After the headless (Islamist) models, here is the documentary without hair! Presented in a special screening at the last Cannes Film Festival, “Salam” by the former rapper Diam’s (co-directed with Houda Benyamina and Anne Cissé) is a Salafist propaganda film strictly framed by the standards of the most rigorous Islamism.
By Atmane Tazaghart
Thus, none of the women involved in the film (the mother of the ex-rapper, her friends and her former producers…) were allowed to appear with their hair up! A black halo was applied in the editing process to the sequences in which those among them who are not veiled appear. So much so that, throughout the film, we can only see the tight shots of their faces plunged into the obscurantist darkness of this “digital veil” which is as scandalous as it is burlesque!
Announced with great fanfare, this documentary aimed to explain to the fans of the former author of “Brut de femme”, after twelve years of silence and absence, the reasons for her brutal and enigmatic decision to abandon the artistic scene in order to embrace the Salafist lifestyle in its most extreme aspects.
However, after a moving first part, devoted to the ex-rapper’s malaise and the existential crisis that plunged her into a long and trying depression at the height of her fame and artistic success, the film quickly took on the appearance of Islamist propaganda devoid of any sincerity or credibility.
The ex-rapper says she has found “inner peace” thanks to Islam (hence the title of the film ‘Salam’, peace in Arabic). A plausible psychic and spiritual appeasement, which is a common phenomenon and well known to Islamologists. Our colleague and friend, Martine Gozlan, has brilliantly analysed it in her book “Le désir d’Islam” (Grasset, 2005): where other religions encourage doubt and preach free will, Islam brings certainty and offers answers to everything. And as a result, it reassures tortured souls by bringing them serenity and inner peace.
From Mohamed Ali to Cat Stevens and from Mike Tyson to Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, alias Carlos, this appeasement by Islam is a known and recognised fact. Except that the watered-down version invented by Diam’s to explain her conversion does not hold water: she claims to have found grace by reading the Koran one evening on a beach in Mauritius. This spontaneous revelation would be plausible if Diam’s had converted to Islam. However, she has espoused Salafist Islam in its most fanatical form! This is part of a process of indoctrination that is not at all spontaneous.
A simple conversion to Islam would never have led Diam’s to stop making music, nor to adopt the Jilbeb (the loose veil) – the most rigorous form of Islamic veil – which is the hallmark of the followers of the strictest Salafism. Every year, more than 4,000 people convert to Islam in France. This may be spiritually disruptive, but they are not required to radically transform their social and/or professional lives by burdening themselves with exaggerated restrictions, such as the ban on music or the adoption of the Jilbeb, which are not precepts of Islam, but of the most rigorous Salafist doctrine.
And it is surely no coincidence that Diam’s and the two co-directors of the film have completely overlooked the role played by her husband, ex-rapper Faouzi Tarkhani, in the Salafist indoctrination of the woman who once won a gold record for her song “La boulette” (you can’t make this up!)
Diam’s husband, who does not appear at any point in the film – although he is omnipresent in her “new life” – has published a book entitled “’Mal vu” (éditions Don Quichotte, 2016), in which he describes himself as a “quietist Salafist”. And, while claiming to be “opposed to violence”, he reproaches France for being “the daughter of the Church, but above all the mother of atheism”!
For incomprehensible reasons (no doubt a mixture of political naivety and an irrepressible appetite for scandal), the Cannes Festival decided to offer its prestigious platform to this propaganda film which is the antithesis of the spirit of Cannes!
Thus, the biggest film festival contributes to ensuring a wider audience for a film whose main function (objective?) will be to participate in the Islamist “brainwashing” of thousands of innocent young girls (Muslim or not) who will see it in the suburbs of France and Navarre. And to whom we try to make believe that demonising art and imposing on women one of the most restrictive (and ugliest) forms of veil, are not part of Islamist indoctrination. No, it is just the result of a spontaneous quest to find the peaceful grace of Islam, one moonlit evening on a heavenly beach!