Farag Foda, the victim of freedom of expression
- 25 Posts
- Age 22
Article 19.Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
At the beginning, I was confused! How can I write about someone who was assassinated because he believed in “freedom of expression”? It’s weird; actually, it’s sad to be killed because you thought you are free to say whatever you want, to denounce the bad things and to try to find solutions for the problems of the Arab world! Is it okay to assassinate an intellectual only because he wrote a few books? I can’t explain but the answer is “YES”, in the Arab and the Muslim world, we assassinate intellectuals, we refuse and reject knowledge, and at the same time: we sanctify and worship ignorance.
I chose to begin with that article because it means a lot to me. Whenever I read it, I remember that on 8 June 1992, the Arab world lost a great intellectual and an amazing writer. Today, I’m not going to talk about Algeria, I’m going to denounce the bad things in my country, but I’m going to give you a small introduction about a man who fought for his ideas, who had a political program and who wanted to help his country. Today, I wanted to write something different, I wanted to make you know a little bit about the Arab culture, secularism in conservative countries and the truth of our knowledge.
Who was Farag Foda?
When you speak about Foda, you speak about secularism in the Islamic world! He’s an Egyptian thinker who was among the few who defended secularism and who called to respect and follow the universal declaration of human rights. He said it and repeated it: “ We must separate our religion from our state!”. This sentence and this declaration were enough to kill him by the Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (a terrorist group in Egypt). They said he was apostate from Islam which means he should be murdered, they did what they did and they were proud of it, I don’t know how to describe the awful story of the assassination but if I could meet those who killed Farag Foda, I’ll tell them directly: “If you consider my brain as a source of sins and if you consider ‘thinking’ as an apostasy, then I’m the first apostate and I deserve to be killed!”
I read all the books of this great author, I don’t know how could those terrorists conclude that this man is an apostate, I really can’t figure out who is that “genius” who came up with this idea and this judgment?! Farag Foda simply criticized the Islamic revival and the political program of the extremists (even if I don’t really think that they have a real program!), he was very clever, he was rational and logical, he gave many good arguments and they simply didn’t know to answer his questions, how to discuss and argue with him, how to criticize him, how to search in his books and try to find mistakes… when they couldn’t answer him, they chose to kill him, that’s the truth!
When I read those powerful words of Foda’s daughter, I was angry; I couldn’t imagine how we lost such an Islamic thinker? The daughter said: “My father was an Islamic thinker in the full sense of the word and wholeheartedly defended moderate Islam. I challenge his killers if they could spot a single text in his writings against Islam”*.
You know what makes me laugh? When I remember the famous discussion between the killer of Farag Foda and the judge:
The judge: why did you kill Foda?
The killer: because he was an apostate.
The judge: how did you know that he’s an apostate?
The killer: it’s clear from his books!
The judge: did you read his books?
The killer: NO! I CAN’T NEITHER READ NOR WRITE (the killer was illiterate)!!!
This is simply what we must expect when we let the illiterates decide who has the right to live and who should die! The death of Foda is a loss for the Arab world, it’s not okay to kill an intellectual even if he was against religion as they proclaimed (I can guarantee you my dear readers that this great man respected all the religions), it’s not okay to put a bullet in the head of a thinker, it’s not okay to kill “knowledge” and to worship “ignorance”… and when you find a nation which thinks that all this is okay, you must know that this nation is a part of the third world.
I tried to give you a few information about Farag. Unfortunately, his books are not available (as far as I know) in English, they’re only available in Arabic but you can search for his name and you will find out who was he. The next post will be about secularism in Muslim and Arab countries and about the effect of the ideas of this author.
Some articles that talk about Farag: