Sorry Le Monde Afrique, your call credit has been used up (3 – 3).
This is an invitation for rational thinking and constructive dialogue, away from dubious media campaigns.
It is an invitation for cooperation that enables us to stand against our common challenges.
Nonetheless, there is a need for agreement on a basis for this cooperation. Accusations should not be treated as realities so long as there is no evidence to back them. Can we live together and respect each other, despite our differences?
We need to avoid misunderstandings and avoid media campaigns that do nothing but make the situation more confused and prevent people with good will from working together to fight terrorism; extremism; prejudices, and the violence that will harm everybody in the East and the West.
I arrived in Paris, the city of light as it is known in the part of the world where I come from, from a country whose civilization is so entrenched in history. However, this country is now threatened by terrorism. It is also at the center of interference from foreign powers. When I crossed the Mediterranean from my country to France, I did not dream of picking up the lichtblaue Blume which appeared to the hero of Novalis's fragmentary novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen. On the contrary, I arrived here to achieve the following specific objectives:
- Exchange information about the jihadist cells of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda and others which operate in Kabul, Damascus and other parts of the world, including in Paris, London and the US.
- Scrutinize the activities of societies and NGOs affiliated to the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the organization's sleeper cells and active groups in Western societies.
- Closely follow the doubtful financing offered by some countries to radical Islamist organizations so that they can increase their leverage in Europe.
- In my capacity as a researcher into political Islam, with an experience of more than 30 years behind me, and as a human being living on this planet, I wanted to deliver the following message:
I am a man obsessed with freedom, equality and fraternity; a man who strongly believes that discrimination based on gender, race or religion should not exist.
- My message strives to protect international peace and guarantee security for Europe, the Middle East, and the whole world.
- My message also sought to encourage cooperation with experts and research centers to serve decision-makers and clarify the dangers of terrorism.
However, some groups, terrorist networks and institutions backed by terrorism-sponsors were apparently alarmed by this message.
Why this campaign of smear?
I was the target of a year-long campaign of smear that started in May 2018. The campaign started after I participated at a press conference at the French National Assembly. It has not stopped until now.
The campaign finds its main source at social media pages administered by what French extremism expert Richard Labeviere described as "Twitter bullies", including a man listed by the French government as a dangerous person.
Who is this person who started the campaign against me with support from the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood then?
I will mention only one of the people implicated in the campaign against me. This man's record raises question marks on the dependence of media, both in the May 2018 campaign and the May 2019 campaign, on his claims.
Caillet succeeded in deceiving French media by hiding his Islamist history. He managed to convince everybody that he is a specialist in Islam and Jihad, including the owner of the news and weather channel
BFMTV, Patrick Drahi, who appointed him as an advisor on terrorism. However, in May 2016, the channel revoked the contract with him and issued a statement in which it said it had severed all links with Caillet. This came after the famous weekly news magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, disclosed important information about Caillet's black history.
The magazine said Caillet was kicked out of Lebanon in February 2015, five years after he had arrived in the Arab country. This was based on a decision by the Lebanese security establishment which found out information about links between the man and jihadist groups in Syria.
Caillet converted to Islam in 1997. He was in his twenties then. He was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for years. French investigations showed that he lived in Cairo as of 2005 and learned Arabic. He used to live in a flat in eastern Cairo's Nasr City district, together with several extremists, including Fabian Clain, the French jihadist who spoke in an audio, declaring ISIS's claim of responsibility for the November 2015 bombings in Paris.
This was why Caillet was interrogated by the Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate in 2008. He was then acquitted, but placed under the supervision of police like other people adopting extremist and jihadist ideas.
This is the person on whom those who launched the campaign against me in French, Israeli and Qatari media depended.
Campaign to silence a different voice
The campaign is based on lies and obscene language. It aims to gloss over the great work done by the experts of the Center for Middle East Studies in Paris. They take my statements out of context and then twist them.
Behind the campaign is an attempt to silence a voice coming from abroad and deny it presence on the French stage. Those behind the campaign are just afraid that this voice will break the monopoly they impose on the French stage by introducing new and untraditional views and analyses.
Rational analysis of anti-Semitism accusation
We need to differentiate between Jews who have longing to return to Jerusalem from the Diaspora and the International Zionist Movement, which succeeded after World War II in creating the Hebrew state and driving the Palestinians out of their country. The same movement was behind the eruption of four wars between Israel, on one hand, and Arab states, on the other, wars whose consequences Arabs continue to reel under until now despite UN resolutions and peace treaties.
The late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat took the initiative of travelling to Jerusalem after the October 1973 war to stretch his hands out in peace for the Israeli people. Sadat even signed a peace treaty with then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin at the famous Camp David retreat in Maryland with sponsorship from then-US president Jimmy Carter on September 17, 1978.
However, the peace treaty does not mean that we should forget everything. France, which cooperates with Germany today, does not forget the horrors of war, defeat and occupation. It celebrates the anniversary of defeating the Germans every year as well.
In Egypt, we too cannot forget the horrors of four wars with Israel, ones that left 100,000 martyrs from all families behind.
The peace treaty does not throw into oblivion, for example, the shelling of Egyptian cities by the Israeli air force, including the Bahr al-Baqar School in April 1970, which left 30 spotless children dead and 50 others injured.
So allow me to express my pains and beliefs. This does not necessarily mean that I am that evil anti-Semite who is coming to live in France, the epicenter of secularism, liberalism, freedom of thought and equality.
Faced with all this, I find solace in looking at the long list of thinkers who were denigrated and exterminated, only for believing that politically criticizing the state of Israel is a right and a moral obligation, which does not necessarily mean they were anti-Zionist, or anti-Semitic criminals.
It is a great honor then that I join great thinkers accused of being anti-Semitism, including the following:
- Stephan Hessel who was accused of anti-Semitism and expressing views sympathetic with anti-Semite attacks, which inherently meant that he was sympathetic with the Palestinian resistance.
- The famous French Jewish sociologist Edgar Morin who was sent to court after being accused of racial discrimination by the French-Israeli Society and Lawyers Without Borders. They did this after Morin published an article about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the French daily Le Monde.
The famous English philosopher Francis Bacon has a quote that goes as "Slander boldly, something always sticks".
Luckily enough, in secular and democratic France, advice does not mean patronage.
This is why all the videos circulated by the people launching this systematic campaign against me on Twitter and Facebook failed in producing any effect. By the same token, the May 2018 campaign, in which the official French news agency participated, along with the largest newspapers and websites in this country, with the aim of demonizing me, also came short of achieving its targets.
The ongoing campaign by Le Monde Afrique and Qatar's agents is also proving an utter failure, having been overlooked by most people.
We talked at the French National Assembly; the Senate; the European Parliament and the Press Club about nothing but counterterrorism. We also warned against the spread of the ideas of the International organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. We warned against the use of Qatari money in influencing decision-making in France.
We were clear in talking about these issues. Nevertheless, we were accused of obsession with the conspiracy theory, instead of being debated in a scientific manner.
The fact is that this accusation aimed to silence a voice that only wanted to be heard.
The US Congress adopted a plan to divide Arab states in the 1970s. This is a strategy that can help us understand the New Middle East blueprint. So, those who talk about this blueprint cannot be accused of being obsessed with the conspiracy theory.
Nonetheless, the idea those who launched the campaign against me want to prove is that I am an anti-Semitic conspirator who is consequently opposed to Zionism.
To answer my original question about lies, I use the following lines from Louis Aragon's poem "The Rose and the Mignonette"
When the wheat is under the hail
Who but a fool would
Think of his little quarrels
In the middle of common combat?
When your neighbor's house catches fire and your house is in danger because of this fire, you and your neighbor have to take measures to keep the danger at bay first, instead of trading blame for who is responsible for the fire.