'Abd Al-Hadi Raji Al-Majali, a regular columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Rai, responded in a recent column to French President Francois Hollande's speech at the November 27, 2015 memorial for the victims of the Paris attacks. Al-Majali wrote that France and the West apply a double standard, since the values of the French Republic, which Hollande constantly extolls in his speeches, do not apply in their dealings with the Muslim world.
The following are translated excerpts from his column:
'Abd Al-Hadi Raji Al-Majali
"The day before yesterday, the French president delivered an important speech, in which he spoke about life and about the values of the [French] Republic, about music and happiness, and about the murderers who tried to hijack religion - while emphasizing that France would not be defeated. He also stressed that the French people's determination to go on living and to enjoy [life] would remain and even grow, while constantly listing all the values of the Republic.
"President Hollande, [the terror] that struck France is a vile and despicable crime, and [its perpetrators] are wild animals and wolves, who not only disrupted people's lives, but also distorted religion and hijacked it, and took lives. But I ask, Mr. President, where were the values of the [French] Republic when bombs were raining down on Sarajevo in the early 1990s and while the Serbs were besieging it and committing every kind of crime? Back then Europe remained silent in the face of those sights, and [later] the murderers were brought to the International Criminal Court wearing elegant suits and Italian ties, were given the chance to appear in the media, and many Serbs were allowed to hold up their portraits and present them as heroes.
"Where were [your] republican values when a force of the [U.S.] marines captured Saddam Hussein, and the world was lenient and allowed to try him at an American military base? Why were the Serbian murderers tried in The Hague, wearing elegant suits, [and were allowed] to defend themselves and were treated with dignity, while an Arab president was executed to the sound of sectarian [i.e., Shi'ite] calls of encouragement and amid a shameful silence on the part of the world? Why were these [republican] values not applied then? Why wasn't Saddam Hussein brought before the court in Hague, like the Serbian leaders?
"Where are the values that expose the shame of the [international] coalition [that operated] in Libya [in 2011]? Reports claim that it was European and American planes that located [Mu'ammar] Qadhafi and led the [Libyan] rebels there. They allowed the media and television channels to show him stark naked, and to show his body being abused. More than that... his body was even shown lying in a Libyan town in front of a crowd of people, [including] children, having been abused in the most vile manner. Where were the [republican] values then? Why was Qadhafi not sent to be tried in the court in The Hague? Or do European leaders, being European, get to be treated with dignity, whereas Arab leaders are imprisoned or slaughtered, and pictures that violate their honor are shown [in the media]? Are these the tolerant European values?
"And President Hollande, what about [Yasser] Arafat, who died in one of your French hospitals and we do not know how he died[?] Before his death, he was besieged in the place where he lived [in Ramallah] and the power and water supply was cut off. They wanted to kill him and they violated all the agreements. Later they allowed him to take his last trip [abroad] in order to meet his maker... Where are the values of the Republic, that, to this day, [have not compelled you] to tell us the reason for Arafat's death?
"Can it be that Arab leaders are killed, tried and besieged in the most despicable ways, whereas the Serbian leaders were treated by Europe with compassion and humaneness...? Where are the values of the Republic? Where are they?
"And today, must [Syrian President] Bashar Al-Assad suffer the same fate as Qadhafi and Saddam? Is he to be besieged in his palace and killed by [Jabhat] Al-Nusra or Jaysh Al-Sham? Is that what the values of the Republic and the current era in Europe demand?
"For the past 60 years, Europe has been apologizing to Israel for the Holocaust, groveling to it, paying it [compensation] and hanging its head before the leaders of Israel. We have had 1,000 holocausts. ISIS has not left a single Iraqi child unharmed. It has cut off heads and burned [people and places]. In Syria, death is for free, and has developed [methods] even worse than burning: people there are being buried alive... In Libya, blood is [being spilled], as bright red as the sun coming up over Benghazi. In the bewildered Egypt, soldiers have become a target and slaughtering them is [presented as] a religious duty. There are sheikhs who have issued fatwas to this effect. Yet nobody apologizes for the spilling of our blood or asks for our forgiveness. They apologize [only] to Israel, and even when it slaughters us, they [still] apologize to it.
"Sir, since becoming president of France, in all your speeches you have been talking of nothing but the values of the Republic. What about our blood? What about our heads, our lives and our happiness? Or perhaps these values do not apply to us? These questions kill me, slaughter me, and I do not know how to finish [my article]. But the Arab blood that is being shed everywhere finishes my article [for me]. Long live the values!"
 Al-Rai (Jordan), December 1, 2015.