This post begins and ends with an apology for being guilty of what’s driving me nuts. The other day I wrote what turned out to be a very widely-circulated post in response to a headline I saw on the Drudge Report: “Every Jew I Know Has Left Paris,” which linked to a Daily Mail article attributing the quote to Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle. Now, who should have known better than to trust a sensational headline? Who should have thought, “Drudge and The Daily Mail may not have quoted Mr. Pollard properly? Perhaps I should check to be sure?”
Yep, that would be me.
The American Interest
Is it right that Paris gets a mass rally while Boko Haram’s slaughter of thousands in Nigeria merits hardly a shrug? No. But it’s the response Paris and Nigeria both deserve. This is what civilization looks like.
This morning high mass was celebrated at Notre Dame, an obvious terrorist target. There was no visible security around the cathedral at all.
Today was one of those cold and beautiful winter days in Paris that calls to mind a 19th Century painting by Caillebotte. The police had promised “extreme security measures” for the rally: 150 plainclothes officers, 20 teams of snipers, 56 motorcycle teams, and 24 mobile units. When I read this, I didn’t know whether to be moved or horrified. That is nothing—nothing—like what you need to protect a crowd of the predicted size from a determined group of terrorists. Particularly since their sleeper units—we have been told by the same authorities—may recently have been activated. It is deeply moving that Paris simply has no idea how to become a proper police state. And it also just as clear this city must learn what “extreme security” looks like—it doesn’t look like Paris; and it doesn’t look like this.
I’m a journalist but was only by chance in the vicinity of the massacre at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. I was en route to visit a friend. This took me past the paper’s office and thus put me at the heart of the bloodiest attack France has seen in the past 50 years.
On my approach, it was immediately obvious that there had been a massive terrorist attack. Such attacks have a characteristic signature. Swarms of ambulances. Police vehicles and mobile labs. Grim-faced cops. Crime-scene tape stretching for blocks. A very particular expression on the faces of dazed and bewildered onlookers.
I had no intention of reporting on this from the scene of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. I was walking up Boulevard Richard Lenoir to meet a friend who lives in the neighborhood. But the moment I saw what I did, I knew for sure what had happened. A decade in Turkey teaches you that. That many ambulances, that many cops, that many journalists, and those kinds of faces can mean only one thing: a massive terrorist attack.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, September 08, 2006
The recent thwarted terrorist plot in England that aimed to blow up commercial airlines between Britain and the United States serves as another chilling reminder of the horror that multiculturalism has wreaked in Western Europe. A nightmarish fact: most of the terrorist suspects who aimed to engage in the mass murder of innocent civilians were home-grown -- they were born and raised in Britain. In other words, Britain has welcomed immigrants whose children hate British and Western society and seek to destroy it. So what sense, then, is there to invite and to be tolerant toward the intolerant? Many Western European countries have been agonizing over this precise question and have clearly made certain conclusions about it -- which explains why they are now in the process of overturning the policies of multiculturalism.
Today we have assembled a panel of experts to discuss several questions connected to this phenomenon. First: what exactly have been the consequences of Muslim immigration to Western Europe? Second: has the official policy of multiculturalism in Western Europe suffered a death? If so, is it too little too late?
by John Hawkins, September 2006
John Hawkins: Why are Europeans so secular compared to Americans?
Claire Berlinski: American religiosity doesn't need to be explained; after all, throughout history, in every civilization, people have believed in the supernatural. What needs to be explained is European atheism, which is the aberration-unique in the world and in human history. It has its origins in politics, I think, not metaphysics. Voltaire was of the view that it is not so much the intrinsic power of the argument for atheism that caused people to reject faith, but rather the corruption of the Church, and largely I agree with him. Before the French Revolution, there were no atheists in Europe. Heretics, sure. But atheists? Unheard of.