As a lead-in to this Blog, recently (April 22, 2010) on the Time.com website under the heading: Spotlight: France and the Veil, the statement was made – “France’s uneasy relationship with its estimated 6 million Muslims is about to get even more tense. Less than a year after warning that the face-obscuring, full-body Islamic veils worn by some fundamentalist Muslim women “will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic,” President Nicolas Sarkozy is moving toward an official ban of the garment he derided as “a sign of subservience.” On April 21, Sarkozy ordered his government to present a draft law in May to make wearing total veils that the French call burqas illegal in public places.” The Ban is progressing but not without controversy. Fewer than 2000 Muslim women wear veils in France, yet for security measures it has been sugested all face coverings be banned.
Composition of Population
Muslims currently comprise about 6% of the total population in France. Since the 8th Century when the Muslim came via Gibraltar and Spain as an invading force and were thwarted by the Gauls (Battle of Tours – 732), Muslims have had their designs on France. From the 8th to the 20th Century there were few, but today the numbers are increasing at a rapid pace. Total in 2004 were about 4.2 million Muslims. (Estimated today at over 5 million) According to information from Wikipedia – “These numbers include people of Muslim affiliation who are not actually observant Muslims. Among Muslims, 36% described themselves as ‘observant believers’, and 20% claimed to go regularly to the mosque for the Friday service. 70% said they ‘observe Ramadan’. This would amount to a number of roughly 1.5 million French Muslims who are ‘observant believers’, another 1.5 million who identify with Islam enough to observe Ramadan, and 1 million citizens of ‘(Islam observing lineage) Muslim extraction’ but with no strong religious or cultural ties to Islam.” Census statistics in France are limited in that religious affiliation is not required to be noted on census forms, so a true picture is made difficult. Muslim immigration to France is a post-war (WWII) phenomenon for the most part.
The concern, expressed by Brenda Walker (www.limitstogrowth.org/WEB-text/france-immigration.html) is “France is probably the worst affected of all western nations by immigration, since it is on the brink of losing its European identity to the insistent Muslims increasing in numbers within French borders. As they grow in population, they come to believe they can impose the will of Islam on the French people, who seem rather unconcerned with the transformation.”
Different organizations represent the rights of self-interest groups, including Muslims. The Union of Islamic Organizations of France is that unit for those of the Islamic religion. (UOIF) has representation from the more extreme elements of Islam. Nicolas Sarkozy, as interior minister, initiated the creation of a “French Council of the Muslim Faith” (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman – CFCM). The French do not tolerate religion in government affairs, a practice of having a secular society – the principal of separation of church and state applied.
In 2005 there were riots in France involving Muslims and other French countrymen, non-Muslim. Smaller riots have occurred in prior years. For the Muslims this may be the necessary sign of ‘persecution’ that allows them from now and forevermore to attack the non-believers (of Allah) until all is for Allah. Once non-Muslims questioned their presence in society, justification for jihad presented itself. Vengeance will be theirs, although time may be needed to build and align the forces for Allah before a broad-based attack can be mounted. This would be similar to Muhammad’s time in Medina, growing his army, to then move on Mecca to avenge the ‘persecution’ there, the persecution that drove Muhammad and his small band of followers away.
There is a growing “No to Islam” revolt underway, with political elections seeking those to represent the people that would support such a position. What do Muslims do to cause such anger towards them? Wearing of hijab (the type of head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women)(in some areas all but face and hands are covered) in France has been very controversial, especially in public schools. As yet they do not have ‘religious police’ in France, as in Iran and Saudi Arabia (and a few other Muslim countries) enforcing the wearing of hijab. The Quran addresses modesty and dressing to be noticed, not in a sexual way, but as a Muslim, to not be harassed. Sura 33:59 reads, “O Prophet, tell thy wives and they daughters and the woman of believers to let down upon them their over-garments. This is more proper, so that they may be known, and not be given trouble….” What happens, though, the dress causes more attention and the attention then, if remarks are made, engenders claims of harassment or persecution. Preceding 33:59, verse 33:58, “And those who annoy believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin.” Continuing to back-up, reading Sura 33:57, “Surely those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and He has prepared for them an abasing chastisement.” 33:57 speaks of attacks against the Muslim god – Allah, and Muhammad; even questioning their proclamations can be considered an attack. In 33:58 the Quran addresses verbal abuse or concerns about Muslims themselves. So the suggestion is distinguish yourselves, wear the hijab, cover up, do not attempt to blend in. Blending in would cause fewer to notice, but no, wear the dress so people will know who is and who is not Muslim.
Sunni’s want women to cover all but hands and face.
The Burqa covers all but the eyes and is seen more in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
More than half of French people support a full ban on wearing Burqa’s, according to a recent opinion poll. The Ipsos poll for Le Point magazine found 57 percent of French people said it should be illegal to appear in public wearing clothes that cover the face.
Mohamed Ibn Guadi, an Islamologist at Strasbourg University and a researcher in Semitic Philology, during a symposium discussion for FrontPageMagazine.com, July 4, 2005, said, “I think the French state could be blamed and in particular for the French model (secularist). In this model, individuals do not exist — only French citizens. The general interest takes precedence over the particular interests. As a community, the Muslims see themselves with difficulty recognizing the right to the difference. The French state succeeded in imposing the ideology of its model on a society which is not it. That’s why, as Dr. Cagaptay (Dr. Soner Cagaptay, an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute’s Turkish Research Program) pointed out, they are the worst integrated Muslim community in any EU country. France wants to build a French Islam but without Islamic institutions. It is impossible. The dilemma is that the French law is disconnected from the religious questions.”
He continued, “Is there a ticking bomb? Probably. But not necessarily because of Islam. For several years the French have been also very confused concerning their own values. For a long time, they believed that they could manage to set up an exemplary society by eliminating the religious sphere, and in particular Christianity. The religious feeling is almost non-existent in France. It is normal that Islam, a young religion in France, occupies the essence of spiritual space here in this country. And in particular today, Islam generates fear, fascination and questioning. The place of the Muslims and Islam in France will in the future present new anthropologic and sociological challenges for the French people.”
Another commentator noted, “the majority of Muslims in France are not interested in reforming Islam to make it a religion compatible with modernity and democracy.” They are not the integrating kind. They tend to form communities that are entirely Muslim, lacking any desire to mix.
France had a problem with America. Losing its position as a world leader France sought to join forces with others against America. Laurent Murawiec, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. His book Princes of Darkness: The Saudi Assault on the West, during the symposium, is quoted, “We’ve got to deal with Islam…. Now, being alienated does not mean being right. “Suffering bestows no right,” said Albert Camus. The problem is that today’s world of Islam considers it licit and even recommended to kill Infidels as a way of “solving” problems. Al-Azhar says that. Qaradhawi says it. The Saudi shaykhs repeat it endlessly. Arafat built a career on it, as well as Saddam, Assad, etc. The ideology of terror has been promoted, extolled, lionized, and adopted, in the world of Islam as in no other part of the world. It is symptomatic of the generalized blindness that prevails in the world of Islam: a love of destruction, a desire for annihilation: Nihilism has become a principal intellectual force. Blame Khomeini and Shariati, al-Banna and Qutb, as well as Michel Aflaq and the ideologues of “secular” nationalism. This is what powers the time bomb.”
He addresses dealing with the problem of Islam, “To deal with a problem, you would need to recognize it to start with. …. Europe, I predict, will do nothing. It will wait, like the proverbial Roman patricians, waiting for the Barbarians at gates to enter and slaughter them….Now, dealing with Islam. It seems to me that we have to escape the fatal dilemma: “it’s their religion, we can’t touch it.” The problem is that Islam has been captured by Islamism; we can live with Islam in general, we cannot live with Islamism. Islam has failed to cope with Islamism. We have to do so, because it will not let us live, but make us die.”
Murawiec on the French Government under Chirac (1995-2007 served as President), “The French elite, and that benighted president Chirac, have been sucking up to the Muslim world in the imperial hope of taking the lead in a world-wide We Hate America alliance. Arab leaders in particular have used that conceit to their advantage. Chirac was a prime supporter of Arafat, fought against any measures to curb Hezbollah and Hamas, and so did Villepin. France has mostly reaped a great deal of the contempt reserved for the dhimmi-s. To me, the ticking bomb is the European drift toward dhimmitude, as Bat Ye’or has shown. It empowers Muslim radicals. The Union of Islamic Organizations in France is dominated and run by the Muslim Brotherhood. The textbooks are Wahhabi. A large number of the imams are Wahhabi-trained. “ (Note: dhimmi’s are non-Muslim, protected by a pact. Initially it was Jews and Christians. They pay for their protection with a tax in Muslim controlled areas.)
Is this a reflection of the Islamic Strategy of Conquest (Understanding Islam – Part 23) being fulfilled in France?
But shouldn’t Muslims be an example to the world of their religious tolerance, thus reflected as a condition of their religion and justification for his statements. They shout in effect “we are being persecuted” yet within in the boundaries of areas where Muslims are the dominant people minorities are of little regard. Ask Muslims to demonstrate their regard for minorities so we as non-believers in Allah can feel safe in the presence of ALL Muslims. How would we otherwise know, as a minority in a Muslim area, we are free to believe as we believe without being suppressed, attacked, taxed, or otherwise treated as second class citizens.
As much as Jews are a problem for Muslims, Jews are not a threat. Arabs among Jews are quite comfortable regarding the Jew. Jamie Glazov, moderator for the Symposium for FrontPageNews.com, noted, “The reminder to us that a fanatical Jew killed Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is an absurd distraction to this conversation. Sorry, I think the last thing the victims of Islam’s gender apartheid, and all the victims of Islamist terror, worry about at night are fanatical Jews. The homosexual Palestinians that flee to Israel to avoid their death sentences under PA culture for being gay, I assure you, do not live their lives in dread worrying about fanatical Jews. And trust me, when I go to sleep at night and worry about the world’s safety and future, I think about things like 9/11, about Tehran’s Mullahs having nuclear weapons, about Zarqawi and Bin Laden getting their hands on WMDs. The threat of fanatical Jews, I am afraid, does not loom large in my fears at night.”
Islamophobia – Racism – Irrational
Ken Malik at Ken Malik.com, his article on the islamophobia myth written in 2005 and available at the noted website, suggests the use of the term ‘islamophobia’ is abused, used to stir perceptions and alter the reality of prejudice towards Muslims. Malik’s use of the term ‘racist’ is interesting as Muslims are neither a race nor an ethnicity (as noted prior), but a religion made up of whites, blacks, Asians, and others. Can attacks against Muslims be considered ‘racist?’ His essay addresses mostly the Muslim situation in Great Britain; its applicability here relates to the concept of perception. Muslim leaders seem to have been attempting to use islamophobia as the term anti-Semitism has been applied to the Jews. The biggest difference is the term ‘hate’, as that is what anti-Semitism refers to – hatred towards Jews. But islamophobia is not ‘hatred’, it is more a criticism and concern for the doctrines of Islam as clearly spelled out in the Quran. Muslim Leaders are making the effort to confuse facts, such as profiling, claiming 95-98% of Muslims are stopped and searched in airports, when the truth is the figure is more like 15%. More ‘blacks’ as a percentage of the whole are profiled.
I will grant that the majority of Muslims outside Muslim dominated areas (and probably within as well) appear peaceful. There are many of my friends that defend Muslims as kind, caring people. Those of a peaceful nature were referred to, by one friend, as the ‘purest.’ However there was little defense for such a claim. When I read the Quran and take from it those ideals outlined as the ‘purest’ I come to understand an ideology of deceit (towards those that do not believe), 3:54 and 10:21; distrust (instructions to not become friendly with non-believers, non-believing neighbors), 3:28; unity (until all the world is for Allah), 2:193; macho-istic men (men are above women – takes 2 women to testify vs. 1 man), 2:282; a degree above as to all rights, their nature, their intellect, women inferior, 2:228; men can have relations with their wives when and as they like 2:223; men can covet women, money, material things, 3:14; multiple wives possible, 4:3); and fighting/war once the specter or excuse of ‘persecution’ arises, 2:193, 8:65, 9:5, 9:29, until only Muslims remain. [the numbers in the brackets reference passages from the Quran]
If you read the Quran, which I would recommend for everyone, you will understand the threat Islam represents to other religions, even non-religions, atheists and secularists, to freedom itself. (Islam – the Quran – is a threat, a clear and present danger, to Freedom) Those Muslims most peaceful, those considered moderate, they too are under threat, as the ‘purists’ want ALL to live under the strictest, and only, standards of the Quran. There are no other standards; there is not a new Quran written for changing times, changing attitudes, changing cultures, and a changing world. The methods and practices are to remain and followed as Muhammad himself followed. Thus ‘moderate’ Muslims are considered a Western phenominon and those so classified are in defiance of true Islam; they are too secular and not Islamic enough (less than the norm). A ‘moderate Muslim’ is an individual who has politically sold out to the “other” side.
Such is the concern in France, others areas of the world where Muslims do not dominate but are growing in numbers – where are the Muslims headed with their ideology within the borders of non-Muslim countries. Is it in these concentrated Muslim communities that the next stage of the Islamic Strategy of Conquest may be taking place?
Salvation is important to Muslims. Of this, however, there is no assurance. Allah has the final say, no matter the accounting for good in excess of evil for any given Muslim. The Laws, many taken from the Bible’s Old Testament, are to be followed, except as modified for the rights of men over women, and then the Quran is followed. Woman have few rights and as for any chance of salvation what is mentioned in the Quran is limited – the preference is towards men.
New Testament and Freedom
Whereas the New Testament freed mankind, those that accept Christ, from the chains of the Laws that made it impossible to be 100% obedient, no such freedom exists for the Muslim. Thus salvation for a Christian is assured. The blessings of Christ are for all humans, all mankind. Salvation can be assured by simply embracing and being thankful for the punishment, the curse, Jesus took with him to the cross, the curse of sin upon man, and freed man to love God, and be loved by God, to have a relationship with the Creator, taking great comfort, the Holy Spirit as Comforter, in an eternal life with the Triune God. The Triune God is the ‘One’ God to be seen as his composite nature providing for his People, the People of the Book.
A Great Awakening in France is Needed
May France find a Great Awakening in the light of God’s love bathing upon them and renew its faith in the Risen Lord, a faith that enabled the founders of this wonderful Country to establish itself as world leaders – as democratic leaders of a free world. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – as their motto, if they indeed subscribe to that which is a foundation for their Country, the people of France will wake up to their need to find a solution, looking in their hearts, for that which is an authority of greater importance. May they have faith by the freedom and liberty they profess.
My heart reaches out to persons that have not understood the good news of Jesus Christ. It is great news, indeed. We, who have taken the time and come to know Jesus Christ, come also to realize what he made possible for everyone. When we contemplate death and consider the consequences we are dealing with either nothing (returning to dust, to the earth, no soul, no future after life on earth) or something, a life after death. Pascal is credited with the gamble that if the choices are nothing or something, he would go with, at least, something. Then if that something entailed heaven or hell, he would try for heaven. If heaven required salvation, my guess is he would go for the assurance of salvation. Then if the assurance of salvation were possible and all religions were considered, the Christian religion would surface as the only one where assurance was provided by a living person, human and divine, incarnate, who walked with, spoke with, and demonstrated his miraculous power, and lived a ‘perfect’ life. When study was then conducted into the Christian religion, the Bible and the New Testament, the reader would quickly realize that the Old Testament covered the old covenant of God and Laws and the New Testament covered a new covenant. With the ‘new’ justification by faith in Christ granted the assurance. The new covenant was foretold in the Old Testament (Isaiah and Jeremiah, and elsewhere). Great joy was to befall all who have faith in Christ. Christ lived, his death on the cross was actual (not faked as the Quran suggests), and the Resurrection was witnessed by hundreds, thus Christ overcame the sin of mankind, and death, via the resurrection. We know him by the presence of his spirit within us. We then live a life with Christ as our mentor, our example and guide, one of caring for the sick, aiding the poor, and loving our neighbor. We love, submit, and obey God, Christ, above all. Christians do this voluntarily. Maybe the people of France will discover and volunteer for Christ as the only choice that preserves the freedom and liberty that crave.
Grace and peace to all who love and are loved by God.