A book denounced as jihadist propaganda and as inciting violence has caused uproar after it was revealed that it was on sale in 1,000 supermarkets in France.
The leading centre-right newspaper Le Figaro says that “incitement to jihad or the punishment of ‘heretics’ are in a hypermarket, two steps from holiday notebooks,” in a book from Lebanese publisher Albouraq called La Voie du Musulman (The Way of the Muslim).
The book is in the shops as part of the Albouraq’s “Operation Ramadan,” meant to show that “Islamic books can be sold everywhere.” According to Mansour Mansour, director of the publishing house, it has been “a great success.” A cardboard “gondola” of his books on the Koran, the prophet and “controversial” books sit among French cookbooks and school supplies.
Le Figaro points out that in La Voie du Musulman one reads that the author, an Algerian called Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Jazairi, writes: “Muslims should set up all sorts of arms factories to make all types of weapons used in the world…even if it is to the detriment of the well-being of the nation.”
He also writes that heresy “is punishable by death.”
Le Figaro says that the work, which is also available on Amazon, has been reported on several occasions to the anti-jihad hotline set up by the Ministry of Interior.
The newspaper also points out another book sold as part of “Operation Ramadan” is The Garden of Saints, by the Sunni Imam Al-Nawawi, in which it says that believers “are fighting for the Cause of God by killing and by being killed.”
However, the publisher Mansour told France TV that it was a “depressing” controversy and shows the problem “of how Islam is treated.”
He said the author of the Garden of Saints died in the 13th century and that the 500 pages of The Way of the Muslim was published in the 1960s and translated for the first time in 1985: “only two or three pages are contested.”
“It is distressing that this book is being called the perfect jihadist manual.”
Some 18,000 people have signed online petitions calling for supermarket chains like Carrefour to pull the books off their shelves, yet to date the books remain on sale in many shops, according to The Local.
The continued availability of the book has drawn harsh words from critics like Raymonde Schmitt, who signed one of the petitions: “Carrefour [a supermarket chain] is selling propaganda that encourages killing, it’s a crime of complicity,” he wrote.
France is particularly sensitive to jihadist propaganda, because the greatest number of the 1,000 to 1,500 Europeans fighting in Syria come from France.
Mehdi Nemmouche, now facing trial in Belgium for the terrorist shootings at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May, is a Frenchman from an Algerian background. As Breitbart London reported, he fought with jihadist forces in Syria before returning to France and Belgium via Germany.