This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Myth And The Message

"In some sense it is a cry for help, but I think it's more political than that. It's the one way the suburbs get attention ... If all of those people demonstrated quietly, no media would show up."
"Muslim citizens in France are constantly being asked, 'Why haven't you integrated?"
"A Malian Muslim and a Moroccan Muslim have very different ways of practising Islam and may not even identify as Muslim, but rather as Berber or Tuareg. Our understanding of these people as Muslims, and therefore as similar, is part of the problem when they are actually incredibly diverse."
Myanthi Fernando, professor of anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

"They've hidden their racism behind secularism. But it's not racism against Christianity or Judaism, it only targets Islam. You'll never find someone who says, 'No kippahs in Paris'."
"Today the new generation doesn't live like their parents, who thought: 'Don't make a fuss, fall in line, hide your religion at home'. Today we don't care what others think. Those who practise their religion aren't afraid to let it be known."
"According to the advocates of this 'resgressive secularism', you have to choose between French and Muslim. For them, a beard is an ostentatious sign of western hatred, repression of women."
"The public space must allow all types of expression ... This doesn't endanger national cohesion. To the contrary, it enriches it."
"One day, France's institutions must reflect its population. That might take several years, but one day I hope to see a veiled minister in France. Veiled, feminist, competent and tolerant."
Madjid Messaoudene, St-Denis city councillor, France
Firefighters extinguish a car set on fire west of Paris in November 2005. Between 30,000 and 40,000 cars are burned each year in France, a highly visible protest.
MICHEL SPINGLER / The Associated Press   Firefighters extinguish a car set on fire west of Paris in November 2005. Between 30,000 and 40,000 cars are burned each year in France

After the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded 368, proudly claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as evidence of their far-reaching power in jihad, it took several days -- while tens of thousands of soldiers and police on high alert were stationed in the city -- for Muslim youth from the suburbs to raise their middle fingers by setting a vehicle ablaze.

In France it is an annual event, these bonfires where between 30,000 and 40,000 cars are sent up in fire and smoke, signifying the restless dissatisfaction of Muslim 'youth', representing second- and third-generation immigrants. Their lot in life as citizens of France leaves them unimpressed with the opportunities open to them to excel in attractive walks of life due to, the story goes, repression born of racist bias.

Muslims may have diverse ethnic backgrounds, but the precepts of Islam are universally observed. Muslims know full well the major pillars of their religion; they must submit to them all to do the will of Allah as constructed by the Prophet Mohammad; spreading Islam's influence among the uninitiated is a key obligation, as is jihad, and the two are inextricably intertwined. Islam was spread by violent conquest and continues to be.

Another group which has always suffered under the oppressive yoke of racism has been Jews, who managed nonetheless to accommodate themselves to any and all opportunities to advance their interests while respecting the laws of any country they integrated themselves with. Judaism, whether practised or secular is a personal matter, never negating the laws of the land and there are always ways to transcend grudgingly anaemic opportunities. There is no exhortation to violence in Judaism.

But of course Judaism is not known as a proselytizing religion, with a theologically dictated need to advance itself to tower over other religions and declare them redundant. Islam recognizes no authority but its own, either in theology, law, politics or society. Its goal is to bypass and surmount all other religions, and to impose Sharia law wherever it can achieve a critical mass.

Muslims have a tendency -- because they are taught from birth that Islam is everything to everyone -- to agitate for special recognition from any non-Muslim country where they flood into. Islam does not conciliate, it does not concede, it does not cooperate, it is geared toward total conquest.

So yes, the normative Western, democratic expectation is that when immigrants or refugees migrate to a non-Muslim country, they learn to accommodate themselves to the prevailing customs, they gradually assimilate, and their children and grandchildren become true citizens of the accepting country. Islam does not permit Muslims to do this; they are held separate and apart.

And even so, the expectation is that their entitlements, self-perceived as they may be, must be recognized. So no, the public space does not necessarily have to allow all types of expression; there are some that are too alien, too alienating, too grating against human rights to be tolerated in a democratic society, where they would be, under a totalitarian system of governance that practices religion-based social mores that oppress portions of society.

France has welcomed an astounding number of immigrants, many from countries reflecting its colonialist past. Each year France absorbs an increasing number of Muslims to add to its estimated four million now living in the country. As a result of these immigrants' resistance to assimilation or integration into the values of the larger society they are disadvantaged with poor academic results and high unemployment.

The question has been put: 'Why is France failing its Muslims?', whereas the question should actually be more like: 'Why are Muslims failing their opportunities?'. If immigrants cannot feel full allegiance to the country they migrate to, and use that country as a useful economic stepping-stone toward a better future while living within Islam as they did in their countries of origin which beset them with human rights abuses led by dictators, whose fault is that?

To point out that racism is not practised in the West against Christians or Jews, is an absolute falsehood; racism is practised in Muslim countries against Christians and Jews, and to a far lesser degree in democratic countries of the West. Against Jews because anti-Semitism is a mental disease that refuses to shrivel up and die; against Christians because society has turned against its own heritage in an effort to accommodate Muslims' view of themselves as victims.

Madjid Messaoudene's last statement quoted above delineates Islam's other face of jihad; the infiltration of Muslims into a non-Muslim society until they reach majority status at which time they can invoke the privileges attendant on majority and complete the work of transforming that society into a Muslim community through conversion and oppression using not only their own laws, but the laws of the conquered community.

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