Beliefnet
L'Ordre

Au bout d’un ou deux siècles d’exploitation se produit une véritable émaciation du panaroma culturel

With one or two centuries of exploitation comes a thorough emaciation of the cultural landscape.

Frantz Fanon


All of us regret the tragic loss of life in the shooting of staff and police officers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The social and political consequences are more problematic and dangerous to predict than our compassionate reactions to this immediate tragedy from all levels of society.

I deplore the portrayal of the resulting political controversy as something where Islamophobic so-called free speech is being suppressed, with the buzzwords in the debate typically being: censorship, self-censorship and the idea of politically correct “cowards” who are afraid to criticize Islam. These were the terms in which the controversy has been portrayed by many libertarians and rightists, who have been given 3 out of 4 platforms in the mainstream media to promote their hate to us all. That’s right: those of us who say the community should not have its sensibilities offended and be torn apart by religious libel and violence are to be smeared as “cowards” by these “brave” militant rightists and so-called free speech enthusiasts, obsessed with listening to their own vitriolic criticism of Islam.

I would argue that the real ones suppressing our freedom of speech are not the Muslims, but militant rightists and nationalists who capitalize on this violence to vilify, caricature, blame, and attack sections of their own society. These rightists, who are goose-stepping us against members of our own community, are trying to drive French society and the rest of European society into no less than a sectarian bloodbath. It is not “cowardly” to want to stop this disaster. Rather, is is sound and – politically (i.e., concerned with social cohesion and the public interest) – correct. It is also brave, especially at a time when there is such blatant demagoguery and libelous claims against people holding that sound position.

This attack indicates nothing about race, or even religion. However, if we must address those subjects, let me state the following in response to the bulk of the reactionary arguments in circulation right now. It may well be true, much as the Front National and its British equivalents, the BNP and UKIP (take your pick) have always claimed as their core thesis, that Europe’s decision since the 1950s to open the doors to the peoples of Africa, the Middle East, and all other regions it brutally colonized was a wrong decision. However, the decision has already been made, and now all our politics take place against the backdrop of that road to diversity already being a fact on the ground.

That influx of migrants has already profoundly transformed society and eradicated the so-called “nation”, leaving no political viability for a restoration of monoculture or European nationalist politics to the outdated so-called “nation”. What the racists and Islamophobes advocate as a solution isn’t the rebirth of the Western civilization as they portray it, but a bloodbath like nothing seen in Europe since the 30 Years’ War. We already know that conflict ended with reconciliation through the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, so why repeat it? There is simply no reason to march through these same bloody steps again simply to arrive at the same conclusion. We already have that peace. Why not simply maintain it?

We have to stop portraying this controversy surrounding the shooting at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo as something revolving around courage and freedom of speech versus religious dogma. It is rather about community cohesion. When it comes to community cohesion, being a “coward” is morally the right thing, and I would welcome this insult in a context such as this. I’m a big coward about the possibility of provoking the community into a sectarian civil war in Europe, and I’m “brave” enough to admit it. On the other hand, the individuals who claim to be “brave” by insulting and hurting the sensibilities of the Muslim community repeatedly are clearly (as we can see in the aftermath of this attack in France) not willing to die for what they are doing, but they are willing for everyone else to die for them. They are willing for a country like France to commit national, political suicide over this controversy and gnaw at its very own flesh.

Europe might not accept diversity, but it must. This is the only lesson that can actually be learned from events like the recent killings in France. The alternative could be an endless cycle of violence and internecine conflict. That isn’t my cup of tea, and I would be even less willing to invite society to drink of it. What sin could it really be, to advocate cowardice in the face of that threat? As a response to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, I encourage the law in France and Britain to implement harsher measures against Islamophobia in all its forms, in the interests of the community. I fully endorse so-called “cowardice” and “political correctness” as the solution to prevent all future terrorist attacks, just as I encourage our defeat and the capitulation of our overseas “allies” as our best defense against global terrorism.

None of this so-called war on terror (or war on Islam?) perpetrated by our government and media is in the public interest. The defeat of the government in this conflict will be victory for us all.

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I hope to soon have a new op-ed out at the recently redesigned and enhanced website of Press TV, wherein I criticize the hypocrisy of US foreign policy and point out US parallels with the similarly named IS (so-called Islamic State), for both seem equally prepared to kill us all and offer our bodies as human sacrifices to their bizarre ideologies, and both of them self-righteously pronounce that the whole world must submit to their concept of the State. I see both of these crazy extremist groups as hideous, arrogant terrorist entities that should be defeated and overcome by humanity.


By Harry J. Bentham

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