Tunisia’s misfortune makes Qatar’s colonial happiness. Indeed, it is against the backdrop of a country decimated by the coronavirus – the death rate is the highest in Africa – that a bill has been passed allowing the “Qatar Fund For Development” to manage the financial interests between Tunisia and Qatar. A real treaty that will allow Doha to intervene directly in the Tunisian economy, with considerable advantages for the backers of Islamism.
Pakistan has been witnessing a rapid breakdown of its internal administrative machinery, with its police and security forces unable to control the country-wide violence engineered by the supporters of the radical Islamist party, the Tehreek -e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) that has been demanding the ouster of the French Ambassador and halting of trade relations with France. While the spotlight is on the grim domestic security situation with the government being held hostage by the TLP, the condition of its economy and its diplomatic standing is no better.
Bangladesh made headlines, last October, when thousands of protestors came out to the streets in Dhaka to protest against France. The protesters, around 50,000 in number, were demanding the closure of the French embassy in the country. A dummy of President Emmanuel Macron was also burnt during the protest with Junaid Babunagari, the Secretary-General of Hefazat-e-lslam (Hel) – one of the biggest Islamist groups in the country – stating that “Emmanuel Macron should beg for forgiveness.”. Apart from Dhaka, there were protests in smaller towns including one large protest in the port town of Chittagong, the headquarters of the Hel.
Politically isolated within the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith), following the adoption of a “charter of principles” rejecting “foreign interference and the instrumentalization of Islam for political purposes”, the three currents of so-called “political” Islamism, which are the French formerly UOIF, the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), Foi et pratique (linked to the Tabligh movement) and the Milli Gürüs (the Turkish branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), also find themselves under heavy fire from the Departmental Cells for the Fight against Islamism and Community Withdrawal (CLIR), whose increased controls have hit these Islamist organisations hard, particularly in the wallet!
French investigations following the banning of the Islamist NGO Barakacity and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) have revealed close links with the MIT (Turkish secret service).
Diplomatic ties between France and Pakistan are probably at an all-time low, with Marc Barety, the French Ambassador in Islamabad faced with serious security threats following a demand by the radical Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan to expel the Ambassador. The Islamist party has refused to retreat on the ultimatum it issued to the Pakistan government, arguing that France had insulted the Prophet and thereby committed blasphemy, a sin that cannot be forgiven. The Tehreek has placed two other demands before the Pakistan government, viz. severing of diplomatic ties with France and boycotting French products.
“What is a fanatic,” Churchill said, “one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” The massacres taking place in the Caucasus remind us of that fanaticism that is more than a century old: the Armenian genocide in 1915.