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Alain de Benoist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Benoist2853 words

Translated by Greg Johnson

Spanish translation here

Nicolas Gauthier: Beyond the legitimate indignation about the massacre in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, what lessons can we draw from this event? Should we see it, like some in the media, as evidence of a “total war” declared between Islam and Christianity, East and West?

Alain de Benoist: The abominable way the employees of Charlie Hebdo were massacred wrenches the heart, of course. And when emotion overwhelms everything, it is that much harder to remain reasonable. Yet this is what is most needed. We must impose an inner distance that allows us to analyze the event and learn from it. What are we facing? A new form of terrorism, inaugurated in France by Khaled Kelkal and Mohammed Merah. It differs from previous waves of terrorism (like September 11 or the Madrid bombing), which were planned and implemented from abroad by major international networks.

Here we are dealing with attacks planned in France by individuals radicalized more or less independently. They went gradually from delinquency to jihadism, but they are usually failures at it. They have great composure, know how to use weapons, and are completely indifferent to the lives of others. But still they are amateurs, bungling provocateurs, like the Kouachi brothers who decided to slaughter a magazine staff “to avenge the prophet,” but went to the wrong address, left clues everywhere, had no exit strategy, and forget their ID in the car they simply abandoned. Unpredictable bunglers, which makes them all the more dangerous.

We should also be alert to mimetic contagion. The same mimetic logic that sparked the emotional communion of spontaneous rallies in support of Charlie Hebdo will not fail to inspire potential emulators of Merah, the Kouachi brothers, or Amedy Coulibaly. Imagine the social hysteria that could be caused by the repetition at short intervals of attacks like the one we have just witnessed. In such a climate, all forms of manipulation become possible. We have already seen this in the past. This is called the “strategy of tension.”

It is obviously necessary to wage war on these people by all means necessary. But talking about “total war” does not mean much. The jihadists (or issuers of fatwas) are as representative of Islam as the Ku Klux Klan is representative of Christianity. Moreover, it is not the jihadists, but Westerners who first raised the specter of the “clash of civilizations” after working to destabilize the entire Middle East and to eliminate all the heads of Arab-Muslim states, from Saddam Hussein to Gaddafi, who had set up roadblocks against radical Islamism. The need to fight against the immediate consequences should not obscure reflection on the root causes.

Gauthier: This is not the first time that a newspaper has been attacked violently. We remember in particular the attacks against Minute and Le Choc du moiscertainly without victims. However, there had been less media empathy during that potentially fatal violence. Always the same double standard.

Benoist: Let’s say if, instead of attacking the editors of Charlie Hebdo, terrorists had decimated Valeurs actuelles, it is not likely that the reactions would be the same. People would not declare “Je suis Valeurs” like we see “Je suis Charlie” (from the verb “to be,” I suppose, not the verb “to follow”). Government politicians would certainly not have spoken of “national unity” (a mystifying theme par excellence, moreover, because such “union” always benefits those who have power and want to benefit from a consensus). Unlike its predecessor Hara Kiri, Charlie Hebdo, the liberal-libertarian newspaper, has become one of the organs of the dominant ideology. They can recognize their own.

Gauthier: We are told, unanimously, that Charlie Hebdo had made freedom of expression its battle cry. But what about the campaigns against Richard Millet at Editions Gallimard, Fabrice Le Quintrec at France Inter, and Robert Ménard and Eric Zemmour at i>Télé? Can freedom of expression have limits?

Benoist: Enough hypocrisy. On April 26, 1999, the leaders of Charlie Hebdo carried cartons to the Department of the Interior containing 173,700 signatures calling for a ban of the National Front. It was a matter of defending freedom of expression! Manuel Valls said that “Zemmour’s book does not deserve to be read,” while another minister asked without shame that “TV shows and newspaper columns cease to harbor such remarks.” To say nothing of the Dieudonné case.

That said, let’s be fair: Among those praising freedom of expression when it comes to Zemmour, there are unfortunately very few who are willing to extend it to their opponents. “Freedom is always the freedom of those who think differently” (Rosa Luxemburg), which means that we have to defend it even when it benefits those whom we loathe. But that is precisely what the dominant ideology refuses to do, here and in the United States, where the First Amendment allows anyone to say or write what he wants, but where the nonconformist views are even more marginalized than they are in France. Just as the right to work has never provided anyone a job, the right to speak does not guarantee the opportunity to be heard!




  1. B.B.
    Posted January 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Alain de Benoist:
    Moreover, it is not the jihadists, but Westerners who first raised the specter of the “clash of civilizations” after working to destabilize the entire Middle East and to eliminate all the heads of Arab-Muslism states, from Saddam Hussein to Gaddafi, who had set up roadblocks against radical Islamism.

    I’m no defender of current middle-eastern policies of Western governments, but is not the distinction between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb essentially indicative of a “clash of civilizations” mind-set in the Islamic world that long predates Samuel Huntington?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink


    • Ezra Pound's Ghost
      Posted January 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Depending on whether or not you trust or put any credibility in wikipedia: “The notions of “houses” or “divisions” of the world in Islam such as Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb does not appear in the Qur’an or the Hadith. Early Islamic jurists devised these terms to denote legal rulings for ongoing Islamic conquests almost a century after Muhammad. The very first use of the terms was in Iraq by Abu Hanifa and his disciples Abu Yusuf and Al-Shaybani. Among the Sunni in the Levant, Al-Awza’i was leading in this discipline and later Shafi’i.

      Contemporary Islamic scholars have argued the inapplicability of this early philosophical division of the world, citing its lack of scriptural backing.”

      “Dar al-Harb (Arabic: دار الحرب “house of war”; also referred to as Dar al-Garb “house of the West” in later Ottoman sources; a person from “Dar al-Harb” is a “harbi” (Arabic:حربي)) is a term classically referring to those countries where the Muslim law is not in force, in the matter of worship and the protection of the faithful and Dhimmis. Territories that do have a treaty of nonaggression or peace with Muslims are called Dar al-Ahd” (Arabic: دار العهد “house of treaty/covenant/pact”) or Dar al-Sulh (Arabic: دار الصلح “house of conciliation”)”

      End Wikipedia.

      If there is any accuracy in this article, then it would seem that Dar al-Harb refers to areas where the “Dhimmis” (i.e., Christians and Jews?) aren’t protected either. So despite what wikipedia refers to as the recent, Turkish interpolation of the extra-Koranic “harb” concept referring to the West, it would seem that “Harb” does not refer to any country where Muslims are “free to practice their religion.” The questions is, “Free to what degree?” or rather, “Which Islam?” Because, of course, we have to take into account the Wahhabis, Salifists and Takifiris, who can never actually be “free to practice their religion” anywhere until they are “free” to kill and enslave all who don’t bow to them. So it follows obviously that to the rabid Wahab-Salaf-Takfir animals, “Dar al Harb” refers not only to the West, but to the entire universe outside of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and a cancer-shaped region of ISIS control in Iraq-Syria.

      I’m only going by what the wikipedia article told me, and I grant fully that the article could be misleading and biased.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted January 11, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        The clash between Islam and the rest of the world goes back to the time of the prophet. It is a historical fact, not a scholarly question about the origin or scriptural authority of certain terms.

        • Ea
          Posted January 11, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          I think both are right. But from the ‘muslim’ point of view is very important the existance of a ‘theological’ / ‘legal’ argument in order to back up actions.

    • Posted January 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      It would be interesting to know if islamists would be so strong nowadays in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, Palestine, etc were it not for ‘Western’ Imperialism. Remember the good old days of pan-Arab nationalism?

    • Dan
      Posted January 11, 2015 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      These are completely irrelevant concepts in the context of current international relations, as they exist only as historical space/time. Dar-al-Islam – the world of Islam, associated primarily with the Arab Caliphate destroyed by the Mongols, has not been replaced by a political and religious authority that claims to speak for all Muslims. Dar al-Harb refers to lands occupied by Muslims where there is struggle against enemies/invaders such as against Israel. The whole “Dar” cannot apply as an indicator of examining Islamic policy or mindset, it only applies to certain historical conditions, unlike the artificially created Clash of Civilizations, that its author is Bernard Lewis and not Huntington, that is a clearly defined and fully formed ideology that dictates the policy of the West towards Islam and is entirely responsible for the current mess.

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted January 11, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        This is a nice statement of a wide-spread false meme-complex, likely of Persian origin, which seeks to obscure the doctrinal roots and long history of barbaric Muslim aggression toward the rest of the human race while blaming Muslim terrorism on the US, Israel, and international Jewry. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose between Muslims and Jews. Both are enemies. Obscuring the Muslim problem is simply anti-white. Those whites who are eager to beat the Jews with any stick are harming our people by spreading false memes that obscure the Muslim problem.

        • Dan
          Posted January 13, 2015 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          “Obscuring the Muslim problem is simply anti-white”

          There is no Muslim problem, unless you are a Jewish supremacist. Muslisms are no more “a problem” than were in the past the Russians, Japanese, Germans, or insert-your-favorite-Boogeyman-du-jour-here. There is no Clash of Civilizations and demonizing Muslims puts you on the same camp with the Jew who is the only one who profits from eliminating anything that is incompatible with liberal modernity and seeks to establish a global dominion of “liberal democracy”, but in order to do that you need to eliminate every creed that is incompatible with it and Islam is top of the list.

          • Greg Johnson
            Posted January 13, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            “There is no Muslim problem.”

            You are either a liar or a moron. Which is it?

          • Dan
            Posted January 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            “You are either a liar or a moron. Which is it?”

            I don’t even face such a dilemma with you, since it is obvious you are a Mossad-ADL front and this is where you get your money from. It was too obvious that you can’t argue worth shit but disabling replies also makes you my bitch.

            • Greg Johnson
              Posted January 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

              Oh, you’re a moron. Thanks for the clarification.

          • Dan
            Posted January 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            “Oh, you’re a moron. Thanks for the clarification.”

            There’s your concession that you are indeed a Jewish puppet, which isn’t at all surprising given your full adoption of their positions on a range of issues from Ukraine to the “Islamic problem”. Who would side with the likes of bloodthirsty Jews like BHL on the said subjects? Apparently you would, Greg, and that makes you a charlatan and a fraud.

      • Jaego
        Posted January 11, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Read “Milestones” by Sayyid Qutb, one of the main early theoreticians of Al Qaeda. He makes the two house distinction and shows how it goes back to the very beginning of Islam. He was outraged at the idea that Muslims just conquered so much so fast just for secular reasons. Some Muslims had made that argument to defend Islam per se against the idea of conquest by the sword. But Qutb explained how that deleted all honor and piety from Islam, making them just pirates or people whose religion was just a racket, a way of organizing for gain. True Islam embraces the sword with no apologies. Other peoples have the right to be ruled by the Laws of God and Islam has the duty of imposing this on them as Allah has commanded. Once conquered, individuals have the right to choose whether to convert or not. But no nation has the right to refuse to live under the Law of God.

        One young Muslim I asked about the conquest got very nervous and blurted out, “That’s just something they wanted to do. It had nothing to do with Islam.” I could tell he was lying.

      • Lew
        Posted January 11, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        The actions of the modern west don’t account for lot of people in India having a problem with Islam ever since a Muslim army invaded India. As recently as the 16th century, a Muslim army made it all the way to Vienna. The actions of the modern west don’t explain that either. I think you should rethink your position.

  2. Azsorious
    Posted January 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the translation Greg.

  3. Daniel
    Posted January 11, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    The gunmen being identified because they left their ID behind in the getaway car just seems too convenient.
    Netanyahu is all over this.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 11, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Quite a jump of logic there. Don’t be an idiot.

  4. Stronza
    Posted January 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    No, we shouldn’t defend everyone’s right to express their opinion anymore. Those days are long gone. Our enemies have proven once and for all that they don’t want us to have the freedom to say unpopular things and they act on it. And yet we still go on & on about freedom of speech for everyone? What the hell for? Nobody is going to think we’re good guys just because we yap about freedom of speech.

  5. Lew
    Posted January 11, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    My very liberal sister was accosted on the streets of Brussels a few months ago by some really nasty Black African Muslims from God knows what hell hole. I don’t how Europeans put up with that.

    That aside, an interesting question for me is whether Western elites may have miscalculated by allowing so much non-white immigration into Europe. Obviously, if Jews and other Western elites felt immigration was a material threat to their interests, they would not have allowed it. They must have felt they could swamp Europe with Muslims and other immigrants without materially harming Jewish or elite interests. But now the question arises has the monster they created broken off the slab? And if so, will it disrupt their well laid plans by feeding nationalist or semi-nationalist movements in ways they didn’t anticipate?

  6. JJ
    Posted January 12, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    You intellectuals, when will you turn it over to the warrior class? There is nothing to analyze, here. No warrior class? That is a problem. Well, then, let’s keep talking.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 12, 2015 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      Turn it over? What, do we have the talking stick? Are you waiting for my approval?

  7. helios9
    Posted January 12, 2015 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    There’s no question this civilizational clash goes back a long time. What he might be getting at though is that 100 years ago, the almighty caliphate was no more than some ‘sand—–s on camels charging into machine guns’ (ref: Lawrence of Arabia). But all of a sudden, they have become this monolithic threat to western Civilization?

    Sorry but it’s tiresome to always be chasing the tail. These problems originate from our own house/sphere of influence and we always back away from that position as soon as some emotional event triggers the mob.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      So you agree with Angela Merkel and the rest of the establishment that the problem is not with Islam, the problem is with whites?

      A lot of things have changed since T. E. Lawrence. The Muslim world is wealthy with oil, extremely populous, increasingly militant, and mounting a full-scale demographic invasion of Europe. The threat of Islam is based on the words and deeds of the prophet. The threat has ebbed and surged in past, and it is surging today.

      Islam is an independent anti-white force and Muslims are independent anti-white agents. They can’t be exculpated by blaming everything on whites and Jews.

      • Edward
        Posted January 16, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        Angela Merkel just a few years ago said multi-culturalism was a failure:

        I don’t agree that Islam is the problem. The problem is race. Take away the Islam in a typical Somali gang-rapists life and what do you get? An American negro. That is what these “euro-sceptic” PEGIDA anti-Muslim types want, not an end to immigration. What phony Jewish crusade are you going to take up after that?

        • Greg Johnson
          Posted January 16, 2015 at 1:05 am | Permalink

          Islam is a problem and race is also a problem. It is not one or the other. The reason that subcontinental Muslim immigrants blow people up for Allah and subcontinental Hindu immigrants do not is because of religion, not race.

  8. Posted January 14, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The Islamic separation of the world between that of Islam and that of Conflict is a useful mindset for the regular Muslim to understand the world simply. It doesn’t need nuance to recognize friend from foe. Nor does it require any special signalling. There are Muslims and non-Muslims. As a commentator pointed out above all Muslims aren’t the same. My question is do Shia, Sunni, and other sects of Islam share this 2-world view? If so, then it doesn’t really matter which group of Muslims are being referred because they are still viewing the world from a similar lens. Back to the usefulness of the 2-world concept. As racially aware whites we already do this, in some sense. Whites compared to Coloreds at the micro-level of society and at the national level, in some cases. Yet we don’t apply it to geopolitics for some reason. It could be a potentially useful term of describing the White World verses the Colored World. Simple, clarifying, and a jolting reminder of what it is that would be lost if whites were to be submerged.

  9. eyeslevel
    Posted January 14, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s not radical Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar!” causing white genocide. It’s anti-whites in power shouting “Nazi racist bigot supremacist KKK!” causing white genocide by psychologically terrorizing white people into accepting the conditions of mass non-white immigration and forced assimilation.

    Brown Muslims cannot invade white countries by force of arms. Anti-whites in power let them in.

    Islam and crime are distractions. Even if Islam had never existed and even if the non-whites pouring into white countries never committed a single crime, it would still lead to a future with no white people.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      So you agree with Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, and the rest that Islam is not the problem, whites are the problem. Racist whites in their case, anti-racist whites in your case, but whites nonetheless. The fact that whites could be destroyed without Islam is not license for you to ignore the fact that Islam is an independent anti-white force and that Muslims exercise anti-white agency. The fact that things could have been different is not license to ignore hiw they actually are.

      • eyeslevel
        Posted January 14, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Anti-whites in power are the problem. Anti-whites come in all colors. Yes, a lot of them are white traitors. That’s just the way it is, whether I “agree with Merkel and Obama” or not. “whites could be destroyed” No Whites ARE being destroyed by mass non-white immigration and forced assimilation backed by psychological warfare. That IS what is going on right now. Islam has nothing to do with that. This is the reality that YOU are ignoring.

        • Greg Johnson
          Posted January 15, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

          I don’t know if you are just an honest fool or trying to run some oh so clever angle, but your days of commenting here are over.

  10. Edward
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    The reason people are jumping on the Fox News counter-jihad bandwagon is because they have permission to. To compare the Arab issue in Europe (which is the same as the Mexican immigration one in America) to the Jewish issue, to even utter it in the same breath, is the height of block headed conservative thinking.

    The vast majority of all people in Europe want closed borders and immigrants (regardless if they’re muslims, gypsies, or baptized) out. What is stopping whites from realizing their desire? Why do politicians in the so-called democracies not execute the will of the people? Is it the Muslim controlled parliament? Are Muslims the biggest donors to all the political parties (including anti-muslim ones like UKIP and PVV)? Do Muslims control the media and academic system?

    To pretend Islam is at the gates like it was 600 years ago, and give credibility to the theory that 2 65 IQ pot smoking aspiring rap “artists” like the Kouachis are going to establish a Caliphate in Europe is sad to see on Counter Currents.

    Someone like E Michael Jones and David Duke are received as guests of honor in Iran, while they are shut down in the “Judeo-Christian” West. Must be because of the Muslim conspiracy.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      I congratulate you for your high level of awareness of the Jewish problem. But Jews are not the only problem. Islam is ALSO a problem, and it cannot just be reduced to a dependent variable of the Jewish problem. Muslims exercise agency. Muslims have their own identity and interests, which are inimical to ours.

      Islam is not at the gates, it is inside the gates, outbreeding, killing, raping, and intimidating whites in the heart of Europe.

      The Kouachi brothers have successfully intimidated Western media outlets from reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoons even as they preen as champions of fearless freedom of expression. Low-IQ savages who are willing to die for their cause will eventually dominate smarter people whose greatest fear is a violent death.

      I fear you are one of these people who hates Jews more than you love your own people, since you are willing to minimize the Muslim problem in order to focus singly on the Jewish problem. That makes you anti-white in my book.

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