Written in response to “Sheikh” Imran Hussein’s call on French Muslims to “emigrate” following the Charlie Hebdoattack
Original (French) : http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr/2015/02/lettre-ouverte-aux-identitaires-et.html
Retranslated by Jenny Bright from Tlaxcala
Muslims in France: oppressed and persecuted?
Is France “our” country?
“Over there”, shall we be “at home” and safe?
Which countries are really “Muslim”?
Emigration in the time of the Prophet (saas)
A “strategic retreat”?
Islam and the clash of civilizations
Second part (upcoming) :
Russia vs the Empire
What is Islamic eschatology?
Will France become totalitarian?
The place of Muslims in France
The teachings of Islam
This open letter is the response of a French Muslim to the call for emigration launched by “Sheikh” Imran Hussein to the Muslims of France following the attack against Charlie Hebdo. A first version of this letter was sent to him privately on January 25th, and has not received any significant response – except for a condescending evasion and a referral to a new, yet more thunderous call of furious madness, which has fortunately not been relayed (it is quoted at the end of this letter). It is now published as an open letter, in an enriched and structured version meant for easier reading and understanding, but it retains the same content as the letter that was addressed to Imran Hussein via email. It is not so much to get a response from him that we publish this letter – because he is clearly not open to dialogue but engaged in mere fanatical and frantic preaching – but for the benefit of French and international audiences.
Imran Hussein is sometimes presented as an Islamic scholar specialising in “eschatology” and keeping an enlightened eye on international news, analysing it in the light of theological sources. Without challenging the interest of some of his analyses, it can be asserted that anybody with even a little Islamic knowledge can say with certainty that the legitimacy, authority and seriousness of his exegetical and theological works are null and that his analyses contradict many of the fundamental teachings of Islam. This open letter is a first draft, a first step in an effort to demonstrate it to all those who are not convinced of this by merely listening to his ramblings. It will be followed by other writings more targeted and synthetic and by the translation of a recent religious discourse by Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to authentic Islamic eschatology in its relation to international news and to the end of times. In this speech, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah criticised in particular, relying on evidence which all schools of Islam and any rational person are unanimous on, the dangers represented by preachers who claim to know the future, which Imran Hussein is a perfect example of (Arabic speakers can see it right nowhere and here).
This call to hijra or “emigration”, launched at the French Muslims because of their situation in France and that current events may foreshadow according to him, is absolutely senseless, outrageous and irresponsible and frankly grotesque – and that is obvious, whether one bases himself on rational, moral or religious criteria – to the point that such an individual should not even receive the slightest consideration, let alone motivate a long response effort which will necessarily consist of a tedious rosary of truisms. But the French context being what it is – with the daily political and media stigmatization of Muslims, with prominent extreme right voices promoting their forced “remigration” –, Imran Hussein being regarded by some as an authority, and his first call having unfortunately been echoed by several alternative news sites without the required warnings and caveats (due to lightness, carelessness or ignorance, or, as it has sometimes been feared, in a brown- navy blue political agenda), which allowed him to exceed 200 000 views (all sources combined), without having provoked a formal and public response to our knowledge, this endeavour may not be useless.
In conclusion, I stress the fact that I do not pretend to speak on the behalf of all the Muslims of France: I myself have suffered too much from hearing voices lacking any legitimacy (self-appointed or nominated from above and / or from outside our community for purposes of control, infantilization and even humiliation) speaking on my behalf utter nonsense and even infamy. I do not claim that all of the French Muslim community adheres to the substance and form of all the points made below, but I am convinced that my analysis conforms much more to common sense, to moral and positive law, to the laws of God, to the reality of the situation in France and in the world and to the feeling of the vast majority of French Muslims than are the bogus rantings of Imran Hussein.
Greetings of Peace (As-salamu ‘alaykoum)
I wanted to express my deepest indignation about your video calling on French Muslims – especially those with foreign roots – to migrate towards “their” country, and to ask you to clarify the background of your thinking and provide valid evidence and arguments to support your views. As a Muslim, French-Algerian (born and having lived in France, and with dual nationality), as a man of principles, committed to morality and the law, and with the Grace of God, as a person gifted with reason and discernment, I cannot but be deeply shocked by just about everything you say. With all due respect to an elder, whose benevolence can be postulated, and if I am allowed to speak my mind, I consider your exhortations contrary to common sense, ethics and fairness and opposite to the fundamental teachings of the Holy Quran and our Prophet Muhammad (saas) as I understand them. And what is more, irresponsible in this context.
I will do my best to justify my point of view in the most clear, the strongest and most respectful manner, hoping that I can elicit a reasoned response to my objections.
Muslims in France: oppressed and persecuted?
You began by describing life in France for Muslims as impossible. According to you, the situation is such that we have now only one alternative: either we repudiate our identity, keep our heads down and lose our dignity, or we leave, emigrate.
I do not agree with your analysis of the situation. Indeed, there is clearly a political and media offensive against Islam and Muslims – and this throughout the whole West, however, not just in France: the first time I heard these insane exhortations to Emigration was from a Salafi Imam (Palestinian moreover) from Miami in 2008, during the presidential elections, about what John McCain said about Obama. And before that, Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X had advocated it among US blacks, but fortunately, the great Malcolm X radically changed his perspective when he gained access to true Islam and its universal message – but you apparently want us to regress a century. Certainly, we are despised, degraded, trampled, etc., it is the truth, but it happens especially in the media, in politics, etc., so in other spheres than the everyday. In day-to-day life, the difficulties are not so great. We live in real life, not on TV, and anyway, many are deserting the mainstream media in favour of the Internet: the example of the success of Dieudonné is sufficient to show that millions of people – not only Muslims, far from it – could not care less for the political and media propaganda. Of course, we sometimes experience what one might clearly call prejudice, racism, Islamophobia in our daily lives, and perhaps even more so when we have a ‘higher’ social position, these attacks become more vivid and palpable – but then again we are better equipped to defend ourselves. But the ignorant, the sheep and the spiteful are not of an aggressive temper and easily calmed when they dare to exceed the limits, especially since the character and the “native” culture of the Arab-Muslims is far from having dissipated, and we are generally proud people, sensitive to honour and dignity, and therefore not willing to let people trample on us – in the authentic tradition, updated, of French panache.
Thus, contrary to what you claim, our beard is not a problem anymore than the veil of our sisters, wives and daughters, at least no problem that we cannot overcome – because the secularist opprobrium towards the veil, unique in the world, that we are subjected to in France, is actually a real problem, but failing to lift it (which can be done), we have already been able to overcome this obstacle which does not constitute a major impediment. It is not as if we were a marginal minority: we are millions, and we are a visible community, sometimes dominant in certain geographical areas and neighbourhoods, and coexisting with millions of non-Muslims who have nothing against us, on the contrary. It is not as if we could not live as we wish to, we can absolutely do that. For the record, even in higher education, it has happened several times that overzealous University Teachers be punished by their superiors – even booed by their students – for making derogatory remarks about veiled women. One can see veiled women even in the biggest schools in Paris, from Henri IV to the Ecole Normale Supérieure. And you may even be surprised to know that some time ago, when I was there myself, there was a French teacher of Arabic origin at Paris IV Sorbonne University (a highly symbolic place) who wore the veil in her very classes, for at least an entire school year, and I am not aware of the fact that she was worried, though, of course, many teeth must have ground.
We still can and do raise our heads, and keep our beliefs and principles while leading a normal, healthy, fulfilling life, and with access, more and more, to all honourable spheres of social and professional life (because we do not lament to see ourselves prohibited access to certain doors that those who are attached to their convictions and dignity do not aspire to cross). Our mosques are full on Friday and even too full, new mosques flourishing all over France, in the most remote places. Are these signs of a dying, choked, threatened religious life? Certainly not, on the contrary. Yes, we Muslims in France do feel that we are attacked, but we are not powerless as you claim, we do not feel or weak or vulnerable neither disoriented nor lost and even less beset by discouragement or despair. We go on and we remain firmly committed to our principles, and if need be, we will go even further in asserting our identity and claims, with the strict respect for others that our religion requires, so as to be fully accepted wherever we wish, and not be subjected to any form of discrimination. Thanks to the education that our parents gave us and education that we received during our schooling and our studies, and that we have acquired ourselves, thanks to all the opportunities available to us here in France, we have become more aware and more educated than our parents, more learned and more active including in our religion itself (as shown by the very widespread hijab),we have accessed higher functions and positions, and we are increasingly active in our society. Moreover, in all likelihood, God willing, our children will go further still, never denying or forgetting that our principles and traditions are essential and inseparable from our identity.
That was about your analysis of the situation.
Is France “our” country?
You assert that France is not our country. Although we were born here, we were raised here, we have built all our lives here and we feel at home, etc., you deny us the right to say that we are here at home, that France is indeed “our” country. I really do not understand how anyone can legitimately declare such things with such self-assurance. How can we address millions of people and throw at each of them: “The land on which you were born, where you grew up and lived and that you inherited from your father, this house you’ve built and in which you live with your family, where your children were born and where they grow up, this city and this country you love, your neighbours, everything to which you are attached by both material and immaterial links, all this is not yours. You are not at home. Do you want to know where your true home is? It is a place with which you perhaps have no affiliation with, a place where you might never have been, which you perhaps do not even speak the language, for which you may not even feel a thing, but it’s your one and only home, so go back there now.” What is this nonsense? Are we Zionist settlers, or descendants of settlers, to deserve such outrages? What authority, what basis could legitimately afford to make such radical verdicts? These are issues of a legal, moral and factual basis, which cannot be determined by any person or body other than those directly concerned, and in a very strict framework, except by abuse and violation of the most fundamental rights – such as Zionists did in 1948 when they expelled the Arabs by force of arms, claiming that they were not at home and showing off their 2000 years old falsified title deed.
I precise that I do not specifically express myself for my own case. It happens that I feel quite at home in Algeria, and also I have lived in several Arab countries for some time, and even in other countries where I could enjoy a great material comfort (much more than in France) and where I felt quite at home. Along with French, I master English, Arabic and other languages, and I can feel totally at ease in many places. And I can even admit that several years ago, I actually felt that my place was not in France but elsewhere, in an Arab and Muslim country, and that is why I have travelled and tried to settle here or there, but it never lasted more than a year. Each time a compelling reason brought me back to France, as if Allah kept repeating incessantly: “Stop trying to escape your responsibilities, your place is in France, your duty is in France”. In addition, like Victor Hugo, I discovered abroad how attached I was to my country. But I precise that I in no way consider such personal feelings and experiences as universal arguments admissible per se, and I only put them forward to give more weight to my argument and show that contrary to what you claim, that it is certainly not necessarily a need of a material nature that keeps us in France but considerations of a higher order: this is where we need to be, and we cannot be “home” anywhere else.
“Over there”, shall we be “at home” and safe?
I really cannot understand how you can crush the infinity of particular cases and condense them into a single proclamation: “All of you, millions of existences, go home – that is, the home of your ancestors which, as I have decreed, is your home.” What of those who have no connection with their “home”? What if there is no specific location, or if there are several, in different countries, how to choose between them – not to mention the French natives converted to Islam? How to leave, where to go? Where to live? And if we could not find a place, if we could not “integrate” ourselves, adapt to very different lifestyles? What if we do not find welcome, nor housing, nor work, nor assistance, nor welfare, whether material, moral or spiritual? And it is indeed very likely that we will not even be able to feed our families because we are talking about Third World countries where unemployment is considerable, there is glaring poverty, and problems difficult to overcome even for the locals, who are better equipped to do this and who are struggling to live properly. Moreover, they often receive assistance from their families across the Mediterranean – and they would be deprived of this if we joined them. And they certainly would consider us, and with far more legitimacy than the French extreme right can do, as foreign invaders come to eat their bread that was not even enough to feed them.
What to say indeed of the very country where we should in your opinion go, the society that we will find, as if millions of people with a very different mindset and habits could be welcomed like this, without clashes, especially in our fragile countries that would only be more destabilized by these human tidal waves? Do you not see that this fanciful fantasy (for thank God, you are promoting something absolutely senseless and impossible) is a recipe for generating chaos and destruction, both individually, with the millions of lives that you want to uproot and crush, and at national and societal levels? What you advocate completely contradicts morality, justice, reason and religion. To order in such a way, indiscriminately, millions of people to give up their lives, their homes and migrate into the unknown when they could just stay where they are and continue to live as they please and even improve their lives and those of their fellow citizens (and I speak of course of all the conditions of an authentic life, from the material to the spiritual), is simply absurd. Even more, since when we are at home, it is easier to defend ourselves when faced with adversity, because we are on familiar ground: we know our society, its customs, its laws, we have our dear ones, a community, etc., so many landmarks that greatly facilitate existence and the struggle. What about all the unknown problems we will inevitably face in “our” new country, with all the disadvantages of a newcomer, alone, inexperienced and helpless? Is it not precisely for this reason that our religion enjoins us particularly to express kindness and charity towards travellers and foreigners, because they are among the more helpless?
It is not an acceptable argument to say that because at such a place, we find such and such a problem, then we should flee, migrate, because situations change, from security to insecurity and vice versa, from tolerance to intolerance and vice versa (cf. Syria, Libya, etc.), from irreligion to faith and vice versa (Communist USSR to Orthodox Russia, Iran of the Shah to the Islamic Republic, etc.). Someone who would have fled from Algeria in 1990 for Libya would today do the opposite. So are we supposed, we Muslims, to become like the Bedouins of old and live like nomads moving from one place to another, fleeing the problems as they arise, or live in isolation as you recommend, withdrawing into the bush like hermits or Mormons? Are these the teachings of Islam? Flee the company of your peers and live alone in the woods like savages? Live only with Muslims, and if you were born in the wrong place (or if the situation has changed, which cannot fail to happen eventually wherever you go), pack your bags and leave the place? Move each time a problem occurs, instead of courageously confronting and resolving it? Flee from the battlefield, as if there was only one place on the face of the Earth where the descendants of Adam will not be tested in their lives and in their faith? God created us precisely for this, to test our faith and endurance. And the whole earth belongs to Him, and has been created and populated for this purpose. Even in Syria and Iraq, where men are cut into pieces by the greatest danger ever known by Islam to date, namely the terror of the Islamic State, and have the option (when they have it) between converting to a barbaric ritual that has nothing to do with Islam or be slaughtered and see their wives and their children taken captives, all we could say is that emigration is authorised, and certainly not that it is obligatory. And those who remain to fight should be encouraged and praised, even if those fleeing for their lives in front of a real, concrete and not far away and fantasized danger need not be condemned. As for saying that the analogy is not valid because Iraq, unlike France, is a land of Islam (if we consider that a Land of Islam is an Land inhabited by Muslims, which is not a sufficient condition to me), I would respond that the whole earth belongs to Allah, and He has promised its entire inheritance to the righteous and pious of His servants before the End Times. And certainly not by sudden invasions and conquests as Bush claimed to “spread” democracy, but with the coming of the Mahdi and Messiah (as) who will unify the ranks of all people of goodwill who are beginning to join forces and to meet on the local, national and international level .
Which countries are really “Muslim”?
As for the faith itself, are all predominantly Muslim countries really Muslim? Is Islam, in its authenticity, occupying an important place there, from the political to the social spheres? Are there not roads to ruin there, as dangerous as here (or worse, because we are not prepared for them)? And ways of salvation just as safe in France or safer yet, because I have seen many “Western” people more pious and more knowledgeable in Islam than many people among their “Eastern” brothers, who are more exposed to ignorance, obscurantism and blindness – thank God, Muslims of the Islamic State are only marginally Western? In some “Muslim” countries, it is dangerous to belong to some schools of Islam and even to utter any word of truth. In Saudi Arabia, for example, where one can easily be arrested, imprisoned, tortured and maimed for little, or in places where the Salafi and Wahhabi ideologies are very much alive like in Algeria, one may be exposed to rigorism and even to fanaticism, which are totally alien to Islam. Not to mention Libya, Syria or Iraq, where you simply risk having your throat slit, or what is happening in
Bahrain . Our religion, I think, is certainly not the mere formalism and set of external rituals advocated by the “Salafi” and other legalistic literalists who limit themselves to the bark and deny the sap, but above all a system of values that must be embodied in everyday life, and that gives a fundamental place to justice, law, tolerance, knowledge and resistance to oppression. Have you forgotten the famous words of Muhammad Abduh (“I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”) and its teachings? In this regard, the least we can say is that designating the political regimes and societies that are closest to authentic Islam is not straightforward, and in many ways ranging from social to political, I consider that France would win not only over Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, but even over countries like Egypt.
Our home is here, our livelihoods are here, our rights and our duties are here, it is here that we belong and can have a role to play, a message to transmit. God made us grow up here and gave us the tools to act in this context, in this society, our knowledge and capabilities have been developed in this specific context. If we leave, all will lose much of its value, and may even be a handicap in the new context we would find ourselves in. While we have the ability to do many things here, if we leave, we will become unable to do much, either for ourselves and for our narrow or wider community, for France or for the destination country.
Emigration in the time of the Prophet (saas)
You admonish us to emigrate, presenting this to us as a mandatory sunnah of the Prophet (saas), and reminding us that even living in the West, we are bound to follow it, clearly implying that not doing so would be a disobedience on our part, a denial of the tenets of our Prophet (saas). But again, I believe that the alternative you present categorically is false and abusive, both from the point of view of the facts and from the standpoint of the practices, teachings and injunctions of the Prophet (saas) as they are recognised by all Muslims.
It is true that the Prophet Muhammad (saas) initially suggested to (and certainly not ordered) a small group of persecuted followers to make hijra to Abyssinia, to preserve their faith and even their lives, which were directly threatened by the Quraysh of Mecca against who they had no means to defend themselves. They were indeed among the most vulnerable social groups, not only suffering bullying and abuse, but even torture that could lead to death, as in the famous example of ‘Ammar b.Yasir and his parents. But the Prophet (saas) only raised the suggestion five years after the proclamation of Islam, so after five years of terrible persecution incomparable with what we can see or imagine in France (in the near or distant future), and only for a very small group (less than 20 people who were followed the next year by about 80, making a hundred in total), the majority of Muslims having remained in Mecca with the Prophet (saas).Moreover, he did not send them to adventure into the unknown, but to Negus of Ethiopia, a generous and just Christian whom he had full confidence in and knew that he would welcome the emigrants well – and who would become a valuable ally of the Muslims. Therefore, there is absolutely no possible analogy between the emigration to Abyssinia and what you invite us to.
Similarly for the main migration to Medina which marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, which took place 13 years after the beginning of the proclamation of Islam, that is 13 years of unspeakable suffering for Muslims – ostracism, economic blockade leading to famine, torture, murder, etc. Yet never was an order to “escape” given, nor even recommended. At most, it was permissible or even suggested to some particularly vulnerable and minority groups. It is only when a delegation from Medina pledged allegiance to the Prophet (saas) and Islam was implanted there, after the second oath of allegiance at Aqaba, that he began to suggest to Muslims to go there in small groups, not so much for their own protection as for the edification of the first Muslim society that was obviously a necessity in these times when Islam was extremely fragile. And it is only when the Quraysh decided to collectively attempt on the life of the Prophet (saas) that he himself emigrated, and that most Muslims found themselves in Medina with him.
The Prophet (saas) had a direct revelation from God, and therefore spoke and recommended with certainty and not on the mere basis of predictions due to analyses that may well not have the authority and the necessary soundness and could be completely refuted and contradicted – not to say that they are completely extravagant. Secondly and more importantly, he had the responsibility to safeguard Islam, which was threatened with extinction, by founding a safe home where Islam and Muslims could live in peace, security, and build a true community – which they could not do anywhere on the face of the Earth back then.
Thus, whether towards Abyssinia or Medina, emigration was only for a limited time, it was at the suggestion of the Messenger of Allah (saas) who received divine revelation, and above all, it was never an obligation, even if under these conditions, it was natural that the place of new converts to Islam was to be at the sides of their Prophet (saas) in an authentic Islam haven which needed to be constructed from the foundations. The Prophet (saas) was infallibly told by God what was coming and so had the authority to direct, but despite this, he only suggested and invited and certainly did not order, and he never uttered the slightest word of contempt or condemnation about Muslims who, for various reasons, remained in Mecca (and have also contributed, at their level, to the advent of Islam). And he did not invite Muslims to leave security for danger and the unknown (or deprivation and / or death insured) as you do with the Muslims of France, but to flee a danger to greater security – If indeed they felt in danger – and to join him with a solid guarantee of security and prosperity, that of God and His Prophet (saas), to work towards the building of the first Muslim society in history. The Prophet (saas) had guarantee of a safe refuge in Medina, and had made all the arrangements, during more than one year, to ensure that Muslims would be welcomed, they would be installed with dignity and a livelihood provided for them, and yet God had made emigration mandatory only for him because spreading the message of Islam was his responsibility. The Prophet (saas) was extremely concerned with the material and psychological well-being of people, and he never allowed himself to launch such a messy appeal of “every man for himself” that could destabilise and frighten the Muslims, who were limited in number, so what about your current appeal to millions of people, that wants to have the sounding of the horns of the Last Judgment? Where could they find such a refuge? For what purpose, what would be their mission today? Regardless of the angle at which we consider it, your call appears to me to be utter nonsense.
Emigration is not an impromptu and thoughtless departure towards adventure and danger. On the contrary, it is a carefully thought out project prepared by each individual, in conditions that are not ours, at least not in the overall way you are promoting, and which would require a situation in which a direct and concrete danger weigh on our lives and our faith – not to say the sustainability of the Muslim faith itself – and the existence of a safe place to hide. You suggest that we would have a duty to leave on pain of contravening the injunctions of our religion, when in fact it is rather the emigration that you prescribe which would be the true disobedience. Not to mention the fact that an innocent does not flee because he is in the right, and he will not give in to his enemies or give them what they illegitimately desire without resistance. Only the guilty and cowards flee danger – and only fools flee without reason.
A “strategic retreat”?
You say quite rightly that the emigration of Muhammad (saas) was by no means an act of cowardice, and you remind that we, the followers of Muhammad (saas), do not submit to oppression, are not cowards and do not run away from adversities or battlefields, whatsoever. And that is why you strive to present this sudden and massive emigration not as a new exodus (this time for Ishmael’s children), but as a necessary measure facing an extremely powerful enemy decided on eradicating us. You claim that if, God forbid, we listened to you and emigrated, it would not be a cowardly and disgraceful flight from the battlefield, an abdication in the face of adversity, that our principles do not allow us, but simply a kind of “strategic retreat” before coming back stronger and victorious. With all the respect I owe you, this analysis seems to me absurd and shocking.
Thus, the fact of emigrating to abandon our home, our work, our friends, our whole life, to flee the scene not faced with a known and present hazard, as the Islamic state in Syria or Iraq, but faced with a confused and distant danger, would not be a stupid and ignominious flight but a sensible and courageous act? For whatever the danger, which is real, no doubt, but infinitely smaller and less imminent than what you say, why not wait for it? Why not stay here and try to prevent it, then to confront it if it has to materialize anyway? Why not even consider struggling, resisting, fighting? Are we sheep, or calves? No, we are not cowards nor fools, and regardless of the dangers that arise, we will face them and we will defend ourselves with all our strength. Our parents and grandparents have left their country to come here and settle here, they earned their life the hard way and endured many difficulties in order to offer us an honourable situation, they worked on the reconstruction of France and built our houses, and we should give it all up, give all their efforts up as vain, flee away and start again from naught simply because of the vague rumbling of thunder afar? We should rush into the unknown where so many difficulties lie ahead, predictable and concealed, against which we would be completely helpless? While whatever happens in France, we know very well the ground from having been born there, having lived and help shape it, so that it will be much easier to stand here and preserve our principles and dignity, regardless of the danger? Is it not an oppression, and even an absurdity to impose this flight on us? And God knows we are not weak, or alone, or poor and that coexistence is far from being impossible as you suggest. We are not only strong, but we will be alongside the hundreds of thousands of French non-Muslims who are attached to the law, have no prejudices, and understand the pernicious logic of the clash of civilizations that people have attempted to impose in France to distract it from the real issues (political, economic and social), and to which it has everything to lose.
Moreover, what would we actually do, in Algeria and elsewhere, for all these years? Because it is about returning stronger, but how? How to properly prepare for the “fight against the oppressor”? When and how should we return? How long will our exile last? Will redemption be for us, for our children, their great-grandchildren? What to do? It is unacceptable to be so allusive faced with such important questions, which should, to listen to you, turn entire lives upside down. Are you suggesting that we return, for example, to Algeria for a decade, to follow some proper training for a few years in order to be able to come back and “invade” France and submit the oppressor of yesteryear? Is it realistic, reasonable, or is it not rather an absurd fantasy? And why the military presentation of the situation, as if there was a war between Islam and France, and that our role was to remake the Crusades? Our religion, well before the great Robespierre , formally prohibited any war of aggression or conquest (“And if thy Lord had willed, all the men populating the Earth would have, without exception, embraced his faith. Is it up to you then to force men to become believers?”- Quran, X, 99; “No compulsion in religion” – Quran, II, 252), and no examples of offensive war can be found in the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas). If we had been subjected to the torture, murder, blockades and expropriations that Muslims of Mecca suffered, it could have been legitimate to take our due by force, but if we decide to part on our own and leave spontaneously, what will be our grievance? What will be our justification? Our religion forbids us to be both oppressor and oppressed, but you have obviously decided that we are going to break every interdiction.
Anyone who voluntarily abandons his situation, his rights and his property without a formidable danger, real and present having constrained him, will have no legitimacy to claim them, neither in this world nor in the other. If we leave France to settle elsewhere, be it for a few years or decades, France will no longer our country and our demands will not be legitimate because what is much more easily conceivable in a future not too distant is a tightening of the rules on nationality: questioning the birth right (jus soli), the automatic transmission of nationality to children, imposing a necessary presence in France x months each year, etc. Listening to you, we would then put ourselves in the same situation of the Palestinians who left their homes in 1948, fleeing war for a very short time, they thought, but who never returned and were dispossessed of everything, finding themselves, to date, refugees all over the world. Do you want us to become the stateless of tomorrow? New wandering Jews? By our own fault, without being subjected by force and without making the slightest show of resistance, while the troops of the Pharaohs of today are not after us, or even constituted – at least at the national level? It’s truly insane.
Islam and the clash of civilizations
It seems irresponsible, especially in this context, to give credit to the theory of the “clash of civilizations” advocated and shaped entirely by the US imperialists, Zionists, and racists and extremists on all sides. You give an “Islamic” caution to these hateful and incendiary speeches, challenged by our religion, according to which the coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims, between French “by extension” and “indigenous” French would not be possible. Now, thanks to you, these racists can invoke the guarantee of a “Muslim authority”, calling precisely for what they call, that is to say “remigration” involving deprivation of citizenship and deportation, voluntary or forced. They argue loudly that Islam has no place in France, and that Muslims cannot live together in peace with the rest of the French. And you add your voice to theirs, while our religion does not advocate segregation and antagonism but peace, coexistence, harmony, understanding and tolerance, and, of course, dignity and self-defence – because like Malcolm X, we do not turn the other cheek and are able to defend ourselves by all means necessary. I regret to tell you, but you are, whether you realise it or not, the perfect recruit for Islamophobic , anti-Arab and anti-immigration ‘identitarians’, and they chant your praises all day long in their discussion forums. You are a blessing to them, and you come right on cue, allowing them to be even bolder in their attacks against Islam and Muslims and their rejection of a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural France.
A war is declared not against Islam as such, but, in general, against all authentic beliefs, traditions, values and freedoms, against all that can cause individuals, communities and nations to be strong and awake, to unite and shake off the yoke of oppression. The barbaric and obscurantist Islam of Saudi Arabia is not an enemy of the West, on the contrary, it is its main ally, as it only teaches ignorance and submission. Muslims should not worry just about being Muslims, but only in proportion to their degree of awakening, resistance and activism, like any other citizen, although today, Islam is actually presented as a prime target because of its values and its ability for cohesion. This offensive is currently taking place globally, and France could become a front line in this political, ideological and cultural war – and sometimes military. And as the US and Israel are its International spearhead, as well as rags like Charlie Hebdo were its diligent soldiers, as well as the hyenaMarine Le Pen and her party hold high the banner of that cause, your words are now used as a guarantee in this offensive, hence, I apologize, this long letter of protest. You bring the voice of a “Muslim scholar” to this arena of the “clash of civilizations”, repeating what our enemies say, namely that coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims in France is impossible.
Are we not, before God as before men, responsible not only for our intentions, but also for our approach, for the way we transmit our message, for our rigour, our humility, and the foreseeable consequences of our words and our actions? Should we not be careful not to give ammunition to our enemies, not to allow them to use to their advantage our statements and actions, and be careful not to lead astray people whose entire lives could be broken if they tried to apply these exhortations to reckless emigration? It seems to me that you are careless or ignorant in the face of these realities.
[To be continued]
Russia vs the Empire
What is Islamic eschatology?
Will France become totalitarian?
The place of Muslims in France
The teachings of Islam