Would we have tomorrow the courage –and the possibility- of saying what we think about Islam, whether it’s true or not, or should we practice self-censorship? Freedom or self-censorship are the challenge of the moment and the pressure is so strong that we forget that violence takes place in countries where demonstrations are made with the consent of the power. In those places, no other religion apart from Islam is tolerated and they are so chased and stigmatized that they are forbidden, actually. Soap operas and books like the Protocols of the Wise men of Zion which are an imposture are published in those countries. In countries where the statements of a Head of State that says it’s necessary to “disappear Israel off the face of the earth” and to equip themselves with the nuclear weapon are applauded. Taking this into account, those who rule us want us to limit our freedom of expression not to make a dangerous situation worse. We’re told to respect others’ faith, not to turn against oil suppliers or to provoke internal problems with the second religion of France.
However, in the name of this prudence, demonstrations asking for the death of the blasphemers, forgetting the death of Theo Van Gogh, the threats against Salman Rushdie were allowed and we were told to be double reasonable. We hope time will favour the modernization of Islam and not the Ismization of modernity. After the caricatures of the Prophet, what’s at risk is the relationship of France, Europe and the West with the Islamic world although not based on diplomacy but on civilization terms. First of all, let’s separate from the hypocrites, the cowards, the clever, the blinds that refuse to accept the evidence. Undoubtedly, there’s a clash of civilizations.
Muslims are hurt. Nothing is sacred today and Christians suffer too. However, they have learned to go on. Why should we give this freedom of expression up, the freedom that’s still the philosopher’s stone of democracy? Maybe because other peoples, other civilizations did not choose the same path that leads to secularism? Not everything can be accepted in the name of the respect for others. To practice the pacifying policy would mean to give the existence of a public secular space up. One can be optimistic and think the Muslims will adopt, something many already do, that secularized public space, a personal relationship with his own faith and the free game of the critical spirit, that is, democracy. One can also expect a capitulation of the good sense and the spirit of responsibility. In order to buy peace, why should we be responsible for these bad caricaturists, these irresponsibles? What is it that we want to defend among what we have had achieved century after century? What are we willing to give up? Are we going to do it for realism? Good sense? Or cowardice? In Munich, 1938, this last word had a synonym used by the diplomats: pacifying.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

Islam : ne rien abandonner à la politique de l’apaisement ”, by Max Gallo, Le Figaro, February 8, 2006.