The world right now is a very interesting place, thus I will comment on two astonishing events: France is closing Mosques and expelling Imams; and Pope Francis made an irresponsible statement on Islamic Terrorism.
France's Counter-Radicalisation Initiative
The French Republic announced a programme that seeks to close mosques (that preach radicalism) and expel foreign Imams. Furthermore, the funding of mosques will no longer be done through foreign countries but by a French-created Fund, in an attempt to curb the radicalisation of national citizens who profess Islam.
This is a long-term CT project that in the short-term will bear little or no consequence, so it would be interesting to know how the French government intends to fight home-grown terror that threatens its national security right now. The French authorities will kick 80 Imams out of their territory, however the Imams' work has already been done and G-d only knows how many cells they have helped to create. Moreover, whom do these Islamic leaders work for: a specific country, a specific organisation or do they serve the interests of Global Jihad?
For now, this measure seems palatable to the angry masses and it is certainly intended to show the government is actually doing something to counter terrorism; however, it will not work as long as France insists upon the same Middle East Policies. If the political rhetoric does not change either, if policy remains unchanged, then the above measures are futile.
Pope Francis Irresponsible Statement
Pope Francis said that Islam should not be identified with violence: “I think it is not right to identify Islam with violence, (..) This is not right and this is not true.” He also avoided using the word Terrorism while at the same time equating the unspoken term with domestic violence. I don't know what the Vatican's thoughts on this Orwellian behaviour are, but I can say the Pope has discredited himself (once again) by making use of Newspeak:
“I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence because every day when I look at the papers I see violence here in Italy – someone killing his girlfriend, someone killing his mother-in-law. These are baptized Catholics.” - Pope FrancisIt's understandable that a spiritual leader has to tone down his rhetoric and keep people calm (as panic can be deadly), however, intelligent people must not accept this blatant example of Double-Think.
- When emitting his opinion (i.e. “I don't think” and “I don't like to talk about”), the Pope employed the word "violence" instead of "terrorism". It's clear the Holy Father didn't bother to educate himself on the definition of terrorism; but what is more perplexing is to hear the Pope making a nonsensical comparison to Catholics, much like President Obama and his ilk when they speak of Islam vs Christianity.
- What we are seeing is not Islamic Violence but Islamic Terrorism because what these Islamic criminal elements are doing is to attack civilians, on purpose, to attain political aims (for more on the definition of terror click Here).
- Right now, we don't have one single Catholic Terrorist attacking civilians, in the name of Catholicism, for political objectives. Thus, the Pope was out of line and counterproductive.
- Domestic violence, and other type of crimes, are not carried out with the purpose of obtaining political gains. They are not trans-regional nor transnational. And if we think of serial-killings they are not carried out for political goals either, they are not based on religious ideologies, and they are limited in their scope as well. So, again, the Pope's comparison was unfortunate.
Pope Francis may not like to talk about this and that but his likes and dislikes, his thoughts, his opinions, do not obliterate the daunting truth. And choosing to ignore the truth does not solve the problem. Having said this, with all due respect, Pope Francis is not helping in the fight against Terror – and if people like him proceed with counterproductive rhetoric more civilians will die. Blood in your hands, anyone?
(Image: Still-Life with Musical Instruments and a Small Classical Statue - Evaristo Baschenis)
[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]