‘We walk because we are appalled by these acts of violence and terrorism.’ Really? How does this violence and terrorism compare with the violence and terrorism France and other capitalist nations have committed and instigated in the Middle East and on Islamic people over the previous century?
Or are the lives of some people of greater value than those of others?
‘We walk because freedom of speech will not be suppressed.’ How noble! But this nobility rapidly evaporates upon reflection. To what extent have France and other capitalist nations made a mockery of freedom in the Middle East, amongst Islamic people – in their treachery, their instigation of coups and support for the most brutal dictatorships in the name of power politics, exploitation and greed?
Or is the freedom of some people, the right to live, write and speak as they determine, in comfort, of greater importance than that of others, more often than not, in poverty?
That ‘we’ (i.e. the West) have the freedom to mock Islam is a red herring. The subject is freedom itself.
A practical reason for why their religious structures (for both religion and education) are so important to Islamic people is precisely because capitalist nations have been relentlessly conniving towards and manipulative of Islamic states, to weaken and divide them, preventing their people from making their own political choices – or, with regard to the Palestinians, from even having their state.
It was only after the Bali bombing in 2002 that the Australian government gave millions to Indonesia for school education – motivated not by the wish to propagate freedom but by self-interest, to weaken the religious influence at the madrasas, the only places providing education to the children of those living in poverty.
The mass display over the last few days of self-centred hypocrisy and myopia by the affluent, educated and increasingly insecure French middle class is extremely concerning for the future of global society – this is the obverse of the historically progressive potential of a rising middle class – a potential which is finding expression in China.
The scale of the response and particularly the bizarre political leaders’ walk yesterday were about much more than mourning over the murders of seventeen people, ‘opposition to terrorism’ and ‘standing up for freedom of speech’. They embodied the recognition of and mourning over the decline of what has been taken for granted for so long by Western nations – their global domination – and within those nations, the decline and diminution of their middle classes.
The ‘rise of Islam’ (Islamic people are now fighting back increasingly, and in multiple, unpredictable ways) is one aspect of this, the quiet rise of China to global domination and of Asia is another. Like the fall of Rome, pressures from ‘outside’ on fragile economies are mounting.
This recognition and mourning was epitomised in the linking of arms by the front row of political leaders in their walk. Europe’s finest, facing backwards into history. I note that the Americans, ever keen to be seen at the front, only sent their ambassador to the leaders’ walk – they knew what it represented and didn’t want to be thought of as identifying too strongly with it.
The murders at the Charlie Hebdo publication, the kosher supermarket and elsewhere brought all this out.
The Sun-Herald 18.01.15 ‘Dr Mohammed (the Grand Mufti of Australia) said in the past (Charlie Hebdo) had been forced to apologise for criticising former French leader Charles de Gaulle and was closed down. He said it had also apologised and axed a cartoonist over an image mocking the son of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, which was widely considered anti-Semitic.’
(‘Group calls meeting on Hebdo cover’) ‘Be sure this matter has nothing to do with freedom, but everything to do with repressing the global efforts of Muslims to free themselves from the oppressive yolk of the West’s colonial legacy,” an advertisement says.’
‘It bears recalling a well-publicized case some years ago that showed the limits of even Charlie Hebdo’s free speech. In 2008, the French political cartoonist Siné, an octogenarian anti-capitalist and anarchist who had been contributing to Charlie Hebdo every week for decades, published a cartoon about Nicolas Sarkozy’s son, Jean. Jean Sarkozy was marrying the heiress to the French electronics chain Darty, which is a Jewish family business. In his cartoon, Siné noted—without any evidence to support this—that the young Sarkozy was going to convert to Judaism, the religion of his wife. Siné wrote, “He’ll go a long way in life, this lad!” Charlie Hebdo’s editor at the time, Philippe Val, who had printed the cartoon, faced objection, agreed it was offensive, and asked the artist to apologize. Siné said he would prefer to “cut his own nuts off.” He got axed from the paper. The cartoonist founded his own magazine—Siné Hebdo—took the journalist who first accused him of anti-Semitism to court for slander, and was put on trial himself for charges of anti-Semitism.’
The supremacism of Hegel on the basis of the West’s claim to ‘reason’
I am NOT Charlie. I do not agree with Charlie Hebdo’s offensive insults to various world religions, that shows a complete disrespect for Muslims, Jews and many others. Freedom of speech needs to be based on respect for truth, not based on disregard for social responsibility. As I understand how easy it is for people to be emotionally manipulated by the propagandist media, there are plenty of facts that point to a strong possibility that the Charlie Hebdo Attack is a false flag attack that aims at arousing Islam phobia, and justifying increasing western military involvement in Syria with a hopeful result of overthrowing the Assad government. These facts include:
– the gun men covered their faces, yet managed to leave their IDs behind.
– the gun men showed an expert handling of weapons.
– the gun men have been on the watch list of western authorities for ages.
– One gun man shot at the head of a policeman from a shot distance with a machine gun, yet there was no sign of injury, not even blood.
– One chief investigator of the attack ‘committed suicide’ shortly after.
There has also been sayings that the gun men are connected to the French secret force.
And as with the leaders present at the march, it is a fake:
‘Staged television by those “brave” leaders, “marching” on empty, secured streets. What a farce. Waving to nonexistent crowds, looking at nobody along the empty streets, and applauding themselves as they finish the fake footage that will be cut into the real marching going on. Believe nothing you see. Nothing.’ – quote from Wikileaks’ FB page. The video Wikileaks shared: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152776449398110
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Hi Yi Ping Wang, thank you for sharing your principled thoughts and skepticism. Very best wishes, Phil
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Dear Phil, you are most welcome! And thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts here!
Best Wishes, Yi Ping
Well said, Phil.
Thank you, Grimbeau.
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Great article Phil. It is hard to find people who would put any deep thought into any serious issues nowadays. It’s all about entertainment, and that, that fills their pockets. If people put half as much thought, or spend half as much time, on world affairs as they do on football or Paris Hilton, they would probably come to the same conclusion.
It is all about controlling the masses. I have my own skepticism as to exactly what happened, as with many things in the past that, I’m sure I will never find out. But one thing is clear, this incident is being used to further an agenda.
Unfortunately this agenda is not one of peace. The selective use of “right to free speech” is being used to implant fear, and with fear people will agree to things they would never agree to otherwise. It is human nature.
The disparity in the divide is, not only between the rich and the rest but, between the educated and the celebrity-driven couch potatoes the world has created, where gossip and sensational mainstream news, has more eyeballs and makes more money than what might be, career ending, controversial news of the investigative nature.
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thank you for your generous and thoughtful response. I see that the French are now sending their aircraft carrier ‘to assist’ with regard to ‘Iraq operations’.
To quote from Reuters 14.01.15 ‘France was the first country to join the U.S.-led coalition in air strikes in Iraq against Islamic State insurgents, who have also taken control of large parts of neighbouring Syria during the course of the civil war there. However, it has ruled out striking the group in Syria.
It has about 800 military personnel, nine fighter jets, a maritime patrol aircraft and a refuelling plane at its base in the United Arab Emirates as part of its “Chammal” Iraq mission, as well as an anti-aircraft warship in the Gulf. It also operates six Mirage fighter jets from Jordan.’ etc…
Best regards, Phil
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