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Sep-20-2012 13:50printcomments

West Braces for Clash of Cultures

France is closing its embassies and schools in 20 countries, fearing a violent backlash from protestors over the blasphemous cartoons

Gas and a match
Is there a better example?

(TEHRAN) - With the publication of the profane pictures of the holy Prophet of Islam in Charlie Hebdo magazine, the West seems to be consciously moving in a direction where chaos will dominate the international arena and a clash of cultures will inevitably run deeper for an indefinite period of time.

Magazine director Stephane Charbonnier said his staff is "not really fueling the fire," but rather using its freedom of expression "to comment (on) the news [of the blasphemous film] in a satirical way."

The French magazine has a history of attacking Islam. On February 9, 2006, it also published some cartoons denigrating the holy Prophet. The Grand Mosque, the Muslim World League and the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) in France filed a suit saying that the cartoons contained elements of racism. In 2007, executive editor Philippe Val was, however, acquitted by the French court. Surprisingly, François Fillon, the prime minister, and Claude Guéant, the interior minister voiced support for Charlie Hebdo.

According to reports, France is closing its embassies and schools in 20 countries, fearing a violent backlash from protestors over the blasphemous cartoons. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said, “Is it relevant and intelligent in this environment to add fuel to the fire?”

The publication of the cartoons, which came immediately after the release of the anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims’, has provoked widespread protests in most parts of the Muslim world.

It is painful to say that the French government has not only authorized such an anti-Islam move but it has also rejected a request by Muslims to hold demonstration in front of the Paris Grand Mosque on Saturday. According to the police ban, organizers of a possible demonstration will face six months in jail and a fine of 700 euros ($900). In a similar move, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls ordered a ban on any further demonstrations against the anti-Islam film made in the United States.

“I have issued instructions so that this does not happen again. These protests are forbidden,” Valls said in an interview with France 2 television network.

Protest is a form of freedom of expression which is denied Muslims in France but is given lasciviously free rein in the anti-Islam moves in the country.


Americans for a Stronger Israel

There are abortive attempts by western analysts to interpret the two baneful incidents in the light of freedom of expression and thereby explain away the emotional hurt of the Muslim world. However, to an intellectually trained mind, this seems more than just an insult to Islam and the Muslims.

The calculated move of the French magazine in publishing the insulting cartoons immediately after the blasphemous film indicates a united front forming against Islam in the West. On the one hand, the move can be seen as an attempt to help escalate the crisis in the Middle East region and on the other hand to plunge the world into a vortex where a clash of civilizations is imminent.

Should we naively believe that the anti-Islam film which has caused much uproar and intellectual chagrin in the Muslim world is the work of a Coptic Christian Egyptian fraudster, a small-time porn director and a bunch of extremists who harbor deep hatred against Islam? This is a good question and it deserves an answer. Still, the answer seems to be found in the incident which followed the film i.e. the publication of the blasphemous cartoons.

Located in London

Seen from an analytical point of view, the entire scenario apparently tilts the scale in favor of the Zionists who capitalize on a large-scale fracas between the Muslim countries and the rest of the world. In fact, they are the ones who will catch the bigger fish in these trouble waters.

Amidst this craftily authored plan, Israel has commenced a series of war games in Golan Heights, the biggest the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has conducted in the six years since the second Lebanon war on Hezbollah in 2006. Military sources say the war game looks like a real war with tens of thousands of soldiers and senior officers, including the artillery and the air force taking part. Israeli officials have announced that the situation in Syria is precariously volatile and that the country is in possession of a huge arsenal of chemical weapons which they fear might fall into the hands of wrong people stockpile if President Bashar Assad is ousted. This is the excuse which they use to justify their military show-off. In point of fact, Israel is readying itself to wage a military encounter in the region by using the anti-Islam scenario.

With the Muslim world in turmoil over the anti-Islam video and cartoons, Israel will be in a position to turn the situation to its own benefit, depict the Islamic world in a negative light with the help of western media and exploit the rift deepening between the Muslims and the West. These facts suggest that there are certain Zionist elements in the West which are fomenting Islamophobia in the world in order to bring about a lethal encounter between the East and the West and serve the interests of Israel in the long run.

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Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian writer, Middle East expert, Iranologist and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.

Dr. Salami examines the historical developments that impact national relations today, and the way western people view Iran. Salem-News.com has carried stories from Iranian writers for years and the critical politics have been and remain under our microscope of truth and fair play. This is essential in a world teetering on the brink of a third world war, over continual unfounded allegations of Iran's development of enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.

The stark irony of the story is that Iran's primary accuser, Israel, is in possession of hundreds of nuclear weapons, the very type they accuse Iran of "plotting" to develop. In truth, Iran has almost no history of aggression toward the United States.

Misinformation shapes opinion, and a large percentage of Americans have never been provided accurate information about the history of Iran and the western powers and their eternal quests for cheap oil. They don't comprehend the fact that Iran was ruled by the west, by proxy, throughout the years of the Shah, and that this only ended with the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

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Americans for a Stronger Israel


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Ralph E. Stone September 21, 2012 7:46 am (Pacific time)

I certainly agree with Dr. Salami that the cartoons published in the Charlie Hebdo magazine, as well as the video "Innocence of Muslim" film were offensive. But I was struck by his outrage at France's "freedom of expression" defense for the publication of the cartoons. I would only ask Dr. Salami why our -- French and American -- rights to free speech and to live in a world where differences in society are respected, should be sacrificed because Muslims will react violently otherwise. Are violent demonstrations a mark of a civilized societies? I would further add that Iran is a major offender in curbing freedom of religion. I note that Hassan Sanei of Iran, who heads a religious organization behind the bounty on Salman Rushdie, has added another $500,000 to the reward for killing Rushdie for publishing the "Satanic Verses." The total reward is now about $3.3 million. I guess I would rather live in the U.S. or France where we can criticize and ridicule without facing a death sentence.

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