UUCSA PRESS STATEMENT | France’s Anti-Muslim Tyranny
The gruesome murder of a 47-year-old history teacher, Samuel Paty, gave President Macron the perfect opportunity to divert attention from his failed domestic policies. Instead of condemning the atrocious and vile actions of the murderer, Macron singled out an entire religion by saying: “he was killed because the Islamists want our future. They know that with quiet heroes like him, they will never have it.” He chose to denigrate Islam by labelling it as a religion in crises and by projecting the provocative cartoons onto government buildings in France. The caricatures of the noble Prophet are deeply hurtful to the sensibilities of 1.8 billion Muslims across the globe. As Muslims we do not endorse, sanction or encourage extra judicial killings notwithstanding.
It is worth pointing out that the attack comes as France is suffering from a long-term social crisis; popular anger has reached boiling point and manifested itself in street protests. In 2019 there were major demonstrations against pension reforms, fuel-price hikes, police violence, and unemployment. The year ended with one of the longest public transportation strikes in French history, which paralyzed the country. The murder of Samuel Paty provided timely ‘revulsion’ to win back political ground specifically from the far right.
The government refuses to acknowledge the fact that Islam is a religion of France. It has done little to address job and housing discrimination, police brutality, poverty and everyday racism and yet it accuses the French Muslim community of failing to integrate.” If anything, it appears that it is the State rather than Muslims that has cut itself off from its 8.8 % Muslims population.
France has the largest number of Muslims in the Western world primarily due to migration from Maghrebi, West African, and Middle Eastern countries. Despite more than 5 million Muslims living in France, it has clearly refused to accept multiculturalism as an integral part of French values.
“How does a country that allegedly stands for liberty, equality and fraternity reconcile itself with internal racist undercurrents that deny the liberty of religion, generate inequality, and regard Arabs and Muslims as second-class citizens?”… “It can’t, because it would have to first acknowledge its white saviour’s complex, the genocide of millions, its nuclear testing in colonies, systemic racism, rape, torture, murder and its industrialisation at the expense of entire nations and peoples in the name of Mother France and all that she stands for. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. (Dr Hamed Benseddik)
Sadly, France’s exploitative colonial history together with its current anti Muslim tyranny offers little hope to Muslim languishing in ghettos… for them there is no path ahead for the taking: just bleak, second-class existence.
Macron will do well to reflect on the words of Alphonse de Lamartine, a French author, poet, and statesman who said “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad?”
Y Patel (Moulana)
29 October 2020
UUCSA is an umbrella body comprising nine affiliate members. It represents approximately 1500 Muslim Scholars. It has a national foot print across the nine provinces of South Africa.
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