May God bless Francois Hollande. I just listened to his speech to the French president’s to his parliament. God bless BBC, too, for carrying it live.
What warmed my heart were the words he spoke warning France NOT to take this terrible incident as an excuse to hate. It is only, he insisted, by closing ranks and strengthening community, embracing all religions, races and ethnic groups, that France will defeat the ugly forces that did the deeds. (my words, not his. Could find no available text translation as I write.)
ISIS may have made a fatal mistake.
As John Oliver put it, if ISIS is engaged in a culture war, and they have chosen to go head to head against France in a contest of culture and lifestyle, “good f=$&ing luck!” France has John Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wines and Camembert on a very long list.
A friend commented how ironic that the whole world ignores the constant violence in other countries—Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the school children in Nigeria, the horrendous toll of the drug war in Mexico—but reacts big time to the killing of 129 souls in France.
Well said, but, maybe this is one time that the prestige and power of the first world can work for Good—to call attention to other ISIS crimes , and more importantly, to the successful recruiting of young people using the prejudice against Muslims and immigrants that is at the root of the problem.
As my hero, President Obama observed in various statements:
“overblown rhetoric … could be a potent recruitment tool for the Islamic State group. …”
“When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, …that’s shameful,” the President added.
Already, the bad news from Paris has brought a message of compassion from two presidents.
May the Force be with us.