Reporting from Paris this morning, CNN's Christiane Amanpour said she had asked the Iman of the main mosque in Paris why he had hadn't organized a large march with thousands of Muslims to protest the terrorist attacks. Why not fight the fear and the foolish reaction of the far Right who are calling for anti immigrant measures with an affirmation of French Muslim love of France and rejection of terrorism?
March down the Champs-Elysees with banners to proclaim Muslims in France are as horrified by ISIS's violence and psychopathy as non Muslim French. Wrap yourself in the French flag and get out front about it.
The Iman, apparently sheepishly, reported he had, in fact, made just that suggestion but he was told: "You do not represent the feelings of the members of your congregation, most especially the younger members."
All the Islam bashing by Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, the entire staff of Fox News cannot approach the damage this report might do.This is the first time I've heard anything--and it is second hand--which supports the notion that we really do have a clash of cultures, that we may not be dealing with simply a few deviants who do not speak for anyone other than themselves and their own twisted, criminal psychopathy. Apparently, among a certain element, a cohort of Muslims, the murderous attacks against "Westerners" resonates.
Of note, the 9/11 attackers attacked symbols of American imperialism and power: The World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the White House, the Capitol. The terrorists on those airplanes killed men and women who bore them no animus, who had never done anything directly to harm Islam, or Muslims, beyond going to work in an American capitalist system. But somehow, mowing down people sitting at a sidewalk cafe on a Friday night seemed different. They were not occupying territory which could in any way be seen as iconic of capitalism, imperialism, Christianity, oppressive government, military--they were out enjoying the night, or going to a concert. It seemed closer to killing people for playing music or simply being in the company of members of the opposite sex--real Taliban, Sharia law stuff. Those guys with the guns were killing out hatred of people for their values.
Bernie Sanders was tone deaf to suggest murderers blowing up theater goers in Paris should be seen as simply symptoms of disaffection of displaced persons resulting from the depredations of climate change on the economies of the Middle East. But he might have been closer to the truth than those who say we should not use terms like "Radical Islam," because so few Islamic people, really only a mentally deranged few, would ever embrace random, wholesale murder.
Attacks in Paris were against people who were in no way connected to Western military or political institutions--just men and women at a café or a theater, doing those decadent Western things like listening to music, drinking wine and flirting.
If this is true, then we have a real problem.