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Late contemplations about the Charlie Hebdo massacre

category international | religion | opinion / analysis author Tuesday March 24, 2015 23:41author by Mazen Kamalmaz Report this post to the editors

The attack on Charlie Hebdo last January was carefully designed to the full benefit of IS, but also to the benefit of the ruling Elite in the advanced capitalist world. It was not intended as punishment for Charlie Hebdo's satiric attitude toward what IS considers as "sacred", but as punishment for millions of Muslims who accepted such an attitude by their silence, especially Muslims who live in France and the west. IS, like everyone else, knew very well that Muslims in Europe and the west will be under heavier pressure after such an attack. IS offered Muslims only one way to defend themselves: to accept its fundamentalist hyper-dogmatic version of Islam and join its ranks - martyrdom and heaven through killing and suicide bombing. The message of IS was clear: freedom of conscience and expression is never a part of Muslims' identity, so it must be declined, denied and fought against. Both IS and the western elite accepted this as a "fact". [Italiano]


Late contemplations about the Charlie Hebdo massacre


The attack on Charlie Hebdo last January was carefully designed to the full benefit of IS, but also to the benefit of the ruling Elite in the advanced capitalist world. It was not intended as punishment for Charlie Hebdo's satiric attitude toward what IS considers as "sacred", but as punishment for millions of Muslims who accepted such an attitude by their silence, especially Muslims who live in France and the west. IS, like everyone else, knew very well that Muslims in Europe and the west will be under heavier pressure after such an attack. IS offered Muslims only one way to defend themselves: to accept its fundamentalist hyper-dogmatic version of Islam and join its ranks - martyrdom and heaven through killing and suicide bombing. The message of IS was clear: freedom of consciousness and expression is never a part of Muslims' identity, so it must be declined, denied and fought against. Both IS and the western elite accepted this as a "fact". For the Western elite the same message was used: only white Europeans can understand and practice freedom of conscience and expression, which is supposed to constitute the identity of the political establishment in capitalist advanced Western societies. The war on terror and the Crusade against Islam are just two sides of the same coin.

Now, I am not a media expert, but Charlie Hebdo magazine doesn't look like mainstream media. And of course, it is not the Pentagon or Wall Street. Also, I see their criticism of the dogmas of Islam somehow different from the typical orientalist one. That means that IS was successful in choosing their target (in fact they really want to attack the practice and the very concept of freedom of expression). This mutual exploitation of the attack by both IS and the western elite was evident even in media coverage (in both Western and Arabic media sources): the focus was on how senior scholars and jihadists or corrupt politicians reacted... This is a false war, fought on the wrong issue. It is completely true that Muslims should be defended against the escalating racism against them, but not the dogmas of Islam. IS' plan is so different: its plan is to "defend" Islam, not Muslims (in fact, its plan is to expose Muslims to more racism and repression, not the other way round), so that more Muslims will come closer to the orientalist stereotyping that contrasts the enlightened white European with the backward Muslim, which suits both IS and the ruling elite in the west.

Freedom of expression and consciousness must be defended without hesitation. This freedom is not part of the capitalist establishment in the west - it was won by the struggles of generations of revolutionaries and masses. It was not bestowed by any ruler or ruling class; it is actually another step to a different world, where neither slaves nor masters exist, only free and equal people.

Mazen Kamalmaz

The author is a Syrian anarchist.

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