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The French freedom

The president of France is betrayed by your own words. When he declares that Islam is in ‘crisis’, he finds in his expression a projection of his own delusional self and his society that is itself in crisis.
Kazi Mostaque Ahmed
The French freedom

Galileo Galilei (1564 –1642) was given life imprisonment/house arrest by then Church state for he wanted to make public what he had discovered: the earth is heliocentric. This was contradictory to Christian faith.

The great Sufi maestro and poet Mansoor Al Hallaj (858 – 922) was put to death by the state for what he said – ‘ana al-Huq’ or ‘I’m the Truth’ – was thought to be against the Sharia Law. He was declared a heretic by the state. In the former case, the truth is scientific and in the latter, it is mystical.

While each man on earth is free, there is indeed the overwhelming need of freedom of expression in all society, lest we miss the truth. (For a detailed study on the topic one can read John Stuart Mill's treatise: On Liberty and Other Essays which has become a classic text on individual liberty and freedom of expression.)

Bewilderingly today in France, for the sake of amusing their audience, a group of cartoonists caricatures a great historical individual not related to anyway either with the performance of their own government, or exposition of any truth, and yet this act of theirs is branded as freedom of expression.

It is still more bewildering that such a conceited view is defended by President Emmanuel Macron’s government. What a vulgar version of freedom of expression that could be that humiliate others!

More, when this great individual is Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah (SM) whom his 1.28 billion followers in the world love by their heart and can lay their lives for preserving his honour, this freedom of expression indeed appears as a stark provocation and open challenge to his followers. Not to mention those six million Muslims who happen to constitute around nine percent of that country's total population, a minority, who may feel grievously isolated.

The president of France, you are betrayed by your own words. When you declare that Islam is in ‘crisis’, you find in your expression a projection of your own delusional self and your society that is itself in crisis.

You have lost faith in Christianity, as much it is because scientific discoveries have made Christian view of the cosmos wrong, as it is because it is hard for you to practise Christian self-abnegation as a spiritual and moral value. Instead, you have chosen to live a life of unbounded freedom and separated the state from the church.

That is your laïcité, not equal treatment to people of all faiths. The triple values of liberté, égalité, fraternité are great in theory, but you yourselves have made them meaningless in practice. Had it not been the case, you would have allowed Muslims to practice their religion freely, as people of other faiths do in your country, and you would not have closed down mosques and forbade Muslim women to dress and educate their children as they like.  

Contrary to you who were once passionate Christians and fought crusades, Muslims have not lost their faith in Allah and the Prophet, all prophets for that matter. In each conscious Muslim household, children are told stories of the prophets and are groomed to become moral individuals in life.

A Muslim is a reformed Jew/Christian of the true Abrahamic faith, and they live their day to day life within the boundary of Islam and are happy despite facing persecution all over the world! At present, there are a few Muslim countries where the Sharia Law is in full force by the state, yet Muslims all over the world are privately practising it, and dotingly so.

You know that Muslims of your country are not all immigrants. Muslim population there---and other places of the world---is also increasing because your own people are attracted by the great values of Islam and are ending up as Muslims. May be you or your European compatriot is in the line next. This trend has put you in alert and you find in it Islam’s ‘crisis’, however wrongly.

No, your France is not alone in this. Persecution of Muslims is going on in other parts of the world, in countries like India, China and Myanmar---and, of course, differently in Palestine---because they are afraid their society may be overtaken by Islam one day. Muslims do not have such fear.

You people are jealous of Muslims and their faith, historically. From the early Meccan idolaters to their present-day counterparts to the so-called freedom-loving and unbounded pleasure-seeking secularists, you all are afraid of Islam and are taking resort to unnecessary evil to stop its advancement criticizing Muslims in unsavoury expressions, with the recent one invented by you that Muslims are ‘separatists’.

Muslims always lived freely and let others live freely. Can you show at present any Muslim majority country where minorities are marginalized and persecuted by the state? That’s not the teaching of their faith. But Muslims are invariably persecuted in countries where they are a minority despite the fact that these countries call themselves secular. Mind it, even in many Muslim majority countries, the pernicious Islamophobia exists.       

In international politics, you are not being able to succeed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Libya, in Azerbaijan and in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish president is not wholly wrong when he says that you are so obsessed with him that you go to bed with Erdogan at night.

Monsieur Macron, let your diplomatic spat with Erdogan and personal ambition (for the second term) not affect peace of your own society. Shake off your obsessive thoughts about Muslims and Islam. Learn to live freely and let the other live freely in your country, because you are in charge of your people.

If change comes to your society, it will come naturally and let it happen. And that is good for mankind, si tu sais. But the path of jealousy and hatred for Muslims, on the other hand, will beget more jealousy and more hatred affecting us all.

Your freedom of expression is a metonymy for hatred. Evil such as this will never pass in the annals of history as freedom of expression. People who harbour this and similar ignoble values will one day automatically be lost in their own darkness and cease to be. You need proof, look at history.


The writer is an Assistant Editor of The Independent and can be contacted at: [email protected] The opinion expressed in the article is writer’s own. 


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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