A Danish newspaper published cartoons insulting the Prophet (PBUH), and they were reprinted by other European and American newspapers. The pictures offended the feelings of Arabs and Muslims and the people demonstrated on the streets of many countries throughout the world. The embassies and commercial offices were set ablaze and situation returned to normal, but the greatest losers were the Arabs and Muslims. The losses were much greater than the others.
In Kuwait, the reaction of the cooperative societies and others at that time was childish and lacked sobriety.
This is what we said earlier when the Danish products were destroyed that had been paid for and threw these products in the garbage, instead of consuming them. We also boycotted all products of countries that published the pictures, especially Denmark.
As soon as the protest voices subsided, it became apparent to everyone that our purchases from Denmark and elsewhere did not represent anything for them, and that we need the products of these countries more than they need us (to buy them), and that it is almost impossible to obtain insulin needles, for example, better than those exported by Denmark.
What Denmark did 15 years ago, France repeated a few days ago, after its violent reaction against Muslims living in France, when a young Muslim slit the throat of a French citizen because of offensive cartoons; several establishments participated, including cooperative societies and as a result the shareholders bore the brunt.
Al-Qabas, known for its sobriety, described the situation as “the Kuwait uprising against France, with all currents and sects participating for offending the religion to the extent even all means of communication shouted in one voice ‘boycott French products’, take action against France and summon ambassadors because the position of France constitutes an insult. They reminded how the Muslim countries and concerned authorities had condemned the killing of the French teacher ‘Samuel Patty’, following their condemnations, as usual, with … but!!!
There are a few things that some people do not want to understand. This whirlwind will soon disappear and things will return to normal. We are too weak to confront the big world powers. All that we can do is protest and print headlines in newspapers, take to social media such as Twitter and politicians screaming at the top of their voices calling for boycott and expelling ambassadors of those countries.
We may agree on the need to give a fitting reply to France for the insults, but where were we when many other countries attacked, and still do, countries which harass their Muslim citizens, and kill hundreds or thousands of them?
The other thing is not to disagree about the importance of defending religious symbols, but that does not mean shooting ourselves in the foot, but by working hard relentlessly and caring for human rights in our countries, dealing with respect with religious minorities and focusing on rejecting fanaticism and closing extremist religious centers and parties.
We must also strive, as Jewish activists did, to pass legislation condemning those who harm our symbols in their countries and not by ‘slaughter’ people on the roads and pepper them with machine-gun bullets amid shouts of ‘God is Great’.
We must also stop teaching in our schools and call from the pulpits of our official government mosques to kill others — the polytheist and non-Muslim – and then hasten and condemn the actions of those who have followed these calls.
Misfortunes have been aplenty in our countries, humans have been crushed in our societies, yet we have not heard anyone demanding what we are asking from France today. Did we treat our Muslims humanely so that we can expect or rather ask other nations to respect their Muslims the way we do? We have described Israel as our first, greatest and last enemy for 70 years.
In an article published a few days ago, I wrote that none of the Israeli Arab Muslim citizens were willing to give up his/her nationality in exchange for the nationality of any Arab country. No one till date has responded to say what I had written was wrong.
Tens of millions of refugees, both Arabs and Muslims, live among us at in a pathetic and sad conditions and in spite of this we have paid no attention but to the contrary turned a blind eye and gave a deaf ear to their plight. Now we want to boycott France and even burn this country because it offended our symbols. I will stop here. I admit I am emotionally exhausted, because at this very moment I feel there are a hundred million Arabs who are ready to migrate to France.
Note: The majority of those who call for ‘boycott’ are shouting empty slogans, just like those people who issue fatwas to kill but are waiting for others to implement them. We call on the government to take the initiative and destroy tens of millions of civil ID cards, driving licenses, passports, nationality cards (Made in France), and get them made from other sources.
Meanwhile, everyone, a citizen and a resident, is obliged not to travel, drive a car, or participate in the elections (using Made in France documents). It makes no sense to destroy cheese which is worth 100 fils but continue to use a passport which costs 10,000 fils, because both are ‘Made in France’.
By Ahmad alsarraf