Thursday, April 23, 2015

Losing My Religion? - Zakaria Fellah

by Zakaria Fellah

Islamic supremacists, Islamo-fascists, that’s what they are. The new Barbarians on the march against human civilization and progress in the name of a Jihad they embarked on…without consulting with me.

Remember that song by REM “Losing my religion”? It was quite a hit in the late 90s, early 2000…

Sadly, that’s how I have been feeling for quite some time now about my relation with my religion, Islam. A deep sadness and despair over the decay of the Arab world… since Boabdil, the Emir of Granada, surrendered the last Islamic bastion in Spain to the Catholic monarchs.  The date was 2 January 1492. It marked the final stage of what is widely considered to have been a brilliant 800 year civilization.

The Arabs had just lost Al-Andalus.

And the Arabs never recovered since.  It’s been downhill since that fateful day.  But who’s to blame? The usual scapegoats? The West? The Jews? The “Apostates”? All of them?

I say WE are to blame and no one else…

I turn on my TV set every morning to get a glimpse of the daily news. The Arab world – the Islamic world as a matter of fact – maintains a monopoly of the worst news, symptomatic of a civilization in a never-ending spiral of downfall.

Civil wars in Libya, Syria and Iraq. Yemen just joined in the club of the least attractive touristic destinations. The massacre of peaceful tourists in Tunisia, the cradle of the so-called “Arab Spring” turned into an Islamist winter, “residual” terrorism (the formula is the official line of the Algerian Government!) in my own home county of Algeria, in spite of an infamous amnesty granted to terrorists; re-emergence of Islamic-oriented terror in Egypt.

New movements, organizations, militias, networks. New monsters…same methods: Terror and gruesome violence against anyone slightly different: Muslims and non-Muslims are the easy prey for fanatics who dare say their crimes are committed in my name!

Islamic supremacists, Islamo-fascists, that’s what they are. The new Barbarians on the march against human civilization and progress in the name of a Jihad they embarked on…without consulting with me.

A new form of totalitarianism claiming legitimacy from the early days of the new religion, the “Final Revelation.”

One goal. And it’s a chilling one: The planet should submit or else.  The word Islam after all, is synonymous with submission…Death to diversity, Death to science and technology, Death to human rights, Women’s rights, Dogs rights, No to Art! No to Music, No to Sex! No to Beauty! NO to pleasures!  Haram, haram, haram…almost every human activity is HARAM.  And Death to everybody who’s NOT them!

I used to consider myself a Muslim. Not the zealot type, far from it....  Although from a liberal-minded family in Algeria, we knew we were Muslims by birth. Then, the choice was ours to deal with this reality as we pleased.

No Ramadan fasting in my family; therefore no ritual killing of the sacrificial lamb.  My parents never made it to Mecca either. They preferred the Costa del Sol, tapas, sangria and flamenco! Who would blame them?

No daily prayers either.  The Fajr prayer begins in the middle of the night.  The muezzin in our neighborhood used to claim loudly that prayer was better than sleeping. Someone responded that sleeping is not bad either.  And the Muezzin should try it more often….

That’s the set of my upbringing.  Hunky dory so far…Aall scores would be settled later with Allah. In the Aftermath. After all, we were taught that Allah was all Merciful and Compassionate…

We had time then.

We were wrong on both counts.

It’s a sunny day on Tuesday, 7 December 1993. A little cool breeze though. It doesn’t really matter as we are in Algiers, on the Mediterranean coast.

My father, Salah, is an early bird. He’s getting ready to go to work. But before leaving the family house, he likes to stroll in the garden and water the plants. His favorites are the orange trees. Ever since the Islamist onslaught has launched its violent assault on our country, my dad doesn’t wear a tie on his way to the office. A tie would immediately identify him as an apostate, at the service of the even more apostate Government.

A tie means you are a designated target of assassination. A naïve precaution.

But tie or no tie, when a Fatwa is upon your head, the death sentence is usually carried out efficiently and speedily.

My family’s life was shattered at 8:30 in the morning of that sunny December Tuesday.

For months, the Islamist violence against liberal-minded individuals, intellectuals, journalists, students, women, members of the Government and the security services was unleashed in the most “efficient” ways. Dozens were killed, soon to be followed by hundreds and then thousands…

For months, we lived with anxiety and fear. Each day of life, of routine, was another challenge to the Islamist barbarity.

Every morning my father stepped out, an anguished silence prevailed amongst us.  An inner panic. Will he come back alive this evening?  Will he make it alive today? That was the question that no one would dare to voice. Most notably not my mother, Louisa, his companion of 30 years.

7 December 1993, a sunny Tuesday was when the death sentence was carried out against my father. Gunned down at our doorstep. Three bullets in the head. No chance he would survive to continue his struggle for a modern, free and democratic Algeria.  The killers were thorough in their madness.

 At 8:30 am, the world, my world, had just collapsed in blood in front of my eyes. The most sacred blood. The blood of a true patriot who refused to pack and leave. The blood of an honest, brilliant, successful, tolerant and loving man. A fervent admirer of America, hot dogs and country music.

 He was my father. His name was Salah Fellah. He was just 50.  

The terrorists vanished. The witnesses hide out. And the Government remained silent…

Really, shouldn’t I lose my religion?

Zakaria Fellah


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


Anonymous said...

Can I send you more of my stories? Zakaria Fellah

Sally Zahav said...

If you are really Mr. Fellah who sent the above comment, I would be delighted to receive material from you! Please send to Thank you.

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