Why has the philosopher, Michel Onfray, become so popular among the French jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq? Journalist David Thomson, a specialist in jihadi movements, explained that "Onfray is translated into Arabic and shared on all pro-ISIS sites."
Onfray recognizes that we are at war. But this war, to him, was started by George W. Bush. He "forgets" that 3,000 Americans were killed on September 11, 2001. If you remind him that "ISIS kills innocent people", Onfray will reply: "We have also killed innocent people." It is the perfect moral equivalence between ISIS and the West. Barbarians against barbarians! With his moral relativism, Onfray opens the door to Islamist cutthroats.
The French intellectual Thomas Piketty, after the massacres in Paris, pointed at "inequality" as the root of ISIS's success. Another well-known German philosopher, Peter Sloterdijk, claimed that the September 11 attacks were attacks were just "small incidents".
Famous representatives of European culture also embraced Adolf Hitler's dream. Their heirs now justify jihad as the ultimate punishment for Western freedoms and democracy.
After September 11, 2001, the cream of European intellectuals immediately started to find justifications for jihad. They evidently were fascinated by the Kalashnikov assault rifle, "the weapon of the poor". For them, what we had seen in New York was a chimera, an illusion. The mass killings were supposedly the suicide of the capitalist democracy, and terrorism was the wrath of the unemployed, the desperate weapon of a lumpenproletariat offended by the arrogance of Western globalization.
These intellectuals have sown seeds of despair in a large Western echo-chamber. From 9/11 to the recent massacres on European soil, the murdered Westerners are portrayed as just collateral victims in a war between "the system" and the damned of the earth, who are only claiming a place at the table.
One of these intellectuals is Michel Onfray. It has been a while since we heard the expression: "Useful idiot." The cynical expression is often attributed to Lenin, and was used to designate Western sympathizers who justified the horrors of Communism. The French magazine L'Express used it for Onfray: "the useful idiot of Islamism".
When his "Atheist Manifesto" was published in 2005, Onfray could never have imagined that ten years later, he would become the darling of the jihadist group, Islamic State (ISIS). Yet, on November 21, 2015, a week after the massacres in Paris, Onfray appeared in a propaganda video of the Islamic State. A few days later, Onfray, this idol of the reflexive European middle class, said that a "truce could be signed between ISIS and France".
Onfray just gave another interview to the magazine Famille Chrétienne, where he explained that there is no moral difference between "killing innocent lives of women, children and elderly" and "state terrorism" -- between ISIS and the Western war on terror.
Onfray is the most widely read French philosopher in the world and has dethroned Michel Serres, Michel Foucault and Jean-Paul Sartre. This philosopher, drunk with the Enlightenment, has written 80 books, translated into nearly 30 languages. He is not a Marxist, but a libertarian hedonist. According to Onfray, the entire Judeo-Christian heritage prevents free, loving enjoyment. Hence his insistence, ultimately, that the Western civilization is "dead."
How did this great hedonist, the theorist of materialism and atheism, become the darling of Islamist cutthroats? Prime Minister Manuel Valls accused him of having "lost his bearings."
Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, September 28, 2016