BLOG 279 November 16, 2015
The horrendous carnage in Paris this past weekend has shocked the world. With hundreds injured or killed, France is now faced with an act of war that has claimed innocent lives. ISIS immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks and proclaimed these civilian attacks were only the “first of the storm” that will follow. Statements came in Arabic, English, and French saying: “Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State.”
Reverberations continue to rumble around the world. During the Saturday meeting in Vienna of the top diplomats from more than a dozen countries, American Secretary of State John Kerry said the attacks were “the most vile, horrendous, outrageous, unacceptable acts on the planet.” The French foreign minister added, “It is more necessary than ever in the current circumstance to coordinate the international fight against terrorism.” Many will conclude that only an end to the civil war in Syria can halt such an outbreak.
Before the terrorist attacks exploded in Paris, eastern European nations were already balking at accepting the unprecedented migration flowing out of Syria and the war torn countries with multitudes knocking on the doors of Hungry, Austria, Germany, and beyond. America may do the same. Rumors were already circulating that concealed terrorist were traveling with the hordes crossing the Aegean Sea. The Parisian attack now appears to confirm this suspicion.
The situation in Paris is not new. For more than a year, France has fought in its own intifada. Regular flare-ups in many of the Arab-inhabited suburbs of the major French cities is continuing story. A running guerrilla type of warfare has existed with Muslim Arabs for some time. As a result of French colonialism in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia conflict has followed for two-centuries. What happened his past weekend is another but worse expression of this old struggle.
In 2005. one of these outbreaks lasted for three weeks when two youths running from the police were electrocuted and killed while hiding in an installation with an electric transformer in the Paris suburb of Clicy-sous-Bois. Riots erupted in a number of immigrant-dominated neighborhoods of more than 100 French cities.
Five to six million people of Muslim origin live in France, composing 10 percent of the total population. Confrontation has already occurred when schools resisted girls and young women wearing Muslim head scarves at school. Muslim religious customs have created other similar tensions.
Tensions remain high because Arabs tend to find only factory-type employment with high numbers of youths unable to find any jobs. Such suburban ethnic communities make for fertile ground for recruiting young people who can be radicalized.
There’s no end in sight to the Middle-Eastern conflict that that has now spilled over in Europe. The French and Parisian ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity are definitely being challenged. More conflicts and problems will follow.