Cartoon: Eye test “R-e-l-i-g-i-o-n O-f P-e-a-c-e”

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  1. What happened recently in France has once again shed the spotlight on France’s “Muslim problem” but for the Muslims in France, they now fear the rise in what has become quite a norm in France for many years, Islamophobia. One could argue that the problem of Islamophobia started many centuries ago with the Crusades – we know the Persian term ‘Franjistan’ (“Land of the Franks”) was used by Muslims to refer to crusading Christendom of Europe and was commonly used over several centuries in the Ottoman Empire. The Franks were a people who originated from what is today France and of course, Pope Urban II who called the First Crusades, did so from Claremont in France where he called upon Knights there to:

    The origins of the croissant and the caricature of the Prophet in our time, show that the Sunnah (the way) of these nations towards Muslims has always been to mock and ridicule. You can only create the present with what you inherited from the past and in the case of Charlie Hebdo, they have inherited the mocking legacy of the inventors of the croissant.

    Following WW2, the French committed genocide against the Algerians, a point which Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan raised in 2011 when he said:

    “What the French did in Algeria was genocide. 15% of the Algerian population was massacred during the French occupation from 1945 to 1962. They were mercilessly martyred. If Mr Sarkozy doesn’t know there was genocide, he can ask his father, Pal Sarkozy … who was a legionnaire in Algeria in the 1940s. I’m sure he has a lot to tell his son about the massacres committed by the French in Algeria.”

    France’s more recent history is plagued with the targeting of Muslims where one of its main political parties is the Front National, Le pen. The Hijab, Islamic headscarf has been banned in schools since 2004, and veil or Niqab, the Islamic full-face veil has been banned nationally since April 2011. For the far-right, the Islamic headscarf is seen as the symbol of the Muslim invasion of France. And although the far-right is dealing with the dirty work, the left is taking advantage of it. I think that the ideology which is harming Muslims today in France is not only the far-right one, but it is mainly the secularist one defended by the left.

    The Battle of Vienna ultimately proved to be a decisive factor in how the future world took shape. Many seem to think that the troubles between the Muslim World and the Western World in the modern era started with the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. It would be more accurate to state however that the pro-war cabal in Western governments were taken off the leash to continue what had started nearly a century ago. The Muslim world has never recovered from the destruction of the Ottoman Empire at the hands of the western imperialists, the origins of which find its roots with the battle of Vienna. Conversely, the western world, particularly France over the same period adopted an approach towards Muslims which one may argue is cannibalistic “feeding” on croissants which of course we now know, symbolised the eating of the Ottoman Muslims. It is perhaps no surprise then that the very same nation was home to a group of people who made it their vision to ridicule Muslims in such a barbaric fashion, now attacks the centre most figure in Islam through grotesque caricatures the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wassallam) using a selective application of “free speech”.

    Far-right organisations across Europe with Neo-conservatives at the helm of western governments are a chilling echo of the time of the battle of Vienna. In many cases across Europe where the anti-Muslim narrative has come to be recognised as a central most feature of the far-right discourse and with this, we are seeing the re-birth of the Holy Christian League that was formed to defeat the Ottomans before the battle of Vienna. A report conducted in 2013, highlighted the coming together of European far-right organisations across Europe in the same geographical area as in the 17th Century including France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria as well as others such as Britain with the uniting factor being their hatred of Islam and Muslims. The underlying hate has manifested from the paradigms of empires to the construct of nation states and secular liberalism. The tide, at least perceptively, feels as though it is unrelentingly against the Muslims.

    Freedom of expression is a cultural and political totem – it is INTENDED to split the Anglo Saxon world from those damned Russians/Muslims/Chinese etc. It was created when the Anglo Saxon world wasn’t tangled up in a web of economic and political ties with those damned Russians/Muslims/Chinese. And therein lies the problem….. Charlie Hebdo seemed to be on the French State’s side! The editor demanded Sine apologize, and when Sine rightly refused, he was sacked! Sine then sued for unfair dismissal and won. Charlie Hebdo was all for ‘free speech’ when it came to insulting Muslims; less so, when it was Jews in the firing line?

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