An Ideal, or We Will All Die
by Abounaddara

A hideous crime was carried out in the name of God on the 13th of November in Paris. The presumed killers are French or Belgian citizens who do not identify with their national communities or with common humanity. This deserves indignation, questions, and action. But instead of this, we are promised a state of emergency, war, and even more borders.

It has thus been decreed that evil comes from elsewhere, from a country of bearded men with knives between their teeth. Because it is indeed in this country that the Paris killers would have prepared for battle. It is also in this country that their accomplices cut the throats of “infidels” and boast about it on YouTube. And if you don’t believe it, honest citizens, it is because your televisions do not show you the harsh truth: so said an eminent French philosopher, awarded the Prix Bristol des Lumières, who called for the scenes of throat slitting recorded by Daesh to be broadcast on prime time in order to “make us become aware of reality.”

This land of bearded men, which happens to be ours, is no more the “land of evil” than France is “the land of the Enlightenment.” We, who have been filming it daily for five years, know this well. Look at this soldier who cut his enemy’s throat (https://vimeo.com/55082448), this bearded man who saw his fellow man’s throat being slit (https://vimeo.com/140283505), or this other bearded man who no longer believes in the justice of mankind (https://vimeo.com/113070561). All say that evil is no more an inevitability here than it is elsewhere, that it is not so much a culture or a religion, but rather a temptation which all of us can give in to through no will of our own.

What good then is a state of emergency, war, and borders? Evil is not found in a specific territory waiting for us to “eradicate” it, in that the leaders of the democratic world, Vladimir Putin, and Bashar al-Assad all agree, as well as the killers themselves—who promise to eradicate “perversion” in Paris. Evil resides above all in this discourse of eradication which attacks our common world, that of the “Universal” Declaration of Human Rights, by announcing two implacable worlds, divided between THEM on one side and US on the other. This is a discourse that is now being heard on prime time in the world’s media, to the delight of advertisers selling household appliances (https://vimeo.com/116944509).

Confronted by the fire that thus threatens our common world, in Syria or in Paris, we must fire back by inventing a new ideal. An ideal that dissuades our brothers and our children from “[divorcing] worldly life,” as they were invited to do in the statement that Daesh published when claiming responsibility for the crime in Paris. An ideal of a common humanity, or we will all die.

—The Abounaddara Collective

P.S. On the subject of common humanity, it would be good to start by demanding that the world’s media abstain from exhibiting the bodies of Syrian victims, in the way they handled their reporting about the Parisian victims with such notable restraint, for the sake of the principle of dignity.

Translated from the French by Sandra Reid

Posted in Notes on 11.20.2015
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