The mainstream press “explains” why French Muslims commit terror attacks, including France’s “unusual attachment to secularism”

Muslims throughout the world are reacting with hostility towards France since Macron cracked down on extreme Islamism in the country. After the beheading of French schoolteacher Samuel Paty, who showed Charlie Hebdo cartoons satirizing Muhammed, and then a Islamic terror attack in Nice that killed three, President Macron is determined to defang extreme Islamism in France. His new plan, aimed at becoming law this year, bars Muslim home-schooling, requires all children to attend state-recognized schools from age three, and calls for more scrutiny of foreign funding of mosques as well as suppressing speech that incites hatred (his plan was formulated before the Nice killings).

In response, much of the Muslim world, but particularly Turkey, has vowed to boycott French products and strike back at France in other ways, including diplomatically. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is particularly incensed, though some of his ire is clearly meant to distract his populace from the tanking Turkish economy and Erdogan’s suppression of free speech and his efforts to return his country to the pre-Atatürk condition of being an officially Muslim country. Erdogan was particularly peeved at the latest Charlie Hebdo cover, below. (Macron also said, at a memorial service for Samuel Paty, that France “will not give up our cartoons”.)

Business Insider explains this somewhat enigmatic cartoon:

The cartoon depicts Erdogan sitting in a T-shirt and underwear, drinking a beer, and lifting up a woman’s hijab to expose her bare backside. [JAC: it’s not a hijab, which is a headscarf, but a chador.]

Drinking alcohol is considered haram, or forbidden, by most Muslims, and Erdogan has long condemned it.

“Ouuuh! The Prophet!” the speech bubble from Erdogan’s mouth said, suggesting Erdogan was only pretending to be a staunch defender of Islam.

The headline published alongside the cartoon said: “Erdogan: In private, he is very funny!”

This has really ticked off both Erdogan and many Turks. Erdogan had already called for a Turkish boycott of French products, and now his Ministry of Foreign affairs has called for both political and legal action against France.

Now I don’t spend my time reading all the world’s press, but my impression is that they’re spending a lot of space explaining why Muslims are angry at France for its crackdown on extreme Islam, as well as the cartoons, and not so much space decrying the terrorist attacks in France, much less the religious ardor that causes them. One gets the impression from some journalistic pieces, like the one under consideration, that writers are more concerned with explaining why the terrorists felt compelled to attack French civilians than with explaining why Islam inspires such acts of terrorism. (Here’s a particularly egregious example from Politico.)

**********

UPDATE HERE: Reader Ken alerted me to the fact that the Politico article has disappeared, replaced by this editor’s note:

If it didn’t meet their editorial standards, why did they publish it? Well, I managed to find a copy online and have saved it at the Wayback Machine, so you can see the lunacy by clicking here.  I think you should have a look.

**********

The implication of many of these pieces, at least to me, is that “the French sort of had it coming”. That may sound extreme, but given the pro-Muslim stance of the liberal mainstream press, and its failure to strongly decry the attacks—or analyze why Islam, alone among major faiths, inspires such attacks—I can’t help but think that these “explanations” shade into “excuses”. My prediction is that the liberal mainstream media, already strongly Islamophilic (after all, Muslims are seen by the Left as oppressed people of color), will become even more so in the coming years, and it will seep into their straight journalism, as it already has in The New York Times.

The latest report implying that “the French had it coming” is from the Associated Press (AP). As the article below from Tablet notes, the AP has long had a sympathy for Muslims, particularly in Palestine, to the extent of deliberately slanting its journalism in favor of Palestine and against Israel. I’ve mentioned this piece several times before, and since the AP is a major source of news for Americans, with its reports appearing in many newspapers, this is a must-read:

I won’t dwell on the piece above except to say that you need to read it if you have an interest in Western journalism about Palestine and Israel.

The story at hand is the new AP piece below, which has all the earmarks of an excuse. If you asked me why there are so many terror attacks in France, my answer would be that France has both absolutely and relatively more Muslims than any country in Western Europe (8.8%; 5 million), that this is a result of the French having colonized Muslim lands, that Islam encourages separatism and a sense of offense against those seen as “blasphemers,” and that the long-standing French policy of laïcité (secularism or church-state separation), which began with the French Revolution, is seen as a slap at religion, especially by Muslims.

Granted, French colonialism was abhorrent, but it no longer exists, and can’t be a valid reason for killing French citizens. Also, Macron’s measures, which I haven’t studied in detail, may be a bit extreme, but again, that doesn’t justify killing, nor does it justify the press’s concentration on French bad behavior instead of Islam-inspired murder. And I’m not sure how much of the Muslim failure to integrate into French society is due to their own culture rather than to French measures that prevent such integration. As far as I know, the French are eager to integrate all immigrants, but there is surely some bigotry against Muslim immigrants.

But the AP’s article (click n screenshot) sounds like a chastisement of the French for their secularism. To me, it’s more than an explanation: it’s also an excuse.

Here are some excerpts from the story:

So why is France singled out for protests and calls for boycotts across the Muslim world, and so often the target of deadly violence from the extremist margins?

Its brutal colonial past, staunch secular policies and tough-talking president who is seen as insensitive toward the Muslim faith all play a role.

As France steps up security and mourns three people killed in a knife attack at a church on Thursday – the latest of many attributed to Islamic extremists in recent years — here’s a look at some of the reasons the country is under fire.

The reasons:

Failure of integration:

But the country’s efforts to integrate Muslim immigrants have faltered. The official French doctrine of colorblindness is intended to ignore ethnic and religious backgrounds and to have all French citizens seen as equally French. In reality, the ideal often fuels discrimination against those who look, dress or pray differently from the historically Catholic majority, instead of preventing it.

Muslims are disproportionately represented in France’s poorest, most alienated neighborhoods, as well as its prisons. That has bred angry outcasts who see their homeland as sinful and disrespectful toward Islamic traditions, or simply racist against Arab and other immigrants from lands that once enriched the French empire.

Is all of this the fault of the French government, as the article implies?

Colonialism:

France maintains a more hands-on role than Britain does in their former colonies, notably via economic and cultural ties — and that’s also visible in how France deploys troops abroad.

French forces intervened in recent years against Islamic extremists in Mali and Syria, both former French holdings. Thousands of French soldiers are now stationed in former colonies in the Sahel region of Africa with the same mission.

A French military presence fuels routine online appeals from IS, Al-Qaida and other extremists for retaliation on French soil, in hopes of forcing France to withdraw its forces.

“Strict secularism” (my emphasis)

Much of the current anger stems from the recent republication by French satirical newspaper weekly Charlie Hebdo of caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoon images of Islam’s founder deeply offended many Muslims, who see them as sacrilegious. But the cartoons were originally published in Denmark in 2005, and similar images have been published in other countries that hold freedom of expression dear.

While French officials often say their country is targeted because of its reputation as the cradle of human rights and a rampart of global democracy, what distinguishes France most is its unusual attachment to secularism.

The often-misunderstood concept of French secularism is inscribed in the country’s constitution. It was born in a 1905 law separating church and state that was meant to allow the peaceful coexistence of all religions under a neutral state, instead of a government answering to powerful Roman Catholic clerics. Crucifixes were at one point torn from classroom walls in France amid painful public debate.

A century later, polls suggest France is among the least-religious countries in the world, with a minority attending services regularly. Secularism is broadly supported by those on both left and right.

As the number of Muslim in France grew, the state imposed secular rules on their practices. A 2004 banning Muslim headscarves and other ostentatious religious symbols in schools remains divisive, if not shocking to many outside France. A 2011 law banning face veils made Muslims feel stigmatized anew.

Note the phrase “what distinguishes France most is its unusual attachment to secularism.” Yes, that may be an explanation, but, as in the Politico piece, it sounds like an excuse. France is too secular! As Politico said, France has a “dangerous religion of secularism.” Since when is secularism a religion? And how is it “dangerous”? Only to those who are so attached to their faith that they’ll kill for it.

Yes, secularism entails an acceptance of blasphemy, for religion, like politics, should not be protected from criticism. It’s that blasphemy that inspired the original Charlie Hebdo murders, and has now returned to prompt four more murders.

Finally, the AP mentions an “outspoken President”. 

France has been hit with extremist attacks over recent decades under leaders across the political spectrum, but centrist President Emmanuel Macron is a particularly popular target. Protesters burned his portrait or stomped on it at protests in multiple countries this week.

That’s in part because of a law Macron plans to introduce to crack down on Islamist fundamentalists he contends are turning some communities against the state and threatening pillars of French society, including schools. In the wake of recent extremist attacks, his government expelled Muslims accused of preaching intolerance and shut down groups seen as undermining French laws or norms.

The words the president uses have provoked outrage as well. He said the planned law was aimed at Islamist “separatism,” which raised fears of the further alienation of French Muslims.

At a memorial for a teacher beheaded for showing the prophet caricatures to his class, Macron gave a speech extolling tolerance, knowledge and religious freedom. But he drew ire, including from Turkey’s president, for saying, “We won’t renounce the caricatures” and that France should “diminish Islamists.”

Earlier, Macron described Islam as a “a religion that is in crisis all over the world,” with positions “hardening” in many Muslim countries.

Well, Macron may be a target, but he can hardly be blamed as a main cause of French terrorism. His statements were made after the killing of the teacher, and of course far more Islamist murders happened before his watch than after it.

Now I’m sure that France bears at least some guilt for policies that anger its Muslim population. But those policies cannot by any means justify the murder of civilians. And I maintain that the main cause is still religion—a religion that mandates proselytizing, encourages feelings of outrage, and is as much a way of life as a faith, encouraging separatism.

You may say that I’m misinterpreting these articles: that they’re just meant to explain to the public why French Muslims are outraged to the extent that they slaughter non-Muslim citizens. But I’d be more likely to believe such a claim if I saw an equal number of articles explaining why the religion of Islam, as opposed to other faiths, is so often involved in these attacks. Doesn’t the public need to know that, too? Well, not according to the press, who, if they gave such explanations, would be subject to terrorist attacks themselves.

Religion poisons everything.

h/t: Ben

66 Comments

  1. merilee
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Sub

  2. Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I had an interesting Twitter exchange with someone who pointed out that outrage at secularism doesn’t seem to explain the Nice attacks on Catholic worshippers. Clearly it is the larger issue of Islamic extremism against both secularism and other religions- and, obliquely, the secular state’s allowance of freedom of belief/worship. Now, French secularism is much stricter than American secularism but it is not a ‘state religion’: everyone is free to worship as they please, or not to and freedom of speech is allowed to all. Whether one likes Macron’s response, or the French version of secularism, or France at all for that matter, there’s only one side to be on: the side of the victims, not the perpetrators. And that entails not making excuses. Explanations, yes, but not excuses; and certainly not explanations which are dangerously close to victim-blaming and which fail to mention Islamic faith as a cause of the violence.

    There’s an UnHerd article which argues that it is a battle over sovereignty (the French state ceding the monopolopy of violence to offended citizens) rather than free speech per see; but that misses the point that the attacks on France’s state sovereignty represented by such attacks are inspired by hatred of free speech, secularism, and other faiths. Free speech etc are all intwined with French sovereignty and the nature of the French state in these cases.

    Sorry for the garbled thoughts, I just felt like getting some of that out.

    • Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Should have proofread that, there are some annoying typos/grammatical failures. Bleh.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      No, you are perfectly right. France, being secular or catholic (or other non -slamic) is Dar al Harb, the House of War. And as we all know, anything goes in a war.

    • Mike
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      You are exactly right. The French case does seem a little bit different. Here in Canada one is supposed to just politely look away when religious fundamentalists (or even garden-varies believers in belief) say obviously bonkers things in public. It is considered rude to contradict them or make fun of their hypocrisy.

      But the French, to their credit, don’t engage in this bigotry of low expectations. Instead, they expect the religious to put on their big-boy pants and have a discussion when religious utterances are ridiculed in public venues (like cartoons). From that pov it makes sense that France is the flash point for this sort of conflict.

      French laicite is a kind of social x-ray: it reveals which religions are capable of that discussion and which ones are too socially and culturally immature to respond to ridicule in any way other than by violence.

      • merilee
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Ha! Yes Canadians think it rude to talk about religion. This is one of the reasons that I’m a bad Canadian. I matter-of-factly state to people that I am an atheist if it comes up. I also don’t accept stupid things people say whether they are religious or not. You can imagine being a female, and expected to be agreeable, this leads to interesting interactions.

  3. Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I sent your blog to a MD friend of mine in France and he replied with this article. https://www.franceculture.fr/medias/pourquoi-les-medias-anglo-saxons-ne-comprennent-rien-a-notre-laicite

  4. Malgorzata
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    sub.

  5. GBJames
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Sub

  6. Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The Politico article is surely an invited opinion piece. Its author hasn’t published anything else for them. I guess you are faulting Politico for giving someone like this a platform. I could see that going both ways. The position taken by the article is horrifying. On the other hand, it is good to know what we’re up against.

    • Taz
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      It’s been taken down:
      The Opinion article “France’s dangerous religion of secularism” published on Saturday has been withdrawn as it does not meet our editorial standards.

      • Filippo
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        ” . . . has been withdrawn as it does not meet our editorial standards.”

        They somehow didn’t know that earlier, but they somehow later manage to know it.

      • Posted November 1, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        That’s good but they should have mentioned which journalistic standard was broken.

    • Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I agree, no-one should fault this piece in the sense of publishing it, the point is to refute and the space to do so, by whatever means… lampoon, evidence etc.

  7. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    “President Macron is determined to defang extreme Islamism in France.”

    Meanwhile, extreme Jainism presents no threats across the globe. Wonder what accounts for that…

    • phoffman56
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Not even a threat to mosquitoes being squashed against the car windshield. My friends would not go highway driving on a hot humid summer day for that reason.

      Jainism, as ThyroidPlanet is well aware I’m sure, is a ‘religion’ very largely of non-violence–towards anything living.

  8. peter alexander
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Apologia is notoriously rife among the hard left. It’s easy to explain why: it’s west-hating agenda positively seeks explanations that exonerate the perpetrator. To wit, western foreign policy, neo-colonialism, latent and systemic racism and the like.

    none of these explanations amount to a hill of beans.

    The cause of the attack in Nice was a man who holds to a demented religion, one whose extremist impulse can never be assuaged whilst western values prevail.

    And those that condemn the attacks whilst saying they were provoked, well that’s exactly like saying ‘we condemn the rape, but she was wearing a short skirt.’

    Finally, too many moderate Muslims privately condone atrocity. Their fidelity to Sharia in the 21st Century puts them at odds with progressive countries like France, and if the infidel is bloodied, however monstrously, that’s a win of sorts.

    But Islam must modernise. The complacency of mainstream Muslims to the deaths in France – indeed, their efforts to use them to bellyache about Islamophobia rather than tackle the grotesque manifestations of extreme belief in The Prophet – that is the real travesty.

    Sharia in the 21st Century? It’s a joke.

    • Mike
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I had a similar reaction to these stories collectively (especially those in the NYT): France should not have been in that bar late at night, and no way France should have had that third drink. Plus that Chechen guy had a lousy childhood.

      • EdwardM
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Yeah and did you see the dress France was wearing? Whaddya expect?

      • phoffman56
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        IIRC, roughly:

        NYTimes headline:
        France says its terrorism.

        Much smaller print story just below it:
        Macron says it’s Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

        They cannot be accurately accused of inaccuracy.

        They can be accurately accused of woke-shit.

        • Mike
          Posted November 1, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          IDK what your point is? No one said the NYT recounting of the facts was inaccurate. But they emphasized context that was not relevant to the actual crime that occurred, and did so in a way that misleads the reader about the causes of events.

          In this story

          https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/world/europe/nice-attack-france.html

          the first sentence reads:

          “A terror attack that killed three people in Nice on Thursday left France increasingly embattled at home and abroad, as the government called for toughening measures against Islamist extremism, amid rising tensions with Muslim nations.”

          The context encoded in the first phrase could have said that the attack “…left France in grief and sadness at the senseless loss of life at the hands of a religious fundamentalist who was acting on his religious beliefs…”,

          and the last phrase could have read “…amid rising and increasingly violent expressions of intolerance and hatred by Muslim extremists who fled their own violent homelands and were welcomed and supported in France.”

          But the story didn’t start out that way, and it went downhill from that first paragraph. This is the NYT editorial stance seeping into their news coverage. I agree it’s woke as shit.

  9. Matti K
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    JC: “You may say that I’m misinterpreting these articles; they’re just meant to explain to the public why French Muslims are angered to the extent that they slaughter non-Muslim citizens.”

    Actually, these recent two terrorist murderers are/were not French. The first one was a refugee from Chechenya, the second is a migrant from Tunisia.

    Generally, what proportion of French terrorists have parents born in France? Is there hope that time (and strict official secularism) will cool down islamism?

  10. W.T. Effingham
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Extreme Jainism. Hmmm. Might be where they compete over who can liberate the most souls
    … Or better yet who has the (quantitatively) most liberated soul.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Intended to be a reply to Thyroid Planet comment above. WordPress…arghh!

  11. John Donohue
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of the blow-back that gets trotted out every time I bring up Giordano Bruno.

    “He had it coming.” “Knew the customs and laws but recklessly opened his mouth.”

    Such as blogged at “The National Center for Science Education.”

    https://ncse.ngo/burning-obsession-cosmos-and-its-metaphysical-baggage

    • Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      The NCSE, and especially that author, has a long-standing policy of accommodationism, the view that religion and science are completely compatible.

  12. C.
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    So when an extremist Christian (Eric Rudolph) set off a bomb at the Atlanta Olympic Games, or kills an abortion doctor in Kansas (Scott Roeder), or engages in violent confrontations with the feds (Ruby Ridge, Waco) we need to see this not as terrorism to be condemned but as a push back against the creeping secularism of the United States? It’s not the murderers’ fault, for the US must bear the guilt for the policies that offend these Christian extremists, right? Gotta love woke SJW logic.

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The events in France have led the Palestine Authority to issue some official responses.
    There has apparently been no mention of M.
    Paty and the three fatalities in Nice (who perhaps suffered from Islamophobia), but there were several statements like this one:

    “The Ministry of Religious Affairs expressed its rejection of the affront to Prophet Muhammad… Ministry of Religious Affairs Director-General in the Ramallah District Wafiq Alawi said: ‘The ministry – with all its administrative staff and all the mosque imams, preachers, and guards – has followed with great resentment the publication of the cartoons affronting Prophet Muhammad… We warn against continuing these affronts… This fans the spirit of hatred and hostility, and contributes to burying the culture of tolerance and peace between the peoples.”

    [WAFA, official PA news agency, Oct. 28, 2020]

  14. Rasmo Carenna
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I am so tired of these explanations-justifications everytime there is an atrocity by some guy screaming Allahu akbar!
    Yes, no doubt there is some bigotry against muslims, but that is not what explains their situation in countries like France. Their attitudes towards the society they live in is a much bigger contributor. I live in the heart of Europe and I see it everyday.
    I will content myself with two simple observations: If muslims make up the majority of inmates in prison in today’s Europe, maybe it is because they commit a desproportionately amount of the total number of crimes.
    And, as for how a suposedly discriminated population is somehow excused for reacting so violently, I alwasy ask “what about the Roma people (gypsies)?” They have traditionally received every bit as much prejudice as anyone else in my corner of the world. And, where I live, some of them are notoriously involved in petty crimes (particularly drug dealing) and enjoy a less than stellar reputation… but, for all their flaws (real or imaginary) none of them has ever beheaded anyone in the streets nor drive over dozens of people with a truck nor shoot scores of pedestrians… So, definitely, there is something special about Islam that make some of its practitioners misbehave very badly. And we should not give an inch on our basic liberties.

    • Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      +1

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        No, you are perfectly right. France, being secular or catholic (or other non -slamic) is Dar al Harb, the House of War. And as we all know, anything goes in a war.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          I dunno why that comment to comment 2 showed up, I just meant: +2

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      “Their attitudes towards the society they live in is a much bigger contributor.”

      That’s the crux of it. Sayyid Qutb, who was involved with the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950’s/60’s is the fountainhead of Islamic extremism. His writings inspire Islamic extremists and Salafist jihadists like al-Qaeda. And guess where Qutb learned to hate the West, especially the US? By living in the US for two years. He was especially disgusted by the freedoms American women had and our attitudes towards sex (he was deeply disturbed by the Kinsey Reports). To be fair, he also despised America’s racism- which was much more apparent when he lived here. But it was Qutb’s religion that shaped his attitudes towards the society he lived in and impeded his ability to assimilate into Western culture.

    • savage
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      I have never read a positive article about Jehova’s Witnesses or Scientology. But just like for about any group apart from Muslims, this does not result in attempts at mass murdering people outside of their faith.

      As for being victims of discrimination, Muslims have nothing on the Jews. They were almost annihilated in Europe during WW2! Yet I do never see them committing atrocities or boycotting German products and the like.

      If historical grievances explain Islamic terrorism, why does it occur in Germany? No colonial history in Muslim areas, supported Muslims during both World Wars, killed 6 million Jews (sadly, that’s a plus with a lot of Muslims) and extremely good treatment of Muslim immigrants during the refugee crisis.

      • Boris
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        I know plenty of Jews from the former USSR who do boycott German products. They’re just not flashy about it; it’s their personal choice to not buy German things, but they’re not trying to force anyone else to boycott along with them.

  15. John Donohue
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    How’s this for ‘extreme secularism’ …

    All children are born atheist. Indoctrinating them into irrationality is an act of child abuse and domestic terrorism.

    • jezgrove
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I’ll sign up to that definition – and count me in.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      OK. So that make me extreme, I guess. Normally when I think of extremists I think of people who are willing to engage in violence to achieve their aims but I guess it means protecting children from child abuse, too. Who knew?

  16. chris moffatt
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    As an immigrant myself I must point out that it is the responsibikity of the immigrant to integrate NOT of the host nation to integrate him/her. If muslims in France are not integrated it is their failure not a failure of the French state.

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Muslim immigrants to Europe (or the US) have a special problem. They grew up in polities where Islam is utterly predominant, where
      other belief systems are tolerated only barely if at all, and where deviation from official Islam is in some cases a crime. As
      immigrants, they confront the terrible shock of societies where Islam is just one minority among many. The shock is demonstrably too much for some of them to bear without taking violent action to correct it.

    • C.
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      That of course would be considered racism. Western nations are supposed to change to suit the immigrants now. It’s another case of the pendulum swinging too far back the other way. It was clearly wrong to force people to change their names and bar them from speaking their native languages but this isn’t acceptable either. I don’t hear the left demanding that muslim nations allow immigrants from not-muslim nations to eat pork or drink alcohol. There may be plenty of things where both cultures must work out some sort of compromise but surely murder isn’t one of them!
      I cannot help but feel this is a case of the left doing some serious victim-shaming, which I thought was verboten, or is that only with obese people and rape victims? I guess murder is culturally relative.

  17. Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze me that many people don’t recognize that religious rules only apply to followers of that religion, unless it is also the law of the land. The Jewish prohibition against pork does not apply to non-Jews; Lent only applies to Christians; and not drawing images of Mohammed only applies to Muslims.

  18. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I can’t find fault with Macron’s measures. If anything they are long overdue. Other European countries with large Islamic minorities should heed.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted November 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Agreed

  19. Posted November 1, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece. I think we should be giving more vocal and clear support to Macron who, unlike many other European leaders, is trying to get to grips with the problem of Islamofascism.

  20. KD
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    What would we do if the AP wasn’t there to legitimate Islamic Terrorism? Its usually hard to find good Hezbollah and Al-Queda agitprop in English.

  21. Posted November 1, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    France must stand firm as a secular state and oppose the toxicity of religious fanaticism.

  22. dd
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Is the Associated Press in a race with NYTimes (and others) to become the Evergreen/Oberlin of news organizations?

    Has the Associated Press published an article that can be described as sympathetic to the victims? Anyone know?

    “French Muslims, stigmatized by attacks, feel under pressure”

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/french-muslims-stigmatized-attacks-feel-115106342.html

  23. Jean
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    De France, un grand merci en espérant vous voir de retour ici bientôt !

    Jean

  24. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Recep Erdoğan is one of the worst actors on the international stage. And Donald Trump, through his Roy Cohn-manqué attorney general, William Barr, improperly leaned all over federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York to keep Erdoğan’s cabinet ministers and family from being indicted for using Turkey’s state bank to funnel billions of dollars in cash and gold to Iran in violation of US sanctions. This was one of the mysteries behind the sudden, unexplained firing of Trump’s hand-picked US attorney for the SDNY, Geoffrey Berman, last June.

    This is all coincidental, of course, to there being a pair of Trump-branded towers in Istanbul.

  25. Posted November 1, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    France has a problem with their youth, young adult immigrants… they seem to riot a lot, like tRumps America these days, angry, offended? go dismantle something or someone.
    You asked for it! like rape victims were accused of, until we came to some degree, ‘to our senses’ and how pathetic that position was.
    Well most… anti misogyny adherents for one.
    Anyhow, root causes don’t seem to impress and when answering this question of free speech, expression, it’s easier to answer another one.

    How freedom of speech encouraged violence.

    Blasphemy is a way of stinging rebuke without violence, the opinion piece smudges the lines between the right to criticise and sucking up to violence.
    The image of Erdogan must be sizzling in his head and gives me great mirth thinking about that.

  26. adamsmith1922
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    An excellent post well worth reading and chimes in with many of my impressions. Wish that NZ was as stalwart as FRance in it’s attachment to Free Speech

  27. Andrew
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Here we have members of the Syrian community in Ontario Canada who believe that this is all about racism and that the Canadian govt should respond to disrespect of Islam. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/members-syrian-community-centre-protest-france-windsor-1.5784786
    This is totally backward. No one can convince me to respect a religion that mandates death for apostasy (for example). Islam is full of horrible ideas like this, and so it deserves disrespect. I think the only way to protect ourselves from such backwards thinking is to limit Islamic immigration. Immigrants from China, India, Latin America, welcome. But no Islam. It is just too intolerant, anti-feminist, homophobic, and violence inspiring.

  28. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty tired of reading responses to these killings on social media that say something to the effect of “well France should tone down the rhetoric”. Isn’t that rich?

  29. Max Blancke
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    It is funny to hear Islamic folks complaining about conquest and empire.
    That is their whole shtick. They literally spent over 1000 years invading, occupying and taking untold numbers of slaves in Europe, as far as Iceland, even.

    Coincidentally perhaps, Islamic slave raiding and piracy in Europe ended with the French conquest of Algeria in 1830.

  30. Corey Tufts
    Posted November 2, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Totally agree with your take on France being too secular. I was just having a conversation the other day about how France has historically discriminated against Muslims with French laws, which you mentioned. Then to keep posting offensive images of their prophet… it just seems to be making the situtation worse. And it is not ok for extremist to behead anybody. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Love your posts!

    • GBJames
      Posted November 2, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      To make sure I understand you, a cartoon of the prophet (peas be upon him) isn’t quite as bad as cutting someone’s head off, but almost?

    • Posted November 2, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The French shouldn’t give in to radical Muslims. If they did, the beheadings would increase, not decrease. The terrorists would see that their tactics succeeded and would double their efforts to radicalize young Muslims into doing suicide missions.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 2, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      So you’re suggesting it’s okay to commit violence if something offends your religion. So if an evangelical in the US is offended by women having abortions, killing those women getting them is okay?

  31. De wilt
    Posted November 2, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    And I’m not sure how much of the Muslim failure to integrate into French society is due to their own culture rather than to French measures that prevent such integration. As far as I know, the French are eager to integrate all immigrants, but there is surely bigotry against Muslim immigrants that hinders that.

    The Islamic doctrine of “Al Wala’ Wal Bara'” instructs followers to love what Allah loves and to hate what Allah hates.

    This presents large problems to Muslims who genuinely want to integrate as most of their peers hate France and its secular morals and hate the French for their odious ways.

    While most Muslims will make the choice to do what their religion instructs (which is hatred in this case) what choice is a less religious Muslim to make in the face of this doctrine?

    It’s impossible to integrate into French society while hating France and the French. To love them – or even like them – will be haraam to their family and friends.

    What is a moderate Muslim to do?


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: