‘Jihad’ in Paris – Our Selective Outrage

Just as the Russians learnt recently that for their participation in the Syrian conflict led to reprisal by the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai desert, the French discovered the same through the recent attack in Paris. President Hollande declared it as an act of war by IS (Islamic State), thus, waving the placard of victimhood.  However, like Russia, France had already declared war and one of the attackers made this point to the French hostages. "It's the fault of Hollande, it's the fault of your president; he should not have intervened in Syria". When you bomb a country or aiding another country to do the same, you are committing an act of war and expect retribution. A former Supreme Court Judge of India echoed the same on Twitter reacting to the Paris attack “You bomb the Middle East to hell and expect no retaliation?”.

France along with many other western countries may scream terrorism through their corporate media, but when you terrorise (‘foreign policy’) other nations, then be prepared to be terrorised too. The less regulated social media tells a different story from the corporate media. Many pointed out that selective outcry is an attempt to project a molar stance that in fact, conceals something that is profoundly immoral - because it reflects that they value some lives more than others. One tweet poignantly stated we are France today, but we are never, Iraq, Syria or Palestine, who are facing similar attacks on a daily basis.

Such outpouring of selective sympathy and condemnation over Paris is also politically motivated, the typical Malala-syndrome; since the literate Malala survived the attack by the illiterate Taliban in Pakistan, rather than a US-made drone, there is a rush to shed a tear, all because those Islamists were behind the attack. The CNN channel went one step further asked the French Muslims to take responsibility for the attack. In line with that logic, would White America take responsibility for the shooting of the schoolchildren by Adam Lanza or the black worshippers in the Charleston church by Dylann Roof?

Do we ever see such sympathy pouring out when the bombs and missiles kill Muslims as collateral damage, even outside the combat zone? Was there an outcry when the US bombed a hospital in Afghanistan or one of many such attacks in the past? Only 129 dead in Paris, and contrast the reaction to the Israelis when they killed around 2000 in space of few days during the two previous wars in Gaza; all the Western regimes and the media stood up in silence, giving tacit support to the Zionist war machine. Some went on to justify the carnage as an act of self-defence against the mighty rockets of Hamas landing in the front garden of Israeli ‘settlers’ (land grabbing thieves) denting the concrete slabs!

In pointing out Western duplicity over the Paris attack the predictable accusation of being an IS supporter follows. The irony is IS are a terrible scourge for everyone, and particularly for the Muslims, to date they are by far the largest victim of IS led ‘jihad’. The group has an intolerant creed that will give you the option of beheading unless you follow their ways. Islam is reduced to the harsh application (misapplication) of penal codes. Conveniently, the media forgets the origin of IS - the illegal invasion of Iraq and subsequent chaos that ensued by unseating the Sunnis by the new Shia regime, and igniting a sectarian conflict. Now seeing the images of chaos and carnage in Iraq, I wish Saddam Hussien were still in power, not because I support him, but at least there was some order and stability.

While the Muslims in France or the other Western countries where similar attacks have occurred cannot be expected to take responsibility just because they share a faith with the perpetrators, however, the Muslim communities do need to be more pro-active in helping to prevent such cases. Especially by pointing out the theological discrepancies that constitute part of their justification for their violent action, and moreover, it appears they are acting in our name without authority. None of us in the UK authorised or endorsed anyone to burn poppies or murder Lee Rigby or show disrespect to the dead soldiers in clear contravention of the Islamic teachings. Similarly, the Muslims in France did not remotely support the attacks in Paris, where they live and raise their families.

If these attackers in Paris are French citizens or belong to one of the neighbouring states, then their action is one of treachery. They cannot reside as citizens enjoying all the rights and then put a knife in the back of their fellow citizens in the name of Jihad. According to Islamic teachings, traitors have the lowest status in Hellfire and it is the most reprehensible act, not even remotely close to Jihad. Even if these attackers were from a country that France is bombing directly or indirectly, still that is no justification for directly attacking unarmed civilians, and more so if they are claiming to act in the name of Islam. 

For sure, the current wider backlash against the ordinary hard working Muslim citizens in France and other parts of Europe will gain momentum, and the racists far right will capitalise on such events. Equally, we cannot solely continue to point the finger at Western foreign policy and the media-led demonization of Muslims, and remain oblivious to the fact we need to take some responsibility that a minority among us do contribute to the rise of Islamophobia.

Yamin Zakaria

Published on 16th November 2015

London, UK


Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 12:03

Login to post comments

More in this category: