The war that France is waging against Islam reminds me of the war that this country of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité led against Catholics in the second half of the last century. Priests were asked to take an oath of allegiance to the country. Those men of religion who objected to the demand were simply expelled from France. The French government had become adept   of the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Durkheim and alien to that of Rome.

At a time when the popularity of Macron is at its lowest, the French president’s eye is on the next election and how to win it. He is doing what politicians normally do: create a bogey figure. Islam is obviously the easiest target. And Macron is just doing what Politicians do: create a war, which American politicians do and win it to win the supreme post or create or invent an enemy. In Europe, the Muslims are an easy target. They make up 10 percent of most European countries. You cross them every day. Since difference is one factor that leads to differentiation or discrimination, the Muslim becomes an easy prey. All the ills of the Society are heaped on them. West Europeans are credulous enough even to believe that Muslims will take over European countries by election.

When you discriminate to the extreme your own minority and leave them no route of escape, when you deprive them of a living or make their living unbearable, you force them to act with the energy of despair. Intelligent people know that you have always to leave a safety valve. The Muslim is acting in self-defense for survival. If they are irrational or savage, you have pushed them into it.

France has colonized many Muslim countries where it has perpetuated the vilest crimes: mass murder, rape, mayhem and you name it. It has a culprit conscience. Now, about 6m from the ex-colonies are settled in France. And they are asking for rights equal to those given to BBR, Bleu, Blanc, Rouge, ie, white French. But France cannot digest this reality.

France is a racist country. Remember, in 1991, even Jacques Chirac sympathised with his white countrymen who were living among the Arab and African immigrants, and wondered how they could bear their unpleasant odours and disturbing noise.

France further denies appointment of qualified Muslims in various State institutions. French leaders feel scandalized at seeing halal food displayed in supermarkets, and the Macron government has closed 358 Muslim institutions, including mosques, and deported 480 foreigners.

Teachers are supposed to teach values that would promote harmonious communal living. But the French teacher who fanned the anti-Muslim hatred by exposing the offensive anti Mohammad’s drawings simply asked his students to leave his classroom if they could not stomach the humiliation. He simply threw down the drain the cherished values of equality in education.

Politicians and leaders in many walks of life are creating a hostile atmosphere for French Muslims and are nurturing it by ghettoizing the minorities, a majority of which are Muslims. The discrimination is glaring: halal food on stalls is scandalous, kosher food is overlooked. Criticising Islam and Muslims is freedom of speech but denying the holocaust is a crime. Dieudonné is imprisoned for his free speech whereas those spreading Islamophobia are French heroes.

Macron has to realise that the environment of hate that he has created to win the French Presidency is a crisis of French values, not of Islam.

Dawood Auleear

NOTE : Les points de vue exprimés dans cette rubrique ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux de la rédaction.