by Giulio Meotti
The Oeuvre d’Orient was founded in 1856, when for the French it was a question of going to the aid of the Lebanese Maronites, Eastern Christians massacred by the Arab tribes.Eastern Christians would have been the architects of the little secularism present in those societies, they were the first to think about the political integration of all minorities and to draft constitutions in which the essential reference was no longer religion. In 1856, France Inter did not exist.
In recent years, Eastern Christians have been severely persecuted, Coptic churches burned, Chaldean and Syriac Christians massacred by Islamic extremists. The Oeuvre d’Orient is raising funds to help them. Advertising is needed, including on France Inter. But the French public radio station has just turned down an advertising campaign for this Christmas. It had asked for a single word to be removed: “Christian”.
On French public radio where one cannot say “Eastern Christians,” the words “Jesus is gay” can be set to music. “Jésus est pédé”, sang Frédéric Fromet on France Inter. The singer-songwriter presented Jesus as a homosexual “in the name of the fight against homophobia”.
Pascal Gollnisch, head of the Oeuvre d’Orient, recalls that the RATP, the Paris public transport company, had also refused an advertisement for the same reasons. In Paris, the performance of “Les Prêtres”, a musical band formed by two French priests and a Vietnamese, was scheduled to raise funds for Eastern Christians. The phrase “au profit des chrétiens d’Orient”, ie the proceeds would go to Eastern Christians, had to disappear and the billboards would have to be reprinted.
Finished in the resulting storm, the RATP had to back down. Like France Inter, which was forced to review the decision.
When, a month ago, the poster of the latest Borat film appeared on the buses of the Paris RATP – nude and with a ring with the word “Allah” in Arabic – the transport company had removed it from the buses running on the Tice network, which covers Essonne and the southern suburb of Evry, with a large population of Muslims.
Abdelhakim Sefrioui, an imam who launched the fatwa against Professor Samuel Paty, beheaded for showing in class the cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, lives there. Therefore, posters on Eastern Christians and those “offensive” to Islam have been censored. France Inter had accepted the Oeuvre d’Orient commercials for the past three years during the Christmas holidays. Then came the beheading of Paty.
The weekly Le Point reconstructed the last lessons of the professor from Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Paty tackled the issue of press freedom and began with two cartoons: a gagged newspaper and a mouth closed with a zipper. To the students, the professor explains that, during the monarchy, there was no freedom of the press and “newspapers were censored”. Then he shows a picture of Place de la République full of people and with “Je suis Charlie” signs. And he concludes: “In 2015 the Islamists attacked Charlie Hebdo. This event shows that press freedom has yet to be defended”. And that the censorship now comes from within.
Laïcité – secularism – is served in installments.. Using the word “Christians” is a great scandal, while in the Paris metro in the recent past there have also been great advertisements for the film “Qu’Allah bénisse la France”.
May Allah bless France! But not Eastern Christians.