Bastille Day attack: Intellectuals shield Islamism

The reactions of public intellectuals and the mainstream media to Islamist attacks follow a pattern: blame everything from the lack of gun control (in the US) and racism to alienation and other socio-economic factors for bloodbath except the real culprit—the jihad mentality that is growing all over the world. The disease is much more acute and pronounced in India than anywhere else.

Consider an article by Rakesh Sood, a former Indian ambassador to France and a distinguished fellow at Observer Research Foundation, for the web edition of The Hindustan Times. The title is self-explanatory—‘Alienation of migrants at root of France’s jihadi problem.’ According to Sood, “While the first generation of immigrants were focused on making a living and getting the rest of their families over, the younger generation has grown up with a sense of alienation. Lacking opportunities for education and social and economic advancement, many of the youth often turn to petty crime.”

France after World War II has been a decent place, offering much higher standards socio-economic indices than the countries where the immigrants came from. Sood is factually wrong when he says that there was lack of “opportunities for education and social and economic advancement.” So, where did that alienation come from? He and other intellectuals are loath to accept it but immigrant Muslims’ alienation emanated from Islamism, from the conviction that any advancement beyond bread-and-butter requirements would mean abandonment of their original, Islamic belief system and acceptance of the basic principles of the Western civilization.

Not much different is the condition of Hindus, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims who settle in a Western country; there is abandonment, assimilation, etc., often with dramatic consequences; they also face all the miseries and melancholies of diasporic existence. But they take their problems and woes in their stride; after all, ‘Nanak dukhiya sab sansaar’ (Guru Nanak says that the world is full of misery). But have you come across a Hindu or a Sardarji going to the stadiums, bars, or streets to slaughter men, women, and children with impunity?

But Sood finds the real problems elsewhere: “French authorities realized too late that the prisons and detention centres where they were held, were actually where the seeds of radicalization were sown.” In other words, there is nothing wrong with the theology and doctrines of Islam; seeds are not within but are sown by some, mischievous outsiders. “Western interventionism has been at the root of reviving the notion of ‘jihadi extremism.’ Al Qaeda was incubated in the CIA-ISI led jihad in Afghanistan and the first wave of radicalization took place in the madrassas in the Af-Pak region and continues to date,” writes Sood.

This is a throwback to the anti-imperialism rhetoric that the Nehru-infested foreign office used with flourish—to the detriment of our national interest. The collateral damage to public discourse is the currency that a dangerous myth gains: that it was the CIA that created the monsters like al-Qaeda and Taliban.

Come to think of it: Sood is not a JNU jerk but a former diplomat and a distinguished fellow at a major think-tank. Is it surprising that our foreign policy is still enmeshed in the non-alignment lunacy?

Then there is a gent called Vaiju Naravane, a commentator and professor based in Paris and Delhi. In an article in The Hindustan Times (July 16), he blamed everything under the sun for the massacre at Nice during the Bastille Day celebrations, except of course the real culprit—Islamism. “For decades the city has been marked by right-wing crony capitalism and anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic sentiment, giving Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of National Front leader Marine Le Pen over 45 per cent of the vote in regional elections last year.”

Naravane asks questions: Why has France become the favorite hunting ground of Islamic terrorism? Why is it that France, which is reputed to have a more repressive state apparatus than its neighbors, Italy, Britain, Spain, Germany, Belgium or Luxemburg is unable to prevent deadly terrorist attacks on its soil?”

Like a typical intellectual, he comes up with wrong answers: “But the answer to the terrorism that is now stalking French streets does not lie only in improved policing and more muscular security measures.” As it is, security in France and the rest of Europe has been criticized for slackness. Does Naravane want France to become even more casual and become a sitting duck for jihadists?

The solution Naravane offers is hackneyed: “Their [immigrants’] integration and feeling of not belonging to the French Republic is a key factor that can no longer be ignored.” But is there any evidence that they were denied integration, thrown out of schools and universities, disallowed in libraries, and so on? It is the other way around: the immigrants want to continue their traditional beliefs, traditions, and conventions; they want to persist with burqa and female circumcision, the abhorrently misogynistic practices; they want to suppress free speech; they want the undermine French secularism.

But Naravane does not see any of this; instead he chooses to tell lies by shifting the blame on the French for their confrontation with Muslim immigrants: “France’s core white population and its newer citizens who have come from its former colonies appear to be set on a collision course with a small section of Muslims increasingly attracted by a nihilistic, destructive, and extremist ideology.”

Again: blame everybody except Muslims. Besides, the guy is also quite ill-informed. For the ideology that jihadists follow is certainly not nihilistic; in fact, it is the antithesis of nihilism. For Salafism, Wahabism, etc., are predicated upon the existence of Allah (and no other deity), the complete submission of man to his will (Islam literally means submission), a life of prescription and proscription for the faithful, and the annihilation and suppression of the non-believer. Islamism is depredatory, not nihilistic.

There is another professor, Sreeram Sundar Chaulia, expressing similar views on the edit page of The Times Of India (July 16): “The sense of an unforgotten imperial mission that France harbors in its foreign policy and the prominent leadership that it holds within core western military formations like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, make it a hateful nation for radical Islamists.”

But what imperial ambition India harbors? And Belgium, and Germany, and The Netherlands, and Spain, and Italy, and other countries that have faced the depredations of jihadists?

But Chaulia continues: “The apartheid-like conditions which have alienated young French Muslims and the incompatibility of authoritative French civic customs with the radicalized, ghettoized, and exclusivist mentality among minorities of Arab origin, generate a fundamental crisis of identity and citizenship. Out of this crucible of rejection and segregation comes explosive terrorist violence.”

So, there is apartheid in France! There is no limit to the mendacity and duplicity of liberals. In the ultimate analysis, the emergence of global jihad has a direct correlation with such mendacity and duplicity.

  • shiv

    I have a senior relative who keeps claiming that all religions are ugly including hinduism and it is the religion which is the root cause of division,brain washing,anger and violence.

  • shiv

    So I asked what about atheists?Are they people with reasonableness ,accomodation?His answer is you can’t show few cases and sweep aside historical data of religious violence perpetrated through thousands of years