I have assembled a handful of particularly interesting articles that i have read commenting on the looming political crisis surrounding the tragic events that have unfolded in France.
John Cassidy “Charlier Hebdo and the Clash of Civilisations” for The New Yorker
“A day on, the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris
continues to shock and outrage. But it has also provoked a show of resolve, in displays of the phrase “Je Suis Charlie
,” which was daubed on a statue during a spontaneous demonstration at the Place de la République, and has turned into an instantly recognizable affirmation of the need to preserve freedom of expression, even, and perhaps most vitally, when that freedom empowers some people to satirize and lampoon things that others hold sacred.
On a more mundane and depressing level, the attack has revived some old debates and prejudices that lead down a cul-de-sac. On Twitter, in the hours after the attacks, the phrase #KillAllMuslims was trending for a while (although it should also be noted that some of those tweeting the phrase were doing so only to object to it). Meanwhile, some serious commentators and analysts were raising the old, thorny question about the links, purported or real, between Islam and the violence carried out in its name by fanatical zealots, such as the Kouachi brothers, Chérif and Said, whom French authorities have identified as suspects in the attack.
Echoing Samuel Huntington’s famous warning that “Islam has bloody borders,” Richard Dawkins, the English ethologist and atheist, who wrote the 2006 best-seller “The God Delusion
,” wrote on Twitter
of the Paris attackers, “They shouted ‘We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad’. . . . Some useful idiot will claim it had nothing to do with religion.” And, subsequently
, “No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn’t.” On the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal
on Thursday, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born writer and activist, wrote
, “After the horrific massacre . . . perhaps the West will finally put away its legion of useless tropes trying to deny the relationship between violence and radical Islam.”
Nicholas Kristof text for the New York Times
Jan 7 2015
“The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo
skewers people of all faiths and backgrounds. One cartoon showed rolls of toilet paper marked “Bible,” “Torah” and “Quran,” and the explanation: “In the toilet, all religions.”
Yet when masked gunmen stormed Charlie Hebdo’s offices
in Paris on Wednesday with AK-47s, murdering 12 people in the worst terror attack on French soil in decades, many of us assumed immediately that the perpetrators weren’t Christian or Jewish fanatics but more likely Islamic extremists.
Outraged Christians, Jews or atheists might vent frustrations on Facebook or Twitter. Yet it looks as if Islamic extremists once again have expressed their displeasure with bullets.
Many ask, Is there something about Islam that leads inexorably to violence, terrorism and subjugation of women?”
Opinion Piece by Ayan Hirsi Ali
Jan 7 2015
“How to Answer the Paris Terror Attack”
After the horrific massacre Wednesday at the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, perhaps the West will finally put away its legion of useless tropes trying to deny the relationship between violence and radical Islam.
This was not an attack by a mentally deranged, lone-wolf gunman. This was not an “un-Islamic” attack by a bunch of thugs—the perpetrators could be heard shouting that they were avenging the Prophet Muhammad. Nor was it spontaneous. It was planned to inflict maximum damage, during a staff meeting, with automatic weapons and a getaway plan. It was designed to sow terror, and in that it has worked.
The West is duly terrified. But it should not be surprised.
More to come later