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Jan 23, 2015
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Arab Commentators Clash over Freedom of Speech in Wake of Paris Attacks

#4744 | 06:39
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

U.S.-based Egyptian author Magdi Khalil and Tunisian scholar Shakir Al-Sharafi recently clashed in a heated TV debate on freedom of speech, following the Paris attacks. "The Jewish Holocaust is an indisputable and irrefutable fact," said Khalil. "Why is it only the Muslims who deny the Holocaust?" Al-Sharafi, for his part, claimed that the Charlie Hebdo attack had been a conspiracy, filmed in advance. The debate aired on Al-Jazeera TV's show "The Opposite Direction" on January 20, 2015.


Moderator: Can you make the claim that the number of Jews killed by Hitler in the Holocaust was even one less [than six million]? Let's say that 5,900,900, or whatever, died. Can you say this without going to prison or being placed on trial?


Magdi Khalil: The European and American courts have agreed that the historical debate among historians should not extend to indisputable historical facts such as the Holocaust, slavery in the U.S., and apartheid in South Africa. No one can say that there was no slavery in the U.S. Not only would this be immortal, but he would go to prison. The blacks would take him to court, because he would be inciting against real people, living today. Protection should be awarded to human beings. [Fighting] antisemitism constitutes defending Jews. The Jewish holocaust is an indisputable and irrefutable fact. The entire world has recognized this, so why can't the Muslims? Why does Islam harbor such terrible religious hatred towards the Jews? Why is it only the Muslims who deny the Holocaust?


[...]


Even if the Muslims killed the entire population of six billion and lived alone, they would start killing one another, because they believe in the notion of the "Saved Sect" – that there are 70 sects and only one will be saved. They must annihilate each other. The Islamists' agenda is about annihilation, blood, hatred, destruction of the world, and destruction of Western civilization. The most significant pillar of Western civilization is freedom of speech...


Moderator: Very well. Just one minute. Let your colleague respond.


Shakir Al-Sharafi: He made a historical mistake with regard to the Holocaust. Roger Garaudy wrote a book in which he did not deny the Holocaust, but he did deny the imaginary figures. It should be noted that Roger Garaudy proved that some Jews had helped the Nazi Party during the Holocaust, in order to create a certain history – a dramatic image enabling them to gain the loyalty and solidarity of the West. Germany and the West are still paying the price for this imaginary Holocaust. Thus, they founded an advanced military base for the West.


Let me return to the Charlie Hebdo operation. This operation was filmed in advance, in the command center of some intelligence agency: There were no corpses, and no blood, and the operation took place in broad daylight. The true target of this operation was the mosques, the grace of which has spread throughout Europe.


[...]


Since when has there ever been freedom of speech in the West? The U.S. consecrated its existence with the annihilation of the Indians. The West consecrated its existence only after it learned tolerance from the Muslims in Andalusia. The West consecrated its existence only after learning freedom of speech from the Muslims.


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[The West] was founded on blood, through Crusades and the colonization and plundering of other peoples. Look at Algeria, the country of one million martyrs. The same France that talks about freedom of speech killed one million Muslims. In Tunisia too... They divided the Arab and Muslim world. What West is my colleague talking about?


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Moderator: The pope said that affronts to religions do not constitute freedom of speech. He said that if someone cursed his mother, he would punch him.


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Magdi Khalil: The pope represents the Church but not Western civilization. Western civilization was founded on the shattering of all that is sacred. Nietzsche said that "God is dead." God lives in the hearts of His believers, but in the public realm, God is dead. In Western civilization, freedom of speech is meaningless if it does not protect opposing, dissenting, shocking, and deviant views. This man [the pope] is a great man, but with all due respect, he comes from a Latin American background, and is not familiar with the centrality of the concept of freedom of speech in European and Western civilization. He does not understand this because he has come from a dictatorship.


[...]


What do you want from the Jews after six million of them were killed? The total number of Jews is 13 million. Why do Islam and the Muslims harbor such hatred towards the Jews?


Moderator: We are not talking about Judaism but about the prostitution of Western media, which does not allow a single word of criticism against Israel. We are not talking about Judaism. Judaism is a sacred religion whether you like it or not.


Magdi Khalil: These are empty words, nothing but empty words. On a daily basis, mosques around the Arab world... If you record a single Friday sermon in any Islamic country, you will encounter curses against the Jews and the Christians.


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Nazi propaganda led to the killing of six million Jews, which is the greatest massacre in the entire history of mankind. People were put into gas chambers in the 20th century. That is why the world criminalized this racial hatred against the Jews.


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You demand special treatment for Islam and the Muslims in a secular society, although all religions face vehement attacks.


[...]

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