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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Murder, even political murder, is easy. Any idiot can pull a trigger. The temptation to attribute superhuman cunning to terrorists must be resisted. Often they’re as politically incompetent as they are ruthless. To this point, there are strong indications that the appalling slaughter in Paris last week could end up having results opposite those the killers intended.

Middle Eastern scholar Juan Cole argues that like 20th-century Stalinist revolutionaries, the terrorists’ motives were more political than religious. “This horrific murder was not a pious protest against the defamation of a religious icon,” he writes. “It was an attempt to provoke European society into pogroms against French Muslims, at which point al Qaeda recruitment would suddenly exhibit some successes instead of faltering in the face of lively [French Muslim] youth culture.”

Meant to set ethnic and religious communities against one another in an orgy of mutual contempt, the killings have instead set off an unprecedented wave of patriotic feeling among French men and women of every description. Not merely France as a nation, but France as an idea, as the flawed but beloved inventor of the Rights of Man: liberte, fraternite, egalite.

Two weeks ago, many French citizens would have described Charlie Hebdo’s satirical cartoonists as smug, misanthropic jerks — cruel, privileged over-aged children thumbing their noses at authority in the vain hope of shocking the bourgeoisie. I defy anybody to defend the magazine’s cartoon depicting Boko Haram kidnap victims as pregnant immigrants crying for welfare checks.

However, the freedom of even the most smug misanthropes to express themselves freely is a core democratic value. “This is why the French are in shock,” explains Le Monde’s Sylvie Kauffmann in the New York Times. “This is not blind terrorism. It is terrorism targeted at the heart of the French identity.”

Hence millions nationwide behind the slogan “Je Suis Charlie.” Including my dear friends Alain and Claudie, two of an estimated 100,000 marchers in the southern city of Montpellier, population 250,000.

To give you an idea, back in 2001 when Le Monde reacted to 9/11 with the banner headline, “Nous Sommes Tous Americains” (We are all Americans), Alain responded with characteristic mock pomposity.

Le Monde,” he sniffed, “is a Socialist rag. But in this instance they speak for France.”

And he absolutely meant it.

The terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market in Paris represent to my friends and millions of French citizens the greatest political shock of their lives. That would be true even if their beloved five year-old granddaughter Charlotte had not been among the thousands of Parisian schoolchildren locked down near Porte de Vincennes where the gunman held hostages.

Also speaking for France have been thousands of ordinary citizens on social media. CNN broadcast many Twitter posts from France the other night. One was from fellow named Youssef Kobo. His message made an indelible impression:

“Vive la France

Vive la Republique”

Underneath was a selfie of the author wearing a French tricolor flag around his shoulders and holding a sign reading:

“Merci Ahmed.”

Among the dead, understand, was Ahmed Merabet, a Paris cop of Algerian descent who was killed in the assault on Charlie Hebdo. His brother Malik told reporters that Ahmed got murdered by “false Muslims.”

“I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites,” Malik Merabet continued. “One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Mad people have neither color nor religion.”

The heroism of a young Muslim immigrant from Mali who led Jewish hostages to hide in a basement refrigerator at the Hyper Cacher market, and who then escaped to help gendarmes plan their assault has been lionized all over France.

“On Friday, after prayers at the Grand Mosque [in Paris],” writes Moroccan-born French novelist Tahar Ben Jaloun, “the faithful emerged holding banners saying, against the background of the French flag, ‘Touche pas à mon pays,’ or ‘Hands off my country’ — echoing the slogan of the French anti-discrimination association SOS Racisme: ‘Touche pas à mon pote,’ or ‘Hands off my buddy.'”

“Most French Muslims,” he explains, “feel completely French, and want the majority of French society to accept them as such.”

French Jews, of course, have felt precisely the same way for centuries, with decidedly mixed results. Olivier Cohen, a prominent Paris publisher, told the New Yorker’s David Remnick that last week’s massive demonstrations “potentially” represented the beginning of a new era. “It was all extremely moving,” Cohen said. “I am not saying everything will change after these demonstrations, but something happened.”

Exactly what did happen, and whether or not it can be sustained, given Europe’s austerity-driven economic malaise and France’s enduring political stalemate, remains to be seen. Widely viewed as hapless and ineffectual, President Francois Hollande has emerged from the crisis temporarily ennobled. However, the necessary transformations go far deeper than politics, into the hidden recesses of a great nation’s heart.

Photo: People gather in Paris during a unity rally on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists. (Michael Bunel/NurPhoto/Zuma Press/TNS)

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    I doubt the Al Qaeda, ISIL, and all the other terrorists are too worried about the consequences of their actions, and how their extremism affects moderate Muslims, but they should be. Western Europe has gone out of its way to satisfy the wishes of Islamic immigrants, to the point that in countries like France they are allowed to practice Sharia law in their neighborhood, with little interference by the French authorities. The barbarism of their latest “accomplishment” is likely to put an end to the naivete exhibited by those who still believe that fanatics can be persuaded to act like civilized people. We have to go no further that watch and listen to the speeches being made by the AQ leadership to understand how dangerous, how radical, how determined, and how thwarted their moral and religious values are.
    Their attack against the Charlie Hebdo cartoon enterprise went well beyond killing innocent people. The message was their determination to impose their radical ideological extremism on others, with martyrdom being a blessing rather than the end of life for the perpetrators. Fewer marches and more drones are needed to expedite the culmination of some of their wishes…

    • TZToronto

      Ultimately those in the Middle East who promote and fund these crimes will come face to face with Western military power. If they think they can prevail, they are mistaken. Unfortunately, in their cowardice they will think nothing of hiding among the innocent, who will also lose their lives as a result.

      • pmbalele

        Would you believe TPs and Repubs wanted President Obama to be at the March when France failed to intercept weapons used in the attack? I am told France Prime Minister is good at hunting new women just like Repubs and TPs in
        Congress here. And do you remember France refused to send its army to Desert Storm. People here were so mad with France; they dumped French fries and French vanilla and wine. I wonder why Repubs and TPs are whining when we had US ambassador at the March.

        • mike

          The American people, left and right, felt he blew an important moment by not sending a person of High Profile, if not himself. If Obama had wanted to be there, he would have gone and the SS would have found a way. The SS was never asked.
          Do you really believe weapons aren’t crossing or haven’t crossed the southern border of US as we write.
          Obama just doesn’t care!!!
          Daily News, normally pro Obama, headline read: You(Obama) let the world down.

          • pmbalele

            What! Did you say President Obama let the world down by not being at the March? Actually I applaud President Obama not being there. For What? People who picket are always the weak or oppressed ones who want the government to do something or let them free. Take example of marches by us Blacks, Gays and TEA Partiers in US etc. It’s not President or governors who are marching – it is the oppressed. Why were these so called world leaders picketing for freedom when they have power to confront the problem? Did these world leaders want freedom from terrorists or anti-speech freedom people? All these leaders had to do was to come together and discuss how to confront the terrorists and terrorism. I believe it was dumb for these leaders to march for freedoms when they are responsible making sure people are free.

          • mike

            What!!! You can’t read!!!
            I gave you a headline and the first sentence I wrote said never said he had to be there. Geez!!!
            As to the rest of your post what a load of crap!!

          • pmbalele

            That is exactly I was against. He should not be there; and thank he did not go. Leaders are supposed to confront terrorism not whine by marching for freedom from terrorists. The citizens who marched were right –to demand the government to do something -confront the terrorists.

          • nana4gj

            The rally march was never about world leaders. It was about the French people and unity. The President of France hesitated inviting world leaders and then invited some and not others and others who were not invited and asked not to come showed up anyway and made fools of themselves posturing and hamming it up.

            He wanted it to be for and by the people. In fact, every public event seemed to be about the people and with the President and his Parliament and Prime Minister assuming the position of servants of the people, enabling the people to express their feelings and their expectations. The people were magnificent, but, I cannot recall one thing magnificent about any of those world leaders, some of whom imprison journalists, suppress free speech at home, and some who used the rally for his own political expediency since elections are coming and he has poor polling now.

            The US was represented by the staff of the US Embassy and the Ambassador, people who are there day in day out; in good times and in bad times. They are part of the fabric of French life. And the President of France said our President was “very much a presence” since Day One and we may never know just how.

            Americans who are parlaying this are either puffed up with self importance when not everything is about US; or just defaulting to the criticize and demean the President when you should know after 6 years that it always ends up right back in your face. Had he gone, there would have been the same critics with outrage of a different bent. He makes his own decisions on principles of his own and France and the world knows exactly where he stands on freedom, terrorism, and support of France and everyone else victimized by insane zealots.

          • mike

            What a load of dung, “posturing and hamming it up”. Really??? You are much like Obama both of you played down the attacks.
            It was the OPTICS that US was lacking Obama or a high profile member of his administration present. Your attempt of the new US Ambassador to France being a good representative is just plain ludicrous. Hartley was a Obama bundler, there a big 4 months, while Holder in the city.

            More importantly and I guess you missed the memo, The White House said they should have sent a high profile official.
            Obama just doesn’t care!!! He didn’t question his going, WH staff didn’t question going, SS was never even contacted.
            If Obama wanted to go, he would have gone.
            When the President says “jump”, people jump.

          • nana4gj

            I don’t care who thinks or thought they should have sent someone higher in the Administration, I am glad they did not, Me. My opinion. And, yes, there was one world leader whose posturing and hamming it up was blatantly on display. I don’t know one of those world leaders present who have done anything about the safe havens they are inadvertently providing for home grown terrorists. They might have stayed home and gotten to work.

          • mike

            Still missing that White House memo, I see. FYI, WH admits it screwed up for lack of high profile official.

            Enlightened us all with the video of this one so called leader hamming it up. Produce the video showing what you think was hamming it up!!!

            What you seem to forget that the governments that allowed these safe havens were and are Progressive governments. All way to the left and now they reap what they sowed.

            As to the US, there have been 15 Trial court cases and 12 Appellate court cases where Sharia law has been applicable and in conflict with the Constitution. City of Dearborn, Michigan has voted to implement all aspects of Sharia Law. This PC crap which you on the left love is moving this country in the same direction as the countries you decry.

          • nana4gj

            I agree completely with this statement, at least.

          • pmbalele

            Thanks. But you will not make too many friends with TPs and those against freedom.

      • MacK

        Since most of them are in Saudi Arabia – immmm – well – so far, no!

    • MacK

      “to the point that in countries like France they are allowed to practice Sharia law in their neighborhood, with little interference by the French authorities”

      Please identify the neighbourhoods where you claim this is happening. You of course believe that Sharia Law is enforced in Birmingham – I means it was said on Fox News, to howls of laughter in UK and Brum?

      I mean it seriously, name the places and then we will check? If you cannot , then admit you are bullshitting? If we chaco and you are wrong, admit you are bullshitting?

      And by the way Ahmet Mehrabet was from St Dennis – where I have been – so don’t claim Sharie for that Banlieu

    • mike

      I hope it has awakened the people of France and other countries with large Muslim population.
      If things have changed for all in France, then we will see the elimination of the 751 “No Go Zones” or ZUS in Paris and the country. As it stands now, police and non-Muslim French citizens stay out of these zones. Will the French eliminate many of the practices that exist in these Zones??
      No, the French have a hard road ahead and we will see if they have the guts, will power to restore some sanity as how they govern all the country.
      What this world is dealing with is a Islamic Fundamentalist whose perception of reality is in intact not like psychopathic criminals. They break all social norms and rules, rules like respect, fairness, consideration, trustworthiness, all that they are concerned about is achieving their goals in the name of God. The end justifies the means. Untrustworthiness, falsehoods, lies, deceit and manipulation are all acceptable in the name of God, even though the scriptures say it is not OK.
      They are all Radical Islamic Terrorist all Fundamentalists and until they are called such we will never defeat them.

    • CPAinNewYork

      Congratulations, Dominick! I didn’t think that you had it in you.

      Finally, super reasonable, sweet talking Dominick is advocating the destruction of a bunch of crazy Muslims who richly deserve being killed. They’re nothing more than mad dogs who have been tolerated for too long.

  • FT66

    Not so fast Gene Lyons. The Satirical Cartoons Pamphlet is out in Europe, BUT the sale is may be in France and not the rest of Europe. My friend in Germany has just phoned me and said he went through all the drawings and it might start a new fight from other religions because they look as an insult to their leaders. We had a very hot discussion since the incidence happened in France. It seems some folks are confusing Freedom of Speech by being protected by Government Laws, and non- Freedom of Speech which is not allowed according to Religious Rules (Laws). These two must not be taken as one. You can break a Government Law and be taken to Court, at the same time you can’t be taken to Court if you break Religious Law. Nevertheless, we all agreed, in whatever part the Law/Rules is broken, the punishment of killing is not allowed at all.

    • MacK

      Across Europe people are trying to buy copies – it is mostly sold out and trading on eBay for ten times the cover price.

      • FT66

        You are quite wrong. Am in Europe at the moment. I have seen them pilling up in Stores. Very few buy them. If one buys one, the rest make photocopy from it!

        • MacK

          Gosh FT^^ you are in Europe right now – and so am I and I’m calling you a liar. Post a photo – tell us the Kiosk where they are piled up unsold? Come on, name one…..

          If you cannot you are a liar (but we already know that)

          • FT66

            Am not a photographer and am not here for that. Please be extra-ordinary careful calling people liars.

          • MacK

            But FT66 so far you have agreed with pm balls making a statement he transparently can’t back up – and then you just made an assertion I know to be false that you also declined to back up. So the proof is there, you knowingly made false statements which makes you – cmon you know the answer ….

          • MacK

            Hey – even Foc now says its story was bullshit

            “Over the course of this last week, we have made some regrettable errors on-air regarding the Muslim population in Europe — particularly with regard to England and France,” said anchor Julie Banderas on Saturday night. “Now, this applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in and police supposedly won’t go. To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to assert the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based soley on their religion.”

      • plc97477

        Seems to me the attack turned out to be pretty good advertisement. They couldn’t have gotten that many sales without it. I am of course not saying that the death of those cartoonists was good but that it didn’t help the muslim cause.

        • old_blu

          Even I’d like a copy of it.

    • nana4gj

      Countries who are not theocracies and have freedom of speech and of religion, may be very offended and insulted by the mocking of their religion but they will not murder and kill to defend their religion because murdering and killing is against civil law. They are required to obey civil law, but they are free to believe in whatever religion and follow religious laws for themselves, as long as such laws do not violate civil laws.
      In some religions, murdering and killing is also believed to be against God’s will and teachings, unless, of course, in self defense of mortal danger, not hurt feelings.

      • FT66

        No, no killing in showing how angry a person is in whatever manner. At the same time we should all understand that PEACE is earned and can’t be shopped from anywhere. In our way of living, we understand what one likes or hates. We must always make judgment of what is right, wrong, what to say, do or write. Thats what distinguish us from other animals by having a high IQ of which we must use also in exercising our Freedom of Speech.

  • Paul Bass

    3 million copies sold out in minutes this morning.

    Yep, the fanatics sure did prevent the satirical depiction of Mohamed by charlie hebdo.

    • FT66

      Please don’t confuse between sold and issued!

  • pmbalele

    French government is weird. I am told it had segregated people into Muslims,
    Jews territories and those sects away from regular French people. I am wondering how you can govern a country whose people are divided into races, religions and regular go lucky people or citizens? That is why they have those problems. Repubs and TPs tried to divide USA into races- they lost in 2008 and 2012.

    • FT66

      My hat off for you pmbalele. Well put!

      • CPAinNewYork

        pmbalele is a fool and so are you, FT66.

        The only way to “solve” the Muslim problem is to dump them back into the Mideast and keep them there.

        • FT66

          Can I help you how to dump them? We must keep our noses far, far away and leave them alone. There is no WMD there!

          • CPAinNewYork


            I believe that we should stay out of any area, including the Middle East, that doesn’t want us.

            To me, our only legitimate interest in that part of the world is to buy their oil. We don’t need boots on the ground to do that.

            While I’m on my soapbox, I want to say that I think that the rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, should step up to the plate and take the Arabs out of Palestine into their countries, i.e. leave Israel and Palestine completely to the Jews.

    • MacK

      Who told you this piffle and nonsense? Why did you not collapse into laughter?

      • pmbalele

        Read what France way of life. You will find it fun and funny.

        • MacK

          “Read what France way of life”

          huh! This isn’t French or English. What does it mean to read “what” or do you mean read “French way of life” which is??

          Please answer with specifics – where have the French ” segregated people into Muslims,Jews territories and those sects away from regular French people.” Can you tell me where – how they reconciled it with the French constitution.

          I mean just name one place where the French have done this?? Just one?

          Otherwise you and your fanboy FT66 are idiots

        • MacK

          Hey idiot,

          Even fox now admits the no go area is not true

          “Over the course of this last week, we have made some regrettable errors on-air regarding the Muslim population in Europe — particularly with regard to England and France,” said anchor Julie Banderas on Saturday night. “Now, this applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in and police supposedly won’t go. To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to assert the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based soley on their religion.”

  • CPAinNewYork

    When we rid ourselves of the Muslims, we’ll be able to relax. Until then, we must kick the Muslim scum back to the third world dumps from which they emerged.

    • Lynda Groom

      Just how do you suggest that the world rid itself of about a third of the population?

      • CPAinNewYork

        Ms. Groom: What “third”? There are seven billion people in the world. There are one billion Muslims. From that one billion subtract the Indonesions, the Palestinians and the Filipinos who are Muslims.

        That leaves the Muslims who are in the Middle East and the scattered few in the Western Hemisphere and Europe. Leave the Indonesian Muslims alone. Take the Filipino and the Palestinian Muslims and the scattered few in the Western Hemisphere and Europe and ship them to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Those rich countries can easily assimilate their bretheren.

        • Lynda Groom

          OK, you got me. Actually there are 1.6 billion Muslins in the world and they make up 23% of the world’s population. However, the salient point was not the number, but the solution to the problem.

          • CPAinNewYork

            Ms. Groom:

            I agree and I think that the “problem” is the tendency of a violent, homicidal people to try to intimidate its critics by disgusting, violent acts.

            What, then is the “solution”? When one is faced by the threat such as the Muslims, I believe that there are two choices: contain them or eradicate them.

            Containing 1.6 billion people may be impractical. Eradicating them may be the more feasible solution, but one that is still a problem, because it involves violent assault.

            One thing to me is obvious: we should not try to ignore the problem and hope that it will go away.

    • nana4gj

      I am glad no one followed that kind of thinking when the Christians were troublesome.

      It is not “Muslims”. Look at the bios of all of these fanatic extremists and they have all been losers in life, every one of them.

      • CPAinNewYork

        The early Christians were not killing people. These Muslim scumbags are homicidal. Has that fine distinction escaped you?

        I cannot believe that anyone with even a modicum of intelligence would offer such a pathetic argument as yours.

        • nana4gj

          The early Christians did kill people. And I believe there is something congenitally deficient with Arabs in the Middle East and all of those who interbreed amongst themselves. Their facial features and size and shape of head indicate a myriad of syndromes that may include anacephalics and they have a high incidence of autoimmune diseases and neurological diseases that are of genetic origin from a gene pool that is too inbred, which may account for their poor ability to reaason and logic and their susceptibility to being influenced and persuaded by others as poorly put together as they are.

          I agree with you to some extent. I just do not agree that ALL Muslims are “scum” and should be wiped out. I believe the fanatic terrorist murderers who savage people in the name of their religion, should be called “Islamists”, which one Muslim stated on TV interview would rightly differentiate from the faith and faithful Muslims from those who are political extremists and bastardizing the faith.

          • CPAinNewYork

            The early Christians DID NOT kill people. If you think that, give us an example of an early Christian massacre. Christians, even when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, didn’t begin to defend themselves against barbarians like the Vandals until the Franks came along.

            On the other hand, Mohammed had an army and invaded pagan people living on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa. He converted with the sword, whereas Christ and his adherents converted with words and “miracles.”

            Christianity is a religion founded on love, whereas Islam is founded on blood lust. The atrocities presently being perpetrated by the Muslims justify eradicating them and the sooner that process is started, the better off we’ll all be.

  • plc97477

    I think the proof that something happened was the fact that palistine tried to get a group together to celebrate the attack and was only able to find about 40 people who were interested. They are losing the war.

  • holyreality

    These attacks just did not make any sense, worse yet the non-arrests of alleged culprits who happened to die before the narrative could be challenged clouds the issue even more.

    While the attackers were surgical and efficient, the accused killers died in a fight far beneath their skills. How could two deadly killers go down so easily?

    Now we are supposed to accept that these two WERE the guilty parties, and just forget any logical stretches to this meme that has Muslims and Islam targeted for hate on an international stage.

    These attacks all seem to be just too cut and dried. Extremism is blamed, yet no hard evidence ever adds up to the conclusions we are supposed to believe.

    I tried not to question the narrative, ignoring all logic and what I have seen published, but Paul Craig Roberts destroyed my fragile ignorance. If I’m called conspiracy theorist, then so be it noting that those quick to apply the label are usually proud of their ignorance.

    • nana4gj

      And they are all rushing to claim credit. They are in a contest of who can kill the most people, apparently.

  • nana4gj

    I wonder how Allah, and, for that matter, Mohammed, feels about people having their heads chopped off, women being raped and used as suicide bombers, young girls being kidnapped and sold as sex slaves, and innocent people being slaughtered, all in their name.

    With that kind of PR, who would want what they are selling?

    If they want the world to become one big caliphate, they need to change their tactics.

    There is something of the syndrome of derangement in them. If you look closely, their physical features suggest some kind of gene mix-up and their “logic” only supports the theory that centuries of in-breeding among the individual tribes may have had the deleterious effect of cognizant and emotional disarray in them, individually and collectively. I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for 2 1/2 years as an RN and there is solid evidence of certain diseases, autoimmune diseases and central nervous system diseases that were congenital and of unusual high incidence, because of in-breeding. Some didn’t survive infancy and childhood and those who did grew up to be FLKs and FLPs, ie, “Funny Looking Kids and Funny Looking People” and they were not very bright.

    Instead of military strategy, or, maybe in addition to it, we should probably enlist the advise of psychiatrists, psychologists, and neuroscience experts, to address this anomaly that threatens the world.