16 May 2013
Recently Dubai TV broadcast a written statement made by Abou Obeida Youssef Al-Annabi the head of the Leaders' Council of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group, which called upon the Muslims to pay France back for its military operations against the Jihad fighters in Mali. «How dangerous are such threats, which by the way were taken seriously in France, by president Francois Hollande, for example?» Dr. Ley-Ngardigal Djimadoum, a political scientist and an expert in African studies, answers the question of our correspondent.
As far as the statement made by Abou Obeida Youssef Al-Annabi of the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group, who called for attacking the «French interests» all over the world, as well all know, it is no news. You know that Islamists call for attacks against the interests of the Western countries all over the world and especially against those countries, which have been involved in wars against Muslim countries. Let me remind you, that when at the beginning of the century the USA and Great Britain unleashed a war against Iraq, back in those days Islamist movements called upon Muslims to declare a war against those powers, which resulted in a number of terrorist attacks. But in that period France was not among their targets, since the French president of that time, Jacques Chirac was against the military interference in Iraq. The Islamists spared France. However, it was France, which started a military operation in Mali. I believe that the words of the Islamist leader should be treated seriously, since France fought a war against Islamist forces in the North of Mali, which is why today extremist groups threaten it. But here is a question – where does the Islamist extremists originate from? There is no need to go back in history too far. The Islamist extremist was caused by the poverty of the Muslim countries, when young people deprived of everything gladly joined the ranks of the radical movements. There were Touareg movements in the North of Mali, as well as other radical groups. And as I see it, it was France, which by fighting against them pushed the Touaregs to declare an independent state Azawad. In addition, that fight by itself was sort of a continuation of the French military expansion against Libya. One can think whatever he wants, but at least in the initial period France even blessed the Islamists to fight against Gaddafi. And after the events in Libya, the Islamists occupied the North of Mali. One cannot forget the standoff between France and Algeria, which borders on the northern regions of Mali. It looks like on purpose or accidentally France threatened Algeria as well by relying on the Islamists.
I believe that such appeals could seriously escalate the tensions between Islam, the Muslims and the Christians in France…
This is what really happened: the appeals made by Al-Annabi could really cause a new wave of interfaith tensions in France. At the same time, there are limits, past which the Catholic and the Muslim communities cannot go. But if we talk about Islamism radical organizations in general, wasn’t it the USA which was conducive to their appearance, when they started a war in Afghanistan. Over ten years have gone by, but the USA – a world power – did not manage to suppress the Taliban. The USA gave birth to Al-Qaeda as well. Let’s take Libya for example; France supported the anti-Gaddafi forces unwilling to notice that it consisted of radical Islamists. The same thing happened in Egypt, where radicals from the Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Now the Salafists undermine the statehood of Tunisia. And what is the number of Al-Qaeda members among the opposition in Syria? It turns out that initially the West itself fed the fire of the Islamist terrorism, without making sure to put it out in due time. And it is the West itself that faces the results of its policy of drawing Islamists into the fulfillment of its geopolitical plans. I believe that Al-Annabi’s appeals will definitely be heard by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria, which will only increase the general presence of extremist groups in Africa.
By the way, Al-Annabi also called for punishing France for its acknowledgement of same sex marriages, calling it a contradiction to the nature of human civilization…
As far as same sex marriages are concerned, it is a well-known fact that France is a Christian, a Catholic country. And the Catholic Church was with those who went to the streets to demonstrate against adopting that law. The Islamists who call for punishing France for the operation in Mali also use this law for their own purposes. In Africa the population is not unanimous on the issue of same sex marriages. Some speak in favor of that, but for the most part people are against it since it is against both Christianity and Islam. But I think the French people themselves should decide this issue.
And to conclude, president Hollande said that despite the huge damage suffered by the Jihadists in Mali, they are far from being eradicated.
That is really so, since by interfering with the dispute inside the society in Mali, France prevented the Mali people from resolving their own problems. And now one can state with certainty that the fight against the Islamists in Mali promises to be very long.