There’s not much cause for surprise really when you take a look at the picture of the two leaders captured in Paris. They are a perfect match, quite suited to each other too. Is one any better than the other? Is one any more virtuous than the other? Is one less Islamophobic than the other? Is one any less innocent than the other with respect to twisting the truth, violating human rights or shedding Muslim blood? Is one more democratic than the other? Is one any less sensitive towards human rights than the other?
The two perpetrators of all the disgraceful beliefs, values and practices of our age converged in the city of lights.
The Frenchman rolled out a red carpet for his Egyptian counterpart and, with this encouragement, the other made his most confident speech in the past few years “against extremist groups and discourses.” Since he was elected president, Macron has already encountered the vastest ceaseless protests since the 1968 civil unrest events. Subsequent to the new press and security laws he is trying to enact with respect to suppressing these movements, he faced a new protest wave claiming that he is paving the way to his dictatorship.
We are talking about the picture of French President Emmanuel Macron walking on the red carpet at a press conference during an official visit paid to Paris by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who seized power in Egypt through a bloody coup against the first administration to come to office through the country’s first real democratic elections, who suppressed the objections and demonstrations against him through fusillades and massacring thousands of people after he took control over the administration with a coup, and who then threw into dungeons tens of thousands of people without rhyme or reason to eliminate the likely opposition.
During his speech at the press conference held at the Elysée Palace, Macron said that France would continue to sell weapons to Egypt independent of the human rights situation, stating that he does not want France to weaken Egypt’s anti-terrorism efforts in the region. “Anti-terrorism” is the master key that paves the way for all the human rights violations, coups, and despotic practices these dictators carry out.
Meanwhile, who cares about the human rights violations and the torture faced by tens of thousands of innocent people held captive under inhumane conditions in Sisi’s prisons – nothing far from the Medieval Age dungeons?
Under the guise of “official discourse,” or rather in the name of the values and discourses which France adamantly defends, especially against countries like Turkey, such a situation should have been impossible under normal circumstances. Perhaps this is why Antoine Madelin, the international advocacy director for France’s International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) criticized Macron concerning Sisi’s Paris visit saying, “We are amazed that France is rolling out the red carpet for a dictator when there are more than 60,000 prisoners of conscience today in Egypt.”
Of course, Macron cannot entirely ignore such criticism, and stated that he prefers dialogue instead of boycotts concerning human rights, that differences of opinion can be openly discussed, and that he does not want to associate the cooperation in economy and defense with these differences of opinion.
If Macron genuinely wanted to say something to Sisi regarding this matter, what would or could he say? Did they not do everything hand in hand? Is what they both call terrorism not the sole democratic forces of the region? Did France, which classified as terrorists the legitimate administration in Libya, also officially recognized by the international community, not endorse putschist Khalifa Haftar’s pro-coup, pro-occupation, mass slaughter and torture operations by cooperating with him?
When a new chapter is opened in human rights, will they not weaken all operations conducted by Haftar, which they backed together? Wont they be eating their words to talk about human rights halfway down the track after committing such crimes together? Are they not sticking the knife in human rights together?
It is also clear that this visit by Sisi, in an atmosphere which Egypt, one of the Muslim world’s most important centers, recently drew the ire of the entire Islamic world due to its hate speech against Muslims and Prophet Muhammad, includes a message of support and consolation. Thus, Macron is naturally expressing his thanks. Surely the symbolic significance of this endorsement and gratitude, and its impacts on the Muslim world are deep. It clearly reveals where all the lines diverge.
It reveals the true colors of the pro-democracy groups and the putschists in the Muslim world, and those who advocate and represent the peoples’ independence, honor, and welfare, and the greediest colonialists and their collaborators opposing them. It has reached such an extent that the French media cannot help but declare Macron and Sisi’s meeting through an “anti-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sentiment.” France 24 channel summarized the two leaders’ meeting as, “Macron and Sisi agree that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the common enemy,” thus revealing the bigger picture of the ceremony between this putschist and colonialist.