Anti Fascism

An Offer You Should Refuse

Here’s a statement from the Most Influential Sunni Scholar In The World (TM): the Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

“We, as Arabs and Muslims, wish France and its friendly people security and safety, especially as France’s stand on Arab and Islamic causes is characterised by fairness, justice and liberation, to a reasonable degree, from the US subordination.”

He called upon the Muslim community in France to resort for calmness and tackle the situation with wisdom and rationality and urged Muslim religious and political leaders to intensify peace efforts.

He also called upon the French government not to deal with the situation from the security point of view but through dialogue with the country’s religious and political leaderships and try to find a common degree of understanding to resolve problems.

So, here’s the deal. If Qaradawi approves of your country’s stand on Arab and Islamic causes abroad, he’ll use his influence to call for calm. In parallel, the Government should partner with the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in seeking a solution to France’s social problems at home.

If the riots in France are indeed the Paris Intifada – as some have suggested – then we should certainly be doing everything possible to cut a deal with those Islamists with whom one can at least negotiate.

But, of course, the rioters are not jihadists. As Aaronovich points out, the causes of these riots are various: and do not include religion. Oliver Roy makes the point well:

“But this isn’t the Palestinian intifada, there’s no Middle Eastern connotation to the riots. The rioters aren’t defining an identity, except that of their neighborhoods,“ he says. “It’s a revolt of youth, of young men, an anti-police and anti-society movement, in a very French tradition of anarchism,“ argues Olivier Roy, French expert on Islamist groups. “It’s an expression of a youth sub-culture, not tied to Islam. And not all the rioters are Muslims.”

This is not an essentially religious uprising. It is, characteristically, islamophobes – in the true sense of that term – who persist in seeing it as such.

Nevertheless, these riots are, as I’ve observed, a golden opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to present itself to the government as the official and legitimate mediator of the North African banlieues. That is precisely what they are doing.

Where social decay undermines community cohesion and civil unrest flourishes in the space left behind, a religious-political authority’s promises to restore order in return for being recognised as a political partner must look very tempting.

It is, however a Faustian pact and one which should be resisted. The Falangists of the Muslim Brotherhood can never, and will never, solve the social problems which contributed to this riot. All they can ever do is build a limited political power base of their own. The French government would be wise to reject their offer.

Hat tip: Popinjays, LATFIP