Why is it that what's happening in France is happening there rather than, for instance, in Denmark where the controversial (ugly, tasteless and humorless) cartoons of Prophet Muhammad were first published? Why don't we call them the "Jyllands-Posten cartoons" after that Danish daily newspaper rather than the Charlie Hebdo caricatures? Although there is an openly racist and Islamophobic party leader like Geert Wilders in Holland and the leaders of the People's Party (DPP) in Denmark who occasionally burn the Quran and deliver anti-Islamic speeches frequently, nobody there is beheading Christians. Let's knock on wood, but let's ask why?
The simplest answer seemed to be that Wilders and his ilk in Holland, Denmark and other parts of Europe were fringe elements in national political lives, and people created a political party against the DPP to oppose racism in the country's political life.
Moreover, Pernille Skipper, the spokesperson for the left-wing Red-Green Alliance, recently spoke in parliament about racism and Islamophobia in the country. "Racism exists in Denmark, and foreigners are exposed to inequality," she said. But that is not the case in France and the president himself has been fanning the flames to exacerbate an explosive Islamophobia issue in his desperate bid for reelection.
Not anymore. I, too, thought French President Emmanuel Macron's Islamophobic approach to the French Muslim community would not help address radicalization even if it would help him to steal the thunder of Marine Le Pen, the far-right French politician and president of the National Rally (RN) party.
When Macron brushed off the unequivocal protests of the Islamic leaders targeting terrorism yet his attitude was not criticized by the French political class and the intelligentsia, I began to realize that it was not a simple political investment of a young politician who became the president of mighty France because of political accidents in both the Republican and Socialist camps. Yes, it was unfortunate for both political movements that had led the French people between a rock and a hard place because of their insights, but this man looked like a modern person, unlike the alternative! Even I would vote for him lest Le Pen win. Who would guess that he might have his own philosophy as dangerous as Le Pen's extreme nationalism?
David Bohm, an American scientist has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and contributed unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind. He was granted a fellowship by the Royal Society, an award granted by the judges of the Royal Society of London to individuals who have made a "substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge." One of his major contributions to the philosophy of mind is what he calls "the rheomode."
It is a kind of experiment in a new mode of language in which movement is to be taken as primary in our thinking. He incorporated this notion into the language structure by allowing the verb rather than the noun to play a primary role. It sounds difficult to comprehend, but in his book titled "Wholeness and the Implicate Order," he says that thought is nothing more than a form of reflex and conditioning.
"So, if you say, whenever this happens, I need to do this, whenever X happens, I need to do Y. Now with that, you don't have to think. Immediately when X happens, you are already doing Y, right? It is a reflex. Now, that is the nature of thought. And one reflex leads to another."
Implanting such thoughts as Islamic "separatism" in his speeches, Macron is doing more than simple election propaganda; he is conditioning the French political class and the intelligentsia. First, he began talking against Muslims and accusing them of being terrorists because of their faith. It was a hard sell because the French Catholic Church knew better than anyone else that there have been no terrorist activities coming from Muslims against Christians for ages because of their faith.
Macron immediately added another dimension to his narrative – a plan to fight what he called Islamic separatism. The plan sought to provide measures to "rescue French Muslims from the control of other countries." This time Macron was hitting a nerve that could be more sensitive than the faith argument. Even though he was still talking about Islam, now he was referring to a political attitude that Muslims allegedly possessed – dividing France and adapting Islamic law in certain provinces in France.
Naturally, he could not mobilize anybody against Muslims; however, he clearly showed a vulnerable part of society as a target for terrorist groups. He might have conditioned the political class in the country by now that Islam seeks separatism in France and they might now jump into Macron's crusader bandwagon.
We'll see if Bohm's "mind-structuring" theory works in 21st century France and French intellectuals stop thinking for themselves and buy Macron's conditioning thoughts.