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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  October 30, 2020 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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>> three people have been killed in a knife attack at a church in the southern french city of nice. several others have been injured. french president emmanuel macron has visited the scene. he says the number of soldiers deployed as doubled to 7000. >> is a firm message i want to share today and a message of unity. and friends, there is only one community, the national community. i want to tell all of our citizens to matter their
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religion, whether they believe or not, we must at this moment unite and not cede to the spirit of division. all of our citizens are currently shocked by what has happened to michael for unity. >> france and germany are about to introduce nationwide lockdown's. coronavirus infection rates are searching in europe's two largest economies. people will only be able to go out for a central reasons. at least 140 migrants have drowned in with the u.n. is having is the worst shipwreck of the year. 60 others were rescued off the coast of senegal. the vessel caught fire after sailing from st. louis on saturday for the canary islands. azerbaijan is exchanged dozens of bodies in a handover, a brief pause in hostilities since the latest cease-fire rooster avail. --appears to have failed. a city came under fierce shot from the syrian forces. the u.s. economy has expended by record 33% in the third quarter
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as it recovers from the pandemic. last week 751,000 americans apply for jobless benefits, the lowest weekly total since march. the belarusian president has replaced his interior minister. the police chief who the crackdown on antigovernment protesters in the capital, minsk. alexander lukashenko appointed a former head of the kgb police as one of two new aides. 16,000 people have been detained since his disputed reelection in august which opponents say was rigged. stay with us on al jazeera. up next is "inside story."
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>> i another attack in france as it is facing growing muslim rage. muslims are angry over what they say is a targeting of their religion. the french president argues it is rhythm of speech. can this rift be bridge and an understanding be reached between western leaders and the muslim world? this is "inside story." hello, welcome to the program. a series of attacks in france -- three people were killed in a stabbing in a church in the southern city of nice. a man was shot dead after threatening passerby with a gun. and in jeddah in saudi arabia, a guard was attacked outside the french consulate. these incidents follow the
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beheading of a french teacher who showed the profits cartoon in his class earlier this month. president emmanuel macron has defended the cartoons in the name of freedom of each full to thousands of taken to the streets across muslim nations to denounce him. tensions have been growing between macron and the muslim world over what many cs attack by the president on their religion. >> france and europe in general do not deserve the vicious, provocative, ugly, hateful policies of macron and those who share the same mentality. we invite prudent europeans to take an initiative against this dangerous trend to have a bright future for them and their children. we ask of those who use anti-muslim and turkish hostility to cover up their failures and domestic politics to later dirty hands off our sacred-- lay their dirty hands off our secret values. >> if the west is really being honest, if europe is being honest, if france's being honest when saying they are after
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peace, brotherhood command security for the international community from the west must stop meddling in the internal affairs of muslims. >> people have the freedom to express what is in their thoughts. but i imagine that this stops when it comes to offending the feelings of more than 1.5 billion people. >> muslims in several countries have been calling for a boycott of french products. goods made in france were pulled from supermarket shelves in kuwait and qatar. qatar university an calls to stay away from a french grocery store jane were trending on social media in saudi arabia and the united arab emirates. let's bring in our guest, a political analyst specializing in france and north africa. he joins us from paris. a professor of politics at the
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doha institute for graduate studies. he joins us from delhi. joining us from london--joins us from doha. joining us from london is a scholar in religion and international affairs at the carnegie endowment for international peace. welcome to all of you. are we likely to see the french government taking a tougher measure to combat what president macron has been describing as islamic separatism? >> yesterday i think it is very important to fight this disease, not only in france, but in the world. what i propose to the french president two years ago is to take initiative -- he can be a good idea to explain for the french muslim people that it is important to work with cooperation with the muslim people. the feeling of the french community, muslim french community, is very worrying
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today. i think this initiative can be very, i would say, a very good idea to build a relationship between the muslim countries, which are 57 in the ic, and to demand to sit and france has house more than 7 million french muslims that i think they have legitimacy to ask for this seat, and they can be a very good initiative to build and consolidate the dialogue of civilizations, and i think it can be a very good idea if it has to be -- to implement with france and other countries. >> ok, if you look at the sequence of events macron talking about the need to tackle radicalization in france, and then the beheading of samuel paty, and now the attacks in nice, is this likely to further
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increase the debate about the need to deal with radicalization, immigration, and the other key issues which are topping the agenda in france? >> i think that president macron has been adopting completely the wrong way tackling this problem. he's right, there is a problem, and he's right, this is a muslim problem, in the sense that we have some people within the muslim community who are engaging in inappropriate kinds of violence. but there has always been two approaches to this lease problem -- to this police problem. there has been the approach which was followed by israel and later by most of the regimes which knocks all islamic
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activities are the problem. and they want to use radicalization to attack democracy and civil rights. most of the actors on the international state think that this is casting the net too wide and is going to antagonize more people and create a problem. there have been activists since the 1990's have been treating any muslim who is observing muslim, any muslim who supports islamic movements, as a terrorist. if you are agreeing that, you have half a billion terrorists worldwide, and you could never fight this. the fighting would not succeed,
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and you waste your time and resources and not get anywhere. so i think the better you do this with the muslims. >> this is an issue that has come under several attacks over the last few years, affecting the lives of dozens of people in nice and paris. where do you see france moving for th against the backdrop of the debate for france in islam? >> there is a temptation for us to see the situation at the moment as being one where you have a foreign element within france, i.e. muslims, are responsible for all sorts of things. terrorism, separatism, etc. first i think that is a completely erroneous way to look at it. these are french citizens. they are muslim french citizens.
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but unfortunately, you have people inside and outside the country who would prefer to portray them as other and who try to internationalize the issue in a way that it means they are viewed as aliens who are operating at the behest of foreign governments and so on. i think that is very dangerous, because they are french they are not any less french from their non-muslim compatriots. but you do have on the domestic level within france different political movements, including, i have to say, at the highest levels of government, that thrive off of the otherization of these communities, particularly against the backdrop of a presidential election that is coming up in just a year or so. the gradual mainstreaming of the far right and right wing sentiment in france, and muslim french citizens pay the price
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for all of that. we all have to be very careful about saying that we ceded to -- we need to engage with countries abroad other countries outside of france who can "speak" for the muslims of france. nobody can speak for the muslims of france except the muslims of france. they are not an alien community transplanted from somewhere else. >> i was watching some of the tv shows on french tv over the last few days. very extraordinary moments where a french writer would say, for example, that muslims are the biggest threat to france because their religion is a religion of conquest and hatred. others saying it is about time to rethink or reinvent islam to be compatible with secularism. how do you see that debate moving forward now that we have france against latest attacks in nice? >> very good question, thank you
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for asking about this question. many problems debate in france are inviting some hatred in france. this is very dangerous for our community, particularly for the french muslim community and also for the stability of the country. this problem and this matter is particularly with the french citizens. and how to solve this problem is with also the french muslim citizens. and the response has to come for french citizens and french muslim citizens. we see that 30 years ago we know that islam, some people have the agenda to target islam. we need to distinguish between two distants.-- distints. that is why it is import for the media to take their own responsibility and invite french
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citizen muslims to condemn terrorism but also for the authorities to cooperate with french muslim citizens, because they are french, first of all, they are french. we see macron unfortunately has chose to speak with the popular language. this makes a lot of confusing with people. that is why french citizens are very worried about the situation. i think we have to take some initiative, as i said, to consolidate the dialogue of civilization in this organization. that is very important, as qatar and other countries can play a major role to build his relationship. we have many things in common. >> for the time being, you have a backlash which is gaining momentum across the muslim world following the statement made by emmanuel macron when he was saying that there is a crisis
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within islam and it was interpreted by muslims as the man is showing disrespect for their religion. we have this on one hand, and we have the camera tax targeting civilians in france on the other hand -- terror attacks targeting civilians in france on the other hand. could this blur the lines we have seen the last few weeks building in the region? >> has already. i think president macron has been speaking in a language which was first of all muddying the waters and not focusing. you need to focus on the terrorist threat. you cannot at the same time when you are focusing on the terrorist threat, which is a minority issue, which -- over
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the organization like oic and all of them are rejecting this and saying it is inexcusable. at the same time, align yourself with cartoonists or are those who want to antagonize and want to create anger, then you put yourself -- your message will not be heard. at the same time, i think you cannot be a secular government and just hear about religion all the time t. you cannot be a secular government and try to reform religion, especially if it is not your religion. that is not politics. you have to as a president -- you have first of all to
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yourself out of arguments about religion and you have to speak about common values about humanity and not try to make yourself consider -- crusader. >> how do you explain that culture has suddenly become the primary fault line between the west and the muslim world? when you listen to the french media, they are basically saying that the biggest problem -- we give legitimacy t for the fact that islam is a huge threat to western civilization because islam is a religion of conquest determined to change western values. it seems to be reverberating across the political spectrum in france. >> ok, i would question greatly about framing this in a way that puts the west on one side and the muslim world on the other. huge parts of the west are muslim.
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you have tens of millions of muslim western citizens. i don't really think that that is the right frame. i think that what you have is a very worrying trend of the far right's discourse -- not the far right itself, but the discourse of the far right being mainstreamed across europe and north america. we are seeing that with donald trump, we are seeing that with macron, we are seeing that with different parts of europe. they are not necessarily on the far right and health but they have mainstreamed the discourse because they want to get votes more on side. and that, unfortunately, is a phenomenon that is very prevalent at the moment in many different countries. part of that resulted in the brexit votes, and a lot of this has to do with how there is a crisis of identity within the west, particularly within
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certain parts of europe, as they have seen great change taking place around them. >> do you think this could be an opportunity for muslims in france to rethink issues like identity, secularism, the way forward in the near future, the relationship with europe, with western values, for them to be able to move on? >> one we studied a french history, we know that muslim people have been contributing many, many decades to french history. muslim people came before it 768. in the caliph in the south of france. unfortunately, many people, particularly economists and historians in the french media, they have given some speech and hatred and they don't know the history, of french history. i think the french people can
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play a major role in the country by taking the part of the political game in france and also to be more engaged to the country. that is important, a first step. unfortunately, the president macron -- i've written before, to use ago,-- two years ago, strategic notes to be part of the oic. that could be a good initiative to consolidate dialogue of civilization. i don't believe that this polarization between western countries and the muslim, because we have, as you know, many many many muslim europeans. that is important to clarify. >> you have in talking about this issue that has been politicized, and for a reason
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now, emmanuel macron and on the other hand you have in turkey they seem to be leading the push by many muslim countries to announce and condemn statements made by macron. do you think that both leaders have been amplifying this particular issue for pure political ambitions? >> i think that is precisely the case. the issues between turkey and france have started from the struggle -- it shows that the problem macron is trying to portray as the problem of muslims are actually problems in which macron had many muslim allies, but of the wrong kind. he is allied in libya and
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emiratis and egyptians, in israel, and now in azerbaijan. these conflicts are conflicts of interest. also, the fight between greece and cyprus and 30, all about recent -- greece and cyprus and turkey, all about resources and regional power. i think this is not polarization of muslims and non-muslims. macron is viewing muslim politics through his involvement in all the wrong causes. these muslims are muslim partners of his and oppressing people and making people more angry. they cannot support him on this
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case. the emiratis, who are allies of macron, they backtrack now and said all of them, including the egyptian president cannot denigrate the profit. this is not a war we can make. the attacks on the french of the city it -- french embassy in jeddah. dsi to make this argument, the far right in france and elsewhere. this is a battle which will benefit the far right in france and europe and not benefit the muslims. >> since you mentioned the far right, macron has done exactly what his predecessors did, which is basically try to -- because
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we know that he is desperate for reelection and he is trying to outmaneuver the far right, because this is where the far right price. is this something that is going to work with you think this is something which will backfire on him? >> i don't know if it will backfire on him. quite frankly what we have seen over the past few years is when you otherize continent, he does gain you votes. it doesn't lose you votes. and it requires a certain type of really inspirational leader to turn around and say this is wrong, this tears society apart. and we should be doing this -- we should not be doing this, because it is going to create even more problems for us in the future. i don't see all that many readers trying to do that. there is some, but it is a vote-getter. that is one aspect of it. the second aspect of it is whether or not it is going to work in terms of reelection.
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it is important to keep the far-right aspect of this in mind, but there are other issues as well. macron has come under heavy criticism in france for his handling of the covid-19 crisis. he didn't deal with the last attack in france in this way at all. he is dealing with it in a completely different fashion this time around. one has to ask what exactly has changed. you have to keep the overall picture of where macron sits in french politics very much at the forefront. >> i have one last question, less than a minute and a half. i would appreciate you giving me very short answers. do you think the boycott is an efficient way in modern times? >> the boycott i think is important to have against freedom of speech.
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it is not very important, this boycott. it can be something that can have a good effect, but i think the best thing to do is to open cooperation and dialogue. >> fair enough, i see your point. >> it is a powerful weapon and it has made france stand up and listen. but i think the whole issue of making this popular struggle against islamic and the west is not to the benefit of anybody. >> so, boycotting is a peaceful form of expression. i don't think anybody can deny that. the effectiveness of it, the appropriateness of it, i think is far more complicated. you have to look at how boycotts have and haven't worked over the past couple of decades,
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including in regards to the danish cartoons prices. if people want to boycott, i don't anybody should say they can't. it is a peaceful form of expression. if this is all about freedom of expression, nobody should deny that. but in a tactical sense, i think that deserves a lot more examination. >> gentleman, we are running out of time. i really appreciate your insight. thank you, thank you. thank you, too, for watching. you can see the program again any time by visiting our website,, for further discussion. you can also join in the conversation on twitter. @ajinsidestory. for me and the entire team, bye for now.
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man: the watts towers have been a focal point of creativity for a long time. different man: i knew who i was. i knew that i was an artist. different man: they were working out of a shared need to communicate something based on what they had to work with. woman: because that's what we fought for, the ability to be free to say what we wanted to say. man: you got to a use your art as a tool to bring about social change. woman: we have fine art in watts, and it's been going on 61 years because of the watts towers art center campus.


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