By: Mehdi Hasan
Dear liberal pundit,
You and I didn’t like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya’s slogan: either you are with free speech… or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo… or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.
I’m writing to you to make a simple request: please stop. You think you’re defying the terrorists when, in reality, you’re playing into their bloodstained hands by dividing and demonising. Us and them. The enlightened and liberal west v the backward, barbaric Muslims. The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it “a war declared on civilisation”. So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a “clash of civilisations” and referred to “Europe’s belief in freedom of expression”.
By: Ed Husain
The killing of journalists in Paris on Wednesday was not only an attack on France but also an assault on Islam and the very freedoms that allow 30 million Muslims to prosper in the west.
Free speech is not a western concept: it is a universal craving of the human soul. The gunmen ran away shouting that they were “avenging the prophet Muhammad”. How dare they? We cannot let the murderers define Islam.
In sixth-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors.
Another mosque has been set on fire in Sweden. Usually seen as a bastion of tolerance, the country is currently in the midst of a fierce debate on immigration.
One hundred years after the Ottomans joined the war, this three-part series tells the story from an Arab perspective. Episode two tells the story of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the fall Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the rise of the young Turk government in his place – and the history of the Ottoman-Germany relationship which led to the Treaty of Alliance between them in August 1914.
A former director general of the Mossad has declared that he fears for the future of Zionism, due to “the critical mass of the threats against us on the one hand, and the government’s blindness and political and strategic paralysis on the other.”
In an op-ed Monday for Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Shabtai Shavit, who served as the agency’s director general from 1989-1996, wrote that “for the first time” he is now “truly concerned about the future of the Zionist project.”