France most critical incidents - France news

France most critical incidents and blasphemy - France news

Hello, my friends! In today’s article, we are talking about France. What incidents have really happened in France?

France- news

What decisions have been taken by French President Macron and what response are we seeing in other countries? In my view, this is a really important issue for the entire world because it showcases the problems that have arisen due to globalization. When people living in different countries who belong to different schools of thought, ideologies, and who follow different cultures meet each other and start living in each other’s countries, what problems arise and what kind of cultural clashes do we get to see? Along with that, this issue raises an important question on free speech and blasphemy Come let us find about all these topics in detail -

    What happened on 16th October In France country

    On 16th October 2020, a school teacher named Samuel Patty was murdered. What was the reason behind the murder? It was because he was giving 12-14 years old children a lesson on freedom of expression in his class. He used Charlie Hebdo Magazine as an example that published the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad defaming and making fun of him. This is the same cartoon due to which a terrorist attack was carried out in Paris in 2015 as well in which more than 11 people lost their lives. Prophet Muhammad is probably the most important religious figure for Muslims whose visual depiction is forbidden in the religion of Islam. The cartoon published by Charlie Hebdo magazine not only visually depicts Prophet Muhammad but it also showcases him wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a live fuse.

    A lot of people believe that this cartoon also defames the religion of Islam by relating it to terrorism.

    How many attacks commence in France in October

    On 2nd September 2020, the trial of the 2015 attack commences. On 25Th September, another attack is carried out in front of Charlie Hebdo’s old office location. After the 2015 attack, Charlie Hebdo changed its official address and is now operating from a secret location. But at the location of their old office, another attack is carried out injuring two people.

    What happened after 16th October 2020 in France

    After that on 16Th October, the school teacher was murdered. The murderer was a boy named Abdullah who is an 18-year old refugee from Chechnya.

    What is Chechnya

    It is an autonomous state to the South of Russia but it is officially a part of Russia.

    Abdullah story | why Abdullah killed his teacher in France

    his family came from Russia to France as refugees when he was six years old. He grew up in France. He believed that he has avenged Prophet Muhammad by murdering the teacher because the teacher had defamed Prophet Muhammad. He even posted the same on Twitter later saying that I have taken revenge here. So, clearly, the reason behind this murder was religious extremism.
    In response, the French President awarded the Legion of Honour to the teacher killed. Legion of Honor is the highest civilian award of France. According to Macron, this is not only an attack on a person but also on the French republic and the French values. Using the word “Islamist separatism”, he said that there is an attempt to separate and radicalize the Muslims living in France.

    He said he will try his best to establish a French version of Islam whereby the Muslims residing in France could be integrated with the French way of living in a better way.

    What is the response of French President Macron on incidents and blasphemy?

    Macron also passed some reforms to combat religious extremism. He said that foreign-trained Imams will be banned from preaching in France and all the Imams preaching religion in mosques would require getting a certification from the country. More surveillance will be carried out on those associations/individuals suspected of following such a religious extremist ideology.
    France has also said that a bill will be introduced in December which will make its old 1905 law stronger. This law officially separates religion and government (state).
    So it would try to separate religion more from public life, education, and government. However, France is already a nation where religion is very far away from the functioning of the government.
    In fact, it was one of the first countries in the world which embraced democracy, implemented the principles of secularism as well as quashed the blasphemy law.

    Blasphemy | What is blasphemy

    Blasphemy roughly translates to making fun of, abusing, or defaming any religion, god of any religion, or any other sacred thing related to religion. Doing such a thing might lead to execution in many Arab countries. Carrying out blasphemous acts can amount to death sentences in many Arab countries. In India, blasphemy amounts to 3 years in prison/fine according to section 295. In most Asian, North Africa, and Arab countries, blasphemy results in jail time. You can see the same in this chart. But there are some countries in the world where there are no blasphemy laws, where you are free to abuse any religion.

    There are some countries where blasphemy laws existed previously but they do not do so anymore. These few countries have been highlighted through the color green in the chart. Coincidentally, these are also some of the most developed countries in today’s time. New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and France also list as the countries where blasphemy laws do not exist. You are free to abuse any religion. In fact, in most European countries such as Germany, blasphemous laws do exist on paper amounting to jail time if you make fun of any religion but they do not get implemented. They do not get implemented on the ground therefore only exist on paper.
    In countries like France, the government even goes on to offer protection for the freedom of blasphemous individuals French President talked about the same. Making a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad is blasphemy and Macron considers the right to blasphemy as freedom of speech and expression which he talks about protecting. When he spoke of French values, this is the value he talks about. Because of the same reason and to show that how blasphemy is acceptable in France and that it will protect this freedom of expression, the French government, after this murder, projected the same cartoon on a government building as well.

    This was to show that we openly do blasphemous acts and this is how things go about in France. Whether blasphemy is wrong or right and what arguments can be put forward in favor of or against it, we will talk about it later in the article. After this, On 29th October, another attack was carried out in the French city of Nice. Nice is the name of a city in France An attacker kills three people in a church after crying out “Allahu Akbar”. 

    The attacker was a 21-year-old Tunisian boy. Do remember that citizens support blasphemy laws in large numbers in North African countries such as Tunisia. People do not want blasphemy to be allowed. After this France raised security alert to the highest and protests were seen in France.

    After this France raised security alert to the highest and protests were seen in France. | Boycott of France country

    Countries worldwide in their response, as expected, condemned the terrorist attacks. It was spoken against in almost all Islamic countries. Almost all Muslims too spoke against it claiming that they do not support it. Many Muslims and many Islamic countries said that what Macron did is also wrong and they do not support the blasphemy being done by France as well. This is why the demand for the boycott of French goods was raised in many Islamic countries. Leading this demand was the Turkish President Erdogan. The game of politics also comes into play here.
    I have explained about Erdogan in this article here - how he first came to the forefront, his political career as well as what kind of policies he is implementing today. Erdogan has also said that Macron is running an anti-Islamic agenda and he needs a mental health check-up and in its real sense, it is fascism. It is quite ironic because as I have explained in this post, Erdogan has poised himself as nothing short of a dictator in Turkey where you can put in jail immediately for speaking against him. In fact, the no. 1 country where maximum journalists have been imprisoned in Turkey. Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar recorded many incidents where traders were seen removing French products from their shelves. Qatar University canceled the French Culture week. Iraq, Syria, and Libya saw protests as well. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that Macron is encouraging anti-Muslim sentiment and is knowingly provoking people. In my view, there is hypocrisy to be seen by the leaders of these countries who are so offended by a cartoon to boycott French products. But they remain silent where it actually needs to voice their objections against China where the genocide of the Muslim minority is being carried out. It is so because it is not so easy to boycott China. These countries have deep and complex relationships with China especially countries such as Pakistan. But overall, I feel the entire issue comes down to one single question: one simple cultural difference of whether you support blasphemy or not. For Islamic countries, blasphemy is a big deal so much so that they even have the death penalty as a punishment. But for France, allowing blasphemy is a big deal because it promotes freedom of speech to such an extent.

    This is a big cultural difference that clashes, when refugees from these Islamic countries come and live in France, and their sentiments, get affected. Obviously, the vast majority of people do not support the fact that someone should be murdered in exchange for a blasphemous act. Otherwise, we would have witnessed so many murders. But even if one person in Lakhs adopts such an extremist measure, we get to witness 50 terrorist attacks. There are more than 5 million Muslim citizens in France which amount to 9 percent of the total population. When such attacks happen then as a consequence, the life of the Muslim community gets difficult. They are always viewed as suspects and are targeted. Therefore, it was not surprising that we witnessed hate crimes from the other side as well. On 22nd October, two French women stabbed two Arab women in Paris As a result of this cultural clash, people are getting farther and farther away from each other. The divide between people is only getting deeper. Therefore, it is for the safety and betterment of everyone that a solution to this problem is derived as soon as possible.

    what is its solution? Whether blasphemy is wrong or right?

    Before I answer this question, I would like to clear the definition of Blasphemy in simple terms. A lot of people have misconceptions regarding it Blasphemy does not mean that you can say, “All Muslims are the same” or “All the Jews do the same kind of things”. This comes in the category of hate speech which I have explained in Arnab Goswami’s dangerous speech in blogger post.
    This is so because here you are targeting humans who belong to a specific group and you are defaming that group. Targeting humans is not blasphemy.

    What Blasphemy means in English

    It means targeting religion or sacred things. Whether a thing is sacred or not depends on the thought process of a human being. But as human beings, we exist in reality. We are physical beings that actually exist. Therefore this is a big distinction between blasphemy and normal hate speech
    which you are directing towards a human being or any specific minority. I hope you get the difference. So, the people who are against blasphemy have pretty simple arguments.

    What is really the need to abuse any religion?

    Just sit quietly by yourself. Don’t speak of anyone’s religion. Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings or sentiments. Then everyone can co-exist peacefully together. Peace will prevail. The argument is quite simple. But the people who argue in favor of blasphemy have complex arguments.

    What are the arguments in-laws? 

    1. the First argument is that laws relating to blasphemy are very inconsistent and subjective. Some people believe that it is impossible to make laws on blasphemy that are to the point. Now you will ask how? Let me explain with an example. Look at India, in some states beef is banned because the sentiments of some Hindus are hurt if beef is sold openly for consumption. Some people believe that this is justified and that if the sentiments of some Hindus are getting hurt then we should ban beef. There is no problem with this. But take this example. A BJP leader in Assam says that if beef is fed to a tiger in a zoo, even then his sentiments would be hurt. You might laugh hearing this but in reality, it could be possible that the religious sentiments of that BJP leader and other people might be getting hurt even when a tiger is fed beef. So, do we need to stop feeding beef even to a tiger in a zoo? This is the problem that arises when you sit down to write the laws relating to blasphemy. It is impossible to define what is sacred for a person and which act of a person will hurt the sentiments of another. Where to make a boundary that this is good enough to be written in law that this is blasphemy while this is not. Tomorrow, someone might come up with a new religion stating that I worship pizza. Pizza is sacred to me. If tomorrow anyone will abuse or insult pizza, it will hurt my sentiments therefore he/she should be sent to prison. Problems will get more complicated when for one religion doing a thing will be sacred whereas for another not doing the same thing will be sacred. We will get to see a cultural clash again here. 

    2. The second argument is that it is not possible to progress without insulting any religion because many religions take upon criticism much as an insult. Consider Raja Ram Mohan Roy who is a well-known revolutionary of our country and who had a big role in getting Sati banned If his criticism of sati would have been called blasphemy by the people and he would have been imprisoned for criticizing religion, then would sati be really banned today? Many things need to change with time; religion needs to change itself which is not possible if everything is termed as blasphemous. 

    3. Third argument: The nations which have blasphemy laws witness communal violence and mob violence much more than those countries where there are no blasphemy laws. Take the example of 2009. In Pakistan, a Muslim mob lynched some Christians only because there were rumors that those Christians had burnt the Quran. Obviously, it was revealed later that those rumors were not true. Imagine, if people had no objections to blasphemy, would this crime have really happened? No, it wouldn’t have been. Fourth reason: In many countries, blasphemy laws are used as an excuse to oppress the minorities living there. Look at India! We have seen so many crimes related to beef where vigilantes kill Muslims because they are suspected of carrying beef. Similarly, in many Islamic countries, Ahmaddiyas Muslims are in minority and the Muslims of other sects consider their existence as blasphemous. The belief and practices of Ahmaddiyas are not in tandem with other Muslims therefore they are considered as blasphemous which is why they are oppressed. This is where I want to ask you, friends, what are your arguments in favor of or against blasphemy? Tell me in the comments below whether you support it or are against it and what your arguments are. Regardless of whether you support or whether you are against it, in my view, there is only one solution to this entire problem. The simple solution is that you must adhere to the laws of the country you reside in. If blasphemy is allowed in France then you must learn to tolerate it. You must accept it. If blasphemy is a death sentence in the Arab nation then you must respect it, tolerate it. At the same time, you have all the right to protest peacefully that you are against it It was seen at many places that people have stuck Macron’s posters on roads to show their disrespect, dislike as well as to insult him. But I do not consider this wrong that if you do not like Macron then it is your freedom of speech that you speak against him.

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