The Fire Which Fired Sentiment But Not Reflection

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The only absolutely clear thing is that the spire was not fireproof. And why wasn’t it fireproof? The Western Man has been to the Moon; has photographed a hole 54 million light-years away; has built Notre Dames all over the West, France especially… You’ll agree that given the level of the present-day western technology, they could’ve actually invented something capable of stopping flames. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Luckily, the relics from the Passion of Christ –a piece of the cross, a nail and the Holy Crown of Thorns (pictured above) – and many others, as well as all treasures of art have been rescued and are safe. Also the famous organ remains intact. So are the three rose windows dating back to the 13th century –the most famous feature of the cathedral. It was meant to be.

While all platforms, news outlets, tweets and video clips were full of identical images illustrating the same fire, no-one ever gave the details of what really was going on. Some things did reach us though. Some said the firefighters arrived one hour late, others said two hours. No-one was hurt; no-one died. No damages in the neighbourhood were reported. The spire fell, true enough, but it was a rather modern spire –19th century. Two thirds of the roof is gone, but it had to be replaced anyway. Nobody knows how exactly the fire started and although explanations are contradictory and often confusing it has been just announced more or less officially that it was electrical malfunction. President Macron cancelled the crucial press conference in which he was to refer definitively to the Yellow Vests movement and he, furthermore, interrupted his campaign for the EU parliament elections.

Apart from the epic imagery of the fire, the media have been firing at us epic headlines such as:

-PARISIANS HOLD VIGIL AFTER NOTRE DAME FIRE

-PRAYERS, MUSIC AND CANDLES: THOUSANDS HOLD VIGIL NEAR NOTRE DAME

-DEVASTATION OF NOTRE DAME CAPTURED IN HEARTBREAKING PHOTOS

-MACRON CALLS FOR NATIONAL UNITY, REBUILDING NOTRE DAME IN 5 YEARS

-WATCHING THE MOST VISCERAL ACT OF LIVE DESTRUCTION ON TV SINCE 9/11 IT WAS HARD TO FIND THE RIGHT WORDS

-NOTRE DAME FIRE: INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR ARCHITECTS TO DESIGN NEW SPIRE

Given the circumstances and the fact that the whole world is mourning the loss of a piece of its history (the whole world understood to be the West obviously), it is to be expected that thousands of architects will respond to the call free of charge, naturally.

Let us take into consideration now the following facts:

The cathedral, which belongs to the state, was in pitiful state, and actually was closed for renovation, which was going to cost 180 million euros, of which only 25 percent was to be paid by the owners. The rest of the money was to come from the general public, quite naturally and bearing in mind that the cathedral is so interwoven with the fabric of French history that it has actually become one of its symbols, if not the symbol, although we personally believe that Pigalle is even more of a symbol. The donations, however, were few and far between. Now, with the ambers still hot, they are rolling in at light speed, with one tycoon family having just doled out 100 million euros. It has been already calculated that the reconstruction will cost 1 billion euros and that 700 million euros are already available. Mind-blowing! The French government has passed from begging for donations to overflowing with donations, and thus reconstruction companies will soon be firing on all cylinders.

Bearing this in mind one could venture to say that the fire was beneficial, and exceptionally so, even –that it was an excellent fire, apart from spectacular. Not only is the purse full, but national unity, called for by the president, apparently seems to be round the corner, which is also positive. Indeed, the drama has fired enthusiasm for the future and longing for the lost values. It might well make France great again.

We should confess here that while the world was looking at the fire, we were looking at the smoke –unusually and surprisingly high and dense column rising up to the sky. Well, maybe some did look at the lower parts of the smoke column, but we’re sure nobody watched all the way up. There, at the very end, where the smoke begins to thin, what do you think could be discerned by an attentive eye? The word Frexit, believe it or not, more or less clearly spelled against the sky. No, we’re not going to predict or preach. We recommend to wait and see, especially to see what happens this Saturday, which is when emotions will have somewhat subsided.

Yet, we can’t help thinking –what would happen if the French and western public in general could see live the fires their governments have lit or helped lit in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or Yemen? The French government, their government, has committed, is committing now, war crimes –bombing and massacring millions of civilians; children including. In Yemen children starve to death, in Afghanistan are frozen to death in winter months, everywhere they get mutilated by mines. What would they do if they could see that live? Would they kneel down and pray? Or is it that a spire is more valuable than millions of Iraqi, Yemeni or Syrian lives?

The thing is, those crimes are kept under wraps –the question of national security. They’re not shown on television or taught in schools. But is that an excuse for not knowing? For not reflecting? For not having any will to know? Anything goes here and now, but in the Hereafter we shall have to account for how we made use of the skills and capacities we have been granted, and whether we took advantage of them or simply put them to sleep by blindly following trends, slogans, propaganda and superstition.

(94) Finally you come to Us bare and alone as We created you for the first time. You have left behind you all that which We bestowed on you. We do not see with you any intercessors whom you thought to be partners in your affairs. So now all relations between you have been cut off, and your pet fancies have left you in the lurch.

Qur-an 6 – al Anam

We have not been able to find out how many people in France know about French involvement in war crimes, but given the fact that they participate in the same coalition as UK, we may quote The Independent of 18 March 2017: More than half of British people are unaware of ongoing conflict and of UK weapons deployed by Saudis in Yemen. There is strong evidence for the French participation, there is satellite imagery which underscores Paris’ role in the under-reported conflicts, as published for example by Pulitzer Center on Yemen (6 August 2018) and DISCLOSE investigative website (A Leak of Classified French Defence Ministry Documents). According to this evidence it may turn out that France, and thus the French, was complicit in Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

We cannot provide any live streaming of war crimes, obviously. The only thing we can do is show the results. We hope against hope that these images will fire something up in the grieving and mourning general public, who will go to any lengths to save a whale or a spire, but don’t care a straw for millions of dead people and of destroyed livelihoods.

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(83) So leave them to babble and play with vanities until they meet that day of theirs, which they have been promised.

Qur-an 6al Anam

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