Oh, Paris, oh, France
Last night’s horrible attack and its numbing toll of dead and injured is the third I know of in France in 2015. The assault on Charlie Hebdo took place in January; the apprehended incident on a TGV heading for Paris in August and then the slaughter last night.
Two weeks ago I walked the very streets where some of yesterday’s blood was shed. It is astounding, yet clearly the case, that there are more than a few people on this planet willing to engage in such cold-blooded murder in the name of their religious/political faith. Then again, the world has seen this sort of thing across the millennia, and from all corners of the globe, carnage inflicted by and to many different peoples.
We who value freedom of expression and of belief, and want to practice tolerance, must keep our values intact. Yet we have to do so with an increasing vigilance and an awareness that there could well be some in our midst who wish us dead. This year the target has been France, but it could be anywhere on that continent or on any other continent for that matter. That’s because the logic behind such attacks is terror for terror’s sake among those it considers infidels, who in their minds deserve to die.
The current wave of brutality is tied to a messianic branch of Islam, but I have to point out that a few hundred years ago it was European Christians who acted much the same toward the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Beware extremism in all forms.
Paris and France will endure and shine on: like the golden boy high up in the Place de la République, one of the scenes of terror last night. This is a photo I took two weeks ago.