An American observer comments on French politics.
Am I dreaming ! Did you really tag this post with keyword : "Muslims" ?Do you have a "Muslims" box hidden somewhere and a "Jews" one ? I can't believe this. Not here. In front of Montaigne !
If there were one, this post would go into the "Jews" box, despite the fact that the New York Times was too delicate, or perhaps politically correct, to mention the Toulouse victims' having been Jews. Montaigne would understand.
@MCG... Sorry but I don't hear you. I'd use a "Terrorism" box for stuff related to Merah. Period. Religion is grossly inadequate. I wouldn't classify a post about Netanyahu in a "Jews" box either. I wouldn't create "Jews" or "Muslims" boxes anyway... That's a bad move. IMHO.
Among the victims, there were Arabs too, MCG.Mélanie
If Art has a box for “Islam and France” he might have check that one instead but clearly the question of whether Islam is compatible with Western (and particularly French) values is one that has dominated European politics for over a decade. There isn’t a newspaper, magazine or television newscast that doesn’t regularly have such stories on the front page. Today, in my French class, I will be reading from a story in Paris Match entitled “Les islamistes face à la république.” There are many other aspects to this that might deserve their own box such as “Islamic terrorism” “Immigration” and “Integration” but they are all part of the subject of whether observant Muslims can be integrated into Western societies. There’s obviously a wide spectrum of opinion on that question but to deny that it is a question very much on people’s minds is naive.@Mélanie,You are right to remind us that the French soldiers were among Merah’s victims, although as we learn more about Merah’s worldview it’s clear that his choice of victims is very much about what being a Muslim meant to him. But as I learn more about the Merah affair, I am seeing that Merah’s inner turmoil and radicalization is simply a part of the larger question of Islam’s relationship to the West and how the Islamic world is dealing with modernity. And in the context of France, I see Merah’s situation as relating less to religion and more specifically to the problems of integration. But, no matter how you slice it, Islam is very much at the heart of what’s going on today.
@ Massilian However regrettable the fact remains that this terrorism attack was inspired by a religion provoking now considerable anxiety in France. According to an opinion poll published on Thursday: "Six out of ten French people believe the influence of Islam in France is “too big” and 43 percent see the religion as a “threat” to national identity."
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