ON SUNDAY, joined by world leaders, France’s silent majority – 1.6 million in Paris, and at least 3.7 million across France – marched shoulder-to-shoulder to let the world know that they will not remain silent and allow muslim fanatics destroy one of their most precious liberties — the freedom of speech.
At last the “silent majority” had drawn a line in the sand. Standing to a man, they defended their values. According to the French government, Sunday’s rally was the largest on record. It attracted all levels of society. Representatives from the three main religious sects — Jews, Christians, and Islamists – arms locked, marched together. For once united in common brotherhood, many Muslim leaders declared that the murderous jihadist rebels, although claiming they were Muslims, did not act in their name.
It was a clash of civilisations with fanatical muslims bent on destroying Western civilization to establish their Caliphate. On January 10 two radicalised French brothers, both muslims, burst into the office of a satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly). There they killed 12 people, including an editor, celebrated cartoonists and a police officer, himself a Muslim who pleaded in vain for his life. In 2011 the magazine had been firebombed for naming the Prophet Muhammad as its “editor in chief”.
On Friday, another jihadist, locked in an evil enterprise with the two brothers, attacked a Jewish grocery store killing four persons, for no other reason than that they were Jews, one of them the 21-year-old son of the Chief Rabbi of Tunis.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javaid, Britain’s first Muslim to be elected to the UK parliament, not only condemned the attacks, but challenged British Muslims to do more to tackle extremism. He told them that they had a “special burden” because so many of the attacks were carried out by fanatics who claimed inspiration from Islam.
But a question by an American law student – wearing a hijab, the head covering of traditional Muslim women – asked a question a few days later at the Benghazi Accountability Coalition, hosted by the Heritage Foundation, that lit a fire under Brigitte Gabriel, founder of Act! for America, an anti-terror grassroots organisation. Ms Gabriel, a Christian from Lebanon, explained what happens when good men remain silent.
“There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals,” said Ms Gabriel. “The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15-25 per cent according to all intelligence services around the world.
“That leaves 75 per cent of (Muslims being) peaceful people. But when you look at 15-25 per cent of the world’s Muslim population, you’re looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilisation. That is as big as the United States,” she noted.
“So why should we worry about the radical 15-25 per cent? Because it is the radicals that kill. Because it is the radicals that behead and massacre,” she explained.
“When you look throughout history, at the lessons of history, most Germans were peaceful. Yet the Nazis drove the agenda. And as a result, 60 million people died, almost 40 million in concentration camps, 6 million were Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant,” she said.
“When you look at Russia, most Russians were peaceful as well. But the Russians were able to kill 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
“When you look at China for example, most Chinese were peaceful as well. Yet the Chinese were able to kill 70 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
“When you look at Japan prior to World War II, most Japanese were peaceful people too. Yet, Japan was able to butcher its way across Southeast Asia, killing 12 million people, mostly killed by bayonets and shovels. The peaceful majority were irrelevant,” Ms Gabriel said.
“On September 11th in the United States we had 2.3 million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers – 19 radicals – to bring America to its knees, destroy the World Trade Centre, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3000 Americans that day,” Ms Gabriel said.
“As an American citizen, you sat in this room, and instead of asking a question about the four Americans that died (in Benghazi) and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about peaceful, moderate Muslims,” said Ms Gabriel.
“I wish you had brought ten with you so we could talk about how to hold our government responsible,” she continued.
“It is time we take political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs,” she said, to a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd, of over 150 strong.
It must be admitted that in France the French have not been successful in integrating their large Muslim population in the banlieues of Paris. We are seeing the end result of unease and hatred fostered after the Algerian war of independence in the sixties.
Here in The Bahamas, we have been ham-fisted in assimilating our legitimate Haitian population. Let’s hope that the silent majority in this country will find their voices, speak up, and save us from the path that France has taken. If by unfair treatment we erect a barrier of hatred between Bahamians and Haitians in this country we are headed for inevitable tragedy. We only have to study history to understand what happens when the majority remain silent when others are being oppressed.