What do the terrorists fight against? Hence, it comes: What is France? And what is wrong? And what could be done?
First, it appears that the French foreign policy is a cul-de-sac.
ISIS came into power almost two years ago. For two years, the ethnic cleansing of Christians and other minorities has been shown on the internet. One year ago, Syrian refugees arrived to my little town Bourges in the middle of France. Faced with this new Nazism, France still considered Assad to be worse than ISIS. Russia was still seen as a threat to Western interests and Iran as the uncompromising enemy. Attracted by Saudi Arabian money, France sells military aircraft to this country. France furnished weapons to the “moderate rebels”. We are decades late.
The weapons are now in ISIS’s hands. The organization has been first financed by Saudi Arabia and now earns almost three million dollars a day due to oil sales (transiting through Turkey- other French so-called ally). Russia has understood the necessity of supporting the Assad regime for a time and literally leads the game today. There are almost no Christians any more in Iraq and Syria.
Secondly, French children have killed French citizens.
Madeleine de Jessey wrote this week:
“If ISIS has been able to plant its black flag in these French minds, it is because we had sown there the culture of emptiness.”
These kids needed landmarks and ideals, we gave them a society without a common project. We live our existentialist lives thinking ourselves as the beginning and the end of the world.
These kids needed history and models of identification, we taught them to hate our past.
These kids needed adventure, we gave them video games and reality TV.
These kids needed love and sustainability, we gave them pornography and a culture of consumerism.
These kids needed the beauty of literature and spirituality, we gave them to study cartoons and the corruption of laicité (transforming the separation of church and state into the denial of every religious expressions).
The only way we offered them to achieve their potential is to maximize consumption and entertainment.
Then, the nihilism of ISIS gave them a strong sense of life, until martyrdom.
A French socialist, Charles Péguy, wrote in 1904 “When a society can not teach, it is that this society can not teach itself: she (society is female in French) is ashamed, she is scared to transmit itself. A society who doesn’t transmit itself is a society who doesn’t like itself. This is precisely the case of our society”
We will win this war. Because we will transmit our identity, in the cultural area and then in the diplomacy one.
The motto of France is Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Our children should have access to that liberté which is the absolute capacity of each one to achieve its potential in the society.
Our children should have access to that égalité of opportunities thanks to school. Today, 18 to 20% of this year’s graduating class is partially illiterate, disinherited because they don’t have the social environment to find a compensated education.
Our children should have access to that fraternité which allows the fragility to exist. The French way of life is to be capable of stop working to enjoy life and entertainment.
Much of the French Muslims citizens don’t feel integrated.
Why don’t we tell to our children that the heritage of a building like Notre Dame or an ideal like human rights belong also to them?
I have often heard that ‘we have to reaffirm our values’, but if those values are against Islam, there are not values any more. In offering its heritage, France offers the opportunity to the Muslim community to add their own contribution to it. Our passionate cultural life is not fixed but a living entity.
The imam of Bordeaux Tareq Oubrou said last Sunday: ‘French Muslim institutions are outdated’. Indeed, the long standing Muslim culture of oral transmission in a context of Muslim ruling countries is outdated. The impact of print and now the impact of the internet have turned a collective approach of the Qur’an into an individual one. The umma is now globalized and there is no ‘authority’, no ulama unifying the French Muslim community.
Tareq Oubrou concluded: ‘’I know that the people of France, including its Muslims, is able to overcome this challenge”. The question is not whether Islam is incompatible with France but rather how to dialogue to adapt each other.
Like all the solidarity events around the world suggest, France already rises again.
Vive la République et vive la France.