Saturday, January 10, 2015

Tragedy hits Paris: was it avoidable

Tragedy hits Paris: was it avoidable


Death came to many in Paris, in the last few days, as radical Muslim extremists vented their anger over a satirical portrait of their religious icon. In the aftermath 12 people were murdered at the publication Charlie Hebdo with another dozen wounded. Violence jumped from this site to several other areas including a kosher deli where 4 more people were killed. Numbers of casualties are fluid which may rise as reports are revealed to the public. Three of the 4 terrorists were killed with a female counterpart remaining to be apprehended. Provocation for these horrific acts was rooted in the themes this weekly magazine expressed. Negative characterizations of religious figures were one of its specialties. Media hype around the World, for the most part, sided with the editorial staff at Hedbo believing freedom of speech allows publications to denigrate religions and their leaders. Some have suggested that by portraying the most holy Muslim leader in such a manner violence was automatically invited upon on this magazine. Muslim leaders across the World were slow to condemn this vicious act. High profile Muslim clerics went so far as to praise the attack with a righteousness hard to define by western standards. Consequently President Obama condemned the attack without directly blaming the Muslim community. Many facets of these violent acts have yet to be defined. Atheistic rhetoric demeaning religion was regular fodder fed to Charlie Hedbo’s audience. The media speaks of free speech rights which they believe gives them a license to incense billions with their religious bigotry. The question is: Where do these rights end and propriety of mind begin? Muslim culture in Europe has not merged with the culture of the countries that invited them in. Instead many of them live in enclaves separated from the general population. Hate has not capitulated itself as Middle Easterners  moved across borders. Western thoughts and traditions are an anathema to many from the Middle East. With this clash of cultures it is only a matter of time before other cities in Europe and this country must defend themselves from such assaults. Will we surrender to the Muslim hammer, merge with them or evict this crawling terrorism before it becomes unmanageable? One thing for sure, time is not on our side.


Mark Davis MD, President of Davis Writing Services,

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