In an effort to seek justice for the heinous attacks perpetrated in Nice, Paris and the abhorrent murder of Samuel Paty, the French government have begun to persecute legitimate and peaceful French Muslim organisations, schools, Mosques and have made the Muslims of France endure the sacrilegious caricature of their most sacred figure (peace be upon him). Whilst we support the French government’s right to seek the perpetrators of these crimes and bring them to justice, the scapegoating of an entire community and a minority who have witnessed an increased spate of ideological hate crime in recent times (such as the deplorable attacks on Amel and Kenza) is not only irresponsible but against the foundational principles of French libertarian theory (laïcité). As theorised, French libertarianism seeks to ensure equality of French citizens, yet this abhorrent display of ‘freedom of speech’ seeks to only undermine, vilify and further disenfranchise one of the largest religious denominations in France.
The Muslims in France are constantly in our thoughts and dua’. We feel the threats of persecution and ever-looming tyranny in the name of free speech, and stand with you, as one body, one Ummah. These events present a crucial opportunity to engage with one another and build bridges with like minded individuals and organisations who are committed to justice.
These events should cause us to celebrate the noble & magnificent example that was our Beloved (PBUH). It should give rise to emulating and manifesting His beauty and reinvigorate our desire to learn how he treated those who met him with persecution and mockery. Frenchman Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) who was instrumental the foundation of the Second Republic described the Prophet (PBUH):
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.
On the basis of a Book, every letter which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blend together peoples of every tongue and race. He has left the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third the earth to the dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of man but that of reason.
The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of the fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon it’s utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revelings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years in Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen… This dogma was twofold the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs…. The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
We approach the French government to desperately review its disturbing rhetoric and political response, and for cool, level headed leadership to prevail.
 Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie, Paris, 1854. Tome 1 et Livre 1, p. 280.