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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President Assad Slaughtered Neoliberalism’s Four Sacred Cows

By Andrew Korybko

Source

President Assad Slaughtered Neoliberalism

Syrian President Assad just slaughtered neoliberalism’s four sacred cows of gay marriage, radical secularism, marijuana legalization, and gender theory in a short video of his latest speech that recently went viral on social media where he condemned these examples of “total moral degeneracy” that he very passionately believes “target our humanity”.

The “Great Social/Civilizational Reset”

The increasingly sharp contrast between the West’s extreme neoliberal social values and most of the rest of the world’s embrace of conservative traditionalism was brought to the fore of global attention after October’s terrorist beheading of a French schoolteacher for sharing satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The author published an analysis at the time asking “Is A ‘Great Social/Civilizational Reset Upon Us?”, which predicted that each value system’s proponents will become more vocal in the future but that this doesn’t necessarily imply that the fearmongered “Clash of Civilizations” scenario is inevitable. Rather, what’s likely to unfold is that each side more proudly reasserts their identity as time goes on, defending that which they hold dearest against what they regard as the threat represented by the other system. This is precisely what recently happened after a short video of Syrian President Assad’s latest speech went viral on social media where he slaughtered the four sacred cows of neoliberalism.

Syrian Girl Made The Syrian Leader Go Viral

Mimi Al Laham, also known as Syrian Girl on Twitter, translated the most important part into English. Her work was then shared by Infowars as part of their article titled “Bashar Al-Assad: Neoliberalism is Based on ‘Total Moral Degeneracy’”, which in turn brought it to the attention of countless people across the world. President Assad is known for his solid support of secularism in the face of fundamentalist religious threats to his country’s society, yet casual observers would have been mistaken if they assumed that this means that he’s sympathetic to neoliberalism. The reality couldn’t be more different since the Syrian leader showed that it’s possible to be a secular anti-liberal unlike what many people might have naively thought. Some of his own supporters abroad might even be a bit surprised by what he said since they probably didn’t expect him to group gay marriage, radical secularism, marijuana legalization, and gender theory together as examples of “total moral degeneracy” which he very passionately believes “target our humanity.”

Slaughtering The Four Sacred Cows

For the reader’s convenience, the author is sharing Syrian Girl’s translation of President Assad’s speech below:

Neoliberalism is based on promoting a total moral degeneracy and separating individuals from any principles or values and affiliations and beliefs in order to reach this moral degeneracy. Neoliberalism promoted gay marriage. They started in the 1970s and now gay marriage is legal. And now they have children but it’s different from adopting because how can they have children?

Neoliberalism promoted that a child does not choose his own religion and this is against the child’s freedom of expression. A child is born without any religion and later choose his own religion when he’s grown up. This is against human nature. Ever since human made their own idols and Gods, a child would instinctively belong to his family’s religion. They contradict humanity itself.

It has recently promoted that marijuana is not harmful and now it’s sold in shops legally. They started claiming that drugs are not harmful, and later they will find something more harmful. Now in some places you can buy marijuana-flavored bread. This is neoliberalism. It (neoliberalism) now claims that a child is born and does not have a gender, that the child chooses later to be a male or a female. Very strange indeed!

So what do we understand from this? Neoliberalism targets our humanity, and by doing so, it collides with religions because religions serve humanity while neoliberalism separates individuals from their values.”

From the above, there’s no doubt that President Assad slaughtered all four of neoliberalism’s sacred cows.

Reviewing President Assad’s Principled Views

Gay marriage, as he noted, has been pushed by neoliberals onto society for nearly the past half-century, after which it finally succeeded to such a wild extent that sex change surgeries can now even lead to so-called “male pregnancies”. According to President Assad, the radical neoliberal ideology of forcibly secularizing children “contradicts humanity itself”. Legalizing drugs, and especially Western society’s normalization of marijuana, is harmful in his eyes, and he also regards gender theory as “very strange indeed”. Taken together, it can unambiguously be said that President Assad sees little difference between “impregnating” sex-changed males, forcing children to accept secularism despite their parents’ wishes, eating a marijuana “brownie”, and convincing children that gender is a choice. These are all similar expressions of neoliberalism’s “moral degeneracy” and “targeting of humanity”, hence why they’re equally condemned. All four of these are like a cancer eating Western society from within, something that he wants to avoid having happen in Syria.

The Syrian Model Stands To Inspire The World

President Assad’s very principled defense of traditional values despite his vehement support for secularism challenges the assumption that the only ones who support the former are religious fundamentalists. As proven by none other than himself and his millions of supporters across the world, it’s entirely possible to simultaneously support secularism and traditional values while being strongly against both neoliberalism and religious fundamentalism. It’s not an either-or choice like those who want to provoke a so-called “Clash of Civilizations” dishonestly try to make everyone think. The world is so complex that not every society neatly falls into one or the other category as Syria shows. For this reason, the Syrian model might eventually be replicated by other countries that are striving to strike a balance between those two social extremes. In hindsight, the nearly decade-long Hybrid War of Terror that was launched against his country in 2011 might have even been partially predicated on erasing Syria’s unique social system from the face of the earth in order to prevent that.

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.

Macron wants to identify himself with the American Zionism: Lebanese cleric

By Mohammad Mazhari

November 14, 2020 – 10:58

TEHRAN – Shaikh Ghazi Honainah, a member of the leadership of the Islamic Action Front in Lebanon, believes that the motive that drove the French president to back the sacrilegious cartoons against the Prophet of Islam by the Charlie Hebdo magazine is that he wants to “identify himself with the American Zionism.” 

Shaikh Honainah tells the Tehran Times that Emanuel Macron endorsed insulting Islam and its Prophet Muhammad to “identify himself with the American Zionism, which bears arrogant hostility to Mohammad as the Messenger of God and his message.”
“The message of Prophet Mohammad has become today worldwide despite all efforts to distort the true image of the Messenger and Islam,” the Lebanese cleric emphasizes.
The following is the text of the interview:

Q:    Last month, French President Emanuel Macron publicly attacked Islam in defense of the publication of the derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) under the pretext of freedom of speech. What do you think of his remarks?

 A: Regarding the recent remarks of the French president, in which he endorsed the aggressive approach of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo towards Islam and the Messenger of Islam, I should say that this is a president of a country that claims civilization, advancement, enlightenment, human rights, and addresses freedom, equality, and justice.

 This president takes this stance as if he is an ordinary person in the street. I think the motive that drove him to make such a remark is that he wants to identify himself with the American Zionism, which bears arrogant hostility to Mohammad as the Messenger of God and his message.

 The message of Prophet Mohammad has become today worldwide despite all attempts to distort the true image of the Messenger and Islam.

Macron wants to show his loyalty to global Zionism and the new Freemasonry to gain their green light for his second presidential bid. 

Otherwise, why should someone on the level of the president of the French Republic, who represents France in the world, take such a position?

France is an important member of the (UN) Security Council and has a key role in resolving disputes in the region, especially in Lebanon.

Therefore, he wants to make propaganda against Islam and its Prophet in order to use it as a trump card in the upcoming French election.

Q: What are the definitions and limits of freedom in Islam?

A: Islamic education came to found basic principles of human societies’ lives; tolerant religion focuses on permanent principles, namely freedom, justice, and equality that never change, whether for Muslims or non-Muslims. Perhaps these principles are consistent with the slogans of the French Revolution. For example, about “freedom,” God said, “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (Al-Baqarah -256), and in Surah Yunus Ayah 99, it is said that “Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Will you compel people to become believers?” God also said, “The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills—let him believe. And whoever wills—let him disbelieve.” (Al-Kahf -30).

That is why Almighty God said in his holy book, “You have no control over them.” (Al-Ghashiyah – 22)

Hence we understand that Islamic educations endorse the concept of freedom: freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom of worship, and freedom of thought. Therefore, the Islamic source mentioned the second caliphate asked person, “Why did you enslave people when their mothers gave birth to them free?”

 The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said, “All of you are Adam’s sons, and Adam was created out of the dust of the ground. Therefore, from the standpoint of equality in Islamic educations, all people have equal rights, and duties at all levels, the rich and the poor, men and women, young and old, Arab and non-Arab, all people in the eyes of Islam are equal.

This freedom, which Islam affirmed, does not give the right to attack others and violate others’ rights. Therefore, according to Islamic law, our freedom ends when the rights of others begin. In Islam, we do not have the right to assault the beliefs of others.
God asks us, “Do not insult those they call upon besides God, lest they insult God out of hostility and ignorance” (Al-An’am -108).

 That is why the Messenger of God forbade us from humiliating others’ dignity or insulting them, even in times of war. Prophet asked us not to scorn people who believe in a different way and those who are out of Islam. Therefore, freedom in this peaceful religion has limits, and we have not right to assault the sanctities and beliefs of others.

Q: What is the right way to respond to the West’s provocative moves against Islam?

A: First of all, I emphasize that calling Islam and spreading its message among people needs a peaceful atmosphere as societies should be open to each other and cherish dialogue and communication.

The first step is to open doors and bridge divides so that people will be aware of their bonds, gather them, and communicate and debate for what is beneficial for humanity and human society. 

Therefore, these provocative moves and actions in France undoubtedly lead to undermining relations between people, cutting off communication, and further strife, and this does not serve the interests of peace and Muslims.

In our relations with people, we need to address them calmly, within a reasonable argument, and with sound logic.

Our position should be strong, and with a bright thought, we can defend Islam. Therefore, the repercussions of the attack on others’ sanctities and beliefs will trigger the hatred and reaction of others against all Muslims as a whole. 

This is harmful to Islam and Muslims as the number of Muslims is increasing drastically in the West. This is what worries Muslims’ enemies in those societies and frightens those who see that the spread of Islam as a threat to their future.

Violent reactions do not serve the relationships between people and also the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and others.

Q:  How do you assess the reaction of Islamic countries and their leaders to Macron’s statements?

A: What we noticed in the recent period after re-infusion of the poisons of insulting the Messenger of God and supported by the French president, showed that the Islamic states and regimes, except a few of them, went into a deep coma or took sleeping pills as if what happened does not concern them, especially those who consider themselves the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

We have not heard a position or condemnation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, neither at the official level nor from its nation. Unfortunately, this is what hurts us and grieves us and makes us feel that the Arab regimes do not care about Islamic causes and issues: peace, mercy, and blessings of God.

Q: Do you confirm violence in response to insult to the Prophet of Islam?

A: As Muslims, we have our way of defending Islamic sanctity; we have to deal with this issue differently. As long as the issue was in this context, we avoid insulting others’ sanctuaries, greatness, and prophets, whether he is Jesus, peace be upon him, or his mother Virgin Mary, peace be upon her, or Prophet Moses, peace be upon him.

If others offend Muslims, we are forbidden from insulting any prophet on earth. God says, “The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, as did the believers. They all have believed in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers. The believers make no distinction between any of His messengers” (Al-Baqarah- 285). 

Therefore our reaction is to argue with them in the best manner as God said, “Do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in the best manner possible, except those who do wrong among them. And say, ‘We believe in what was revealed to us, and in what was revealed to you, and our God and your God is One,  and to Him we are submissive.'” 

We have in Quran that God made a covenant with the Children of Israel to worship none but God and be good to parents, and relatives, and orphans, and the needy; and speak nicely to people. 

But beheading of a teacher in France in response to insulting Islam and its Prophet is not acceptable. Any attack against Christians and churches is condemned in Islam, according to Prophet Muhammad’s educations.
 

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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.

Nasrallah: Macron is waging a losing war against Islam and Muslims


Date: 5 November 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on October 30, 2020, on the occasion of Islamic Unity Week, commemorating the birth of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad b. Abdallah (born on the 12th day of the month of Rabi ’al-Awal according to the Sunnis, and the 17th according to the Shiites).

See also Ramzan Kadyrov’s full reply to Macron below

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2182

Translation: resistancenews.orghttps://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7x991xhttps://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7x993o

Transcript:

The status of the Prophet in the eyes of Muslims

[…] This great Prophet is regarded by the unanimity of Muslims throughout history, until this day and until Judgment Day —it will always be like this—, as worthy of all their love, passion, respect, consideration and sanctification, more than anything they can feel for any other human being in terms of love, respect and sanctification. No other Prophet, Messenger, Close Friend of God, Imam, Righteous or Chosen one throughout history (has such a lofty status). All Muslims have an exceptional esteem, a special faith, a very unique love for this person, this man, this personality.

Muslims can differ on many things, and this has happened (many times) throughout history: they have differed on all kinds of issues, whether disputes of thought and intellect, of dogma, of jurisprudence, about what is lawful and what is forbidden, about the evaluation of events in the history of the Muslim world and the status of some personalities, etc. Today, in our time, important and major political questions can separate and oppose Muslims, even struggles and (inter-Muslim) wars, etc. But there are points and questions on which there is unanimity, on which Muslims have never been divided throughout history, and which will remain unchanged until Judgment Day. One of the most important points of convergence, which unanimously unites Muslims, is their faith in Muhammad son of Abdallah, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family, their faith in his quality as Messenger and Prophet, in his unique character, in his (supreme) status and in his (unparalleled) rank. Muslims consider him as the Seal of the Prophets —there will be no Prophet after him—, the Master of Messengers, the best of creatures, the most perfect creation, the most perfect and noblest man (of all), the creature closest to God the Most High and the Exalted, the one whom God loves and cherishes the most. This is how Muslims regard this Messenger and this Prophet.

This faith is so great, the love of Muslims for the Prophet is such that they are ready to sacrifice their blood, their flesh, their whole being to him, they are ready to sacrifice their life, their soul, their mind, their heart for him. This is not a theoretical, philosophical, cultural or intellectual faith, no. There is an emotional and sentimental relationship, an (exceptional) attachment of soul and spirit (of every Muslim) with the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family, (which manifests itself) when required, and it will always be required. (All Muslims) have the greatest respect for him here on earth, and know his status and his preeminent rank in the Hereafter (alongside God). All of this should be kept in mind in the points I will now address. Because the consequence of all this is that it is impossible for Muslims to tolerate the slightest insult, the smallest offense against this greatest Prophet. Because (all) Muslims consider that defending the dignity of their Prophet is the highest priority, which takes precedence over all other calculations, over all other interests –whether political, economic, concerning means of subsistence, etc. Absolutely no concern can come before this issue. This is the highest priority for Muslims, (under all circumstances). Muslims can not (ever) tolerate or forgive attacks on the dignity of their Prophet, nor never be silent in the face of such attacks, and that is why they react (with great virulence) to any action or behavior that involves an insult, outrage or offense against the greatest of God’s Messengers, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family.

The situation in France: condemnation of the Nice attack

I now come to the first point of my speech this evening, namely the current problem… This is not a problem limited to one country, or to Muslims in a specific country, but it concerns all Muslims throughout the world. I am talking about the current problem that the highest French authorities have with Islam and with Muslims. And I will express myself in a calm, precise and rational manner, in order to dissect this problem and seek ways of resolving it. My goal is to find a solution, not to reinforce enmities or hostilities, nor to seek new enemies.

I will start by (evoking) the last event, so that the false does not mix with the truth, nor the truth with the false, which would annihilate all truth and justice. I begin with the event in the city of Nice, in France, where a Muslim man killed three people and injured others. This attack —I start from the end to go back to the beginning—, we condemn it (very) strongly, and the Muslims (clearly) condemned it, each from his position: whether they are scholars, religious dignitaries or politicians, the entire Muslim world and the Muslim authorities in France and in Europe and everywhere else (have clearly condemned it). This attack is rejected and condemned by Islam itself, and no one should attribute it to Islam. Islam and the Muslim religion reject it, because Islam (formally) prohibits killing the innocent, attacking them or inflicting any harm on them, whatever their beliefs or convictions. And any similar attack that has taken place in the past, or that will happen in the future, will always be in our eyes, Muslims, and primarily from the point of view of Islam, (strongly) rejected and condemned, wherever it occurs, whatever the target, whether in France or anywhere else in the world. This point must be clearly established, as a principle and as a basis, so that our position is quite clear thereafter.

Terrorism and Islam: the unacceptable confusion of the French authorities

My second point concerning this question is that the French authorities, and all the other authorities, do not have the right to pin the responsibility for a crime perpetrated by a single person on his religion, nor on the followers of the religion to which he belongs. To put it more clearly, if a crime is perpetrated by a Muslim, no one has the right to blame Islam for that crime, and no one has the right to blame it on Muslims in France or around the world. Because it is an incorrect, unfair, illegitimate, illegal and immoral attitude. When a person commits a crime, it is he who must be held responsible for that crime, whatever his motivations, even if that person considers himself driven by religious considerations. If, for example, and these are things that are happening in France and in Europe, and elsewhere in the world —I am going to speak only of Muslims and Christians, I will not speak of Jews—, if a Christian man commits such a crime, which has already happened in France —and in France, most crimes are not committed by Muslims, even if the media insist on Muslim crimes and hide others, but those who follow this closely and check the statistics know it—, would it be right for anyone to pin the responsibility of this crime on our Master (Jesus Christ) the Messiah, peace be upon him, God forbid? Would it be right to blame it on the Christian religion, or on Christians around the world? Or on the Christians in the country in which the crime was committed? No one would accept such a confusion. But unfortunately, this is how the French authorities behave (towards Muslims). When President Macron and other French officials speak of “Islamist terrorism”, which someone translated as “Islamic terrorism”, which is the same thing, when they speak of “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamist fascism”… There is no such thing! “Islamist terrorism”, no more than “Islamist fascism”, do not exist. If someone commits a terrorist act, he is the terrorist. If anyone commits a crime, he is the criminal. But to speak of “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamist fascism” (is misleading & unacceptable).

Today, the United States are carrying out massacres all over the world. Since 2000 alone, since September 11, 2001, the wars they have waged in Afghanistan, Iraq and the entire Middle East, not to mention the world wars, Hiroshima, etc. Let’s only talk about what the current generations have gone through. Millions of people have been killed in these wars, and Americans admit killing hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes claiming it was by mistake, like the bombing of wedding ceremonies in Afghanistan, or as a deliberate act. Does anyone claim, because the American President and his administration are of the Christian religion [and claim waging a “crusade” against “evil” in the name of God], as are the majority of American soldiers [at least culturally], is anyone claiming that American terrorism is Christian terrorism [or Christianist terrorism]? Does anyone claim that the responsible for these massacres is our Master the Messiah, God forbid, or the Christian religion, whose values ​​and teachings (clearly) oppose these terrorist acts? Not to mention what the European armies, including the French army, did when they invaded Algeria and perpetrated atrocious crimes there, and what others have done in Libya and elsewhere in our region. No Muslim has denounced “Christian terrorism” or blamed the Christian religion [or so-called Republican, Democratic & Civilizational ideals] for these crimes, never. And if anyone made such a claim, he would be sorely mistaken. But there is no such tendency (to accuse Christianity) in the Muslim world.

Hanoi 3 Beheading decapitation 1908 Tonkin Vietnam Indochina Indochine  execution | eBay
colons | Nicolas Bourgoin
La France restitue 136 ans plus tard la tête du chef Kanak, Ataï, décapité  par l'armée coloniale française | Tsimok'i Gasikara - Réveillons-nous!

Head-choppers: who is the Master, and who is the pupil? See Joseph Massad’s Assimilating French Muslims

Therefore, it is unacceptable, when a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or a follower of any religion or thought, commits a crime, to attach the responsibility for it on his religion, or on the Prophet of his religion, or on the community that believes in this religion. To impute responsibility & liability to a whole group or religion is a (serious) mistake. And it must stop. But unfortunately, France and its officials make this confusion every day. After that, they claim that they respect the Muslim religion, but if this is really the case, they must renounce the expression “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamist fascism”, and stop following Trump, who has made his specialty of this type of expression.https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x6e7jhb

ISIS and Charlie Hebdo are both despicable

Third, in the last few days, we have heard a lot of criticism that instead of being concerned about some people who insult the Prophet and Islam, Muslims had better deal first with the Muslims who smear Islam and the Prophet (by their behavior). I would like to say on this subject that it is obvious that some Muslims smear Islam, that some Muslims smear the Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, and that some commit very, very, very, very, very dangerous (and serious) offenses (against Islam). What we have seen in recent years in terms of terrorist acts, crimes, destruction of mosques, churches, historical remains, murders, beheadings, butchered chests, assassinations of innocent people from various peoples and various beliefs, slaughtered like sheep, so many atrocious images that the western media have also spread to the world, this is undoubtedly a very great insult that was done (by ISIS) to our religion and to our Prophet. We strongly opposed this, and clearly condemned it (in addition to having fought and defeated ISIS in Syria, Iraq, etc.).

See Nasrallah: ISIS is the biggest distortion of Islam in HistoryThe main victims of the Islamic State are the Sunni MuslimsSo-called ‘Islamic State’ is Wahhabi, every Muslim must fight it,

But even in the hypothesis —and this is not a mere hypothesis, it is a reality— where some Muslims smear our Prophet, that is no reason for you to smear our Prophet too. If some of you blaspheme what you consider holy, does that give us the right to do the same? It is completely absurd. Prophets, Messengers, religions, religious symbols and all that is holy must be respected, even if some followers of these religions sully and desecrate them.

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Terrorists are the West’s creatures, not Islam’s

Fourth, and I continue to address French officials and the public opinion, instead of blaming Islam and Muslims for these terrorist acts that occur in France, Europe and elsewhere, let us rather seek together your responsibility, your own responsibility for these acts and the (existence of) these (terrorist) groups. Let’s go back (in time) a bit. Again, no need to go back 50 years, just go back ten years, to 2011. There is a takfiri and terrorist thought that supports the murder of anyone who has a difference of opinion, of thought, of dogma, of religious school, of politics or on the smallest other detail. And the followers of this thought perpetrate monstrous crimes. You are the ones who protected this thought, you Americans, the American administration, the French government, the European governments. You protected them. You gave them all the help in the world. For those who are followers of other thoughts, it is very difficult to obtain visas to come and work in your countries. But as for the followers of takfiri thought, all the doors were opened to them, and they were protected. These groups which have been formed and which are followers of this takfiri thought, it is you who facilitated their access to Syria and Iraq. You have contributed to their support, their funding and their armament, to the point that they have acquired experience, expertise, a fighting spirit, etc. And I ask you the question: after all this, are you surprised that there are slaughterings, beheadings? But where did it start? It started in our region, in our countries. Who committed these acts? The very terrorist groups that you have supported politically, financially, in the media, in terms of communication… You have granted them international protection, you have organized international conferences to support them. You opened up all the borders to them, you provided them with passports, and you made it easier for them to come to the region. So start by looking for your own responsibility. Ask yourself how responsible you are for all of this.

I invite you to consult the archives for the years 2011-2012, whether in my statements or those of other people. We have urged you many times, especially the Europeans, not to participate in this world war against Syria, against Iraq and against our region —they failed to extend it to Lebanon (thanks to Hezbollah). We have told you many times not to embrace these terrorist groups, not to support them, not to facilitate their coming (from all over the world) and their strengthening. Because you will lose this battle, and these terrorists will turn against you. This (takfiri) thought will turn against you. These groups and these fighters will return to your countries and sow terror and chaos there. And whatever they’ve done in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere, they’re going to come back to you.

Islamic State | Latuff Cartoons

And that day, we told you clearly that the United States was very far, and that Europe was the area closest to our region (and would therefore be the preferred destination of these terrorists), and that the greatest threat therefore hung over Europe. We have warned you and urged you to be cautious. But you got carried away by your arrogance and your malice, and did not accept our exhortations. You thought you were going to win this war, and we know the outcome you were hoping for.

U.S. Trains 60 Moderate Rebels in Syria - That's all They Could Find

Today, you also need to question your own responsibility, and stop blaming those who have no responsibility. What is the relation between the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad b. Abdillah, peace and blessings be upon him, and these crimes? What is the relation between his religion, his Islam and his Quran with these crimes? What is the relation between the Muslim Community of 2 billion Muslims and these crimes? Those who are responsible for these crimes are people you embraced, protected, raised, to whom you have granted all the help in the world, whom you have brought (to Syria & Irak from everywhere). And it is this policy that must be reconsidered, because until now, you persist in this direction, you still carry out the same policies.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius praises Al-Nosra’s “good job” in Syria (authentic), while Al-Baghdadi praises their good job in France

Otherwise… I repeat with the same words I used then (in 2012), when we chose our side: I said we would never be on the side of the head-cutters, the chest-rippers, the (human) liver-eaters, the cut-throats. These people were your allies, the groups that you supported, that you protected. Therefore, it is you, the French, the Europeans, the Americans and their allies in the region who must reconsider your actions and behavior, and renounce the use of these terrorist groups as instruments in the service of (your) political projects and (your) war projects. And you never learn (from your mistakes). In Afghanistan, that is what you did (against the USSR), and you paid the price on September 11 (2001). You made those mistakes, and you make them again, always the same mistakes, the same mistakes, the same mistakes. The use of these kinds of (terrorist) groups as instruments must stop, otherwise you will also pay the price for these mistakes.

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When the West was praising Ben Laden

Sidebar: See also Putin’s comments on the issue“Instead of settling conflicts, [the Western interventions] lead to their escalation, instead of sovereign and stable States we see the growing spread of chaos, and instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public ranging from open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals. Why do they support such people? They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals but then burn their fingers and recoil. I never cease to be amazed by the way that our partners just keep stepping on the same rake, as we say here in Russia, that is to say, make the same mistake over and over. They once sponsored Islamic extremist movements to fight the Soviet Union. Those groups got their battle experience in Afghanistan and later gave birth to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The West if not supported, at least closed its eyes, and, I would say, gave information, political and financial support to international terrorists’ invasion of Russia (we have not forgotten this) and the Central Asian region’s countries. Only after horrific terrorist attacks were committed on US soil itself did the United States wake up to the common threat of terrorism. Let me remind you that we were the first country to support the American people back then, the first to react as friends and partners to the terrible tragedy of September 11. During my conversations with American and European leaders, I always spoke of the need to fight terrorism together, as a challenge on a global scale. We cannot resign ourselves to and accept this threat, cannot cut it into separate pieces using double standards. Our partners expressed agreement, but a little time passed and we ended up back where we started. First there was the military operation in Iraq, then in Libya, which got pushed to the brink of falling apart. Why was Libya pushed into this situation? Today it is a country in danger of breaking apart and has become a training ground for terrorists. 

In Syria, as in the past, the United States and its allies started directly financing and arming rebels and allowing them to fill their ranks with mercenaries from various countries. Let me ask where do these rebels get their money, arms and military specialists? Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force? We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created, and pay an ever-greater price.”

France embarks on an insane crusade against Islam

Fifth, the French authorities have launched a battle against Islam and Muslims for illusory, and sometimes incomprehensible reasons. They dragged France as a whole in this battle, and they are trying to drag all of Europe behind them. I speak with caution, and I’m not here to score points. What is the cause of the recent problem, the recent developments that we have seen in the last few weeks? So much so that it became clear that France, its President, its government, its ministers, Parliament, the media, the street, etc., are very clearly engaged in an open war (against Islam and Muslims). What’s the cause? Who started this problem? Who assaulted the other? Who insulted the other?

The problem started when this hypocritical and infamous French newspaper (Charlie Hebdo) started piblishing cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family. And now Muslims are denouncing it in many parts of the world. Then it developed into several events, up to the History Professor who was killed and beheaded. Instead of trying to solve this problem, get it under control and take a fair and measured stance, consisting in preventing the confusion of the true and the false and to mix everything, as they say in Lebanon, (by spreading confusion between Islam and terrorism, free speech and hate speech…), because there is an essential cause which led to all these developments…

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In 2015, a French teenager who merely reposted the cartoon on the right was indiceted for apology of terror

Instead of acting on the causes (I will come back to this at the end of my speech), the French authorities have acted on the consequences. Unfortunately, what happened is that the French authorities, instead of solving this problem, declared war on Islam and Muslims, and stubbornly and obstinately stuck (to their error), claiming that it was all about freedom of speech, and that France would persist in exercising this freedom of speech, in protecting & publishing those outrageous cartoons, which is absolutely insane (it is a capital mistake). France wants to persist in protecting & publishing those outrageous cartoons. So what is your message to 2 billion Muslims around the world? Because we are not talking about politics, money, economy, security struggle, etc., no! We are talking about the Prophet, the Messenger, the Master of Muslims, and I explained very well at the beginning of my speech what he represents for them. So what is the thing that would deserve these sacrifices on your part (state of maximum alert, loss of human life, etc.), O French authorities? What is it that justifies you endorsing it all, justifying it and defending it, protecting it by starting such a battle, embracing it? You claim that it is in the name of your values, including freedom of speech, and that you do not want to give up those values. All right, let’s debate that then. I said from the start that I wanted to speak in a calm and rational manner.

See Norman Finkelstein: Charlie Hebdo is Sadism, Not Satire

Freedom of speech has no limits only when speaking about Muslims

The first debate is about the way (this principle) is exercised, and the confrontation of your statements (in favor of freedom of speech) with reality. If things were really as you say, if things were really that way in France or in Europe (that is to say if freedom of speech was total there), perhaps we could say that indeed, the problem should be solved differently (than by banning these cartoons). But this is not the case. You must first convince Muslims that your claims are true and sincere, which is by no means a given, because Muslims do not accept your claims as a reality. Your claim is neither true nor sincere. We have a large amount of evidence and examples in France and in Europe where official actions have prevented freedom of speech, and even suppressed freedom of speech, for things that are much less sensitive than an issue that touches a Prophet in whom 2 billion people in the world believe.

See Chomsky: Paris attacks show hypocrisy of West’s outrage

In order not to waste too much time, I will be satisfied with a single example, well known, and which does not need much explanation, namely the French philosopher Roger Garaudy. One can easily find (the details of this case) in archives, televisions, official documents, videos, statements, etc. It all exists. All this man did was write a book, a study, on the founding myths of the Israeli genocide, namely the Holocaust. He proposed a rational debate, putting forward figures and discussing them, proposing a scientific and academic reflection on this subject, and speaking of the political instrumentalisation of this event. And let us recall that to this day, Europe and in particular Germany are still victims of a racketeering of international Zionism because of this issue. This man (Garaudy) neither insulted, offended, denigrated nor caricatured anyone, nor did he mention the Jewish religion. He only discussed an important event that happened in Europe.

See Norman Finkelstein: WHY WE SHOULD REJOICE AT HOLOCAUST DENIERS, NOT SUPPRESS THEM

What did the French authorities do in the face of this French philosopher? Judicial proceedings were launched against him, he was tried, and sentenced to prison. It was perhaps his advanced age that prevented him from serving his prison sentence. This man was (severely) repressed. Is this freedom of expression? Is this the value that you (claim) to defend? Because in reality, what we can say (to accurately describe the reality) is that when a certain community is affected (the Jews), when it comes to Israel or the Zionists, there are clear limits imposed to the freedom of speech. But when it comes to another community, an entire Ummah, 2 billion people, when it comes to their holiest things, then there is total freedom of speech.

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The example of Roger Garaudy, and many other examples that may be compiled on another occasion, confirms that freedom of speech in France and in Europe is not absolute, but hampered by legal, political, security limits, etc. [let us remind that in France, anything that can disturb public order, even without being illegal, can be prohibited]. This claim that freedom of speech is total (in France), and that anyone can say and do whatever they want, that any newspaper can disparagingly caricature the Prophet of Islam, or that someone could make a movie in which they make fun of the Prophet of Islam, this would not pose any problem, because freedom (of speech) is absolute, this claim is false. And if you want, some another time, we can present you with countless examples (of repression of freedom of speech in France). That is why this argument is inadmissible, and the whole battle you are waging today (against Islam) is based on non-existent and unreal foundations. The situation in France is not one of unlimited freedom of speech. We can make a whole list of your censorship of TV channels, newspapers, magazines, etc., on the pretext that they support a particular thought, or have broadcast particular programs and series (see for example the ban on the Al-Manar channel on the pretext of anti-Semitism). All of this can easily be found in the archives. So much for the first point.https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7x99lo

On September 18, 2012, following the broadcast of excerpts from a blasphemous film about the Prophet produced in the United States, entitled Innocence of Muslims, Hezbollah called its supporters to a huge demonstration to denounce this attack on Islam and Muslims. Over a hundred thousand people took to the streets of Beirut to proclaim their attachment to the Prophet and their rejection of any attack on his dignity. To everyone’s surprise, Nasrallah participated in person (remember that the Israeli, Western and Gulf secret services have made his elimination a priority), and delivered the above speech, one of the most vocal to date. Without the ravages of the coronavirus, it is likely that Hezbollah & Iran would have expressed outrage against Charlie Hebdo and Macron in a similar fashion.

The Rational and Moral Limits of Freedom of Speech

The second aspect (of this argument), which is equally important, is that even if this value of free speech was (really) fundamental and absolute to you, can it be considered as such when it is exercised in this form? Coming back to fundamental humanitarian and ethical values, can we claim that there should be absolute freedom of speech? Should it not refrain from crossing certain limits? Why must freedom of speech stop in the face of anti-Semitism? Does freedom of speech make it possible to insult others, to humiliate them, to undermine their dignity, to defame them, to slander them, to falsely blame them for crimes for example [cf. the Charlie Hebdo cartoons representing the Prophet, and therefore all Muslims, as a terrorist, and his religion as sh***]? And would it be fair to tolerate it? [Let us remember that Charlie Hebdo has been condemned 9 times by French Courts for libel].

If a person, in the name of freedom of speech, disseminates State secrets and facts that undermine national security, how will you react? How do the United States and the West behave in these situations [cf. the martyrdom of Julian Assange, a real case of freedom of expression completely censored by the media; France rejected both Assange’s and Snowden’s application for political asylum]? If anyone is doing, declaring or announcing things, or writing about matters which can create internal strife, a civil war, a danger to national security, how will you behave in the face of it? The freedom of speech does not stop then in front of the honor of anybody [in 1970, Charlie Hebdo’s ancestor, Hara-Kiri, was forbidden by the Interior Minister after a cartoon offensive to Charles de Gaulle who had just died]? (If this is really the case), we hope and call for you to reconsider things because it is not a human value, it is against human values. It is not an ethical value, it is contrary to all ethics and to all moral values. Therefore, we have to reconsider.

A call to reason

In conclusion, I would like to address the French authorities and tell them this: you see, today, in the Muslim world, nobody is looking for new enemies, nor new battles. I do not think that the state of mind of 2 billion Muslims is belligerent, on the contrary: Muslims are working to reduce hostilities in this world, and to remove from them the specter of wars and confrontations for which they always (are the first to) pay the price. You have to think about how to correct the mistake, the huge mistake you made. I heard the French leaders say: “We will not give in to terrorism”. No one is asking you to give in to terrorism. What you are being asked to do is correct your mistake. Righting one’s faults does not mean submitting to terrorism. On the contrary, persisting in your mistakes and engaging in confrontations that are not in the interest of anyone, this is submitting to terrorism, this is playing into the hands of terrorism and terrorists who want to blow up the whole world. You have to go back to the basic principles, and fix this fault, which is not like submitting to terrorism. This idea (of free speech), first of all, you exercise it in a wrong way, so exercise it in a right way. Apply it to Muslims as you apply it to non-Muslims (and Jews in particular). Be fair, be honest. Insulting our dignity, the dignity of our Prophets, of our Prophet, this cannot be tolerated by any Muslim in the world.

Calls for boycott of French products - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

And I want to tell you in all clarity: even the political regimes of the Arab-Muslim world, which can buy and sell (anything), and find pretexts in front of their people to engage in plots, concessions and betrayals (of Palestine, etc.), they cannot, in front of their people, be silent or cover up the attack on the Prophet of these people, whom they respect, sanctify and love passionately. This is why this battle (against Islam and Muslims) that you insist on waging and in which you persist is a losing battle for you. Where are the interests of France and the French people? (What will happen) to your political and economic interests, to your relations with the Muslim peoples, with the Muslim world, if the French authorities wish to persist in this direction? This issue needs to be resolved, and you are able to find a (reasonable) solution to it.

See FRANCE’S WAHABI SECULARISTS

Towards international legislation banning blasphemy

I conclude by telling you that instead of trying to resolve the consequences, to put more and more soldiers and security services on alert to prevent such terrorist acts, forget the empty pretexts and solve the root of the problem. Do not allow this denigration, this humiliation to persist, this aggression, this attack (against Islam and Muslims). Only then will the whole world be with you. Anyway, terrorist acts are (clearly) condemned, as I said at the start of my remarks. But your responsibility and everyone’s responsibility is to get to the root of the problem and solve it (once and for all). In this regard, it is possible to rely on the proposal of His Eminence the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and his call for international legislation banning such attacks against Muslims and the Muslim community. It is possible to rely on a similar formulation, for example an international law criminalizing the attack against the Prophets and Messengers, or attack against heavenly religions, or attack against what the Communities consider sacred, for example. Anything like this would do. Of course, if such international legislation is enacted, it will constitute a legal framework for freedom of speech, and a way out (which will allow the) French government (to break the stalemate while saving face) and for all other governments who claim to protect freedom of speech and claim that it is part of their values ​​and laws.

A way out must be found to this problem. It is not tolerable (to let it go on), the world having enough problems, confrontations and wars already. It is not tolerable, on the pretext of vain, ridiculous and doubtful claims as to their humanity, their morals and their legality, to push the world and the peoples of the world, and especially our Muslim community, as well as the countries of Europe which have this position and this status, to confrontations and wars of this type. The responsibility for solving this problem now lies with the French authorities in the first place. Everyone must cooperate to resolve this issue and put an end to this source of sedition. […]

Nasrallah concluded his speech by giving the example of Yemen, where despite the war and the catastrophic humanitarian situation, millions of people participated in the demonstrations commemorating the birth of the Prophet, denouncing France and affirming their readiness to defend the dignity of the Prophet. and the holy places of Islam, especially Palestine. He invited the Lebanese to scrupulously respect the health rules (masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing) against the coronavirus.

***

Here is how Kadyrov, President of Chechnia, replied to Macron (machine translated):

The French authorities support the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. This was stated by President Emmanuel Macron. He calls the actions that are offensive to almost two billion Muslims of the world “freedom of speech.” Moreover, Macron decided that he would change their religion and create “enlightened Islam” in France.

I do not know what state Macron was in when he made this statement, but the consequences of such a reaction can be very tragic. The French President himself is now becoming like a terrorist. Supporting provocations, he covertly calls on Muslims to commit crimes.

Macron cannot fail to know that the cartoons of the Prophet are painfully perceived by believers. And by his actions, on the contrary, he fans the fire, and does not extinguish it, as any adequate leader should have done. Never in history has such a policy ended well. But the President of France needs such upheavals related specifically to the Muslim world.

Hiding behind a desire to restore order, he is developing some new laws, talking about the need to control mosques and religious organizations. But in fact, the whole problem lies in himself. Until he and the leaders of other European countries begin to respect concepts such as “RELIGION”, “CULTURE”, “MORALITY”, there will be no worthy future and order in their States. Mockery of religion, mockery of it, they consider all this to be an observance of freedom of speech, but at the same time they themselves encroach on the values ​​of other people.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is an example for all Muslims in the world. We are all, almost two billion people, followers of his sunnah. And this, among other things, unites us. The most important thing in a Muslim’s life is religion. No one has the right to treat it in a mocking manner. Muslims will not forgive this.

Stop it, Macron, before it’s too late, stop provocations and attacks on faith. Otherwise, you will go down in history as a President who made extravagant decisions. Your absurd position on the publication of cartoons today is condemned not only by Muslims around the world, but also by any sober-minded representatives of other faiths.

You don’t even have the courage to admit that the mockery of faith and parodies of it became the reason for the tragic fate of the teacher in the suburbs of Paris. He tirelessly went to this result, defiantly provoking pupils, regardless of their indignation and requests to stop displaying offensive drawings. As a result, you elevate him to the rank of a hero of France, and the person he provoked is made a terrorist.

Well, Macron, if you call him a terrorist, then in that case, you are a hundred times worse, because you force people to terrorism, push people towards it, leave no choice, create all the conditions for nurturing extremist ideas in the minds of young people. You can safely call yourself the leader and inspirer of terrorism in your country.

Hiding behind all this time with false words about the highest human values, you by your behavior and actions are forcing people to commit crimes. And if you do not want to understand simple truths, then be prepared for the fact that Muslims around the world will not allow the name of the great Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to be insulted. You can not even doubt it!

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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

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 

Sayyed Nasrallah Cites Double Standards of Freedom of Expression in France: Western States Protected Takfiri Groups

 October 31, 2020

Capture
Video Here

Mohammad Salami

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Friday condemned the Nice attack, stressing that Islam forbids killing the innocent people and categorically rejects such crimes.

In a televised speech on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Birthday, Sayyed Nasrallah called on the French authorities and public opinion to avoid blaming Islam and all Muslims for the attack which targeted Nice City or any other area in the world, confirming that such acts are illegitimate and immoral and that only the culprits must be persecuted.

Sayyed Nasrallah rejected the French President Emmanuel Macron’s use of the “Islamic Terror” term, underscoring the obligation of respecting Islam and wondering whether religions can be blamed for crimes committed by individuals.

In this context, his eminence said that no one blamed Christianity for the crimes committed by the French military in Algeria or the atrocities of the US army all over the world.

Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the takfiri and terrorist groups in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, have been protected by the US administration and the European governments, adding that employing those terrorists to carry out certain political and military scheme must be stopped.

“You will pay the price of supporting the terrorist groups,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the Western States.

Sayyed Nasrallah maintained that if some Muslims have distorted their own religion, this does not give the others any right to abuse Islam, stressing that the Islamic teachings have nothing to do with the crimes committed by the terrorist groups.

Hezbollah leader pointed out that the recent tensions in France started with publishing that cartoons which abuse Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), continued in the form of Muslim protests against the insults and developed into the murder of the French history teacher.

“Instead of addressing the root causes of the problem, the French authorities waged a war of this sort, claiming that it is a matter of freedom of speech.”

“What is the message which the French authorities want to send to the Muslims by insisting on allowing the cartoons which insult Islam?”

Sayyed Nasrallah called on France and the other Western States to convince the Muslims that it is a matter of freedom of speech, adding that facts prove other abuses, especially those related to ‘Israel’ are banned.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the freedom of speech in France is restricted, citing the example of the philosopher Roger Geraudy who was persecuted for denying the Holocaust.

Hezbollah Secretary General stressed that the aim is not instigating hostilities and conflicts, calling on the French authorities to address their sin and confirming that the Muslims can never accept any humiliation and insult against their Prophet (PBUH).

“Undoing the mistake is not succumbing to terrorism. Be fair as the insults against the Prophet can never be tolerated by all the Muslims. Even the political regimes cannot cover up such abuses. So, you have to withdraw the excuses and stop this violation,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the French authorities.

Sayyed Nasrallah called for adopting the proposal of Egypt’s Al-Azhar based legislating international laws that criminalize abusing the religions and sanctities, underscoring that freedom of speech must not be away from restrictions so that the world countries avoid paying heavy prices for these violations.

Yemen

Hezbollah Secretary General highlighted the million-man celebration of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) across the Yemeni provinces despite the Saudi-led aggression and blockade in addition to the poverty crisis and the pandemic outbreak, stressing that this reflects the depth of their Islamic faith, love to the Prophet and readiness to defend Him.

“Millions of Yemenis march for hours before listening to the speech of the dear Sayyed Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, voice commitment to the Palestinian cause and reiterate readiness to defend the Palestinians, while those, who enjoy a luxurious life and have never engaged in any war with ‘Israel’, rush to abandon Palestine and normalize ties with the enemy.”

This should be a divine indication that the Yemenis must be supported and that the Saudi-led war on Yemen must be immediately stopped, according to Sayyed Nasrallah.

“All those who back the Saudi-Emirati-Sudanese aggression on Yemen must reconsider their calculations immediately.”

Lebanon

Domestically, Sayyed Nasrallah expressed hopes of a speedy cabinet formation, stressing that Hezbollah will cooperate with all the parties in this regard.

“It’s time to form the new government, not to engage in disputes.”

Regarding the sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases, Sayyed Nasrallah urged all the residents to commit the anti-pandemic measures and highlighted the religious aspect of this commitment.

Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

Sayyed Nasrallah felicitated all the Muslims around the world on the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and His Grandson Imam Jaafar Al-Sadek (P).

Sayyed Nasrllah stressed that the Prophet’s Birth was the prelude of announcing the unaltered and the final revelation of the Holy God, adding that Prophet Muhammad showed a number of miracles as all the other Prophets.

The eternal miracle of Prophet Muhammad is the Holy Coran which has been preserved for 1400 years and will remain till the Resurrection Day in accordance with the divine promise and can never be matched by any human book, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Muslims love, appreciate, respect and sanctify Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) more than any other human being, though they love all the other Prophets.

Muslims disagree on many jurisdictional, political and other issues; however, one of the issues that have remained consensual among them through history is their love to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and belief in His Greatness as a perfect human and closest creature to Holy Allah, according to Sayyed Nasrallah.

“This love is not only cognitive and philosophical but also spiritual. Muslims glorify their Prophet (PBUH) and consider his distinguished position, so they may never tolerate any humiliation or insult against Him.”

Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that Muslims consider defending Prophet Muhammad (PBUH as a top priority above any other issue and find it obligatory to respond to any abuse which targets the Messenger.

Sayyed Nasrallah postponed tackling a number of other topics, including the normalization deal with the Zionist enemy, the military drills of the Israeli occupation army and the situation on Lebanon’s southern border, due to the time consideration for the upcoming speech scheduled to be on November 11 on the occasion of Hezbollah Martyr’s Day.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Insulting the Prophet [PBUH] Unacceptable; US, The West to Pay the Price of Nurturing Takfirism

Sayyed Nasrallah: Insulting the Prophet [PBUH] Unacceptable; US, The West to Pay the Price of Nurturing Takfirism
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By Zeinab Abdallah

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech marking the birth anniversary of the Prophet of Mercy, the Messenger of Islam Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH] and his grandson the sixth Shia Imam Jaafar bin Muhammad al-Sadiq [AS].

After congratulating the entire Muslim world on the blessed occasions, Sayyed Nasrallah lectured France on the morale and rank of the holy prophet among his Muslim nation, and called the French authorities to reassess their measures and their standards upon which they tackle the freedom of expression.

His Eminence further elaborated on Prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] existing miracle that will remain until the day of resurrection, which is witnessed in all times, in reference to the holy book that Allah has sent his last prophet, the Holy Quran.

“The survival of this holy book in this accurate manner is a miracle in itself despite all reasons to distort it,” His Eminence stated, adding that “The most notable achievement of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] is the humanitarian achievement he made in the deep and huge transformation of the Arabian Peninsula community.”

All Muslims respect, sanctify, and appreciate this great prophet unlike any other human, though they love and appreciate all other prophets, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored.

“Among the most important social points for Muslims is that they believe in the greatness of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], and they view him as the most complete human and the closest creature to Allah the almighty,” His Eminence added.

Making clear that Muslims could never tolerate any insult or humiliation directed at the great prophet, Sayyed Nasrallah added that they consider defending the dignity of their prophet among the top priorities that is above all other interests and calculations.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Hezbollah Secretary General stated that the Nice incident is strongly condemned and rejected by Islam; the religion that forbids killing or attacking civilians. “All similar attacks are rejected in the first place from Islam’s viewpoint.”

However, he emphasized that neither the French authorities nor others are permitted to blame the religion or the community of the religion to which the perpetrator belongs.

Making the example closer to their minds, Sayyed Nasrallah asked: If a Christian man commits such a crime, which happened indeed in France, is it right to say that all world’s Christians are responsible for this crime?

“The US today commits crimes all over the world, and they admit the killing of thousands in such wars. Did any Muslim accuse Christians of those crimes just because the US President is Christian?” he then questioned.

Highlighting the importance of respecting Islam as a religion, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the matter requires to stop using the terms of “Islamic terrorism” and “Islamic fascism.”

“If some Muslims offended Islam it doesn’t give the right to any other side to offend it too. The Takfiri terrorist ideology, which adopted killing just for ideological differences in our region, was protected by the West.”

Blaming the West for nurturing the Takfiri and terrorist ideology, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “The West has, in the first place, to look for its responsibility for Takfiri groups, and the US administration and the European governments supported and funded Takfiri groups in Syria and Iraq.”

His Eminence then ruled out Islam’s involvement in such terrorist acts, adding that “Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and the Muslim nation have nothing to do with the crimes committed by the Takfiri groups.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also noted that the Americans and the Europeans should reassess their behavior of using terrorists as tools in their political schemes and wars. “Using such kind of tools must stop, otherwise you [the US and the West] will pay the prices for those mistakes.”

Referring to the origin of the Muslims’ problem with the French authorities, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that the crisis began when the notorious French magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], and the French authorities, instead of dealing with the issue, started a war of this kind and insisted to continue publishing such sarcastic cartoons.

Instead of dealing with the repercussions, Sayyed Nasrallah advised the French authorities to deal with the reasons. “We have many evidences that they suppressed the freedom of expression in less sensitive issues that insulting the Prophet. We have many evidences that they suppressed the freedom of expression in less sensitive issues that insulting the Prophet.”

Commenting on the double standards when it comes to the freedom of expression in France and Europe, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that is not an absolute matter, but rather restricted with security and political considerations. “When it comes to ‘Israel’, this freedom stops in France, and the examples are many. Why does it stop when it comes to anti-Semitism?”

His Eminence called for reassessing the concept of the freedom of expression, especially when it harms dignities, recommending the French authorities to deal with this grave mistake.

“Do not allow the progress of this aggression, violation and sarcasm. Offending the dignities of our Prophets is not accepted by any Muslim in the world,” Sayyed Nasrallah said as he addressed the French authorities.

He also assured them that they will lose this battle that they insist to continue. “Where are France’s interests in its relations with the Muslim world if it wants to continue in this situation?”

The responsibility for dealing with what happened in France is related to the French authorities’ performance, His Eminence added.

Blasting the Arab regimes that normalize with ‘Israel’, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that they are not allowed to remain silent and cover such offense against the sacred prophet for their people.

The resistance leader hailed the strong significances of the Yemenis’ presence in defending the Prophet [PBUH] despite all difficulties: “Despite the siege and war in Yemen, we find the Yemeni people assemble to celebrate the Prophet’s birth anniversary.”

He then urged Muslims and the entire world to read yesterday’s scene in Yemen with fidelity and religious background. “A major movement must be formed in the Arab world to press for ending this brutal war against Yemen. It is the least of our duties,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized.

He then called on Muslims to support the Yemeni people as the most notable thing they would present today to Prophet Muhammad [PBUH].

On the Lebanese level, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the country cannot continue with a caretaker government. He then assured that Hezbollah’s information say that the cabinet formation circumstances are good and acceptable, adding that: “We will cooperate and facilitate the formation. Time now is not for internal problems.”

As for the surging COVID-19 cases across Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah repeated and recalled that leniency in the battle with the Coronavirus is unethical, inhumane and illegitimate. “The responsibility for fighting the Coronavirus belongs to everybody; the government and people, not the Health Ministry alone,” His Eminence concluded.

Before ending his sermon, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that he will deliver a speech on November 11, the day that marks Hezbollah Martyr’s Day.

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Cui bono from the situation in France

Cui bono from the situation in France

October 29, 2020

I won’t even bother repeating it all here, those who are interested in my views of this entire Charlie Hebdo canard can read my article “I am NOT Charlie” here: https://thesaker.is/i-am-not-charlie/

No, what I want to do is to ask a simple question: do you think the French leaders are simply stupid, suicidal or naive?  I submit that they neither stupid, nor suicidal nor naive.  In fact, they are using a well practiced technique which goes with some variation of this:

  • Infiltrate some pseudo-Islamic gang of cutthroats (literally!)
  • Keep them under close scrutiny ostensibly for counter-terrorism purposes
  • Inside the group, try to promote your confidential informers
  • Have your analysts work on the following question: “how could we best provoke these nutcases into a bloody terrorist act?
  • Once the plan is decided, simply execute it, say by organizing the posting fantastically offensive caricatures
  • Once the cutthroats strike, blame Islam and double down
  • By then, you have infuriated most of the immense Muslim world out there and you can rest assured that the process is launched and will continue on its own.  You can now relax and get the pop-corn
  • Have your propaganda machine declare that Islam is incompatible with western civilization (whatever that means in 2020, both Descartes and Conchita Wurst I suppose…)
  • Shed some crocodile tears when the cutthroats murder some completely innocent Christian bystander
  • And announce a new crusade against “Islamism” (also a vague and, frankly, meaningless term!) and crack down on true Muslim communities and ideas while continuing to lovingly arm, train, finance and direct the “good terrorists” who have now become your own, personal, cutthroats.

Cui bono?

Anybody who knows anything about the political realities in France will immediately know in whose interests this all is and who is behind that: the Zionist power structure in France (CRIF, UEJF, etc. and the Israelis).  They have a total control over Macron and over the entire political class, very much including Marine LePen.

Who else could have concocted the “beautiful” term “Islamo-Fascisme“?!

This is a new phenomenon, a new ideology and a new strategy, which Alain Soral calls “National Zionism” which I discussed in some details here: https://thesaker.is/the-great-fraud-of-national-zionism/.

In its inception (from Ahad Ha’am, Theodor Herzl,  Ze’ev Jabotinsky, etc) Zionism used to be a largely secular and nationalistic, then, later, after WWII, it became very leftist and still secular ( Ben-Gurion, Shlomo Lavi, Golda Meir).  Modern Zionism, however, is both rabidly racist and religious – the perfect example would be US neocons.  It is also a ruthless and genocidal ideology which has created something truly original: God-mandated racism, something which, as far as I know, no other religion professes (so much for the ignorant and, frankly, plain stupid notions of “Abrahamic religions” or, even worse, “Judeo-Christian values”!).  National Zionism is the next phase of Zionism – it is rabidly “conservative” (in a Neocon sense only, of course!) and it parasitically feeds on whatever nationalist ideology the local patriotic goyim are inclined towards (the best example of that being the so-called “Christian Zionists” in the USA).

But here is the demonic “beauty” of it all: in a society like the French one, the Zionists don’t even need to micromanage their false flags: given enough uneducated and murderous pseudo-Muslim cutthroats and enough rabid secularists wanted to offend the faithful – some kind of violent explosion will *inevitably* happen!

Right now, between the embarrassing Yellow Vests movement, the crumbling economy, the massive influx, wave after wave, of unwanted and un-adaptable immigrants and the resulting social tensions, the French regime is in deep trouble.  Add to this the COVID pandemic which just added to the chaos and anger and finish with a total lack of foreign policy successes and you will immediately see why this regime badly needed what could be called a “patriotic reaction”.

Finally, there is the time-proven method of scaring your own population into a state of catatonic acceptance of everything and anything in the name of “security”.

We see it all in France today, we saw it in the UK before, and also in Belgium.  And, rest assured,  we will see much more such massacres in the future.  The only way to really stop these “terrorist” attacks is to show their sponsors that we know who they are and we understand what they are doing.  Short of this, these attacks will continue.

The Saker

فرنسا وسلفيّوها.. هل بدأت الحرب؟

باريس – نضال حمادة

لم يمض عشرة أيام على خطاب الرئيس الفرنسي الذي شنّ فيه حملة غير مسبوقة على ما أسماه الإسلام السياسي الانعزالي (انظر مقالة البناء يوم 6 الشهر الحالي بعنوان: ماكرون يحارب الإسلام انتخابياً) حتى وقع ما حذّر ما منه وكنا نخشاه، وحصلت جريمة ذبح أستاذ الجغرافيا والتاريخ في مدرسة في إحدى ضواحي باريس على يد مهاجر شيشاني بسبب اتهام بعض أهالي الطلاب للمعلم بالإساءة للنبي محمد عبر تخصيص حصة حول الرسوم الكاريكاتوريّة التي نشرتها صحيفة شارلي أبدو قبل أعوام.

هذه الجريمة البشعة والتي لا يمكن سوى إدانتها وشجبها، لم تأت من فراغ ولم تحصل صدفة أو لأن هناك أشخاصاً أو شخصاً قرّر ارتكابها، كما أنها ليست حالة منفردة ونخشى أنها لن تكون الأخيرة في مسلسل الصدام الذي بدأ بين فرنسا وسلفيّيها الذين طالما احتضنتهم وربّتهم وسهّلت لهم كل سبل القوة طمعاً بالأموال القطرية والسعودية التي لا تتوقف عن إمداد هؤلاء السلفيين تحت أعين الأجهزة الفرنسية ومعرفة الساسة في فرنسا، فضلاً عن سعي فرنسا للعب دور سياسي وعسكري في العالم العربي عبر استخدام مجاميعها من السلفيين في ليبيا ومن ثم على نطاق أوسع في سورية.

الآن وبعد حصول هذه الجريمة التي نكرّر إدانتنا لها، وبدلاً من أن تعمل الحكومة الفرنسية والرئيس الفرنسي على إعادة النظر في الحملة التي بدأها ماكرون على الإسلام كدين وعلى مسلمي فرنسا بحجج واهية محملاً إياهم مسؤولية وجود مجموعات سلفية في أوساطهم متناسياً أن هؤلاء السلفيين كانوا الجهة المدللة للحكومات الفرنسية المتعاقبة منذ عهد شيراك حتى اليوم. هذه الحكومة وهذا الرئيس صعّدوا من هجومهم على الإسلام وعقد الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون اجتماعاً شبه عسكري وامني طارئ يوم أول أمس الأحد حضره كل من وزير الداخلية ووزير الدفاع والخارجية والتربية وقائد أركان الجيش ومدعي عام الجمهورية الخاص بقضايا الإرهاب نتج عنه قرار من الرئيس بتسريع الإجراءات والقرارات التي اتخذها قبل عشرة أيام؛ وهي في خلاصتها تضع الإسلام كدين في خانة التجريم والمسلمين كبشر في خانة الاتهام المستمر ووضعهم تحت نظام حالة طوارئ، في مسعى انتخابي واضح وفرت له جريمة الجمعة الماضية أسباب الاستغلال الرخيص والخطر.

أخشى ما أخشاه أن تكون جريمة الجمعة الماضية ليست سوى بداية الصدام بين متطرفي الحكم في فرنسا ومتطرفين سلفيين طالما عملوا سوياً وكانوا حلفاء في سورية وليبيا، والآن انقلبوا على علاقتهم القديمة لأسباب انتخابية وأمنية وسياسية سوف نشرحها في مقالات مقبلة..

Iran slams West’s hypocrisy on freedom of expression

September 9, 2020 – 18:52

TEHRAN – In an indirect reference to the republication of cartoons insulting the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday slammed “institutionalized hypocrisy” under the pretext of the freedom of expression.

“Freedom of Expression?
Or
Institutionalized Hypocrisy? 
Instigate violence and hatred against 1.8 Billion Muslims by stereotypical defamation and desecration of their Holy Book and Prophet,” Zarif tweeted on Wednesday.

However, in an indirect reference to the Holocaust which is not tolerated to be questioned in the West, Zarif said, “Touch party line about events in recent history—repugnant as they are. Enough already.”

Mojtaba Zonnour, the chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, who met with French Ambassador to Tehran Philippe Thiebaud on Wednesday, slammed Charlie Hebdo’s republication of cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad (S).

“This action, under the pretext of the freedom of expression, has hurt the Muslims’ feelings,” Zonnour told the French diplomat.

The senior MP predicted that the action will add to complications in the region.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also condemned the magazine’s move, saying the move once again exposed the enmity of the political, cultural centers of the Western world toward Islam.

“The unforgivable sin of a French magazine in insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) once against exposed the enmity and the vile spite of the political and cultural centers of the Western world toward Islam and the Muslim community,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message on Tuesday.

He said freedom of expression is misused by some French politicians to not condemn such great crime. This is “completely wrong and demagogic,” the Leader noted.

The deep anti-Islamic policies of the Zionists and arrogant governments are the cause of such hostile moves, said Ayatollah Khamenei.

“This move at this time could also be a measure to distract the nations and governments of West Asia from the sinister plots of the United States and the Zionist regime for the region.”

“Muslim nations, especially West Asian nations, should maintain vigilance regarding the issues of this sensitive region and never forget the hostility of Western politicians and rulers towards Islam and Muslims,” the Leader concluded.
 
In a reckless and provocative move, on September 2 Charlie Hebdo republished the same cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (S) that prompted a deadly attack on the magazine in 2015.

The cartoons were republished so as to mark the start of the terrorism trial of people accused as accomplices in the attack. The magazine posted the cartoons online on September 1 and they appeared in print the next day.

13 men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics went on trial on charges of terrorism.

Twelve people, including some of France’s most famous cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015, when two French-born brothers of Algerian descent, Said and Cherif Kouachi, went on a gun rampage at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris.

The brothers identified themselves as belonging to the terrorist group al-Qaeda and cited “avenging the prophet” as their reason for the attack. The attack touched off a wave of killings claimed by Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group across Europe.

On January 9, 2015, Said and Cherif’s friend, Amedy Coulibaly, took hostages and killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers, who were in contact during the attack, were killed in standoffs with the police.

10 months later, in November 2015, a group of Daesh gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people and injured more than 400 at multiple sites across Paris, which became the deadliest of the attacks.

Throughout the world, many Muslims see the publication of the cartoons as a renewed provocation by Charlie Hebdo, which has a history of publishing material considered racist and anti-Muslim.

Tehran on September 3 strongly condemned the French magazine, saying any insult against the prophet of Islam and other divine prophets is not acceptable at all.

“The French magazine’s offensive move, which has been repeated on the pretext of freedom of speech, has hurt the feelings of the world’s monotheists, is a provocative move and an insult to the Islamic values and beliefs of over one billion Muslims in the world,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

NA/PA
 

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Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer

Source

April 22, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Paris has been a terrible place to live for over five years now – even tourists can tell.

The Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015 (because they just had to draw pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad) kicked off a fear-based culture which has culminated in the world’s most over-policed coronavirus lockdown, with over 800,000 citations issued.

But it’s been an endless climb of “culminations” for Parisians:

Installing bulletproof glass around the Eiffel Tower (I used to walk under it going to work each day – impossible now). Did the Bataclan massacre have to result in a state of emergency two years long? Certainly President Emmanuel Macron did not have to legalise it into common police practice. From November 2018 through May 2019 huge swathes of Paris were already on lockdown as every Saturday was an undeclared National Poseur Day: pretending as if lower class protesters weren’t being provoked, gassed, beaten, water cannoned, fined, jailed, crippled and even killed. The marches continued through the failed, record-long General Strike, which collapsed in January.

Trust me when I say that the non-stop police sirens during the two-day manhunt of the Kouachi brothers after the Charlie Hebdo shootings never really ended. In the poor northern area of Paris where I live the sirens became constant – for years everyone complains of “cowboy” police who have been over-empowered, but we have no idea how they could be or if they will ever be rolled back.

And during the Great Lockdown, by everyone’s account, this has gotten even worse… but at least now the rich areas are finally getting a taste of la justice à le cow-boy – that’s the only they’ll ever be rolled back, after all.

It’s not poor-Los Angeles helicopters, but the sirens can be exhausting. As for the “it’s not there” indifference towards all those other culminations – I simply don’t have the acting/posing abilities the aesthetic-minded French have, I guess? But I also don’t have the personal stake in France which – try as they might – the French cannot possibly disguise from themselves? They simply must find it very tiring to live in a country where the government – indeed, the national trajectory – has essentially zero open backers outside the bubble occupied by Parisian elites.

It’s not just the Macron era: Francois Hollande was so unpopular he couldn’t even stand for re-election; when Nicolas Sarkozy left he bitterly said “nobody will hear of me again” because the French so deservedly enjoyed kicking him.

The reality is that – Islamophobia aside – nearly everything I’ve described has been caused by France’s historical insistence on a united Europe.

How long will it take Brussels – and its string of puppets/clients – to kill the ‘French model’?

Anti-Muslim attitude is a problem, sure, but only a class analysis provides a satisfying explanation to the undeniable 21st-century decay of French life: Muslims did not force France to stop being French – collusion among the French 1% did.

(Of course, to avoid regular class analysis discussion the French elite keep insisting: “No, it’s Muslims who are ruining France.” Typical Western fake politics.…)

Ever since Mitterrand made his infamous austerity-embracing U-turn in 1981- on what would have been Western Europe’s most-leftist policy platform ever – France has allowed itself to be fiscally leeched blood-dry over the pan-European principle to try and win over Germany to “more Europe”.

It’s an amazing martyrdom – we shouldn’t denigrate such things completely. And a large part of France’s motivation is also to end the constant German aggression that dates back to 1870.

Recent history is really quite simple: in order to woo Germany away from a neo-imperialist partnership with their Anglo-Saxon American first cousins (which has run from 1945 until today), France keeps fiscally flagellating itself and others in Europe to woo Germany into joining a pan-European project; crucially, this project initially was based on a Gaullist “mixed economy”, but that was jettisoned in favor of Anglosphere neoliberalism, globalisation and hyper-financialisation.

Maybe other Europeans want in on such a project, but Germany does not and should leave: Germany’s role has been entirely negative, their economics entirely Austrian (pro-1%, rabidly anti-socialist), and the groundwork which they have ordered is totally incapable of providing post-corona stability. Few seem to grasp this Washington-Berlin neo-fascist alliance, even though it satisfyingly explains Germany’s essentially 5th-columnist role in the EU.

However, only a blinkered nationalist analysis would stop here. France’s elite is just as 5th-columnist – they have joined Washington and Berlin because that is what neoliberal, globalist capitalism is: an international waging of class warfare.

Macron openly calls to end the French model – he is the new ‘EU patriot’

Because its basis is resolutely neoliberal and thus anti-patriotic (even within its new creation of a misguided “EU patriotism” – the accurate term is “patriotism for the EU’s 1%”), this version of the pan-European project is simply not worth it – all it has done is disregard democratic votes, empower bankers, produce Lost Decades and gut social safety nets. I personally don’t think a united, non-socialist Europe is good for the world, but I know this version of a united Europe is a catastrophe. And I know it is ruining France – I’ve not just lived it but documented it via daily hard news reporting for PressTV.

But Macron is of a new generation whose elite passionately believes that this pan-European project works – it has… but only for Europe’s elite. This unprecedented “neoliberal empire” is thus successfully perpetuating itself.

But it took a lot to get here: Hollande, Sarkozy, privatisation-puppet Chirac, Mitterrand – all of France’s elite kept sacrificing France’s 99% for an ideology of “more Europe”, which was first Gaullist-capitalist then neoliberal. Truly, the same can be said for the elite of all of Europe, but especially Latin Europe – just look at how Germany could afford a corona bailout 10 times the size of France’s bailout.

But since 2015 have no doubt: France’s Lockdown-pre-Great-Lockdown was entirely the result of widespread dissension for Brussels’ fiscal policies – this had to be repressed.

The modern French conviction that discussion-and-even-dissension is more than just tolerable but should be encouraged – this also had to be repressed.

The idea of French workers – foreign to the Anglosphere— that they should have economic stability and political-cultural influence also had to be repressed, thus the endless far-right economic reforms.

As I keep insisting, the global 1% insists that the bad example of the “French model” has to be destroyed and replaced with the US/UK/German model, with all its greater inequality, poverty and dull individual conformities and fears.

The “French model” cannot survive if the 1% is to preserve unaltered this version pan-European project which is resolutely neoliberal. This is proven by the recent diplomatic uproar caused by China’s ambassador to France, who criticised the inequality laid bare by France’s corona response:

You have a new brand of Chinese diplomats who seem to compete with each other to be more radical and eventually insulting to the country where they happen to be posted,” opined a French analyst, but I get it: a person (in this case a diplomat) comes to France and they hear so very much proud talk about liberty, equality and fraternity… but they see that the first has been so distorted by the privileged class so as to totally eradicate the second and third. The Chinese ambassador is both disappointed and fed-up with France. He has become something Westerners cannot be – politically honest and critical of Western policy – without being condemned as a “radical”.

The French 99% tries to incarnate their post-French Revolution values (within the factual context that their revolution did not stand very long), but their elite do not. Foreigners simply cannot see true French values in action because what they are seeing are 1%er, neoliberal, “EU empire” values in action. The French elites’ values are not French but “European empire”; one cannot ever become elite anymore without displaying total allegiance to this empire.

It’s dismaying, and that is exhausting as well.

But while the future now only looks worse for the 99% across France, I imagine Macron couldn’t be happier.

Corona preserves Macron’s re(de)formist gains & wipes his promise-slate clean

Maybe the coronavirus break was just what everybody needed, not only Macron?

Think about it: a historic two-month General Strike had just failed in late January. Now that the pension reform was passed unemployment reform was planned for this fall, because there is simply no constitutional way to stop Macron. The Yellow Vests certainly weren’t going to stop. How can Macron afford to keep generating such public ill will? Was there going to be another General Strike? How can workers afford to do that?

You simply can’t compute all those facts.

Thus, pre-corona France was truly at a breaking point and exhausted. France was like two wrestlers who had each other in a stranglehold, but instead of letting go both decided to suicidally and murderously maintain their grip.

The Great Lockdown preserves in amber Macron’s pension reforms – it’s over. When France goes back to work they will be rushed through Parliament, and likely amid a ban on groups (protests) of more than a few score. The Great Lockdown gives the public a chance to forget about that fight and the elite a “just move on” filibuster to questioning journalists.

But it also ends the possibility of Macron’s autumn plans for similar deforms to the unemployment system. There’s no way that can go on with the state socialistically-shouldering 60% of the Great Lockdown’s lost revenue. However, France’s 1% has been waiting decades for the pension reform – think they aren’t pleased? Think they can’t wait until autumn 2021, when Macron can make unemployment reform his farewell political legacy amid General Strike 2? You must think the 1% doesn’t play tactical class warfare, which is chess, and instead thinks in nationalisms, which is checkers.

The Great Lockdown is also the single-best thing to happen to Macron’s re-election chances.

How can he now be faulted for failing on his signature promise – to reduce unemployment to 7%? How can he be faulted by the right for any economic failure – France simply has to spend their way out of the corona overreaction? How can he be faulted on the left for any economic failure – France spent a lot on the corona overreaction (again, a pittance compared to Germany and also a bailout weighted to the 1%)? Any fiscal policy promise and failure is thus absolved with this corona overreaction-distraction.

Any social policy failure is also old hat – we must focus on a post-corona world. French PM says coronavirus outbreak ‘under control’ but warns ‘life won’t go back to normal after May 11th’ – of course Macron doesn’t want to go back to normal – his popularity was in the toilet for years; his policy, his style, his bizarre and salacious scandals (highlighted by the Benalla affair, which only French people understand) and his constant elitist gaffes ensured it could only worsen.

But election sniping is such a narrow view, even if it is the dominant Western mindset:

Macron’s entire presidency has been an open assault on the French idea of what is “normal”. Destroying the French model – to satisfy and propel the neoliberal & neo-imperial pan-European project he sincerely believes in – has always been his political raison d’être. Macron undoubtedly will view himself as leaving as a hero for all his “deforms”, whenever he departs in ignominy.

I’ve had offers to work in the US: “Why would I want to be a political journalist covering such an atrocious, atrocious political culture?” But France has become nearly identical – instead of righteous, easily-triggered emotionality the French political talk shows rely on an endless reserve of indifference and sang froid (cold blood) to reach the same neoliberal aims; instead of Trump-Putin hysteria they use Muslim-hysteria.

So what is France’s future? It is Macron versus Marine Le Pen in 2022 – they are just as intellectually and culturally exhausted, bitter and hostile as the US. They would rather repeat corporate fascism than be creative.

Must I work on behalf of Le Pen, claiming that she is a “victory via defeat”? I did that, marginally, for Trump, but I didn’t have to cover the guy everyday! More Macron would be an even bigger defeat than Biden – the Ferguson, Missouri, protests weren’t anything like the Yellow Vest repression.

The West may have all the money but they have no good answers anymore. How could corona have uncovered anything but the truth of their underlying morbidity?

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

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri 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 the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

‘This Yellow Vest carnage’ more ‘French exceptionalism’

 

July 23, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission)

‘This Yellow Vest carnage’ more ‘French exceptionalism’

(Ramin Mazaheri 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 “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China.”)

At a recent demonstration against the recently fired, third-ranking French civil servant (the president of parliament), who had been caught enjoying jumbo lobster and 1,000-euro bottles of wine with his friends on the taxpayer’s centime, I chatted with a former political prisoner.

It may surprise some that he was a Westerner. The West is, of course, exceptional: everyone else has political prisoners, but there isn’t a single one in the free, free West.

He had just spent four months in prison for protesting with the Yellow Vests. In a story which appears trite but which I believed – given the fact that testimony by police cannot be questioned in France’s judicial system – he said that it was the protester next to him who had thrown something at the cops and not him. There was no falsehood in the intense bitterness with which he said, “Four months in prison – I wish that I actually had thrown it!”

He showed me the many scars and permanent knots on his wrists and forearms – defensive wounds caused by protecting himself from fiercely-armed, well-protected and ruthless riot police. I praised his sacrifice for the common good, but I did not tell him that this was exceptional: in the past eight months I had heard many similar stories. Just last weekend I saw children getting tear gassed, and yet another woman shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.

This is carnage, pure and simple, and it happens all around France every Saturday starting around 11 am.

The biggest complaint of the Yellow Vests these days may not be against the French model of government, but towards a Western Mainstream Media which acts as if such carnage doesn’t exist.

If the world believed that the French system of governance was exceptional, then the repression of the Yellow Vest movement should forever silence that false claim. It has been eight months: their media system obviously cannot report on domestic political repression, and their political system can obviously perpetuate domestic repression with an impunity unparalleled in the world. In no other country has such regular, political repression occurred this century.

This ability to inflict such record-breaking repression while talking passionately about liberté – and being believed at home and abroad! – is the true “French exceptionalism”, and it is nothing to boast about or emulate.

Western propaganda has shut down all criticism of French repression in favor of hysterical and one-sided coverage of the protests in Hong Kong. Another widespread belief among Westerners is that they are exceptional in that their systems don’t permit the creation of “propaganda”, whereas that is the only thing the journalists of most other nations can do, especially nations like Russia, Iran, Syria, etc.

One thing about exceptionalists is their certainty of its permanence: it seems that once one is exceptional, one can never stop being exceptional, no matter how immorally one acts. Exceptionalism, once bestowed by God, can never be subject to a Day of Judgment, apparently. It’s a, uh, “unique” view….

Undoubtedly, the necessarily corollary to exceptionalism’s assertion that “We are different” is rarely stated but extremely important in order to understand the exceptionalist’s mindset, and it is: “while all the rest of you idiots are all the same”.

Those in the developing world are told that there is an enormous difference between Belgians and the English, for example. Even though the former is merely a peninsula of the latter, what a mighty chasm separates the Danes and the Germans! Yet in France all Blacks are just that – Blacks – even though they hail from parts as varied as West Africa, Madagascar and the Caribbean. In the US all Latinos – whether from the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego or Boston – are painted with the same brush. Of course, in both countries Muslims are certainly all “Arabs”. This total nonsense illustrates an obsessive self-esteem which necessarily strains cooperation, diplomacy and true tolerance.

A difference between US and French claims for their own exceptionalism is that the US believes it is exceptional lock, stock and barrel, yet the French are more likely to claim their “cultural exceptionalism”.

It takes a bit of experience here to figure that out, but what they mean is that “White French culture” is exceptional: any influences from the nearby Muslim world, or anything their neo-imperial subjects might bring, or even the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon world – all are second-rate and somehow corruptive of an exceptionally wonderful culture which must never change.

What especially galls nations like Iran and many, many others regarding French exceptionalism are two things:

France claims to especially honor human rights… and yet how do we explain the the Yellow Vest repression? This was after we were told to believe that their bombs in Libya, their guns in the short-lived Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and their rapes in the Central African Republic are “humanitarian interventions”. We also were disgusted by the deification of the dangerous magazine Charlie Hebdo, which made millions by publishing Islamophobic pictures but never publish an anti-Jewish one.

It boggles to mind to think of the weight of the cognitive dissonance which France’s political and cultural elite must bear in their minds: they regularly imprison hundreds of protesters in the morning, and then in the afternoon talk about France being a beacon, champion and even the inventor of human rights.

It is simply intolerable to get lessons on human rights from a nation which so clearly violates them; it is intolerable because all nations must converse diplomatically, and yet France believes they can continually disrespects everyone else’s intelligence and get away with it.

Secondly, Iran is a nation which has been under hot and cold war for 40 years, therefore they have been truly living in wartime conditions, forced to have a true state of emergency in the past, and endure vast suffering caused by an illegal, homicidal blockade which aims to provoke either civil war or all-out war. France, however, suffers none of these hardships, and yet are more homicidal by multiple orders of magnitude.

How can Iran have such a very poor image and France such a positive image, given the former’s unjust handicaps and the latter’s lack of restraint, common decency and refusal to cooperate? Part of it is Iranophobic propaganda, and the other part is propaganda which champions the alleged legitimacy of “French exceptionalism”.

However, current anthropological scholarship is finally shedding their West-centric blinders to realise that France is not at all the “birthplace of human rights”: the conception of individual rights in today’s West was yet another resource stolen from the American Indians, namely the Iroquois Confederacy in the northeastern US. This fascinating subject, which academics simply must study,certainly seems logical – where was the conception of individual freedom in France’s long history of an absolute monarchy which was as absolute as anywhere in Europe? They obviously learned it from someone else, namely the Indians they came into contact with. To me, the Iroquois seemed to be about as freedom-loving as your average, ever-roaming Iranian nomad, but the point here is not to make exceptional claims about who invented human rights – the point is: the French did not invent them, as they claim.

It is inherent in countries which assert their exceptionalism – and perhaps in all Western Liberal Democracies – to deny shared authorship of the world’s many fine ideas and concepts, as they endlessly promote individualism and do not prize the communal, collective spirit.

I can report that those incredibly brave Yellow Vests who are still protesting – in the face of all the guaranteed state violence – repeatedly tell me what respect they have for Iran and its modern governmental system. They routinely tell me what shame they have in their own government. Indeed, the Yellow Vests are the new, courageous political vanguard of France. Unlike the French 1%’s support of aristocratic Western Liberal Democracy, Yellow Vests display French values which are in common with those around the world: solidarity, bravery, faith and self-sacrifice.

If the Yellow Vests could ever win political or cultural power they would certainly end the hypocrisy of “French exceptionalism”, which they correctly see as an unwanted yoke which only perpetuates France’s ongoing domestic repression.

The French have a fine saying: “One time does not make a custom.”

However, eight months does. The Yellow Vests obviously cannot be distracted with the false pride of “French exceptionalism” – they are busy defending themselves from the carnage such arrogance inevitably provokes.

French Muslim support of the Yellow Vests ignored by media

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

French Muslim support of the Yellow Vests ignored by media

Even though the Yellow Vest anti-government movement is historic in scope, duration and intensity, and even though Muslims compose 5-10% of France’s population, there has been almost zero media coverage of the interplay between these two forces.

Check Google in French or English and you truly find almost nothing. I have been waiting and waiting to do a story on this angle for Iran’s PressTV – I am their Paris correspondent – but there is simply no “news peg” from which we can start any report.

The reasons for this silence are due to a four key reasons but, mostly, it’s because the plight of Muslims and Yellow Vests are so obviously similar: just as French media ignores the Muslim community to promote violent misrepresentations instead, so they ignore the true substance of the Yellow Vests in favor of tabloid coverage.

For years I have talked with Nagib Azergui, who is the founder of the Democratic Union of French Muslims (English-language website here). This party is the most realistic political hope for France’s Muslims, and they seem certain to win seats in next month’s EU elections. They are not Islamists nor pushers of divisive identity politics – they are completely concerned with improving the lives of all French people. Secondarily, they have taken on a tough job – decontaminating Muslims in domestic French politics.

Azergui and I discussed why there is no media coverage of the Muslim Yellow Vests, and the level of support for the Yellow Vests in the French Muslim community.

French Muslims are indeed joining the Yellow Vests

I have covered the Yellow Vest demonstrations for months and I can assure you: there are plenty of Muslim Yellow Vests.

So why is there an impression that Muslims are not part of the movement? About the only thing we ever hear on the subject is: What a pity more Muslims didn’t show up.

“We heard the same complaints for the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ march for Charlie Hebdo,” said Azergui, referring to the attack on the satirical paper’s headquarters in 2015. “I was at the march with my children, and I saw many Muslims there.”

Azergui hits the nail on the head as to why Muslim Yellow Vests are hiding in plain sight from French media, which is hardly known for positive portrayals of Islam or Muslims.

“I think such statements reveal the subconscious image these commentators have of French Muslims – they expect us to show up wearing burkas, beards, African clothing, chanting slogans in Arabic and carrying signs in Arabic. But these types of Muslims are simply not representative of the average Muslim in France.”

So the first reason behind this false idea that there are no Muslim Yellow Vests is that many commentators are looking for caricatures – not French Muslims.

Muslims in France look very much like regular French people because they are regular French people.

A Black or Arab Yellow Vester does not stick out, mainly because all Yellow Vests look the same – they are wearing shiny Yellow Vests!

Let’s not forget that Muslims are a minority – there is about the same percentage of Muslims as there are people with red hair in often-Celtic France. Frankly, I have seen a million Yellow Vest faces and I can’t recall a single redhead – should I ask, “Why aren’t Celtic French supporting the Yellow Vests?” Of course, redheads are surely present… and often with plenty of Celtic-pride paraphernalia.

So the only way Muslims could get attention at Yellow Vest demonstrations is by being “excessively Muslim”… but such a thing is rather absurd, will not happen, and would certainly be dangerous – Muslim-pride paraphernalia would only attract negative attention, and Muslims already get enough of that.

Zero doubt among Muslims: when the truncheons fly, Muslims will get hit first

And the truncheons do fly every Saturday.

French police simply love to abuse Muslims: an estimated 70% of their prisoners are from Muslim backgrounds. French police simply love to abuse Yellow Vests. Police violence is guaranteed at which ever city is the week’s “focus”.

So the sight of a Muslim Yellow Vester makes many cops salivate. It also makes judges salivate at sentencing time.

Muslims would be the first victims of police brutality,” confirmed Azergui. “They are always the sacrificial lambs in France, so why would it be any different at the Yellow Vest protests?

On April 20th the police abuse was constant in Paris. Medics were working overtime as people were dropping like flies, but I only saw one unconscious person carried out on a stretcher – he was Black and thus quite possibly a Muslim, of course.

This guarantee of a double helping of both police brutality and judicial impunity is the second reason, but likely the most important reason, why Muslims might not be so eye-catching at Yellow Vest demonstrations.

This violence adds to the media silence – talking about Muslims and Yellow Vests would have to break the taboo against honest discussion of the institutionalised state violence towards the Muslim community.

Sad but true: one of the “great” things about the Yellow Vests is that it’s not only Muslims who are being brutalised anymore.

“France is starting to wake up to reality,” said Azergui. “When 4,000 Muslim families had their homes raided without a warrant during the State of Emergency, France didn’t care about police violence. There are so many images and videos which show how French cops abuse old people, women and innocent people – this is something Muslims live with daily. How could Muslims not have solidarity with such a movement?

Azergui’s thoughts reminded me of the case of Ali Ziri, a 69-year old Algerian native who was infamously beaten to death by French cops in 2009. Police violence is a real taboo in France, and by taking so many beatings the Yellow Vests are helping out their Muslim brothers and sisters.

Yellow Vests haven’t done enough to reach out to Muslims

The Yellow Vests are absolutely not an Islamophobic movement because none of their demands are steeped in religion or ethnicity. Their demands are economic, political and social – this is a class-based struggle.

The idea that because the Yellow Vests are a rural-based movement that they must be latently Islamophobic is absolutely false – in the 21st century there are at least a few Muslims in seemingly every tiny French village. Such accusations only reveals prejudice against rural people, and certainly in France and the West it is very au courant for urbanites to look down on small-town people as a “basket of deplorables”.

The Yellow Vests only trust other Yellow Vests – the only color they see is Yellow. As a worker for Iranian government media I am routinely persona non grata at many fake-leftist demonstrations, and even truly leftist ones, due to Iranophobia and Islamophobia. The only demonstrations I am welcomed at in France are for pro-Palestinians… and now the Yellow Vests, too. So I have no doubt – Muslims are welcome at Yellow Vest gatherings.

However, Yellow Vests have made some mistakes, and also failed to take some proper measures. At the very start of the movement Yellow Vests infamously turned in asylum-seekers to authorities, give the initial impression that extreme-right contaminated the Yellow Vests.

“The Yellow Vests are not a structured movement, but they have not done a good job repudiating some Islamophobic acts and disassociating themselves from Islamophobia completely. They just said, ‘Well, there are always some imbeciles in every crowd.’ That has left some lingering suspicions in the Muslim community.”

If the Yellow Vests would only organize a march dedicated to Muslim outreach I can promise – you will get at least one reporter there to help permanently dismiss this false accusation of Islamophobia. The rest of the French media… they might not be so interested in reporting it accurately.

Yellow Vests certainly do plenty of other demonstrations dedicated to certain themes and issues. It was absolutely necessary for the Yellow Vests to march in February against the absolutely false accusation that they were anti-Semitic. That was all a ruse to pave the way for Macron’s announcement that he would criminalise anti-Zionism – but we can understand why Muslims said to each other, “And where’s the march for us?”

Indeed, where? Why not?

The third reason for the lack of publicised interchange between the Yellow Vests and Muslims is that many Muslims may have been put off by the false propaganda campaigns of the Mainstream Media, and because we have yet to see a real Muslim outreach from the Yellow Vests.

Massive support for Yellow Vests from Muslims, even if sometimes from afar

When I asked Azergui if Muslims support the Yellow Vests he answered, “Yes,” before I had even finished the question.

In an unfortunate but perhaps real sense, many Muslims feel that they are best helping the Yellow Vests by staying out of it.

“If Muslims showed up and there were fights and destruction of property, we know the media would say these are ‘violent Islamists’, and this would only hurt the image of the Yellow Vests. We have already even heard this type of discourse.”

Azergui is right – last year there were absurd conspiracy theories that the Muslim Brotherhood was orchestrating the Yellow Vests – but Muslims simply must participate anyway.

That brings us to our fourth reason why Muslims haven’t attended Yellow Vest demonstrations in huge numbers – Muslims have never been allowed, encouraged or motivated to participate in French politics, so why would this time be any different?

Muslims were hidden underground in France for decades, after all. Their coming out party wasn’t until 1985 with the Touche pas mon pote (Don’t touch my buddy) campaign. The arrival of Nicolas Sarkozy as Interior Minister, then the mainstreaming of Islamophobia under Francois Hollande, then Macron’s normalisation of the Muslim-targeting State of Emergency – all this has reinforced to Muslims that their participation in French politics is neither useful nor desired.

So, of course the French media doesn’t want to talk about the Muslims and the Yellow Vests, because it only reminds France of their total failure to include the Muslim community in politics. And they like dominating, controlling and suppressing Muslims – let’s not act as if neo-imperialism is not alive and well in France.

So let’s not pretend that Mainstream Media really cares about Muslims and democracy, nor mainstream politicians: Despite all the Muslims in France, Macron no longer has a single Muslim minister in his cabinet. If Marine Le Pen had won the election she’d surely at least have a token Muslim minister….

Yellow Vests and Muslims are the two largest groups in France which suffer from socioeconomic marginalization – there is no doubt that they will be open political allies, eventually. We have 5 months of proof – the far-right contamination of the Yellow Vests was drastically overstated; by reaching out to Muslims immediately, the movement can even further display their leftist, progressive, class basis.

But there are obviously a raft of obstacles keeping Muslims from openly joining the Yellow Vest movement, mainly: mainstream media, mainstream politicians, and backwards policing and judicial methods. But not individual (nor collective) Yellow Vests.

The reality is that if the Yellow Vest movement does not adopt an open policy of anti-Islamophobia it will never succeed – how can it succeed when such a huge part of the company is not fully involved? Nor can it be considered a truly leftist movement – how can it be if race, religion or ethnic culture is prioritised over class?

However, it is truly leftist and it will succeed, I feel.

It is not a question of “who has to make the first step”, because Muslims are already involved with the Yellow Vests. However, both sides need to increase their cooperation and outreach for the good of France, the Eurozone, the European Union and the entire world.

Ramin Mazaheri 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 Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

15 حزيران يوم عربي للتضامن مع أميركا اللاتينية

يناير 25, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– منذ اللقاء التاريخي الذي جمع القائد العربي الراحل جمال عبد الناصر بالقائد الثوري أرنستو تشي غيفارا في الخامس عشر من حزيران من العام 1959، وهو اللقاء الذي تحل ذكراه الستون بعد خمسة شهور، والتلاقي بين نضال شعوب منطقتنا لمواجهة مشاريع الهيمنة الأميركية والعدوان الصهيوني ونضال شعوب أميركا اللاتينية في مواجهة الأنظمة العميلة لواشنطن ومشاريع العدوان والهيمنة الأميركية العنصرية للمستوطنين البيض على السكان الأصليين الحمر للقارة الأميركية، تعبير عن ترابط عميق نادر، وحاجة فكرية وسياسية لنضال شعوب المنطقتين البعيدتين في الجغرافيا، الحاسمتين في الأهمية الاستراتيجية، المتكاملتين في القدرة على هز عروش الإمبراطوريات.

Related image

– مع حصار كوبا، رغم صمودها، ورحيل جمال عبد الناصر رغم استمرار خيار المقاومة، تراجعت حرارة الحضور للنضال المشترك لشعوبنا وشعوب أميركا اللاتينية، حتى جاء القائد الراحل هوغو شافيز، ووجد نظيره في الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد ليجدّدا معاً لقاء عبد الناصر وغيفارا. وكما في اللقاء الأول قبل ستين عاماً،

Image result for ‫شافيز والاسد‬‎

كان اللقاء الثاني في القمة العربية اللاتينية التي عقدت في الدوحة قبل عشر سنوات تماماً وتبعتها زيارات متبادلة للرئيسين شافيز والأسد، تأكيداً على عمق التلاقي، والعمق له عنوان واحد في الماضي كما الحاضر كما في المستقبل، وهو فلسطين.

– تميّزت فنزويلا بقيادة شافيز ومن بعده مع القائد المقاوم نيكولاس مادورو بموقف حاسم من القضية الفلسطينية، ومن سورية والمقاومة من جهة، ومن «إسرائيل» من جهة مقابلة، وبالمقياس المصلحي الذي يتحدّث عنه كثير من اللبنانيين والعرب لتبرير التخاذل حتى الخيانة، خاطرت فنزويلا بمصالحها لأجل الوقوف مع قضية حق اسمها فلسطين، وشكلت مواقفها إدانة وتعرية لمواقف الحكومات العربية الذاهبة للتطبيع مع «إسرائيل» في زمن تغلق فنزويلا السفارة الإسرائيلية، وترفع علم فلسطين في ساحاتها ومناسباتها، ولمن يصدّق ولمَن لا يصدّق، ما دبر لفنزويلا ويدبر لها منذ سنوات، هو عقاب على مواقفها من أجل فلسطين.

– أضعف الإيمان أن نقف مع فنزويلا، لأننا نقف مع أنفسنا، ورسالتنا عبر فنزويلا للعالم أننا نقدِّر من يقف معنا، ولا نبيع ولا نشتري بالصمت أو بالتراضي أو بالتغاضي، وهذا اضعف الإيمان. فالرسالة الأميركية والإسرائيلية، واضحة ومضمونها أن مصير مَن يقف مع فلسطين هو الاقتلاع والحصار دون أي اعتبار للمعايير القانونية والدستورية، وهو مضمون الرسالة ذاتها التي حملتها الحرب على سورية. وكما كان الحكام العرب يدافعون عن خيانتهم بوقوفهم في خندق الحرب على سورية، يقفون اليوم في خندق الحرب على فنزويلا. وكما انتصرت سورية ستنتصر فنزويلا، فأميركا بعد الهزيمة في سورية هي غير أميركا قبلها، والعالم بعد النصر السوري هو غير العالم قبله، والانتقال الأميركي إلى فنزويلا هو علامة ضعف لا علامة قوة. فالشعب والجيش في فنزويلا سيقفان في المرصاد، لمحاولات الغزو والعدوان، وسيكون للرصاصة الأولى فعل سحري في كشف حقيقة ما يجري أمام المأخوذين بأكاذيب المعارضة التي لا تشبه أحداً إلا عينات سوق النخاسة للمعارضة السورية، ودواعش العنصرية البيضاء سيتكفّلون بفضح طبيعة البديل الذي تحمله هذه المعارضة. فجيوشهم الحقيقية هي الجماعات البيضاء الفاشية، وعصابات القتل والإجرام المموّلة من تجار السلاح والمخدرات.

– كما كان للسنوات التي مضت عنوان واحد هو سورية، سيكون للشهور المقبلة عنوان هو فنزويلا. وكما لم تبخل فنزويلا لا يحق لنا أن نتردّد، وليكن الاستعداد والإعداد من اليوم لإحياء يوم الخامس عشر من حزيران المقبل كيوم للتضامن العربي اللاتيني، تحييه كل القوى والنخب العربية المؤمنة بفلسطين، وبتكامل نضال الشعوب بوجه الهيمنة والعدوان، وبأن المقاومة الحقة والبطلة بوجه الكيان الاستيطاني الأول القائم على إبادة السكان الأصليين الذي تمثله اميركا، لا تنفصل عن المقاومة الحقة والبطلة بوجه الكيان الاستيطاني الثاني الذي يمثله احتلال فلسطين، ولتبدأ الفعاليات التضامنية من اليوم بلا انقطاع ليصل الصوت قوياً إلى كاراكاس، لستم وحدكم أيها الأحرار… ونحن قوم لا ننسى وقفات العز وأهلها.

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False Flag in Manchester?

By Peter Koenig

May 25, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Government assisted killing of their own citizens for political purposes has become a common pattern. The media are getting ever bolder in disguising such events as ‘Terror’, spreading fear. The public swallows these lies again and again.

British elections are planned for 8 June 2017.

At the end of a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, an enormous ‘controlled’ explosion killed at least 22 people and injured 59, as reported by British media. Many of them are children and adolescents, as most of the concert-goers were young people.

The singer is unharmed. The concert hall accommodates 21,000 people. After the blast, panic broke loose, resulting in a mass stampede. It is not clear whether people were also killed in the stampede.

Hours after the explosion, although BBC reported it was not evident what exactly happened, UK police and authorities talked immediately of an act of terror.

Early Tuesday morning, 23 May, British authorities said that the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the explosion. The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, stated investigators believe the attack was carried out by a lone suicide bomber “carrying” a homemade device. He was killed by the blast.

The IS-Propaganda agency Amak apparently issued the claim of IS’s responsibility for the deadly blast. Did an independent authority check whether this is indeed true?

The attacker, is now named by US officials (why US officials?) as Salman Abedi, 22, a British citizen, born in the UK. He is told having detonated the improvised explosive device.

Another 23-year-old suspect was apprehended in the south of Manchester. But so far, the Chief Police Officer refused to talk to the media about suspects.

Prime Minister, Theresa May raised the threat warning to the highest level, from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’, saying other attacks may follow. This is the highest security level in the UK. She also urged police to investigate whether the attacker was alone or may have acted as a member of a wider terror group.

The attack is the worst in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7 July London bombings in 2005.

Both, Theresa May and her election opponent, Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn expressed their deep sorrow to the victims’ families. All campaign activities for the 8 June elections have been suspended.

Mr. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, proclaiming on what the raised threat level means for the city, said, “there will be additional police officers on London’s streets over the coming days – including additional armed officers. You will also see some military personnel around London – they are there to help our police service to keep us safe and guard key sites.”

The head of Counter Terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, Mr. Mark Rowley, informed that “there has been an arrest and there are currently multiple searches and other activity taking place as I speak. However, at this stage it is still not possible to be certain if there was a wider group involved in the attack; 24 hours in we have a number of investigative leads that we are pursuing to manage the ongoing threat.”

All of this points to a rapid militarization of the UK, akin to France. What EU country will be next?

Why would the Islamic State kill children in England, when they know exactly that this provokes further NATO – EU – US military aggression against them? And why in England, just before elections? Do they not know that they incite election results unfavorable to them, unfavorable to the Muslim society, electing the candidate that promises even more discrimination against Muslims? A candidate even less eager to find a peaceful solution in the Middle East?

Of course, they know. ISIS / IS (Daesh), Al-Qaeda and most other terror groups fighting in the Middle East proxy-wars for the West, are the creation of the West. We, The People, should wake up to this reality and see such terror attacks at crucial points in time as what they are – provocations, false flags, to dupe the public into asking for what the establishment, the ruling class wants – more “protection”, like a gradual but ever accelerating militarization of the west.

Even the installation of Martial Law is not far-fetched. Former French President Hollande has tried to introduce it in France’s Constitution ever since the Hebdo Charlie (false flag) attack; so far unsuccessfully (see http://www.globalresearch.ca/germany-and-nato-towards-martial-law-preparing-for-a-fascist-repression-in-europe/5590292  and http://www.globalresearch.ca/french-election-fraud-will-macron-be-able-to-form-a-government/5589262 ).

This gives the Deep State-installed EU government, i.e. Brussels, the legitimacy to clamp down and if needed violently repress protests in European cities, as they may arise with increasing neoliberal financial domination of western economies, imposed austerities, privatization of public services, educations systems, health care – cuts in pensions, in brief, the imposition of a fascist economy. We are almost there, just look at Greece.

—–

As always, the question to ask is Cui Bono? – At first sight it looks like the act of ‘terror’ might benefit Theresa May and her conservative Tories. They propagate clamping down on terrorism, on immigration to keep ‘terrorists’ out. Snap-elections decided without much warning by PM Theresa May, are scheduled for 8 June, just 17 days away from the attack, but enough time to launch massive pro-conservative and anti-Labor propaganda.

Interestingly, Jeremy Corbyn has been making rapid gains lately in the polls. The supposed ‘terror’ attack, may set his gains back and advance the “pro-security” Tory leader, Theresa May. As if Jeremy Corbyn and Labor were against ‘security’ – This is the implied falsehood of the presstitute – foreseeable, like in The Theft of an Election Foretold.

Interestingly too, the recent French elections were also preceded by a terror attack. Just days ahead of the first round of elections, a gunman opened fire on a police car on Champs Élysées, killing one policeman and injuring two, the gunman was immediately killed by French police; the chief witness gone. End of story.

The incident most likely helped propel Macron and Le Pen into the second round. That’s what the dark hands of the ‘system’ wanted. So, it would be easy to focus the propaganda on the self-styled centrist, pro-Europe, pro-globalization, pro-NATO, and naturally, pro-enhanced security, i.e. pro-militarization of Europe, the Rothschild banker, Emmanuel Macron – who eventually ‘won’ in a landslide, against Marine Le Pen, who campaigned pro French sovereignty, against Brussels, against the euro and against NATO.

We will see later this year whether more killing is needed to get Mme. Merkel re-elected.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Je Suis Charlie to MacronLeaks? France’s ‘free press’ takes credibility hit

May 07, 2017

by Ramin MazaheriJe Suis Charlie to MacronLeaks? France’s ‘free press’ takes credibility hit

I don’t understand: I thought the French were passionately in love with liberty of the press?

That’s what they said when they just HAD to publish pictures of the Prophet Muhammad in Charlie Hebdo. And some of these pictures were absolutely pornographic, let’s not forget – they were not respectful, tolerant or even neutral. Heck, one showed Prophet Muhammad actually filming a porn movie.

But I thought it was a question of the responsibility of the press to be brave and publish what may get them in trouble? And the right to political speech? And of personal freedom?

That’s what was self-righteously proclaimed by one French media after another, after another, after another and after another to anyone who would listen around the world.

The common Frenchman, too: I’ve never seen more people in one place than the 4-million person demonstration in support of Charlie Hebdo. I asked some tough questions there in my work as Iran’s Press TV correspondent, despite the pleas of my cameraman to think of our own skin.

And yet it seems the first rule of MacronLeaks is: Don’t talk about MacronLeaks.

The morning after the hacked emails of the Macron campaign were released the French Electoral Commission menacingly warned that nobody was permitted to publish to the contents of the leaks. The leaks were tens of thousands of emails, notes, bills and internal discussions.

What was inside? Can’t tell ya – I’m a journalist.

It wasn’t as if the French people didn’t have access to this information: MacronLeaks are all over Twitter and social media.

So this 11th-hour election twist means that France is living in a state of forced denial, and this denial is forced by the state. A good word for that is “authoritarian”. Hey, due to the ongoing state of emergency (18 months and to be extended by either presidential candidate) this is officially a “police state dictatorship”, after all.

Authoritarianism has become old hat for us in France!

But if this was Russia and it was Vladimir Putin’s chosen successor instead of Francois Hollande and his chosen boy Emmanuel Macron, what would the French media be saying? Stupid question: They’d be screaming “censorship, censorship, censorship”.

It’s appalling: There hasn’t been ONE French media willing to courageously publish when no one else will.

Leaks just don’t sell as many newspapers as naked cartoons, I guess? What happened to the infamous French provocateur? I’d even settle for one of those annoying types right about now.

Imagine if Marine Le Pen was up 62% to 38% instead of Macron? I’m sure SOME media would have published LePenLeaks, and justified it by “standing up to fascism”.

But the French don’t stand up to capitalism. Certainly not when they seem about to elect Rothschild banker and pro-austerity Macron in about 8 hours. Certainly they don’t stand up for communism anymore.

But boy oh boy, don’t they talk a lot of stuff about their love of a free press? And when you don’t back it up….

Censoring will have the opposite effect of discrediting the media & the election

It’s crucial to know there is not one major media in France which is pro-Le Pen.

This is very different from Brexit, where newspapers made explaining the Brexit rationale a daily occurrence. It’s also different from the US, where Trump at least had Fox News to give his side. Seemingly everybody with power, money and influence – and I mean everybody – is against Le Pen.

Le Pen supporters already had cause to claim, 100% fairly, media bias: The MacronLeaks self-censorship will be also fairly viewed as just another step in this direction.

Whether you agree with the decision or not, the fact is that nearly 40% of voters are expected to vote for Le Pen. Add in some abstentionist sympathizers and we can accurately predict that half the country is going to view France’s media as being in total collusion against their candidate.

They are turning to the “Fourth Estate” for guidance and what they found at the top of the France 24 website was this story: Reproduction of whales and dolphins in captivity banned. How can France’s media not lose credibility with such nonsense?

That’s why Twitter Francais was full of condemnations like this one: “The oligarchy will be scandalized by its methods. This is why people go elsewhere than the mainstream for information. This is all that the journalists of BFMacron can do?” (BFM is one of the two top TV news channels here.)

The French establishment is trying to protect its election (or its preferred candidate, perhaps), but half the country is going to see this self-censorship as undermining the credibility of the election itself. Also from Twitter: The censoring of the French media on the MacronLeaks revelations before the decision of the French people is a reason to invalidate the vote.

This is the anti-Macron camp on Twitter, and they are right.

The pro-Macron camp on Twitter encouraged each other to post pictures of cats. This was in order to bog down Twitter in feline stupidity and not allow their fellow citizens to see what the future president was up to.

So why didn’t I publish the contents – I’m a journalist in France?

That’s an honest question, and I’ll give an honest answer:

That decision was above my pay grade.

Like many journalists, I am not in charge – I’m just a worker. I can decide for myself, but I cannot decide for my media. My views on it appear to be clear.

I think the point of view of Press TV is that: We have already been banned by France’s state-run satellite company during the Hollande administration…what do we need even more harassment for?

After all, I could barely find anybody in France to stand up for Iran’s right to freedom of the press at this censorship. Even the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders refused to give an interview to me to attack this ban and to defend Iran’s rights. LOL at that NGO’s “apolitical” reputation. LOL at their hypocrisy.

I’m not trying to sound “tough” – I was very conflicted about MacronLeaks and it’s not certain I would have revealed the contents if the choice was mine to make. What made it much harder was that, for sure, I would have been the first.

I am a foreign journalist – why aren’t the domestic media leading the way?

They have all the contacts, all the ability to fight in courts, all the language-skills to explain to a judge, all the reasons to defend their press. It is their country, after all – I’m not even a citizen.

So I understand Press TV’s view.

But there are certainly many French journalists who feel disappointed with their publishers and their colleagues, and they should feel that way.

Rules are made to broken – failing to do so leaves only questions

Ok, 36 hours is not much time to verify the veracity of the leaks, but I ask you: Which media refused to publish the allegations about conservative candidate Francois Fillon and “Penelopegate” over these very same alleged concerns?

Or which media refused to publish the allegations concerning Marine Le Pen and her EU ghost jobs scandal?

The answer is, “none”. So why is Macron getting preferential treatment?

If the answer is, “Because it’s too close to the election,” I find that very unsatisfying. Truth, justice, transparency and the peoples’ right to know does not have a date.

If the answer is, “Because it’s the law,” I find that unsatisfying as well. However, I did not realize just how anally-retentive about the law the French were until I moved here – it goes against the common stereotype. They have been, as we all inevitably are, greatly influenced by their neighbors, the anal-retentive kings – the Germans. France has not fallen far from that tree.

If the answer is, “Because foreigners are trying to influence our election,” I find that unsatisfying as well. Learning the truth about a candidate is the most important – have we not seen how badly Hollande lied and backtracked to the French? Learning the truth is the best safeguard to democracy – the source of the truth and their motives are totally irrelevant.

Macron and his team are asking to serve as public servants: How does transparency not trump their right to privacy? Mustn’t elected officials be held to a higher standard?

This censorship cuts both ways, including against Macron’s rights: By denying all discussion, how can Macron clear his name? Surely some will say that Macron is guilty by suspicion, and that is not fair either. Of course, with a 20+ point lead he just wants to tread water and say as little as possible – this has been his election strategy all this time, in fact.

Ultimately, it is the public which must be made king: Otherwise you have an oligarchy. The media’s complicity in the MacronLeaks affair will only increase accusations that this is the true nature of France.

Plenty of proof that France censors only when it wants to

The fact is that assuming these leaks were some sort of “disinformation campaign” is not based on any proof.

WikiLeaks, who was not behind the leaks, said that they appeared credible. When is the last time such a big leak proved out to be false? Whistleblowers like this have a very good record.

But if the whistleblower thought this would have an effect like in the United States, he was sorely mistaken. The French are not going to go hog-wild over conspiracy theories like the Obama Birther Movement in the US.

What’s more likely is that the whistleblower had the data, and realized he had no smoking gun. So he waited until the campaign ended, hoping that innuendo would do what his hacked data could not.

Am I even allowed to print that? Dear Paris prosecutors, please note I am only hypothesizing that there is no smoking gun, maybe there is!

I have had to make that same half-serious, half-pathetic plea for other cases in France recently: covering “apology for terrorism” cases. That’s another example – hundreds of examples – where France clearly cared nothing for freedom of speech: you had minors, drunks and mentally ill citizens accused by hearsay, jailed, tried and sentenced over just a few days.

French media doesn’t like to make a fuss about that, either.

Back to MacronLeaks: By releasing this so close to the election there’s a fair case to be made that this is not whistleblowing but manipulation, and those are two different things.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. But the first rule of MacronLeaks is that we can’t talk about them….

Ramin Mazaheri 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. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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