By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi*
A sane human cannot oppose everything and anything all the times, nor he or she can support something all the times. No one is saying everything in France is wrong or everything in USA, UK, India or in any Muslim majority country is just right and fine. We are humans and humans may err. All people are not bad and all cannot be equally good too.
Muslims don't like the Prophet's and the Qur'an's disrespect, it's a matter of faith of 2 billion people from around the world. It's a big deal, Muslims love their Prophet (saws), their Book and their believe in monotheism is very very dear to them. They love these things more than even their own souls and their parents. Being a non-Muslim, one may not be able to figure out, how precious and how adoring these things are to every practicing Muslim - male and female, from all corners of the world.
France doesn't understand it and doesn't respect these things by it's social and cultural openness or whatever reason - fair enough. Unfortunately, a notorious newspaper carried abusive cartoons of the Prophet (saws), a few years ago, there was bloodshed in France. Whole world was upset, Muslim world too condemned that attack. Later on, this much sense must prevail in every educated and wise society that it is a serious thing for our Co-citizens in France as well as Muslims from all over the world- one agrees or disagrees- it may create trouble and even may cost human lives. Thus, better avoid playing with guns and live bullets or burning fire, which may cause harm to us and others. Human lives are not joke and not a thing to amuse with and showcase your "art". An art cannot and must not create trouble, if it does, then it is not art but a political tool in disguise. Yet a member of the French far-right group did this notorious provocation in a planned manner, because he announced to do that and he was suggested to avoid it.
However, he did what he wanted, the first wrong. A young man - a teenager, went extremely violent following this incitement and killed that man, which was a crime and nobody justified it, that was the second wrong. Police shot-dead that boy on the spot without arrest and trails, against the standard norm of a free, democratic and secular system. OK, be gone by gone, a crime was punished, let's move on, but that was the third wrong, to be noted.
We know Mr Macron is upset because recently when he went to receive Ms Sophie Petronin, the four-year long captive in Mali and a very high profile lady, at the airport. Petronin was released voluntarily by her kidnappers on request of Christian religious leaders and Church because she was a missionary, doing humanitarian work there in Mali and is 70-year-old.
Nevertheless, Macron invited media cameras and went to take her from the aircraft itself to showcase that he has done it and is a strong "Christian" leader. Everything was being recorded and some channels were even live on-air.
This author was also following that developing story. It was supposed to be a big political achievement for Macron and his party, who actually could not perform up to his voters expectations, to gain some points from communal front and boast in front of his opponents as Obama did a few years ago. But to everyone's surprise and Macron's utter disappointment, Ms Petronin came out from the aircraft while her head was covered as Muslim women do. She waved everyone present down there from within the craft, came down and met Macron just at the aircraft stairs, stopped for a while, looked at his face and said in French, '... I have converted to Islam, I am no longer the previous Sophie Petronin but I am Maryam Petronin now. I did not make this announcement before, so that people should not misunderstand that I might be forced to Islam. I wanted to announce this only when I am free by my own will...and my captives have treated me well...'
This unexpected announcement was something extraordinary for whole of the world and for the extreme rightists in the West, a bitter pill to sallow. For Mr Macron, it might have been a painful shocker and most unfortunate experience, to say the least.
Well, there from, media cameras gradually went off, the breaking, the exclusive and the big news story was played down, blacked out and all marketing plans of Macron was ultimately devasted. He was never expecting in his wildest dream that was going to happen with Petronin's spicy story. He went to gain, he lost, as per his planning.
He might took that in his heart and within days announced that he is going to ban Muslim women's headscarf in France, reason - "democracy", "freedom" and "values" of the West. He said, he is going to change Islamic narratives because it is in "crises".
We know Mr. Macron, you are in pain, things are hard for you to digest - but we can't help. This was an accident for you and things went wrong. But you can't punish your whole Muslim population and abuse whole Islamic world because you are angry for no mistake of 70-year-old Ms Maryam Petronin. Her conversion was her choice and that's the freedom her French Constitution provides.
Following this recent uncalled for series of wrongs in France, any head of the state would generally try to keep cool and bring situation under control. Macron, on the contrary, fueled it further, threw his poisons out in public. He put those highly objectionable cartoons with big screens over public buildings and locked masjids in Paris. Made a fresh series of inflammatory and extremely objectionable statements about Islam, Muslims and their Prophet (saws).
Muslims cannot endorse all these wrongs and remain silent over gross injustice and fanaticism of one person. Macron can't fool people in the name of "freedom" and keep spitting his poison to make this world a hell for all to live.
Enough is enough. Every human life is valuable, every human deserves a free, peaceful and respectable life. Every culture, race, colour, language and religion is respectable to its respective people. Nobody should interfere in other's domain. Live and let live. Give respect, take respect. There is no way out other than this and we all need to understand it.
[This long write up was primarily addressed to Ms Elena Baliotti, London, UK in reply of her comments over one of my earlier Facebook posts.]
*Editor English monthly 'Eastern Crescent' Mumbai and Director of Markazul Maarif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai