Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Concerning the #Frenchproductboycott thing : Excuse my French for real this time

I write this post without arranging my thoughts concerning the latest controversy concerning France and the Muslim world aka the French Products boycott over publishing the infamous controversial cartoons mocking Islam’s Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” last week.

I will try to arrange my thoughts while I am angry.

Excuse my French for real this time but I know that shit would hit the fan when French President Emmanuel Macron went on with his historical speech about fighting “Islamist separatism” and how ‘” Islam was in a crisis”.

Macron in the famous Zaitouna Mosque in Tunisia in 2018 "AFP
Macron in the famous Zaitouna Mosque in Tunisia in
2018 "AFP"

I do not know much about Macron’s advisers but that speech was alarming. I do not know how a sane person in the position of Macron as a Western Non-Muslim speaks about the crisis a whole religion of nearly two billion currently lives so easily. 

I do not know how no one in the French administration thought for a moment that this speech is like an official endorsement to the dangerous growing Nazi right-wing political powers of Europe. 

Dear Ahmed Zaki put it perfectly “Islam as religion does not live a crisis, Muslims live in a crisis and not even all Muslims” and that the crisis of Muslims in the Middle East, for instance, is different than in Asia and even on nations level; the problems of Muslims in Malaysia are different than Egypt. This is one.

The French president ignores how his country and its support to corrupted regimes for decades were part of this long crisis. I do not want to get in France’s colonial history in the Muslim countries.

I know also first hand as a citizen of the Middle East how you can divert attention from things that matter in society. I know first hand that poverty and stigmatization play a role in making youth join terrorist organization too 

I believe it was easier to put the blame on Islam as a religion than to admit that the French republic failed miserably in integrating many French Muslims into its society by insisting that they give up some of their beliefs to become part of the French society.

I believe it is easier to put the blame on Islam as a religion than to admit the failure of the economic and social policies as well as political policies to recognize an important sect in the French society that played a role since the 18th century.

Two weeks passed and the horrifying attack against French high school teacher Samuel Paty who showed the infamous Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” in a lesson about Freedom of speech took place. He was killed by a radical Chechen teenage who was shot by French police.

Big Islamic organizations and Muslim countries presented their condemnation and rejection of the attack.

Egypt’ Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyib called the west to stop offending Islamic beliefs aka publishing the cartoons as he presented his condolence asserting his complete rejection for the murder.

The late French teacher had an official funeral and a day of mourning in France and in an act of retaliation the offensive controversial cartoons were projected on French government buildings

Some say it was not the government who made this move but rather a group of activists, well the government approved and endorsed the move. Macron said on that day of national mourning that they or France would continue publishing the cartoons because they won’t cave in like others.

Now many Muslims believe that the French president and government insisted on insulting prophet Mohamed PBUH in this way.

 Following this, news came on how two Muslim French ladies of Algerian origin, one of them wearing a veil was stabbed near the Eiffel Tower, the attackers insulted them. From a couple of days ago, two Jordanians were attacked too. 

You must know that Prophet Mohamed’s Moulid’s or Birth is on Wednesday. Emotions are indeed high and the Muslim countries, especially those which Macron considers friends of France, are walking on thin ice. 

This weekend an online campaign launched calling for a boycott to French products over Macron's statements and the re-publishing of the cartoons as well as the attacks against Muslims in Paris.  Some supermarket chains especially in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar removed French products from their shelves. 

Nevertheless, the true impact of such a call has not been felt yet. 

But It took only about 48 hours of the campaign's launch only and we find the French Foreign Ministry issued one of the worst statements ever in French, English and Arabic that reminded many who have not lived under the French colonial rule by the French colonial rule. 

My two Egyptian worthless piasters :

I will start with that statement of the French MOFA because it is making me so angry to write this long post. 

The French MOFA called those called for boycotting French products as "radical minority", they are not radicals, they are normal average Muslims including Egyptian women who were searching last night for Vichy cosmetic products alternatives and Presidente Cheese alternatives "Despite it is manufactured in Egypt". 

The French MOFA boldly asks its partners from governments in the Middle East to stop "immediately" the boycott of goods in a language that it is more of orders. When I read this line, I feared the safety of supermarket owners who can be harmed by French government orders. 

The Arabic version was too provoking that people whom I know in Egypt who did not pay attention to the whole affair were cursing the French government. 

The products boycott is a peaceful act and is an essential part of true freedom of expression but it seems that the freedom of expression has limits. It is a clear case of double standards. 

Actually, France has limits to Freedom of expression.

Burning or mocking the French flag is a red line for instance.

Denying the Holocaust is another red line despite it seems okay to accept right-wing politicians who are anti-Semitics to the bones to attack Muslims as long as they do not publicly attack Jews. I hate to tell you that after going after the Muslims, they will go after Jews. 

I understand why the principles of the so-called Republic are considered sacred but I do not understand how some do not understand that there are religious beliefs that are sacred too.

Update: In a move identical to the Middle East Arab Muslim Countries, the French minister of interior announced that the Imams will recite "Pro-Republic" poems next Friday in the Friday sermons !! Yeah, this is how it goes in the Arab countries, the Freedom sermons must be approved by the governments too. 

Where is the Freedom of speech and Freedom of expression? Can the French government impose the same thing on Churches and synagogues !? 

Already is not this interfere between religion and state !? Where is secularism here !? 

Why does the French government insist on presenting the French Muslims as a rogue community all the time !? 

This how you contribute in making radicals, young and frustrated Muslims who seek the help of Imams who take their orders from the government and technically repeat what it says but at the Mosque. They will go and search for the spiritual guidance of other sheikhs online. 

In the past two days, we found EU leaders standing against What Erdogan said about Macron that he should be checked mentally. 

If you consider it is rude and unacceptable behaviour to speak about a European elected president who is not above criticism, then why you do not consider more than one billion human being’s sacred icon a red line too !? Or because he is not a European leader !?  

I do not need really lectures on secularism and freedom of expression. I know very well freedom of expression, I tasted it for a few years and God, I know how precious it is and I know how people pay for it dearly with their lives technically in that sad part of the region. The French government can go ask Jamal Khashoggi about it. 

Macron is wasting a huge legacy and burning bridges built over decades by other French presidents I am afraid.

People do not forget in the long run especially when they feel and they are already oppressed by friends of the French Republic.

If Macron and his administration think that they are fighting so-called “Islamic separatism” and “Islamic terrorism”, they are wrong.

They are feeding radicalism and terrorism actually.

Ironically Marcon mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood in his famous speech about Islamic separatism when he supports Khalifa Haftar in Eastern Libya whose main supporters are Salafi Madkhali militias which can be classified as a restless terrorist group according to the French standards.

I have expressed my concerns about those militias before on Twitter and how they represent a clear danger to Egypt and its borders as well as its national security for real. Some believe that they do not impose a danger because they follow the leader chosen by God even if he corrupted but in the end, they are the true radical extremists who can turn against you in any moment.  

It is time that the French lower a little bit of their pride about the so-called “Principles of the Republic” and learn a thing or two from its Colonial power rival the UK whether in diplomacy or in social integration.

Now, this is a disclaimer as someone who had enough from self-appointed asshole racist Islamophobic online trolls, I would like to share it in my blog after tweeting it in Arabic.

As a Muslim who rejects the murder of the French teacher and at the same time rejects Islamophobia as well as attacking my religion and using it as a scarecrow to win voters in the elections as always, as a person who endorses peaceful protesting {goods boycott} while knowing that it may not change a thing in an existing culture why have been  I classified as radical terrorist or a some call it {Cute moderate Muslim} !? that term which I got sick of it because I know those who launched do not give me another option; either you are with or you are a son bitch terrorist.

Nobody denies that we have a lot of problems and we have got radicalism especially in Egypt but please we need more logic, it is bigger than the “Muslim televangelists like Amr Khaled” whom you hate and .{For their hypocrisy}

Unfortunately, some of those trolls are from so-called leftist anarchists and liberals whom I had enough of their hypocrisy and double standards.

I write it in English because I feel that from the reactions I have received in Arabic that many felt the same. We are totally against radicalism and terrorist attacks but we feel that we have denounced being Muslim altogether to be accepted by some online elite.

I am tired of being given two options because life is too complicated. 

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