Everything has a price

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Pro-FLN Algerian protesters in Paris cower in front of the French police during a violent crackdown, Oct. 17, 1961. Wikimedia/ National Museum of the Algerian Revolution

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Published Saturday, January 10, 2015

It is a good idea to take some time before commenting on a major event, especially when it has to do with the colonizing, racist and terrorist West, if only to restrain one’s emotions. As time passes, the picture becomes clearer. Though the cartoonists desecrated what is sacred to others and pioneered in criticism that lacked analysis, all the blood that the Paris criminals spilled by murdering journalists can only be described as a crime.

As is common with crimes of a political nature, the prosecutor builds their case on the catalysts of the misdeed, what is referred to as motives.

This can be seen in the frantic activities of some Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigators, who never cease to use their lackeys in the country to facilitate a court decision based on political considerations, even if there is no evidence. In the same vein, those who want to talk about the crime in Paris could have issued an unambiguous statement calling for punishing the killers. But then, they would have been only judges — not intellectuals, who by their very nature seek to understand the underlying causes of such an act.

According to the most recent electoral results, it appears that the French people are not happy with their government’s performance, whether domestically or in foreign affairs. Racism, unfortunately, is the most significant manifestation of their popular discontent with this blatant economic and social failure, and their colonial adventures which have ended in utter fiasco. France’s policies sting us with violent doses of racism. They bespeak a gloomy state of affairs in terms of intellect, behavior and management, not only among the ruling majority, but among most of the elite in the public sphere. For that reason, we expect the worst in the coming days and months in terms of mounting civil violence against Arabs and Muslims. This violence stems from the depths of French society, which has been squeezed by the financial crisis and fomented with incitement. It has now found the “culprits” who committed “an unacceptable offense against the very essence of French democracy.”

We, the great people of Lebanon, and the even greater people of the Levant, can help the French draft their national discourse: “National unity, co-existence, no discrimination based on religion, race or color...” Should we go on? “Other people’s war on our land: these are not the values we were raised with.”

This paves the way for another kind of politics on the ground, some of it public and some hidden. To complete our service, we should provide the French with synonyms to the previous themes. “Our priority is stabilizing security. France comes first. Shut the door to the yellow fever spreading from beyond the border. They are one thing and we are another. You can’t mix black and white. We cannot ignore our religious and cultural differences. How can we equate the backward and the civilized? Residents of the suburbs are threatening security and creating chaos and noise. Expel the aliens and shut the borders.” And so on and so forth.

In the future, this premise will govern the public sphere in France, as well as Europe, which is drowning in its crises. Sadly, we will be forced to witness impotently a wave of racism that will translate into a mobilization, incitement and an unconscious fear of the “white man.” Until further notice, millions of men and women of color, citizens and residents of France, will come out every morning to apologize to their white neighbors, affirming, “you and we are both victims of terrorism.”

A word of advice to those people: saying “you and we” is tantamount to admitting that you are second-class citizens living under sickening racial discrimination. But the more important piece of advice in this ordeal goes out to the white man himself. Being realistic means listening to the words that follow the statement condemning the crime. Hear the brown man saying that you did not apologize for the crimes you committed for hundreds of years against nations and people; and here you are today, trying to protect yourself while sticking your nose in other people’s business, looting and wreaking havoc. But everything has a price.

The reaction is not inevitable, it is not absurd, and it is not welcomed, authorized or sanctioned by your victims. However, it is the action of someone who is incapable of stopping you, bringing you back to your senses and making you realize that you continue to commit crimes. This is an inevitable act of reckoning that takes places daily.

As for us, it is not our responsibility to engage in self-flagellation. It is not our duty to be the first to offer you condolences, just because one of our people committed this hideous act. We are not obliged to appear on television to express our remorse because some among us have adopted ideas antithetical to the very concept of civilization and respect for human life. And we are not bound, under any circumstances, to extend a helping hand, like our rulers did after September 11, or to compromise our sovereignty as we did with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, in the name of justice. We do not owe the foolish West anything.

In any case, we are not standing idly by with regard to these criminals. We are the first to pay the price; our women, elderly and children are being slaughtered every day by those who have adopted this backward mentality. But we are being slaughtered with a knife made by the colonial West, and under its watchful gaze. Those committing these crimes are agents of the West in our land. They romp around and rule with the sponsorship and support of the colonial West.

The French ask themselves what happened in their country, but do not bother to ask themselves about the responsibility of their government, president and institutions for the misery of a large part of the world? What kind of democracy gives birth to such a monster?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar English's editorial policy. If you would like to submit a thoughtful response to one of our opinion pieces, send your contribution to our submissions editor.

Comments

"A word of advice to those people: saying “you and we” is tantamount to admitting that you are second-class citizens living under sickening racial discrimination."

As a white person, I just wanted to say that I heard your frustration and that I'm doing my part to raise awareness but that fight is no easier here than it is where you live. Intellectuals are a global minority. Don't you think the Western intellectuals reading your editorial know we are part of the problem?

You do not owe us an apology. We are the ones who should be apologizing to you but those who have the power rarely apologize for how that was achieved.

So how do we solve this problem together? Is the solution to blame us? To call us all racists? No sir, I do not think that will solve anything.

I genuinely believe we won't make the first move in reference to peace. We have no motivation to do so because we have the power. I genuinely believe that people of color need to make the first move. As that applies to you, first make peace between Shia and Sunni. Make peace in Syria and show us you are the religion of peace.

Once that is achieved, use Latin Amerian countries as your example or China/Russia as your example on how to take peace to the second level. It's possible to resist without resorting to violence. I can assure you that the west has a greater capacity for violence and you won't likely win on that front.

If the west is not helping you, figure out a way to help yourself. All of the Latin American countries are grouping up to say no. China and Russia are teaming up to say no. When will Saudia Arabia and Iran team up and say no?

Hopefully the internet will allow more intellectuals to talk this out and stop some of this madness but it will be a long fight, one that may not end for generations. Peace be with you and, again, keep up the good work.

"As a white person, " What does that mean? Maghreb's people are just as white as Italians,french and spaniard, Saudi and other Arabs are white
So what is this about white and colored. In the west you have white people and pink people.
The Saudi governments and other gulf arabs are traitors and collaborators of western colonialism as most West -Europeans governments are colonialist collaborators of The US
Why must the western people, even well intentioned, always tell others what they must do. Just as the European, the Saudi oligarchy are stupid greedy people..Their crumblingwill take time, but we the western people have clean up at home and get rid of crooks.
So many intellectuals are fighting this shameful situation on internet, and its getting worse and worse.
"All of the Latin American countries are grouping up to say no" except Columbia Mexico and other central-american states are still american colonies, Venezuela and Cuba are seriously threatened By the US

Besides that Al Akhbar is a wonderful Paper on which I can rely for what happens in the MiE, Ibrahim al Amin is a wonderful courageous intellectual
Long life to the Resistance

What do I mean by "as a white person?" Did you not read the paragraph I cut and pasted below? Also, I am not telling anybody what to do. I have no power or authority. I read this website to better understand a different culture and I post to help others better understand mine. If you disagree with my pathway to peace, what is your path? Are you okay with never ending war?

"A word of advice to those people: saying “you and we” is tantamount to admitting that you are second-class citizens living under sickening racial discrimination. But the more important piece of advice in this ordeal goes out to the white man himself. Being realistic means listening to the words that follow the statement condemning the crime. Hear the brown man saying that you did not apologize for the crimes you committed for hundreds of years against nations and people; and here you are today, trying to protect yourself while sticking your nose in other people’s business, looting and wreaking havoc. But everything has a price."

"In any case, we are not standing idly by with regard to these criminals. We are the first to pay the price; our women, elderly and children are being slaughtered every day by those who have adopted this backward mentality. ....Those committing these crimes are agents of the West in our land. They romp around and rule with the sponsorship and support of the colonial West."

Very well put Mr Amin. Couldn't have said it any better.

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