The other day, in Nova Scotia, we saw images of a van (of NS’ Mikmaw fishermen) being burnt by another group of fishermen. This was SHOCKING to watch. Luckily, no one was injured!! We also heard about someone peeing in another person’s car. How sad. How insulting. Yak! https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/mi-kmaw-lobster-fishery-unrest-1.5761468
Bambi will not enter into the details about this conflict, as this is not the topic of this post.
She just knows that there is a good Lebanese saying that goes like that: When we resort to violence, we lose our right (assuming we were right or mostly right). So, clearly NO to violence!! After condemning it, of course, the conflict needs to be wisely and properly addressed (not with a temporary band-aid).
In Baalbeck, Lebanon, a personal dispute degenerated into shelling. Yes, shelling! The Lebanese Army had to intervene to calm the situation. Who of us uses shelling in his personal disputes? Do you do that yourself? Bambi does not, she can assure you of it.
Without minimizing the violence described above, perhaps the # 1 of senseless and barbaric violence came from Paris today (no, not Lebanon; the terrorist in question was not even of Lebanese origins, thank Goodness… he was from Chechnya, it seems).
What is the story about? A school teacher was decapitated by a man because he showed kids cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a course on free expression or something:
Clearly, this man is an Islamist and clearly a terrorist. Cleary, France has a serious issue with domestic Islamist terrorism.
Mr. Macron was recently right when calling a spade a spade. Is the Muslim religion the problem? NO. Does the Muslim religion have a problem? YES, big time. Does France have a problem with Islamism? Of course, it does. Is it just France’s problem for not having succeeded in integrating its youth from the suburbs? No, not only. Not mainly. Immigrants and their children have a responsibility toward their country too. This is something that is often forgotten in Canada by social justice activists.
Of course, things are more complex than that when, in addition to adversity, there is criminality involved. Add to this a blind religiosity and someone feeling rejected by society, the person will become an easy target for Islamist radicalism/criminality (like cult members).
Everyone knows that Mr. Macron was right. It is not because Mr. Erdogan (Turkey) is intimidating France that Islam is not “in crisis”. Sadly, Mr. Erdogan instrumentalizes radicalized people or groups. He uses them without any respect or love. Eventually, he will get rid of them in one way or another. For now, they serve his megalomania (as neo-Sultan).
To come back to the tragedy in Paris?
As Bambi’s sarcastic spouse used to say: “Paris has become the Beirut of Europe” (in contrast with “Beirut that was the Paris of the Middle East”).
Many French people have immigrated to Canada because of terror attacks in their beautiful country. Bambi recalls a chat about this sad topic with a young traveller on a flight from London to Canada where there has been a false alarm of an attack (perhaps 2-3 years ago).
Jewish French people have been terrorized over the past years. Many have immigrated even to the Middle East, imagine. Whom are they terrorized by, do you think?
This being said, Muslims do not like to see Prophet Mohammed (bless his name) drawn. It is not part of their religion. Freedom of expression is perceived as being an intimidation instead of and expression of freedom of thoughts or arts, etc. In Judaism, the word G-d is written instead of God because the name of God should not be written (out of respect). Perhaps this is the same idea as in Islam.
However, the problem of those French terrorists is INTOLERANCE. You do not like taking a look at those cartoons. Fine, do not. You cannot impose on others (who may not even believe in God) not to resort to drawing or arts or even cartoons. You may sue the person. You may yell at the person….but to cut his/her throat?!! Come on!
This story is traumatizing to the kids, to witnesses, to the police officers, to the family of the victim and the one of the criminal who was shot, and to the whole Parisian/French population… and by proxy all of us. Many friends of Bambi have relatives in Paris. Bambi herself has two relatives. We all worry about violence in Paris. We refuse it too, like French authorities and population. We do not want to worry about our loved ones there too, in addition to the Middle East. Leave Europe safe please. Enough is enough.
Bambi knows what she is talking about in this post. When someone in Denmark drew the Prophet Mohamed once, a group of criminals went crazy in Beirut and intimidated innocent people. They even burned the Danish embassy at the corner of her sister’s place. She was with her on the phone (from Toronto, if she recalls well) whilst they were hiding from the shooting in the air down their balcony. These people who came from God knows where even destroyed religious (Christian) symbols and cars of people. Why do innocent Beirutis have to suffer because a certain Danish cartoonist drew the Prophet Mohamed? How is that their problem?
To conclude this post, when Bambi escaped to Canada with her family, she brought with her 5 books (when they rushed fast from the Canadian embassy in Cyprus to Beirut to pack fast and fly out…). One of these books was the bible (a gift from the priest of the Saint-George church). Another book was the Quran (Muslim holy book her parents brought to her from Cairo). The other was a book that was considered controversial then to someone who believes in Jesus; we can perhaps draw an analogy with the cartoons of the Prophet that could bother Muslims? It is the French translation of the Greek The last Temptation of Christ of Mr. Nikos Kazantzakis. The two other books are irrelevant for this post but now that memories are coming back to her mind, she will say that one was her dad’s German grammar book (he was her first teacher before she went to the Goethe Institute). The last one may make her childhood friends smile. It is called “Ben est amoureux d’Anna”. No clue why she brought that book and not another one… perhaps because it was about love 😊 and she was 17 or… to be more practical, it was small/thin and fits in her luggage.
On a more serious note, violence goes both ways and all ways…. Violence breeds violence.
Take for example what happened in Toronto lately, we do not know the facts about the why and the how, etc. However, why did an innocent man have to be killed in front of his mosque the other day? Why should Ms. Bebe Zafis be mourning the loss of her dad now?! What a heart-breaking story ☹ (as per the below article/interview).
Violence is tragic and unacceptable, regardless of the country.