This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, May 14, 2018

France, Unbowed

"When asked recently what was France's main problem, French Secretary of the Interior Gérard Collomb spoke of the feeling of 'exclusion' among many "youths". He said the solution was 'social projects' -- billions of euros more will be spent. Collomb did not say that hundreds of millions of euros have already been lavished on 'social projects' with nothing to show for the expense. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe spoke of the need to create 'deradicalization' centers, where instructors will explain that Islam is supposedly compatible with the 'values of the republic'. He did not mention that 'deradicalization' centers were created years ago and had less than no effect."
"Macron's most important project has been the creation of new Islamic institutions, apparently to adapt France to Islam -- not to adapt Islam to France. Many more mosques will be built, financed with taxpayer money; departments of Islamic culture will open in universities, and imam training centers created. His main advisor on this subject is Hakim El Karoui, the author of a book (L'islam, une religion française; 'Islam, a French Religion') explaining that Islam is now the main religion in the country; that prejudices of non-Muslims are the source of most troubles, and that helping Muslims to have access to more important positions in French society is of the utmost urgency."

"A text published in a Parisian daily not long ago spoke of an 'Islamic anti-Semitism' and 'ethnic cleansing' that were chasing Christians and Jews out of many areas. Three hundred people signed the text. Those who wrote it, carefully did not mention Islam itself, but 'Islamist radicalism' instead.
It became immediately clear that they had gone way too far. Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, said that the text was 'insane' and vile. Amar Lasfar, president of 'Muslims of France' [the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood], added that the authors of the text were 'maleficent ignoramuses' who had insulted all Muslims. Intellectuals on the left [many of them Jews] published an article saying that 'Islam is not guilty', and that those who do accuse Islam create the risk of civil war. Silence quickly returned."
Dr. Guy Millière, professor, University of Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC on April 25, 2018. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
"[Good work on the part of police who] neutralized the terrorist."
"France is once again paying the price of blood but will not cede an inch to enemies of freedom."
French President Emmanuel Macron

"Police surrounded him and I really thought that would stop him, but not at all. He literally jumped at the police. He was so determined."
"He was small, slim, longish hair, like all the fashionable young, a three-day beard. He did not stand out. He was dressed normally. Never in my life would I have thought he was going to attack."
Witness to May 12 knife-wielding attack, Paris

"The attacker was walking in the street, armed with a knife. He had a lot of blood on his hands. He was walking in the road and stopping at all the shops. He was threatening everyone who crossed his path."
"He threatened a woman and her companion came to defend her and was threatened as well. Then he moved on to the next restaurant and attacked it. I wasn’t particularly worried, I was under the impression he was mad or drugged up."
Jonathan, waiter, witness to attack
A forensic officer and a police officer stand next to a numbered reference index pad and a camera on a tripod near the scene of the crime in Paris. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Can France be saved from itself? The France of tolerance and brotherhood. The understanding, empathetic France that feels its citizens of foreign derivation will eventually meld into France society, adopt the culture, respect the heritage, obey the laws and take pride in citizenship. Their dedication to hard work and faithfulness to France's values will make of them invaluable additions to a France that prides itself on its ability to fashion a pluralistic society of shared aspirations.

Of course that's the France dedicated to equality, fraternity and liberty, the France that gives Emmanuel Macron the smug look of certainty that no other country epitomizes those values to the degree that France does, and no president before him has been as dedicated to welcoming Muslims to share all the traditions that have made France great. So certain he is that he is prepared to overlook the realities of France, the unapproachable banlieus with their resentful and violent youth, the intelligence lists of those singled out as potential threats.

Singled out, identified, and then full stop. Suspicions are not analogous to the commission of crimes. What appear as possible future threats cannot be treated by law as assurances that they will become the threats so feared, targeting the stability of French society, setting out to commit yet another scene of mass carnage, shocking the citizenry and giving yet another headache to the authorities who may experience discomfort with the unspoken certainty that nothing can prevent the inevitable.
"At this stage, based on the one hand on the account of witnesses who said the attacker cried 'Allahu akbar' (God is great in Arabic) while attacking passersby with a knife, and given the modus operandi, we have turned this over to the counterterrorist section of the Paris prosecutors's office."
Prosecutor Francois Molins
When the young man born in Chechnya, settled in France with his family and outwardly conforming to French social mores attacked with a knife he uttered the familiar "Allahu Akbar!", signalling his Islamist dedication. In comparison with fatal traffic accidents, one supposes that the 200 people who met their death in France in recent years through Islamist jihadi attacks, is not a horrendously high figure. It is, however, the method of their death, what that method signifies, and the shock tremors running through society known as terror that is high in cost.

This attack killed one unfortunate 29-year-old man, two others badly wounded, and another two injured. The attacker was also killed by responding police. The well-synchronized and deadly attacks of November 2015 killed 130 in one night of bloody carnage, on the other hand. So perhaps it's not so much the death toll as it is the uncertainty, the emotional disequilibrium hanging over people's heads, that they could be anywhere at all, in the safety of anonymity in crowds of people and yet be vulnerable to a death attack.

Good people the world over censure those attacks, view with alarm, concern and fear a phenomenon that brings uncertainty to life. Unless, that is, you live in Israel, and a Palestinian wields the knife and then the censure lands on the victim not the perpetrator because the perpetrator is a victim and the targeted victim is an 'occupier' of a land mass once its own but now in question. Oddly enough, France's legitimacy as a nation built by the French, honouring their heritage, is now too in question.

Since its Muslim population has it earmarked for Islamic domination in its march toward conquest and the universal caliphate that Islamic sacred texts illuminate as the duty of all faithful to strive toward. And they are doing the best they can to fulfill their obligations, as we can see time and again, here and there, wherever least expected since though they're on a list of suspicious might-be terrorists no action can be taken until it's too late.
French police at the site of the knife attack near Opera Garnier in Paris. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

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