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Islamo-Leftism (Part 10)

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Edwy Plenel4

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[Editor’s note: The following is a translation by Ibn Warraq and Robert Kerr of Michel Onfray’s L’Art d’Etre Francais (The Art of Being French, Bouquins, 2021), published here for the first time. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here. Part 5 is here. Part 6 is here. Part 7 is here. Part 8 is here. Part 9 is here.]

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Let’s have a few laughs when we read the rest of the paragraph in which, on the subject of “the visibility of Muslims in the public space”, Edwy Plenel castigates “recurring polemics, made up of media exaggerations in which a journalism of opinion rather than of information flourishes” (p. 107). Indeed, everyone knows that our author is a news journalist who obviously has nothing to do, but really nothing at all, with opinion journalism!

Fifth: denial. Plenel writes: “Between money and terrorism, the wealth of obscurantist regimes and the violence of fundamentalist radicals, the Muslims of France are caught in a universal reprobation, made guilty of misdeeds and crimes that are distant and foreign to them, simply because of their sense of belonging, origin or belief” (p. 64). Duly noted.

But where and when, by whom and with whom, in what circumstances and on what occasions did Edwy Plenel see that “the Muslims of France,” a new essentialization, were “caught in a universal reprobation,” that they were “made guilty of misdeeds and crimes”? What allows him to assert that the crimes of Muslims, claimed as such at the time they were committed by their perpetrators, who are closely followed by the Islamic State, would have nothing at all to do, nowhere, never, no way, with a certain type of Islam that Plenel encompasses in his plea for Muslims?

There is no universal disapproval of these acts – just go to Iran, the Gaza Strip, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and many other countries; not even French disapproval! Anti-Semitic crimes committed by Muslims who claim their religion to legitimize their acts are numerous, as we know. The list is impressive. What macabre catalogue could an Islamophile produce that would include the crimes and murders committed in France against Muslims on the sole pretext that they are Muslims?

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Elsewhere, Plenel goes even further and writes that “never have the crimes been committed by so-called [sic] Muslims” (p. 129) – etc. The title of the journalist’s book is clear: he chose “the” and not “of”, thus “all”. What to do then with those who are undeniably Muslims, observant, who perform the obligations of Islam, do their five daily prayers, respect the prohibitions and practice the rituals, live the observances and have chosen warlike, conquering, military, murderous Islam? What about jihadism? It’s simple: in the eyes of Edwy Plenel, they are not Muslims… The matter is thus easily settled. In my place, on the other side of the fence, Edwy Plenel would probably speak of “revisionism” or “negationism” to describe such a cover-up.

In this vein, in connection with 9/11 and its aftermath, Plenel speaks of “terrorism identified with Islam” (p. 133) – not of Islamic terrorism. To name things, or not to name them, is food for thought. The fact that no mention is made of jihadism in a book devoted to defending “the” Muslims is significant, because if there is a problem, it is not with the Muslims, but only with some Muslims – a minority that besmirches the rest of the community, and it is a serious political and ethical sin, if not a religious and theological one, not to make this distinction.

Sixth, and this will be my conclusion: amalgamation. In the same way that Edwy Plenel rejects essentialization but practices it to excess, he also rejects amalgam [24](p. 164) but practices it with the same ardor… These are probably­­ the mysteries of neo-Trotskyite dialectics! For our author combats only the amalgam that consists in lumping all Muslims together in order to make the entire community pay for a crime (which, incidentally, he does not recognize…) committed by only a handful. With Islam, he does not separate the peaceful wheat from the terroristic chaff – which is a journalist’s pure ideological bias that is tantamount to a discreet blessing of the terrorist cause.

For it is another amalgam to imagine that those who assert that Muslims are all guilty of the crimes of a minority are wrong, whereas he would be right when he asserts that none are. For there are at least among “Muslims” those who perpetrate terrorist attacks and those who do not see anything wrong with them, and even some who support them and who are not a negligible quantity[25].

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This is the danger and the trap of essentialization: if we speak of Muslim as an indivisible whole, they must be either all good or all bad. And Plenel has chosen: they are all good. Consequently, what appears to be bad cannot be Muslim. How then can we still have a debate?

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[24] It is quite common in French newspapers and magazines to warn readers after each terrorist attack to refrain from automatically associating Islam with Terrorism, by adding the phrase “pas d’amalgam.

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[25]  [Onfray’s footnote]:An ICM poll published by Newsweek reveals that 16% of French Muslims support the Islamic State. This support rises to 27% among 18-24 year olds. A Pew Research Center poll shows that 42% of young Muslims in France support suicide bombings.

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Biden State Department admits Trump’s Iran envoy is facing ‘serious and credible threats’

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Brian Hook

Yet they continue to negotiate in good faith in Vienna with the Islamic Republic. Why?

“Biden Admin: Former Trump Iran Envoy Facing ‘Serious and Credible’ Threats,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, January 26, 2022:

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The Trump administration’s Iran envoy is facing “serious and credible” threats to his safety, according to a non-public assessment produced this month by the State Department and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The determination was delivered to Congress amid a campaign of public death threats by Iran aimed at former president Donald Trump and top administration officials.

The State Department in an unclassified but non-public assessment provided to Congress on Jan. 11 determined that a “specific threat persists with respect to former special representative [for Iran] Brian Hook,” who helmed the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Tehran and was instrumental in the assassination of Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani. The document does not name the actors behind the threats, describing them only as a “foreign power or the agent of a foreign power.”

Iran, however, has repeatedly threatened to kill Trump administration officials, including Hook, as payback for the 2020 drone strike on Soleimani. The State Department determination indicates that Hook has been under a “serious and credible” threat since at least January 2021, when Trump and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo were still in office. The Biden State Department determined on three separate occasions, most recently November 2021, that the threats persist, according to the notification.

The State Department’s latest assessment comes amid public comments by top Iranian leaders that threaten the lives of Trump and senior members of his administration. Iranian government accounts on Twitter and other social media sites promised multiple times this month to assassinate Trump, with the regime issuing an official video that depicts a drone strike on the former president. The Biden administration says it takes these threats seriously and will do everything it can to protect former and current officials.

The State Department’s notice to Congress was issued just days after a former top Iranian official bragged about the death threats against Hook in the Iranian media. Hussein Mousavian, a former member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team who works as a Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University, sparked a media firestorm when he was seen touting the threats against Hook in a documentary produced by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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“I went to America and an American told me that Brian Hook’s wife can’t sleep, she cries and trembles, she told Brian, ‘They’ll kill you,’ since Hook was a partner in the death of Haj Qassem [Soleimani], that’s how much they were trembling,” Mousavian said in the documentary 72 Hours, produced and released this month by a company tied to the corps.

Iran has tried multiple times during the past several years to assassinate and kidnap enemies outside its borders, including in the United States. Four members of an Iranian intelligence network were indicted last year in a New York federal court for attempting to kidnap a prominent regime opponent, highlighting Tehran’s reach into the United States. Iran also tried to assassinate the U.S. ambassador in South Africa, as well as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, D.C.

Mousavian’s comments—as well as his close ties to the Iranian ruling regime—put Princeton in the hot seat, with U.S. advocacy groups calling on the high-profile university to fire him. Mousavian, who regularly travels between Iran and the United States, has worked at Princeton since 2009 and has served in senior roles for the Iranian regime. His perch at Princeton demonstrates how Tehran has been able to mainstream its allies into prominent positions at U.S. universities and other American outposts, such as D.C.-based think tanks….

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Netherlands: Muslim adviser to ruling party spent time in prison as part of jihad group that wanted to kill Wilders

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Soumaya Sahla

Soumaya Sahla has just resigned as an adviser to the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. This is because it was recently revealed that in 2005, Sahla was arrested and charged with terrorist activities as a member of the Hofstad Network, an Islamic jihad group in the Netherlands that wanted to murder Wilders for criticizing of Islam. She had an automatic weapon when she was arrested, and spent three years in prison. The VVD apparently didn’t know or care about her past, until Wilders called attention to it. After all, they hate Wilders, too.

“Frits Bosch column: Soumaya had the entire VVD by the tail,” translated by Gary Fouse from “Column Frits Bosch: Soumaya had hele VVD bij de staart,” by Frits Bosch, De Dagelijske Standaard, January 27, 2022

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Since 2011, Soumaya Sahla has been the right hand of the VVD celebrity Frits Bolkestein, 88. She was never a problem for the party until Geert Wilders rang the bell, and her past was revealed during the Second Chamber (Parliament) talks over the coalition accord. The mainstream media and the (2nd) Chamber were furious that Wilders came forward, he was “racist”. Until big objections arose against her from the VVD itself, “How can this be, why didn’t we know?”. A spicy detail is that Geert Wilders himself enjoyed the mentorship of van Bolkestein as a faction member of the VVD. It is completely right that Wilders came forward. Fortunately, there is still someone awake in the 2nd Chamber.

It would be appropriate if the mainstream media swiftly offered their apologies to Wilders. Naturally, they won’t do that. The moral level of the mainstream media and Chamber members is lousy, but that’s not news. Ignore the potential danger of a dangerous threat.

Soumaya is working on a dissertation on “the orthodox, religious worldview”. Sahla is Muslim, fine. But she was and perhaps still is orthodox, Islamist, Salafist. I hope that she will also read the books by Christopher Hitchens, “God is not great” and by Afshin Ellian, “Allah does not know better”. They (would) save her a lot of work.

Islam has the controversial practice of taqiyya. It would allow Muslims, “for the good cause” to feign integration and moderation, to emerge like a devil out of a box as a true Muslim if that makes sense. So in England, in part of London, sharia law applies. Here no. Do (Kauthar) Bouchallikht and Sahla practice taqiyya? We’ll never know.

The next question is how is Kauthar Bouchallikht doing, also with her “fine past”. She is keeping a low profile and so is the Green-Left (party). Incomprehensible that these women with a terrible history, got through the beauty commission of our political parties. It works every time. Where is the thinking? This cannot be?!

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They are, indeed, “clean women”. Somaya Sahla is herself stunning in a pretty suit in order to come across as especially adapted. Would she “tickle” Bolkestein in his (sensitive) place? What do you think?

Bolkestein has been a first-class mop throughout his unimpressive political career. A frightfully vain fellow, as I once noticed during a seminar on Islam. He is a man who says A but shrinks from B. He thought that we and (Pim) Fortuyn would cut a sorry figure internationally. Now he has made a fool of himself. Justifiably, this dull party is in a heavy downward trend.

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Below, from Blikopnieuws (see link) is a translation of Sahla’s statement:

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“There has been a lot of commotion in the past weeks about me and my past. I regret that deeply and feel the need to say a few things about it. I want to be held accountable for a period of 16 years ago which I am not proud of. It is a black page in my life. I deeply regret the choices that I made then, and everyone in my circle knows that about me. I turned those pages a long time ago. I now see that it is good that (I) also express this regret publicly.

I gladly dedicate myself daily to the safety and freedom of our beautiful country. From this motivation, I am also actively involved in the VVD. The commotion that has arisen stands in the way of my positive contribution at this time. Thus, I am resigning my chairmanship in the J and V thematic network. I remain motivated to look where I can make a contribution in a free and safe society. I am also remaining in the VVD.”

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