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France and its fight against Extremism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A few weeks after the torching of cars began; the French parliament announced its approval of the monitoring of telephone conversations by security authorities. It further allowed the French government to strip any person involved in acts of terrorism of his French nationality. French parliament officially declared the beginning of its fight against the roots of terrorism and extremist websites and stated that it would freeze any bank accounts suspected of funding terrorist activities.

When we refer to the divesting of nationality, we can simply associate this with the French of Arab origin, from North Africa and the Middle East who make up approximately four million of France”s population. The French parliament would not have authorized such an extreme law if it did not fear attacks such as those that took place in London. French security authorities had issued warnings that terrorism had delved deep into the Muslim communities in France giving birth to organizations that would set the whole country alight.

Who would have imagined that the threats posed to French society would include depriving French nationals of their citizenship?

Such action would not have been considered except if terrorism had completely filled all spectrums of French society despite France having abstained from adopting antagonistic standpoints against Arabs and its numerous cases of defending them. Nevertheless, the majority of French parliament voted in favor of this brutal law because it considers the war against terrorism in France fast approaching, therefore French security forces should be provided with the necessary measures to combat extremism.

Practically speaking, extremists have managed to destroy the basic human rights of Muslims and Arabs in all parts of the world. Arab citizens all over the world are insecure despite their citizenship in the country that they live and in which their children were born. Nationality was considered untouchable in the sense that nobody could take it away, no matter how influential that person was. What terrorism has done to Muslims all over the world is beyond words and is more harmful than anything Islam”s staunchest enemies have achieved.

Why has all this happened?

The truth is that the problem does not lie in the terrorists themselves, or fanatical Muslims as their positions are well known and one cannot associate all Muslims with people of this inclination. Rather, what came after was even more horrific than any act of terrorism and that is the sheer number of those attracted to terrorist organizations and the increase of those willing to defend and excuse acts of terror. This is exactly what turned the world against us and allowed the most sacred of aspects to be violated in the most tolerable of countries popular for defending freedoms.

Why?

In response to this question, some writer stated that 4 million people all over the world are adopting extremist ideas causing the majority to renounce extremism to protect the majority and minority alike. Unfortunately, we can only agree with this position until this calamity comes to an end.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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