We must always take fundamentalists at their word. The ones they say to kill. The ones they forbid others to say. Hadi Matar, the man who tried to assassinate Salman Rushdie on 12 August, was driven by the words of death. Death is the true empire of Islamism. Salman Rushdie, on the other hand, is driven by the words of life. The dagger of the American-born Lebanese fundamentalist, admirer of Khomeini and Hezbollah, was to drive his words down his throat and into all his organs.
“Religious radicalism radiates a kind of ‘glamour’. Give a Kalashnikov and a black uniform to a penniless, jobless youth and suddenly you empower the one who feels vulnerable and disadvantaged.” These words are from the writer Salman Rushdie, who is between life and death at the time of writing. They reflect the immense insight this man has into his contemporaries. Threatened with death for more than 30 years, Salman Rushdie has built his work on the burning embers of an end that he did not imagine was impossible at the hand of Man.
In September 1988, Jean-Claude Buhrer, a senior reporter for Le Monde, was travelling in India when the writer Salman Rushdie published his novel “The Satanic Verses”. “The reaction was immediate from the Shiites in India. They immediately launched a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, calling for his death,” recalls the journalist. Jean-Claude Buhrer. He immediately called his newspaper… which declined his offer of an article. Presumably, the importance of the subject escaped the attention of the famous Parisian daily newspaper.
Its no secret that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is less about economics and more about strategy – China’s strategy. The veneer of economics and development is maintained only to hide the real driving force behind China pumping in tens of billions of Euros into Pakistan. China is now the largest creditor of Pakistan and the latter is likely to become yet another example of China’s debt trap diplomacy. For China, CPEC has no intrinsic value. The real worth of the projects lies in China having not just a footprint but virtual control of two critical pieces of real estate – Gwadar port and the region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
After all that Pakistan did for the Taliban over the two decades they were fighting against the US-backed Afghan Republic, there was a legitimate expectation in Islamabad that this time around the Taliban would show much greater gratitude and accede to Pakistan’s wish-list on a range of issues.
Ever since the Taliban have re-established their Emirate in Kabul, there is not a single issue on Pakistan’s wish-list that has been ticked by the Taliban : Accepting Durand Line as Border? No; Expelling Baloch insurgents? No; Dismantling, degrading and destroying Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)? No; Keeping India out? No; Inclusive government? No; Allowing education for girls and giving women rights? No!
In Germany, where three million Turks live, more than a million of whom have German nationality, Ankara has been trying for several years to influence elections by calling on voters with dual nationality not to vote for political parties deemed hostile to Turkey’s interests. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s networks are also active in France, although much more discreetly, via the Council for Justice, Equality and Peace (Cojep), which presented – without much success – several candidates in the recent legislative elections.
In her latest book “Islamophobia, My Eye!”, Djemila Benhabib borrows a formula from Salman Rushdie that sums up the extent of the deadly fraud orchestrated by the proponents of political Islam, which the secular and feminist activist of Algerian origin intends to denounce through this lucid and poignant work, halfway between a political essay and an autobiographical testimony: “A new word had been invented to allow the blind to remain blind: Islamophobia”, says the author of “The Satanic Verses” who knows better than anyone the intellectual deceptions of the Islamist inquisition.
In the photo illustrating her latest book, Djemila Benhabib has a sparkling eye, the eye of challenge. In fact, it is in the title: “Islamophobia, my eye” (Kennes Editions). A lucid look at this political scam that forbids free criticism of Islam. The essayist has herself paid the price, being dragged before the courts in Quebec on several occasions for her courageous interventions against obscurantism. Djemila, who is named after a beautiful site in Algeria, dear to Albert Camus (“The Wind at Djemila”), grew up in this beautiful and bloody country until she was exiled to France in 1994 after being sentenced to death by the GIA, the armed Islamic groups. She was barely 22 years old. Since then, she has been fighting, leading her life “Against the Koran”, the title of the book that has earned her the most admiration and hatred.
Summer is just around the corner and the perennial question of the burkini is coming back like a yearly boomerang, just like the Latin beat that should accompany summer people on the beach. However, if musical successes are never predictable, the headlines, comments, condemnations and other resurgences on the legitimacy or banning of this “beachwear”, an extension of the hijab, will certainly be at the heart of the debate.
At a time when Afghan women are deprived of their faces, of work, of school, of going out, doomed by the Taliban to claustration from birth to death, Éric Piolle, the green mayor of Grenoble, has become famous for defending the burkini. A swimming pool chador that would be Islamo-compatible with the French way of life. The mayor brandished different models of the pious fabric before the Council of State, which on 14 June examined the appeal lodged by the municipality of Grenoble after the suspension of the right to burkini by the administrative court.