While I was in Paris last week, the murder of the Editorial Staff at Charlie Hebdo occurred. My Blog Post will be an insight into the Parisian mind set as events unfolded. This was my journey, I asked questions, hoping to understand how “ordinary” Parisians felt.
- The Story of the Mali Muslim Technician
A nice young man, was sent by technical support to help me use the Plaza Athenee TV. I admit I am technically challenged at times. We spoke about the murders at Charlie Hebdo and he feared that life and jobs would be scarce for the Muslim Community as the polarization of society continued unabated. I said I understood , that it was hard times for decent people. I told him I was Jewish and “suffered” when people were anti semitic. We wished each other good evening and better days. I gave him the Saint Honore cake in my suite, as a gesture of good will, to be shared with others.
- The Story of a management employees
After the Murders at Charlie Hebdo, my friend and I arrived back at the hotel and we were shaken and angry. Angry that 12 lives were lost, that our freedoms might be curtailed, that there would be no end to the violence. The young men in the lobby were disturbed. ” why do they come to our country, if they don’t want to assimilate, they asked? Why, indeed? Why populate another country only to be isolated and maintain the ” old ways”. So many questions and so few answers? What keeps many Muslims from questioning authority? From embracing and immersing themselves in their new State? We asked those questions, that night. Realizing it was too late to help the dead and maybe too late to help many of the Muslim’s in France today. We felt, if you are not going to follow the laws of your chosen land, leave in Peace. We also thought, with out a quick resolution to violence prevention, the ultra right parties would win. While Hollande may feel his Country is united, his people are feeling the opposite. Islamophobia is on the rise.
- The story of my friend’s friend
I was touring the Picasso museum, an hour after the fateful event at Charlie Hebdo. We had not seen the news. At Christine’s apartment we turned on the BBC and watched and listened to the events of the day. Tears came to our eyes as we watched horrified at the the carnage. Why? So many lives lost for being clever, for bringing attention to issues that effect all of us through their cartoon art. An ancient Western tradition, using art as satire. The pen is mightier then the sword, but not mightier then Kalashnikovs or Rocket Launchers. The Editorial Board was doomed when the first bombs hit their office a year ago. Why does western society have to suffer and lose our liberty because ultimately Middle Eastern Nation States and Imams brain wash their youth? The Blood of innocent civilians is splattered over the Arab Nations that prefer Jihad to education and personal freedom. Unfortunately, when some Muslim immigrants go to other societies in the West they take their hatreds, their racism , their anti semitism and love of killing with them. Where are the Imams and the Nation States now? When will they reverse their cult of death and enter the 21 st Century? Until and unless they do, we will be fighting ” lone terrorists” and mourning our dead for another millennium, either the fanatics win or civilization does? This should not be an either or choice. The Arab States have enough money to insure the World’s peace, not it’s demise. Why do they deny food , human rights and education to their people and pursue a return to the Caliphate instead? If they are living in an alternate reality, which I suspect may be true, then we should be having this dialogue daily at the UN. No more smiles all the time, let’s be responsible world citizens. We can be serious about issues and still Party. Let’s stop chasing data and go to the source of our discontent: For Charlie, for dead Jews , for Humanity!
- The Taxi cab woman’s story
When driving back in a taxi cab from Montmartre, our cab driver was a Muslim Woman who has worked in Paris for 21 yrs and was schooled in London. She appeared ” decent”, however, when the ride was over I was angry that I gave her 32 Euros. Angry at myself for supporting her and only bearing witness to her stories.
Part of our conversation as I remember it. She believes the terrorists are ” crazy” people. She compares her community to a sardine can, 100 people and 1 crazy, bad person. When asked , would you tell the authorities about this one ” bad” person , she changed the subject. Next, I asked her if there was humor or cartoons in Arabic? She stated you could insult politicians, movie stars but never the Prime Minister or Mohammad. While she condemned the murders of the Editorial staff, she said they had no right to criticize Mohammad. Then as we proceeded towards the center of Paris, the streets were blocked by police, we were unaware of the murders occurring in the Hyper Cacher, I stated that the Charlie Hebdo murders were being compared to our 911. Her response was: But there were no JEWS on the planes, they were for warned, they were wealthy and knew that this was going to happen that’s why they weren’t on the plane. That’s what she heard and repeated. She doesn’t know what to think, but Muslims were not the cause of 911? To her, 911 was ultimately a Jewish plot. She focused on the Planes and refused to acknowledge the 3000 dead civilians. Why?
Who contributes to their apparent denial of reality? Who contributes to their “hatred” of Jews? I read in the Guardian terrorists are purchasing GoPros, those small videos, to capture their murders on tape for publication on Social Media. Someone is providing money for sophisticated ” gadgets” and weapons? I still don’t understand, why we can’t shut down their internet sites and force terrorists into the sunlight?
- The French Mayor’s address to the Nation
The Mayor exclaimed, Young Muslim men commit to Jihad as a rite of passage? Really? When the Mayor stated that this was natural, all I could think was,” how could you say this and not be moved by your statement and the acknowledgement that this is not a “normal” occurrence”? Where was the outrage? Where was her emotion? Why had she lost her moral compass? By being sanguine, didn’t this Politician understand that the next step, when the Muslim youth come back from Jihadist training, may be murder. In one week 17 were murdered along with a Muslim policeman? No wonder Charlie Hebdo stood up for what they saw. They were the beacons of light and truth in a Society where their leaders had become Zombies. Too “civilized” to feel appropriate emotion and understand that going to Jihad is not understandable.
- My 2 Cents
The time to have counter arguments and inculcation into existing societies should start when Muslims/ perhaps all immigrants, enter their new country. Perhaps there should be 3-6 months of orientation into the “new State or Society”, conducted by local social workers, doctors, policeman,teachers and Imams, etc.? You don’t lose your identity, while you gradually assimilate into the new Society. People are free to practice their religion in private, but they cannot ignore the laws of their new homeland. My feeling , after this orientation, people and families may or may not have a sense of belonging and would be able to reassess their commitment to their new home?
At this point in time, the Western World is dealing with recession. The youth of most countries are underemployed. Certainly there will be animosity between groups. But I blame the Middle Eastern Arab nations for Jihadism. They created several lies: Jews are the source of the Muslims’ poor reception in new countries, the Jews are to be hated and murdered, and all speech has to be politically correct, especially when talking or writing about Muslims? Western Blood is on the hands of Middle Eastern Nation States. If they stopped using scape goats and fed their own people, encouraged education, and supported truth and freedom of speech, perhaps terrorism would cease to exist, or at the very least, be condemned and curtailed significantly? Otherwise, like Svengali pulling the strings of the poor multitudes who follow Islam, the Leaders of the Muslim people, condone Jihad and murder.
Don’t think we are free of wrong headed thinking here at home,too! I happen to pass by two Muslim kids selling Halal food from their truck. I like the kids and buy their food. Today, I said hello, chatted and mentioned, it’s too bad about the murders in Paris. Their response was shocking to me. They stated, I don’t believe they occurred. I said, “I know it happened I was in Paris when both events occurred”. An awkward silence ensued and then and then their denial of events was repeated: “I don’t believe it’s true?”
Why are Muslim’s in denial? Who is shaping their thoughts, their concept of the world? Why don’t they understand that atrocities are being perpetrated in the name of Allah? When Jihadist’s murder, it’s not only Jews in the cross hairs. I have a simple plea to all Imams, if they are the Muslim role models, they should understand the ramifications of their world views. Are they teaching young people to feel victimized, rather then talking about the reality that surrounds them and us? In America, while we all suffer from this Recession, I’d like to believe, that we understand and tolerate our differences. Since diversity is the engine of change in American Society, let’s all agree to talk about our differences and similarities and celebrate our common Humanity.