When I became a Muslim in 2014, I knew right away that to truly live by Islam, it would be necessary to tear myself away from the land of my ancestors.
Truth be told, this appetite for expatriation ricochets with a deeper nerve in me. When I was twelve years old, I was already telling my older brother that I would leave France as soon as I came of age.
Other people differ in sharp contrast. Some of my childhood friends have lived their whole lives in 30 square kilometers. It never occurs to them that elsewhere there is a future for them. So goes human nature. When some live as nomads, others dream of sedentarism.
The Quran itself echoes the love of the native land and the horror of statelessness:
And if We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position [for them in faith].
This sentiment is also found in the wisdom of the Arabic language, the famous proverb says it well:
بلادي ولو جارت علي عزيزة
“My land, you are dear to me, even if I am wronged on your soil.”
On an Islamic Diaspora
I am wary of the popular speeches that are chanted a little too quickly in the public sphere. I am wary, even when they are proclaimed by my own party.
For example, when Muslims say that the rise of Islamophobic hatred resembles the rise of anti-Semitism in France in the 1930s, I don’t believe it.
The antisemitic hatred of the Jews in France is not new: French Catholics have always hated them from the bottom of their hearts, and even today, this resentment is alive in the breasts of French white nationalists.
Similarly, when my brothers in Islam welcome with open arms the recent expatriation of French Muslims to Anglo-Saxon lands, I take issue.
Here is the article, titled: “The Quiet Flight of Muslims From France.”
“These people end up contributing to the economy of Canada or Britain,” said Olivier Esteves, a professor at the University of Lille’s center on political science, public law and sociology, which surveyed 900 French Muslim émigrés and conducted in-depth interviews with 130 of them. “France is really shooting itself in the foot.”
French Muslims, estimated at 10 percent of the population, occupy a strangely outsize place in the campaign — even if their actual voices are seldom heard. It is not only an indication of the lingering wounds inflicted by the attacks of 2015 and 2016, which killed hundreds, but also of France’s long struggle over identity issues and its unresolved relationship with its former colonies.
These departures are a testament to only one thing in reality: the success of colonial France in bringing in uneducated peasants from the Muslim world and converting them to pure secular liberalism.
There was no mass departure when the state banned the veil in schools in 2004. No big fleeing as well when the niqab was banned in 2011.
It took public opinion to ostracize the most widespread forms of Islam for the French Muslim to feel left out and to flee to other lands.
The clash between current government policies and the liberal sensibilities of these children of the Republic has halted their departure. Why else choose the United Kingdom, which is no less secular than France? Why Canada? Why Australia?
They may retort that “it is for economic comfort” that they crossed the English Channel and that “Muslim countries are either at war or precarious.” Of the 59 Muslim countries worldwide, was there not a single destination ready to welcome them in peace?
Let’s add that these migrants have waited for the economic situation in France to get bitter before finding the resolve to leave. The question arises, if the unemployment of young people was not so important, would there be so many making “hijra”?
The Obligation of Hijra
Besides these economic relocations, there is an honest debate within the Ummah about the status of Hijra. Everyone has his own ‘dalil,’ either to prove that Hijra is ‘fard,’ to assert that Hijra is just ‘mustahhab’ or ‘halal‘ and so on.
Some Muslims even dare to ask: “Who will make dawah to the French if all Muslims leave the territory?”
You might as well say that these impromptu preachers are far more concerned about the future of Islam when they share a mint tea with me than when they go to work and pray in the restroom, fearing dismissal if anyone finds out.
This hesitation of committed French Muslims shows that they have swallowed a poison just as voracious as liberalism: secularism.
For them, the Hijra is devoid of political considerations, and they do not see the much more profound aspect of the need to flee France quickly. That is why they sometimes dare to say that “as long as prayer is not forbidden, Hijra is not obligatory for us.”
The attack of France on Islam is not limited to the prayer and the veil, you poor soul!
Unfortunately, the debate never ends because each time they are on the backfoot, they hide behind fatwas which excuse their non-departure.
What audacity to justify their residence in France using Islamic jurisprudence while at school, the gaze of young pigs bruise the bodies of their underdressed daughters!
None of them see the slow march of the liberal forces on French Islam. This version of Islam is completely deformed. This slow poison transforms the young Muslims into chimeras, half liberal and half secular, who have in common with the first generations of Muslims only names of Arab origins.
All this confusion is delaying the departure of the real Muslims, who in this mess, naively stay in the lion’s den and delay their fleeing until the day it will be too late.
If the attack of the French forces on Islam has nothing to do with the Jews in the 1930s, it is possible to find another, slightly older parallel:
“The French Emigration” refers to the departure of approximately 140,000 French people from France – between 1789 and 1800 – due to the revolutionary unrest and this from the day after July 14, 1789, and the storming of the Bastille. These followers of their religion and of the monarchical institution feared for the latter, and the violent turn of events also made them fear for their own physical integrity. If many of them were nobles, priests, or religious (44%), there were also soldiers (4%), bourgeois (17%), peasants (20%), workers, craftsmen, and merchants (15%). Some emigrated to fight the Revolution from the outside, others to escape its violence, particularly the Terror.
If in 1789 and 1790, it was relatively easy to pack up, even with one’s goods, silver and gold, it became much more complicated after 1791. The revolutionary authorities realized that this was a flight of capital that could harm the national economy if it continued. Moreover, the emigrants became threatening and formed large gatherings at the border. They threatened those who did not support their enterprise with confiscating their property and even torture. Faced with this movement that was growing day by day, Louis XVI took measures to stop it.
Laws were passed to restrict the mobility of possible emigrants, and on October 31, 1791, the Legislative Assembly issued a decree ordering emigrants to return before January 1 of the following year, under penalty of being declared rebels and stripped of their rights.
If history repeats itself, when the Muslims make the Hijra, it will be necessary to do it promptly. France does not want Islam. It does not want you to leave either. They want to eat your Islam to the bone and plunge you into hell with them.
Last but not least dear brothers and sisters, besides France, another danger awaits you: death. Already, thousands of believers have buttoned their shirts, laced their shoes, and left their homes to never return to their families. It’s only a matter of time before it’s your turn.
And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Aware.