With the unprecedented success of the French extreme-right party Front national (FN) in the first round of the regional elections, few points worth noting.
Thousands were there. Protesting for a sacred value: Liberty. Then suddenly, police started shooting on them, on us. Killing and injuring many. I mean thousands. I mean a couple of hundreds of thousands.
Do not misinterpret my message/news, i was not talking about France, i was talking about Syria. Where since the beginning, four years ago, pacific protests were faced by Syrian regime’s security forces with fire. Bullets against voices of liberty.
Does that rings relevant? What about considering journalists, cartoonists and directors who were killed by Assad regime security. Or maybe those who were severely injured by Assad regime forces but still covering news in Syria.
This is exactly the reasoning behind my participation like many and going out for the victims of terrorism in France. The principle is one and it will always remain: Injustice in one place have a domino effect everywhere. And Justice in one place have this butterfly effect everywhere too.
RIP Charlie Hebdo team and all victims of terror in the past hard days.
I am a muslim.
I do not like to categorize myself as this and I do not even believe in such categorization. In fact, i think a better way to define myself would be as being a pizza fan! or someone who likes data mining! or maybe that I enjoy good wine, turkish coffee, and macron from Fuchon. I prefer Adidas over Nike, I like Kodak although she passed away. I am a consumer. A consumer of both my own prodcuts and products of others that I find convincing enough. This other sometimes happen to be a god. But i am also a sponge. that is a good human trait. I absorbs. And i am not against consumerism, nor i am a vegetarian, although i like vegetarians and sometimes i tend to think they are way more conscious than i am. I love France. I used to love USA until it became too arrogant. And I used to study bible when was 21 years old and my teacher was an american Anglican young friend. His name was Mark. I like Arabic calligraphy, Spinoza, and I prefer Jung over Freud . I like impressionism and hyperrealism as art schools. I am fascinated with the works of Pierre Bourdieu and I guess he should not ever been considered a classical school. What else? do I have to continue?
As you can read, I can go miles of writing expressing myself. In fact this is how the world is going to be few decades from now. I guess, I hope. A world that is clustered in tribes of preferences. We belong to our tribe of preferences more than we belong to our religion or nation. But we prefer to categorize ourselves based on our religions. Why? It is because we are weak. Even those of us who are anti religion, they tend to position thresmevels based on that antiRELIGION trait! But I guess there are always exceptions. many exceptions. a majority of silent exceptions.
But my first line in this piece of expression was a defence mechanism. A way to tell any muslim who is going to attack me that I am muslim. It is just like blue color can not tell another blue color that he was discriminating against blues! Both of us are sad. or supposed to be so. and both of us are skies or at least perceived ourselves to be so.
Yesterday, I naturally, went to participate in a silent gathering taking place in the Vieux port area in Marseille south France. 775 Kms far away from the place where the savage crime took place yesterday’s morning at Charlie Hebdo publication.
There were some people in the beginning but then the number increased and increased. I thought it will keep increasing. But it did not. Not for a normal growth algorithm, but out of two reasons. awareness of how critical the subject is and betrayal.
For the first reason, many of my neighbors where at home when i left and they were still there when i came back. i could see this, i could hear this and it was obvious. They were all French. That is a bad sign. It is a clear indication of how much there is a blackness of awareness to the sequences of yesterday event there is. And it is a clear indication how humans all of the world have more in common than in difference. This time the common trait -unfortunately- is this indifference regarding critical issues. Humans Lives!
But my very big concern was not that. It was the betrayal one.
France total population By INSEE for January 2014 was 65.83 million inhabitants. Marseille with a population of (850,602) makes her the second biggest city in France with almost 38% of Paris (2,234,105) total population.
The announced number of particpants in the gatherings all over France yesterday suggested more than 100,000 participants all over the country making it less than 0.15 of the total population. This is not indicative enough number as no one expect children nor elders to participate maybe! But still the number is way bellow expectations. This is the darkest day in French contemporary history since 40 Years.
it means that around 0,8% of Marseille total population had participated and actively said NO to terrorism and Yes to Freedom of speech. This is almost 8 times of the national percentage. This is the good news part. Marseille is ACTIVE. CONSCIOUS and definitely not LAZY! While % 0,67 of Paris population did the same.
When i attended vieux port I didn’t realize any people with north african or middle eastern or even basic pacific ethnical features! In fact Pew Research Study proposes, that a majority of the world’s Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region. While the Middle East makes up only 19.8 percent of the world’s total Muslim population. . However, not to be considered as having a discriminative attitude i tried to find an evidence. I looked into my own photos and into the photos of others. My suggestion remained valid. But how would i know there were not muslims of other origins, a daughter or a son of a french lady or a french gentleman! I can not prove this as i did not go into one-to-one check. But i still trust my senses. So i need to find a way to prove my gut and my mere eye observation and quantify it.
There are at least 255,180 Muslims in Marseille estimated at 30% of Marseille’s total population
Females to males ratio is approximately 1/1 which makes the estimated number of muslim females in Marseille at 127,590 .
So i a narrowed my expectations to women and why? because i hypothesize i can find veiled muslim women with a proportionally relevant representation. I assumed (which is far less than accurate numbers) that veiled women would count for only 10% of total muslim women. Accroding to these guidelines i searched for at least 10% of those 127,590 women which is 12,795 veiled women.
Back to the ration of total participants in Marseille which is 0.8% of the total population, that made me expect to see at least 100 veiled women. . I didn’t. and I assumed with a not so scientific evidence that the men who pushed many of them to wear veils were not there too!
I did not see, and that was sad. I did not see and that was disappointing, because I was expecting to see.
But two of my christian male arabs here didn’t attend too! I can easily categorize them in the laziness, or indifference or less harmuly put weak conscious status.
But for those muslims the question remains WHY! I intentionally write this WHY in capitals because while i am writing in silence it is a real big screen inside me. WHY! WHY didn’t you attend? who told you it is against your principles and values!? what kind of principles do you really hold?? I am not going to attack you to win more credit points in case some French intelligence guy was busy now aggregating online expressions and analyzing them! But i need to understand what is the reason you did not participate? Because by answering such question I guess we are half away to solve those terrorism and discrimination incidents alike. Do you really think those journalists, artists, expressers, deserved death!? I do not think you do! at least ONE person amongst you do not ! and I am sure there were some conscious muslims there ! I heard there was one veiled women in paris at the republic ! just one! and because there were a total number of 15000 protestors in Paris and 7000 in Marseille I try to make a sarcasm about myself and think: maybe there was half one here and I didnt notice.
But I know two things now. it is a shame. It is a betrayal to the region you claim you believe! and I am shocked, really shocked how a liberate nation like France go out with only 0.15 of the total population in a horrible incident like this! how!?I strongly belief that the first step towards countering terrorism is to consider this a serious job with committed people to do it. and the first step in such commitment is to think collectively! in a public space, in science and solidarity and for enough time. !
By this, i guess i answered my own question which constituted the title of this piece of expression: “Why most of the muslims in France betrayed their religion yesterday?” Maybe because they are not muslims! and maybe because many non muslim French betrayed their value of Fraternité and expected Liberté, to be secured by default when they did not consider the value of Égalité.
To my muslim believer fellows in this day of grieve in France.
Giving the fact that i am a moderate “Interpreting Believer”, I do fully understand how many of you feel today. There are at least four critical questions that can help you describe your attitude towards what happened today in France and help you better understand your belief:
1- Prioritizing: compassion with victims and their families vs defending your belief system. In fact if your priority today was to defend islam then i am sorry to say that you need to revise your belief system. While on the other hand, if you found yourself concerned with the victims more than anything else then things are relatively normative.
2- Amplified Selfishness: you being insulted vs they being killed. Many today mixed the content the magazine published earlier with the terror act. They are totally two separate subjects. You may be not in favor of the content itself but definitely against the materialized content generated by the terrorists, i.e., the massacre.
3- A battle that is not yours: Defending your own values vs defending mouhamad.
4- Source of condemnation: being afraid of getting categorized as a radical muslim you opt to condemn out of fear rather than a genuine belief.
My advice is to be conscious. You might be what I call a “shadow Muslim” who is not even conscious about his/her own islam. or maybe you are a “muslim by chance”. Inheriting islam makes you in a position where you find yourself obliged to defend things you know nothing about. Or to make it finer, things you heard about!