Firstly my solidarity with the families and victims of the terrorist attacks which took place this weekend in Paris. Regrettably Israelis know well what this is since decades ago when they were subjected to continuous attacks just for being Israelis !
It was interesting to find a blog in a Spanish Liberal newspaper El Confidencial – more or less like our Times of Israel – in which the blogger reported how Paris in particular and the mainstream parties in general have turned a blind eye on the banlieus ( outskirts in French ) of Paris as long as their Muslim inhabitants did not upset ” peace “. So even if the burqa was banned, the blogger stated that in many parts the police turned a blind eye for fear of upsetting this peace. His message in a nutshell is that: Muslim teens and youngsters are a ” captive vote ” for most politicians resulting in their not bothering these teens/youngsters. Amazingly educational achievement is near zero in schools and the author continues that authorities have given up any hope and as a result, the brightest of students are taken down to the level of the dumbest of students.
When I was in Paris teaching English and Spanish as Foreign Languages in La Defense commercial center in 2008/2009 I visited the very maligned Seine-Saint Denis and was shocked to see the non -existing integration of Arabs of Northern African origin that existed when compared to say most Turks in Germany or Spanish emigrants in France. I saw many women in veil, kids and teens speaking almost all in either Arabic or an awful French and quite a few women with burkas ! To me it seemed I was in another planet so I can see the point of the article.
This leads me to the header of my article:why has this state of affairs happened ? Apparently the French have articulated a ridiculous policy of do-goodism or a pious paternalistic policy which runs at the heart of any Leftish and soft centre-right mentality. It is accepting whatever Islamic culture has as long as they respected French values. Bu the truth is that does not happen! How can women be accepted to wear burkas when we know it is an imposition from backwards Islamic/Arab culture? How can a state proclaim to be secular and nevertheless accept the burka, radical preachers in their midst and the mistreatment of women?
So the paradox is that France proclaims to be a secular state but if Islamic values did not agree with it it was OK. But other faiths especially Christianity had to accept and respect a secular state !!
The Paris attacks are a monstrous crime – as president Hollande said – they are an “act of war “. But this war may be too late to fight unless France realizes that it has to have a U-turn in its real values and foreign policy, which by the way supported the creation of a Palestinian state this last year in December in a UN resolution. Appeasing radical Muslims or radicals of any religion is not the answer from a Liberal democracy and a truly secular state to the lack of integration of some minorities. And France until today did just that: appease and be buddy-buddy with potential terrorists who became real terrorists. Will France’s policy change once and for all and consider that the Jewish community and Israel are its best friend? Let’s hope they do not stumble twice with the same stone !