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Why didn’t Macron’s demonization of Islam work?

The recent tension between Muslim world and France started right after a French teacher was beheaded by Chechen immigrant after the teacher showed the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.

As a reaction to this evil murder, President Macron of France said, ‘Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today.’

By doing that, Macron simply linked Islam with this evil homicide, connotating that Islam itself is the reason of this violence.

We are familiar with this reaction in Western media and political circles when a murder or act of terror is perpetrated by a person of Muslim origin.

However, we don’t see a similar tendency to frame Christianity from the same circles, when, for example a Christian right-wing white supremacist commits a crime against Muslims.

Western leaders should avoid blaming Islam for the crimes carried out by perpetrators of Muslim origin, as they don’t blame Christianity for the crimes of Christians as well as they don’t blame Buddhism for the crimes of Buddhists.

International organizations confirm that religious authorities and rulers in Myanmar commit a genocide against Muslims in Rohingya. Nobody accuses Buddha or Buddhism for this crime since Myanmar is a Buddhist nation.

Buddha said ‘don’t destroy or kill any living being.’   

Does Islam promote violence?

It does not.

Look at Sura of Nisa, verse 140, for example:

‘He has already revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s revelations being denied or ridiculed, then do not sit in that company unless they engage in a different topic.’

Quran doesn’t encourage Muslims even when Allah himself was ridiculed by others.

The Quran calls its way “… The ways of peace …” (Quran: 5:16). It describes reconciliation as the best policy (4:128), and states that God abhors any disturbance of peace (2:205).

What some Muslims have been practicing does not necessarily have to be Islam.

By using an Islamophobic rhetoric, Macron is helping leaders like Erdogan to consolidate their powers in their countries.

Macron says showing the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad is protected by freedom of expression in France. But is freedom of expression limitless in France? Is it allowed to deny or underestimate Armenian Genocide or Holocaust? American and French democracies have different perspectives on freedom expression.

It is correct that Muslims countries had and have difficulties to adopt democratic principles.

As well as some Catholic and Orthodox nations.

Remember how American democracy started.

When American constitution was written, founding fathers said that everyone is born equal and deserves equal treatment. However, it took decades for African Americans to gain their political rights. The slavery was abolished in 1865. In southern states, African Americans gained their rights to vote in 1965.

Women were not allowed to vote until 1920.

Democratization is a long process and it is not for sure that some nations would be willing to embrace liberal democracy even in the future.

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Aydogan Vatandas / Editor-in-Chief
Aydogan Vatandas / Editor-in-Chief
Aydoğan Vatandaş is an investigative journalist from Turkey, specializing in Political Science and International Relations. He is the author of 13 books, many of which have become bestsellers in Turkey. 'Reporting from the Bridge' and 'Hungry for Power: Erdogan's Witch Hunt and The Abuse of State Power' are the first two books published in English in the U.S


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