France should check anti-Is­lam sen­ti­ments

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENT -

Tvel­op­ments OLERANCE, free­dom of ex­pres­sion and soft spo­ken style used to be the hall­marks of French cul­ture yet re­cent un­for­tu­nate de

de­pict that all these traits are no more vis­i­ble and ap­par­ently lost in the past. Vi­o­lent acts and ha­tred against Mus­lims es­pe­cially af­ter the Paris at­tack are man­i­fes­ta­tion that ex­trem­ism is fast grip­ping the so­ci­ety.

In the lat­est act of vi­o­lence, a Mus­lim prayer hall was set on fire in the is­land of Cor­sica- the area known for turquoise waters and pic­turesque moun­tains, has wit­nessed a se­ries of such attacks in re­cent past. Last De­cem­ber on Christ­mas, an an­gry crowd ran­sacked a Mus­lim prayer room while chant­ing hate­ful slo­gans and burn­ing the copies of Holy Qu­ran. Sec­u­lar France al­ways had a com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship with its Mus­lim com­mu­nity, but now it is tip­ping to­ward out­right distrust, even hos­til­ity. Apart from the gen­eral pub­lic, the French gov­ern­ment has also adopted ruth­less at­ti­tude to­wards Mus­lim com­mu­nity. In re­cent years, it had ex­pelled hand­fuls of Imams on charges of spread­ing rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion with its Prime Min­is­ter Manuel Valls also spit­ting venom against the Mus­lim prayer lead­ers. In­ter­na­tional af­fairs ex­pert also be­lieve that France is tread­ing a dan­ger­ous course as such neg­a­tive feel­ings against Mus­lims could harm the whole so­ci­ety. It is nat­u­ral that ex­trem­ists on the other side would also re­act and per­pe­trate ter­ror acts as an ex­cuse against these anti-Is­lam sen­ti­ments. In our view, the French gov­ern­ment should shun path of one-sided con­dem­na­tion of Mus­lim com­mu­nity and stop im­pos­ing re­stric­tions as such a course would not serve in­ter­ests of the coun­try. The French gov­ern­ment must take along the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, which has im­mensely contributed to its de­vel­op­ment in dif­fer­ent sec­tors for pro­mo­tion of greater har­mony and co­he­sion in so­ci­ety.

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