View Full Version : French Ignore Radical Islamists

15 Jun 04,, 21:49
Preaching for the Enemy
By Olivier Guitta
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 15, 2004

France is home to the largest Muslim community in Europe -- estimated between 5 and 8 million, roughly over 10 percent of France’s total population. In the past few years, the radical element of these French citizens has grown quickly, and is quietly overpowering more moderate Muslim voices. Many French Muslims idolize Osama bin Laden and consider the destruction of synagogues and assault of Jews to be justified retribution. These worrisome phenomena are caused by a number of things: increasing influence of radical imams in French mosques, the penetration of Saudi Wahhabism and extremist satellite networks spreading their propaganda.

I recently discussed these issues with Jean Francois Cope, spokesman of the French government, during a press conference in Washington DC. First, I asked Mr. Cope: knowing that 91 percent of the imams preaching in France are foreigners and most of them are illegal immigrants, does it not make sense to expel them, particularly those preaching hatred?

He answered that France cannot just expel them because these hate-mongering imams have been around for a while, as has their families. It would not be proper. Perhaps other French officials realized how silly this answer is, since very recently France expelled 5 of the most outrageously extremist imams since the beginning of the year. But in a country with 1,500 imams, this is just a drop in the ocean.

But exporting extremists isn't likely to make much of a dent in the growing radical movement, considering the impact Saudi Arabian Wahhabism has on French Islam. According to Stephen Schwartz and Dore Gold, both prominent experts on Saudi Arabia, the country funds 80 percent of every mosque and Islamic center in France. Saudi Arabia financed the very luxurious Institute of the Arab World in Paris. Also, Le Monde recently reported that Saudi Arabia is going to finance the restoration of the Paris Mosque.

So I asked Mr. Cope his opinion on this issue. Disappointingly, he denied any presence of Saudi Arabian influence in France. He added that the government was adamant in building a French Islam and as such is working with the French Muslim Council (FMC) to demand that future imams speak French. Today, more than 50 percent do not speak the vernacular, but Mr. Cope says time will change this.

Unfortunately, his optimism might be very short-lived for a couple of reasons. First, one of the main Muslim organizations in the FMC is the Union des Organizations Islamiques de France (French Union of Islamic Organizations, UOIF) - which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the terrorist movement founded in 1928 in Egypt. Second, the Arab newspaper Al Watan recently reported that the Saudi sponsored Islamic Countries Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (ICESCO) is going to finance a new school for training new French imams. So much for a true independent, foreign-free French Islam.

The last issue Mr. Cope and I discussed was the way Arab media spreads hatred through French cable and satellite television providers. Last summer, the anti-Western Arabic news channel Aljazeera replaced the Italian channel RAI in the main satellite lineup. Also, Al-Manar, the terrorist Shia Lebanese Hizbullah TV channel Al-Manar, started broadcasting in France in September 2002, after a meeting between President Chirac and Hizbullah head Nasrallah. Al-Manar is today one of the favorite channels among the French Muslim youth.

Recently, Al-Manar broadcasted a series called “Diaspora.” One episode featured the hateful, mythical blood libel, in which Jews kill a Christian child in order to prepare the matzo, a dish eaten during Passover. With this kind of blatant anti-Semitic indoctrination, it's no surprise Muslim youths feel entitled to commit anti-Semitic acts.

Don't look for France to crack down on these ignorant, hate-spewing networks, however. Mr. Cope said there was an agreement signed with each country that provides the service, and as such France had no control over the channels they decided to broadcast. Nevertheless, he mentioned that the French Audiovisual Commission was going to examine which programs to ban on a case by case basis, but not which channels. So, in spite of all the proof of hate propaganda spread daily on Al-Manar, the French government has no real will or intention to take it off the air.

From Mr. Cope's position, it appears France is far less than enthusiastic about truly aiding the War on Terror. The country is starting to act against radicalism on a very limited basis when it has no choice, adopting half-measures that serve to quiet critics. There are many more imams to arrest. The government should forbid the funding of French Muslim organizations/mosques by Saudi Arabia. And finally, it should ban TV channels such as Al-Manar, which are only spreading violence and hate against the West. But these kinds of agressive tactics just aren't part of France's program to defeat radical islam. As a result, anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiment continue to increase in the land of our great “ally.”


16 Jun 04,, 00:57
Well I'm convinced that we need to right in a new rule to the Geneva Convention:

Henceforth, whenever America goes to war, it is required to rescue france from the enemy.

It is also mandatory to spit when ever anything concerning france <spit> is mentioned.

16 Jun 04,, 02:04
Well I'm convinced that we need to right in a new rule to the Geneva Convention:

Henceforth, whenever America goes to war, it is required to rescue france from the enemy.

It is also mandatory to spit when ever anything concerning france <spit> is mentioned.