Other verses specify that “to each [us, God has] prescribes a law and an open way. We say: “Not here in our country!” And we have every right to say this, as a sovereign nation and a free people. In fact, the Arabic word for blasphemy, tajdif, is absent from the Qur’an. Will it successfully eradicate radical Islam from the hundreds of French suburbs that this ideology has already conquered? May his determination pay off. This site uses cookies. "In certain places of our Republic, there is a separatism which has taken hold , that is to say the will to no longer live together, to no longer be in the Republic. In truth however, the French judiciary’s own data reveals that all major crimes are lower than they were compared to the past three years, and the past decade as well. Not a religion. Of course, there are certainly hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are perfectly integrated in France. French battle against Islamist ‘separatism’ is at odds with commitment to liberty. You won’t love what I adore either. It also puts into effect strict oversight, scrutiny and control of foreign funding of places of worship, in order to block suspicious projects. Thine be thy way, and mine mine ”” (109: 1-6). If the French President sometimes speaks with a “conservative” voice and looks at his country with perspicacity, he remains quite lonely at the top of the State apparatus and even within his own circles. For as Averroes, the 12th-century polymath, once wrote: “Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence.”. Follow us on Instagram. Another traditional conservative painted an image of “a future ultraviolent dystopia all but inevitable.” On this issue, left-wing parties agree even with the far-right. and technology do not erase the fundamental condemnation that every colonialist carries in his heart. Home But it was only in October 2019 that the word ‘separatism’ was used, and it was here to stay. It’s not clear. France News; On freedom of expression and “Islamist separatism” | France. French battle against Islamist ‘separatism’ is at odds with commitment to liberty. In case an emblematic example is needed, don’t forget that French authorities have still been largely unable to enforce on the ground the ban on burqas voted in the Parliament in 2010. One doubts whether Macron’s determination and the severity of his measures will suffice. And for once, Macron referred to “Islamist separatism” — not as a euphemism but as a name that perfectly echoes the magnitude of the challenge that France and other Western European countries face (although some still fail to acknowledge it). I simply wish to remind your readers of some simple facts, explain the situation of my country and the challenges it has to face. Is AI finally closing in on human intelligence? The President actually sent an explicit call for action — and some words of caution — to journalists, stressing that it is not only his responsibility to reverse these trends but also the nation’s. Rodrigo Ballester cooperates with Mathias Corvinus Collegium in Budapest. It also warns against restraint in the face of abuse, disbelief, and verbal attacks, and prohibits contempt for the deity of another religion. Blinded by dogmas and incapacitated by progressive ideologies, they expect the storm to pass — while their societies are gangrened by Islamist separatism. But, if they do, the Qur’an does not allow us to harm them, nor does it outlaw punishment for unbelief, apostasy, or blasphemy. Children have abandoned schools to join clandestine flats where they solely learn the Koran. To be a French Muslim today is therefore to wear the “plural mark”, to quote the Tunisian Jewish intellectual Albert Memmi, who observed the tendency of French colonizers to consider Tunisians an “anonymous collectivity”. He noted that hundreds of radicalized youths have left for Syria — and might come back. ... French president Emmanuel Macron launched a crackdown on Islamist “separatism” in France. Will France be able to reverse this trend, change its “integration software”, and reconquer those “lost territories”? Of course, there are exceptions. French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s decision to reprint the Prophet Muhammad cartoons in September sparked a new wave of violence in France, a repeat of what happened when these images were first published in 2015. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Published October 15th, 2020 - 12:29 GMT. Passing a long-anticipated ‘Separatism’ bill granting the government powers to ensure that groups do not adhere to an alternative French identity, tethered to religious or ethnic affiliation, according to Le Figaro. In half a century, France underwent a silent cultural revolution that cut it off from its past, separated it from its roots, and pushed it to the forefront of progressive, ultra-liberal policies. France — we are attacked for this — is as secular for Muslims as for Christians, Jews, Buddhists and all believers. The piece misquoted me, substituting “Islamic separatism” — a term that I have never used — for “Islamist separatism”, which is a reality in my country. The bill would also end the ELCO program, allowing for education and instruction in foreign languages without oversight of the Ministry of National Education. However, since the French seem to have buried this sordid and criminal history, it cannot be reported that France continues to victimize people it has victimized in the past, without being accused of forgiving the violence of Muslims. The political lexicon used to refer to the process of Islamist radicalization has been enriched by the use of a "radical" vocabulary, that of separatism. Is this possible in a society already lulled into feelings of guilt and self-hatred? Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world. Against the terrorists who want to break us, we remain united. What Macron puts on the table is often very different from what the French National Assembly eventually adopts. I shall not discuss the questionable rigour of this article nor even the ideological foundations on which it is based. The first difficulty will be to pass those measures through the filter of the consultative bodies that will assess their impact on civil liberties and fundamental rights. Paradoxically, the biggest victim of this reduction of religion to a politics of resistance has been Islam itself, in particular the Qur’an’s ethics of tolerance, acceptance and mutuality. Level 1, Unit 7, 11 Lord Street This is due to a variety of factors — such as discouraged police forces, demotivated teachers, the permissiveness of local authorities, administrative inertia, and political resistances within the State, to name but a few. Some critics read my essay as endorsing murder by Muslims and condemning or not understanding the concept of free speech. Hopefully not; but probably yes. 0 On February 18, Macron announced a fight against “Islamist Separatism”, which began to be used in the Elysee’s communiques, after a shift away from warnings of generic ‘communitarianism’. What next? Marine Le Pen, the far right leader, warned recently that France was a “security shipwreck’’ sinking into “barbarity”. It accused me of stigmatising French Muslims for electoral purposes and of fostering a climate of fear and suspicion towards them. In certain districts and on the internet, groups linked to radical Islam are teaching hatred of the republic to our children, calling on them to disregard its laws. Terrorism incidents have seen a decline over the past decade. In the shadow of identity politics and the conflicts of the Middle East, these youngsters see themselves as the victims of colonialism; they nurture anti-Semitic views; and they expect only one thing from France: apologies and compensation. France honours self-proclaimed Islamophobe Houellebecq with highest honour, French anti-terror law primarily targets mosques, World reacts to terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, France’s Islamophobia and its roots in French colonialism, European Muslims seek protective laws in the face of rising hate crimes, Shots fired at Saudi embassy in The Hague, Parliament says Switzerland benefitted from CIA-controlled encryption firm, Several wounded in blast at WW1 event at Saudi cemetery, Turkish mosque attacked in Zaandam, Netherlands, Italy, UK report more than 500 daily Covid-19 deaths – latest updates, Show people, places and other topics in this story. Freedom of expression is based on the principle that people have the right to profess their ideas and beliefs without fear of reprisal. And does France really suffer from ‘Islamist separatism’, as Macron has charged? Hatred of Islam in the country does not appear to be a simple right-wing phenomenon. Not long after, his rhetoric picked up traction and weight. In contrast, most of his European counterparts remain in denial. I had also questioned that the insatiable urge to continue recycling such images is indeed an exercise in freedom of expression. Be it the radical minority or the moderate majority, most of them will probably feel targeted and “stigmatized” by the tone and substance of the President’s message. Is it realistic, particularly in a country that has failed to create — among its new generation, including migrants — a sense of “belonging” based on its glorious past and brilliant culture? The landmark intervention — one to be remembered — was a lucid, courageous, and alarming diagnosis of the corrosive impact of radical Islam in France. Is it too little and too late? A picture is worth a thousand words. Speaking to Muslims, he asked them to "work on the structuring of Islam in France, which is the very condition so that you do not fall into the net of the divisions of your own religion and the crisis it is facing. Nor any of these human rights that it proclaimed for the world, back in 1789. c/- New Media Foundation They barely speak Arabic, scarcely know the Koran, but they openly profess their religion more as a symbol of their rebellion than as a sign of faith. First, because it was sincere and honest — remarkable in a country which has been in denial for decades, and where the political and cultural elites have muzzled France’s discontented middle class by accusing them of racism and xenophobia. Muslims in France denounce the vague term of "separatism", while warning that this can increase abuse against them. Nevertheless, Macron’s diagnosis is, first and foremost, a chronicle of an announced suicide, the sinister portrait of a fractured nation torn apart by years of negligence and ideological blindness. The rector of the Lyon mosque, Kamel Kabtane, also said he was worried about this climate of insecurity. Editors note: the online opinion piece that this letter refers to was published briefly on November 2 and then removed for review after readers pointed out factual inaccuracies. This time the government responded to the attacks by throwing the cartoons on public buildings, while President Emmanuel Macron has declared Islam “in crisis” and has pledged to eradicate “Islamist separatism” in France.Earlier in September, I argued in an editorial that it should be possible to condemn Muslims who kill people because of the prophet’s cartoons, while acknowledging that they are meant to display epistemic mastery of Muslims, a an already vulnerable minority in France and Europe.