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Islamist society condemns French support request

Al Asala says that Mali campaign objectives are not clear

Gulf News

MANAMA: An Islamist society in Bahrain has condemned a France request for support from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as French troops continued their assault against Islamist rebels in Mali and a hostage crisis is dragging several countries in the daunting situation.

“We strongly condemn the request by President Francois Hollande for support from Gulf countries in bombarding Muslims in Mali,” Al Asala, the exclusive expression of Salafism in Bahrain said. “Hollande wants our support to continue his military campaign against the Muslims there as if the Gulf countries were his colonies and that he could mobilize them as he wishes to help him kill fellow Muslims in a country where more than 90 per cent of the population are Muslims,” the society said.

Gulf countries should not be fooled by the unjust French campaign or by Hollande’s “honey talk”, Al Asala said.

“We call upon the Gulf states not to stain their hands with the blood of our innocent brothers and to respect the feelings of the GCC and Muslim world people who strongly reject any form of contribution to kill their brethren in Mali or anywhere else. Our people were shocked to discover the colonialist face of the French president and they demand a public rejection of the French moves,” the society said.

On Tuesday, France’s foreign minister said that there were several ways for Gulf countries to provide assistance, including through materials or funds.

However, Al Asala said that the French campaign was barbaric and had blurred objectives.

“It will inevitably increase the sentiments of resentment against France in the Arab and Islamic world. The goals of this campaign can be understood only within the French and Western context of fighting Muslims everywhere and attempting to weaken and dominate them,” the society said.

“We simply cannot understand how Hollande will be able to achieve the goals he announced by having planes strike civilians, including women and children, indiscriminately. The French cannot put under siege armed groups who know the Malian territory well and who can spread out over vast areas, making it impossible for planes to kill them, especially that Mali has an area of over 1.240 million square kilometres,” Al Asala said.