Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, June 2012
French Muslim Philosopher Garaudy Dies at 98
France 24, June 13, 2012
By News Wires (text)
French Anti-Zionist Philosopher Garaudy Dies
France’s Roger Garaudy, a famous philosopher and communist best known for his views on the Holocaust and his anti-Zionist work “The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics”, died at the age of 98 on Wednesday just outside of Paris.
Roger Garaudy, a communist and darling of French intellectual society until he denied that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews during World War II, has died aged 98, officials said Friday.
Garaudy was fined 120,000 francs (18,000 dollars) by a Paris court in 1998 for his anti-Zionist work "The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics."
(which shows that there is no freedom of opinion or press when it comes to criticism of Zionism and its propaganda machine in the Zionist French colony - Editor).
He died on Wednesday in the Paris suburb of Chennevieres, local officials said.
Garaudy, who converted to Protestantism, Catholicism and finally Islam, joined the French resistance and was held in Algeria as a prisoner of war of France's collaborationist Vichy regime.
He joined the French Communist Party after the war, was elected to the French parliament and became a member of the Senate.
But he was expelled from the Communist Party in 1970 after he criticised the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, although he had defended the Soviet intervention in Hungary 12 years earlier.
A big man with glasses as thick as his southern French accent, Garaudy was for years seen as someone who symbolised the "dialogue of civilisations."
"My greatest pride is to have remained faithful to my dream as a 20 year old, the unity of the three religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam," he said.
The author of around 70 books, Garaudy described himself as a Don Quixote fighting the windmills of capitalism.
Within the Communist Party hierarchy he was known as "the Cardinal" both for his sense of authority and his attraction towards the Church.
He was for years the darling of the French media and intellectual milieu for his philosophical work and his political courage.
But that ended with his conversion to Islam in 1982 and subsequent criticism of Zionism, which turned him into a pariah.
The head of Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, in 2006 cited his treatment as an example of the West's "hypocrisy and duplicity".
In 2002, he won the then Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's human rights prize.
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