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The Paris March - A Sign of Bold Freedom or Pharaonic Arrogance?
by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
2015-01-19 11:21:19
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Paris has recently witnessed the targeted assassination of eight Parisian journalists. Many see their execution as terrorism. Some see it as a justifiable act of avenge or retaliation for insulting Islam and its revered Prophet (S). And then there are many others who are not sure how to categorize the violence – while they are disgusted by the shootings in Paris they may nonetheless have reasons for not embracing the slogan "I am Charlie".

The French government has epitomized hypocrisy and taken it to a level that is rarely seen in our time. It claims to respect religious rights, but such rights are routinely denied to more than six million French Muslims. A third generation French Muslim of North African heritage is still treated as an outsider in France. Mosques get routinely attacked by Islamophobic French hoodlums, but such information, thanks to the French-fried, biased and hostile media, never makes the news.

The French authorities owe the public answers to the following set of questions: if freedom of expression is a sacred cow that has to be kept alive and protected at any cost, why do they routinely punish dissenting voices that see things clearly and smell the gutter rat within the French system of equality, liberty and fraternity? Why is any expression that is critical of the deranged, sick secular fundamentalists there and their divisive and farcical policies, let alone an honest, nonthreatening criticism of Zionism and the rogue Israeli government is always portrayed as hostile and thus, punishable by the state laws? So, when demonic insulting of the most revered men in history (Prophets Muhammad, Jesus and Moses) is not just tolerated but cheered at under the guise of freedom of expression why all these double-standards to stop dissenting views on other matters, which are often conveniently lumped as promoting terrorism? Whom are they trying to fool?

In the past, I have written a few times against the savage, ultra-secular Talibanism promoted within the French society by the deranged and often delusional Talibans running the republic. Obsessed and delusional as they are, they fail to understand that their hypocritical and unjust policies are at the heart of the civilizational crisis we witness today. Like other more genuinely civilized nations around the globe, the French secular Talibans ought to learn the simple fact that while each of us have the freedom to extend our arms, such extension of arms has limits. When our stretched out arms or fists hit someone, it is no longer freedom but abuse or violence against the one who is hit.

The French people and many in the western secular societies have not learned that basic wisdom and continue to do the stupid, moronic thing of violating the rights of others. They abuse and then try to hide under the selective umbrella of freedom. It is an evil ploy that they play, hoping to hoodwink the neophyte elements within their society. In their unfathomed obsessions and Pharaonic arrogance they forget that such violent and provocative acts are bound to get some reactions from their targeted victims. Such reactions may not, of course, happen every time, but to be oblivious of the mere fact that the victims of their abuse and violence has similar rights to hit back - sometimes violently or disproportionately - is mere stupidity. And that is how most of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America do see the current problem, which is at odds with the popular views in the west - i.e., Europe, Australia and North America - all former colonizers.

So, while the Parisians gathered last Sunday to show their solidarity with the murdered serially abusive cartoonists of the French weekly - Charlie Hebdo - where some 40 world leaders - many of whom are cold-blooded murderers - marched in unison at the Place de la Republique with the bemused - and some confused - crowd, chanting like a parrot ‘I am Charlie’, no rational and conscientious human being can excuse those rogue journalists for provoking violence. Nor can they be in solidarity with those arrogant hypocrites who fail to distinguish insults from freedom of expression. While they deplore the loss of innocent lives, they know that not everyone will filter messages in ways that are not threatening. To some the acts of those slain cartoonists were utterly sacrilegious and highly provocative – thus setting the rationale for avenging the honor of their beloved personality – the best of humanity created by God.

Freedom of press is a bedrock principle of democracy, but when journalists take that freedom as a license to incite violence, promote intolerance and inflame a society for few cheap laughs, claptraps and giggles, they degrade, denigrate and embarrass their noble profession, and need to be shunned by all. As I have noted elsewhere, they are no better than the other terrorists of our time, and can often be worse, more damaging and dangerous.

There is a well-known Persian couplet:

Ba Khuda deewana basho
Ba Muhammad hoshyaar

(Meaning: Play madly with God if you wish, but be careful with Muhammad.)

Sadly, the management and cartoonists in Charlie Hebdo continue to display insanity. One can only take pity on such arrogant fools.


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Emanuel Paparella2015-01-19 16:03:22
True to form, Dr. Siddiqui, offers only one side of the coin, a half a truth which itself, coming from his usually biased pen, will hardly be found credible on both sides of the issue.

There is indeed some truth to what he writes, the fact that Islamo-phobia is rampant in the EU, and a good number of Muslims are treated as second rate citizens there, even when born on the European continent; also the inability of certain journalists to distinguish free speech from slander and provocation of others’ beliefs and faiths, conveniently hiding under the banner of fraternitè, libertè, egalitè. Indeed, their vaunted laicitè or secularism often smacks of intolerance toward religion… but that is only half of the whole truth. Where is the other half? The other half is of course the fact that 99.9 percent of the Muslims do not see violence and murder as a solution to provocation, and in fact do not consider the deeds of the extremists, the Islamo-fascists among them, as representative of Islam; to the contrary they consider them a betrayal and a dishonoring of Islam? That half of the truth is nowhere to be found in Dr. Siddiqui’s comments and I for one is not too surprised. Pity.

Nikos Laios2015-01-20 15:46:23
Be careful with either Mohamed,Moses or Jesus?.For it might be blasphemy in the Moslem world to blasphem against these figures,but not in the secular west,who do not necessarily follow these religious beliefs and dogmas,and who therefore have the right to examine any idea critically and call these three men absurd and ridiculous if they so choose to.Yet for some,Plato and Aristotle are the most revered men in history,for others it is Buda,Michelangelo or Mao Tse Tung; and that is because we don't exist in a particularist and relatavist world like some do that excludes all others for the sake of some.It is a sad indictment that a third of the world lives in theocratic fascism and chooses to project itself over the freedoms and culture of others,and respect at the end of the day has nothing to do with it; for there exists in this world a parallel evolution of cultures and societies that are so diametrically opposite,that accomidation is not required and each have the right to exist in isolation.To have the peace for each civilisation to live how it chooses without being dictated to by others.

Satya Priya2015-01-24 03:13:43
Dissenting voices here reflected by Nikos shows what an ignorant he is. He is not aware of the clear cases of hypocrisy in our western systems. When it suits us, we cry freedom of expression to insult and abuse others, but then punish others for doing exactly the same. France has ample of examples highlighting this chronic disease. Not too long ago, Sydney Morning Herald of Australia had to apologize for a cartoon on bombing of Gaza while Israelis watched the mayhem from hilltops. See the link for the cartoon:

This is how they judged it:

"An Australian press organization has judged that a cartoon published in The Sydney Morning Herald violated press Standards of Practice by the way it linked symbols of the Jewish faith to criticism of Israel."

This is how the paper reacted:

"In response to the adjudication, the Morning Herald republished an apology that it originally published onAugust 3, 2014, one week after the cartoon originally ran. That apology likewise regretted the use of the religious symbols of the yarmulke and Star of David, although it noted that Le Lievre’s work commonly depicts people with large noses, regardless of race or ethnicity, and that the image was inspired by news photographs of Israelis watching the bombardment of Gaza from the hilltops of Sderot."

The Press Council’s statement praised the apology and noted that the Morning Herald’s editor in chief and news director had attended “seminars facilitated by the Jewish Board of Deputies to raise awareness about imagery that could be construed as anti-Semitic."

Whom is Nikos kidding?

Habib Siddiqui2015-01-24 23:57:57
Good to read Emanuel's observation admitting that Islamophobia is quite rampant in the EU. Soon after the Paris march, a French Moroccan Muslim has been murdered by a French Islamophobic criminal. The 28-year-old attacker forced the front door of his neighbors' house in the picturesque village of Beaucet near Avignon just after midnight on Wednesday shouting "I am your god, I am your Islam" before repeatedly stabbing Mohamed El Makouli. An autopsy showed El Makouli had been stabbed 17 times.

More than 50 anti-Muslim incidents including attacks on mosques have been recorded by the Central Council of Muslims in France since the Paris shootings which left 17 dead, including 12 at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly.
As I have noted elsewhere, such crimes, committed by individuals, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are as a result of how they process information in their minds. Not all would tolerate something widely tolerated, and not all would react similarly. Some get triggered for something that they find offensive, while others may not, and would let go. When we blame an entire religion or its adherents for such crimes, we do a disservice.

Nikos Laios2015-01-25 16:30:52
What we are talking about here is Europe,the culture of Europe,and it's evolution over the past 3,000 years till this point now; a free,secular society,with a democratic system and freedom of speech(albeit not a perfect one,but one that is ours still).We are not talking about Saudi Arabia,,and its practise of a puritanical ISLAM,or that there are no human rights,or that the sexes are segregated,or that women are not allowed to drive, or that stoning as a punishment that still occurs,or that beheadings occur in public,or that Saudi Arabia is the prime exporter of Wahabiasm that is fuelling radical violent ISLAM and causing all this mess due to the feelings of dissafection,alienation,and frustration felt by Arab youth around the world at the failure of the Arab and Islamic civilisation at addressing social,political and economic inequities.That rather than looking in the mirror for the causes of these societal failures,the finger is invariably pointed at the west and its freedoms as a scapegoat? So many from the Middle East are migrating to the evil infidel (kafir world) of Europe.Why is that so?Which is a hypocrisy in itself; for one cannot have it both ways.One can either enjoy the 'fruits' of puritanical version of Islam in Saudi Arabia for example or othe parts of the Middle east,or in choosing to be part of Europe,intergrate and assimilate into the culture of Europe,and enjoy its freedom of speech ( as imperfect as it is)- there is no accomodation or compromise here,and it's as simple as that.As Europeans,we will not bow down and change our culture for anyone;which we have been enjoying as a result of the hard efforts of our ancestors through the evolution of our culture over these past few thousand years.The far more pressing issues are the terrors,deaths,beheadings,rapes,and atrocities,and disrespect to women that are occurring across the Moslem world; perpetrated by moslems against Moslems,and Moslems against non-moslem.I wonder where are the voices of heinous protest by moslem commentators against these more serious crimes perpetrated by their own people? Their silence speaks for itself of the hypocrisy and lack of a public moral stance: so the big problem in the meantime is how we Europeans exercise our freedom of speech and examine and challenge any ideas we so choose to including religious personages?.....really?....

Emanuel Paparella2015-01-27 14:50:25
It would also be good to have Habib admit frankly that Islamo-fascism, a distortion of Islam, is just as reprehensible and criminal as Christiano-fascism or Buddhism-famscism or Indu-fascism. Why not call a spade a spade rather than rationalizing the moral sickness with some kind of chemical imbalance in the brain?

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