim community, has become a national brand of the United States, thanks to George W. Bush. It was this head of the White House who was the first to elevate Islamophobia into the cult of modern Americanism, presenting all Muslims (regardless of their country of residence, gender, age, and social status) in the image of terrorists.

Such a lie, artificially popularized by American politicians, suggests that this was not only a manifestation of religious intolerance. This was the announcement of a kind of “crusade” of the United States against Muslims and all those who sympathize with them. The leader of this campaign was the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which brought together ardent artists and Islamophobes who were ready to persecute representatives of the Muslim community with weapons in their hands.

One could express doubts about the seriousness of American Islamophobia, believing that it poses no real threat. However, the danger of this kind of religious intolerance is that it has a lot of influential supporters who have practically unlimited resources and power in order to elevate the persecution of Muslims into a state of total sectarian strife. And, given that Islamophobia directly affects the emergence of military conflicts in the Greater Middle East, such threats should be considered extremely realistic.

It is quite obvious that at present the main hotbeds of war in the Middle East arise precisely in those countries where Islam has a fairly strong position and, often in these countries, Islamic clergy are at the top of political power or perform the function of an “alternative government” (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria). In addition, another distinctive feature of these countries is the huge reserves of oil and natural gas. In this regard, for the United States, the tandem combination of Islam and oil serves as a compelling reason for military intervention.

Thus, the theme of “fighting terrorism” postulated by Washington is only a smokescreen for destroying Islam and seizing the oil that is protected by the followers of Islam. This explains why the United States has been fighting the Ayatollah regime in Iran for several decades, refusing to withdraw troops from Iraqi territory, trying to influence Hezbollah in order to dismember Lebanon, and supporting the radical Syrian opposition.

The main goal of the American administration is a permanent war with Islam, which US politicians refuse to accept as a given, as an ideology that has become a system-forming element of the Arab states, has led to the emergence of prominent religious figures, starting from the Prophet Mohamed, and has created a unique means of communication between peoples, states, and civilizations.

Such a policy is in its savagery comparable to the policy of dictatorial regimes. The Propaganda Minister of the Third Reich Joseph Goebbels said that if a lie is repeated enough times, it becomes true, at least for those who believe in it. In this regard, by constantly promoting Islamophobia, the United States hopes that sooner or later the supporters of this religious intolerance will become the majority, which will lead to a complete discrediting of Islam.

Déjà Vu in France: Hypocrisy of the French State. “Freedom of Speech” versus Islamophobia

“Freedom of speech should never ever glorify the freedom to insult, to mock, to humiliate another person or community or civilisation”

By Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Global Research, November 02, 2020

As events unfold in France centring around Islamophobia, there is a feeling of déjà vu. We have witnessed a few times before this sequence of events.  There is some provocation or other targeting the Prophet Muhammad initiated by a non-Muslim group or institution. Predictably, Muslims react.  In the midst of demonstrations and rallies, an act of violence occurs perpetrated by an offended Muslim and/or his co-religionists. The violent act leads to further demonization of Muslims in the media which by this time is in a frenzy.  Feeling targeted, some Muslim groups escalate their emotional response, sometimes causing more deaths to occur of both Muslims and non-Muslims even in countries far away from the place where the provocation first occurred. One also hears of calls to boycott goods produced in the country where it all started.

On this occasion too it was French president Emmanuel Macron’s vigorous assertion that cartoons of the Prophet produced by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, in January 2015 and republished since  represented freedom of speech that angered a lot of Muslims in France and elsewhere, though some other remarks he had made recently about ‘Islam being in crisis’ and ‘Islamic separatism’ had also annoyed some people. However, it was the beheading of a French schoolteacher who had shown the cartoons in a class discussion on freedom of speech by a Muslim youth of Chechen origin that provoked not only Macron but also other leaders and a huge segment of French society to react with hostility towards Muslims and even Islam. It should be emphasised that almost all major Muslim leaders and organisations in France also condemned the beheading.  So did many Muslims in other parts of the world.

It is not enough just to denounce an ugly, insane murder of this sort. Not many Muslim theologians have argued publicly that resorting to mindless violence to express one’s anger over a caricature of the Prophet is an affront to the blessed memory of God’s Messenger. For even when he was physically abused in both Mecca and Medina, Prophet Muhammad did not retaliate with violence against his adversaries. He continued with his mission of preaching justice and mercy with kindness and dignity. It is such an attitude that should be nurtured and nourished in the Muslim world today especially by those who command religious authority and political influence among the masses.

Why Is Islam the Fastest Growing Religion of the Modern Era?

If a change in approach is necessary among some Muslims, French society as a whole should also re-appraise its understanding of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech should never ever glorify the freedom to insult, to mock, to humiliate another person or community or civilisation. Respect for the feelings and sentiments of the religious other should be integral to one’s belief system, whether it is secular or not. Just because the French State and much of French society have marginalised religion, it does not follow that it should also show utter contempt for a Muslim’s love and reverence for his/her Prophet especially when 6 million French citizens profess the Islamic faith.

Indeed, respecting and understanding the sentiments and values that constitute faith and belief has become crucial in a globalised world where at least 80 % of its inhabitants are linked in one way or another to some religion or other.  We cannot claim to be champions of democracy and yet ignore, or worse, denigrate what is precious to the majority of the human family. This does not mean that we should slavishly accept mass attitudes towards a particular faith. Reforms should continue to be pursued within each religious tradition but it should not undermine respect for the foundations of that faith.

French leaders and elites who regard freedom of speech or expression as the defining attribute of their national identity, should also concede that there have been a lot of inconsistencies in their stances.  A French comedian, Dieudenne, has been convicted in Court eight times for allegedly upsetting “Jewish sentiment” and is prohibited from performing in many venues. A cartoonist with Charlie Hebdo was fired for alleged “ anti-Semitism.”  There is also the case of a writer, Robert Faurisson in the sixties who was fined in Court and lost his job for questioning the conventional holocaust narrative. Many years later, the French intellectual Roger Garaudy was also convicted for attempting to re-interpret certain aspects  of the holocaust.

The hypocrisy of the French State goes beyond convictions in Court. While officials are rightfully aghast at the violence committed by individuals, France has a long history of perpetrating brutal massacres and genocides against Muslims and others. The millions of Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans who died in the course of the French colonisation of these countries bear tragic testimony to this truth. Vietnam and the rest of Indo-China reinforce this cruel and callous record.  Even in contemporary times, the French State has had no qualms about embarking upon military operations from Afghanistan and Cote d’ Ivore  to Libya and North  Mali  which serve its own interests of dominance and control rather than the needs of the people in these lands.

Honest reflections upon its own misdeeds past and present are what we expect of the French state and society in 2020. There is no need to pontificate to others. This is what we would like to see all colonial powers of yesteryear do —- partly because neo-colonialism is very much alive today.

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Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Global Research, 2020

Terrorism and French Values

By Kim Petersen

Source

Sowing and Reaping?
Emmanuel Macron Meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ad79f

There have been some horrendous, despicable killings by Muslim extremists in France. Such killings must be condemned.

French president Emmanuel Macron played the victim card, saying that France “will not give into terrorism.” Yet when 21st century France engages in overseas militarism, otherwise known as state terrorism, in places with large Muslim populations – places that never attacked France — such as Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen then what is to be expected? Is it okay for France to engage in militarism abroad and expect no blowback on French soil? Must not the French terrorism be condemned?

The embattled, unpopular French president has seized upon the gruesome killings to denounce terrorism and championed “French values,” such as freedom of speech. [1]

Once again the controversial publication Charlie Hebdo has provoked a lethal response.

But the French, especially its politicians, are hypocrites. If free speech allows one to impugn one religion, then then that right to impugn must be allowed for all religions. Take the case of French comedian Dieudonné. He has been convicted in court eight times for upsetting Jewish sentiment and has consequently been embargoed by many venues where he would normally ply his trade.

Many years earlier, professor Robert Faurisson, an extreme skeptic of the typical Holocaust narrative, was hit wth by judicial proceedings, was fined, and lost his job. Is this respect for free speech? Professor Noam Chomsky experienced blowback for supporting free speech in the case of Faurisson. Chomsky held, “… it has been a truism for years, indeed centuries, that it is precisely in the case of horrendous ideas that the right of free expression must be most vigorously defended; it is easy enough to defend free expression for those who require no such defense.” [2]

As for France defending freedoms, The Times of Britain notes,

French authorities have been accused of “judicial harassment” in a damning Amnesty report that claims more than 40,000 people were convicted during the gilet jaune (yellow vest) and pension reform protests in 2018 and 2019 “on the basis of vague laws” aimed at restricting their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

The controversial media outlet Charlie Hebdo is not about either free expression or speech. It fired a cartoonist for alleged anti-Semitism. [3] On its face, Charlie Hebdo signals that Islamophobia is kosher, but Judeophobia is haram.

Macron said “France is under attack.” [4] Were Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen not under attack when the French sent their guns to these countries? [5]

ENDNOTES

  1. Agence France-Presse,“‘Nous ne cèderons rien’ sur les valeurs françaises, assure Macron” TVA Nouvelles, 29 October 2020.
  2. Noam Chomsky, “Some Elementary Comments on The Rights of Freedom of Expression,” Appeared as a Preface to Robert Faurisson, Mémoire en défense, 11 October 1980.
  3. See “‘Charlie Hebdo’ condamné pour le licenciement abusif du dessinateur Siné,” Le Monde, 10 December 2009.
  4. “Attentat de Nice – ‘La France est attaquée’, 7 000 militaires déployés, les églises et les écoles sous surveillance : ce qu’il faut retenir des annonces d’Emmanuel Macron” L’Indépendant, 29 October 2020.
  5. Note some of these 21st century conflicts are still ongoing.

*(Top image: French President Emmanuel Macron meets Prime Minister 

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