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On Fear… And “Anything but the Prophet”

Siban Hota
Syrian Journalist
November 1, 2020
Within these days witnessing the continuous escalation between Erdogan and Macron, suddenly you’re afraid of being killed, when you had fled thousands of kilometers away, only to meet them here again as sleeper cells, ready to raise knives and swords to cut any neck.

The fear of self-control is based on human ignorance of something. In the past, man interpreted everything that was ambiguous and incomprehensible from the matters that exceeded the limits of his explanations, with phenomena that were not subject to discussion, and this is what resulted in all the myths, fear of the unknown, new and ambiguous.

My first experience with this fear, the one that could touch the deepest core in yourself and your memory, was when I was arrested in Bulgaria for crossing the border illegally. Only the unknown was looming in the horizon that day.

After several years of living in this ancient continent as a refugee, I was able to overcome these feelings of mine, or let’s just say I became more accustomed to this ‘unknown’ called fear. Life has returned to what feels like a habit, but the fear is not completely over, it’s just lurking in me and waiting for the slightest chance to wake up and haunt me again.

Yes, I am afraid, not only of those who raise the slogan “Everything but the Prophet”, there is also another fear of the second party in this impossible equation, which is the European extreme right that raises the slogan “My people as a first priority.”

During the recent days, I followed the accelerating pace of what is going on between France as the representative of the Western world, and Turkey as the representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, and behind them the media machine supporting their blasphemous speech (by that I mean specifically “Al-Jazeera”).

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad joined the murderous chorus of singers with a tweet saying, “Muslims have the right to kill millions of French people as revenge for France’s past crimes.”

The last of these crimes was the killing of three Frenchmen in Nice, and the beheading of one of the victims, to bring us back to a similar memory in the same city, nearly four years ago, where a “lone wolf”, as ISIS used to call the perpetrators of individual terrorist attacks in Europe, committed a major crime there.

This last few crimes bring us back into the cycle of these wolves again.

A while ago, I was returning from the Netherlands to Belgium after completing a business trip there. On the way back, I had to pass through four stations to change my train. The faces of the majority of the passers-by and travelers, or let’s say at least their eyes (since we are facing two pandemics, Covid-19 and a pandemic of escalating violence) were uncomfortable and looked aroud with suspicion at anyone with foreign features. The feeling was exactly the same as the day after the parliamentary elections in the summer of 2019, when the extreme right in Belgium managed to enter the parliament and grab a percentage of the seats. Back then, only after a whole week was I able to walk on the street and greet the people who no longer wanted to respond to my greeting.

I miss the smiles and greetings of people on the street.

It is the fear of tomorrow and the ambiguous future that awaits us immigrants, especially after the wave of the rise of the extreme right in many European countries.

Several days ago, a representative of the Belgian First Flemish Party called for hanging the caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on government buildings, in a step that is considered the first of its kind for this party, especially since we are speaking here about around 800 thousand Muslims residing in Belgium. Such a movement would turn Belgium into an arena for more vengeful attacks, and endless reactions on both sides.

At the beginning of its rise among the Belgians, this party resorted to fear of the strange, planting this idea of ​​newcomers attempting to change their society, robbing them of their Flemish identity and controlling state resources. This was a fear planted among the Belgians and the party reaped the fruits of this fear, which was represented by its parliamentary seats. This party, like other extremist parties, will take advantage of any act of an Islamist activist who wants to take revenge over a caricature published in a magazine.

Within these days witnessing the continuous escalation between Erdogan and Macron, suddenly you’re afraid of being killed, when you had fled thousands of kilometers away, only to meet them here again as sleeper cells, ready to raise knives and swords to cut any neck.

Everyone is equal in facing a sharpened knife’s edge.

Yes, I am afraid, not only of those who raise the slogan “Everything but the Prophet”, there is also another fear of the second party in this impossible equation, which is the European extreme right that raises the slogan “My people as a first priority”; this was a phrase that Hitler manipulated to start mobilizing The Germans fight World War II. Germany is still holding on to the phrase as its national anthem.

“Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, Über alles in der Welt.”

“Germany is above everything and anything in the world.”

The arrogance practiced by Muslims around the world in rejecting these cartoons and what they consider offensive to their prophet will not be of any help with the intransigence of the new wave in the West that rejects this rigidity, especially as France is trying to return to its previous era in managing the world in the face of Turkey, which is trying to control the world’s Islamism, its penetration into the West through its community, and its adoption of the ideology of political Islam.

Fear is the master of the causes and the means to control human groups, and everyone will tend to spread fear more among their supporters to mobilize them.

The coming days will show us what this fear of the other may lead to.

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