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Religion and Society

And After #jesuisCharlie how do We Deal with the Muslims?

What is left after the viral and global outrage that led millions of people to the streets to express their identification with the victims of the massacre in Paris? The urgency to take the necessary steps to understand Islam and the radical challenge it poses to the West.

Clear, impacting, sensational. So must be in terrorist’s mind the message connected to his actions. He/she has no time to lose, he/she must obtain the most spectacular effect reaching as many targets as possible: hit the enemy, obtain a victory and this way glorify God. He/she wants to reach heaven, the reward for his/her courage. What about the collateral damage, the innocent victims left on the ground? They're not a problem, because, above all, it is the intention of the action of the Jihadist that wins: affirm the truth of God eliminating the unfaithful. In this project the ‘communicative’ question is of the maximum importance for the global radical Islamic terrorists. This is demonstrated by their online magazines, websites, videos-releases which they spread, their skill in the use of social media, ideal places for recruiting new militants. And perhaps, with this ‘media sensitivity’ view, you can also understand the target chosen last 7 January, a target capable of provoking a global reaction like the one recorded by the principal Western newspapers: break into the newsroom of a weekly, when the editorial meeting is taking place and everybody is present and make a killing. Killing the signatures of a newspaper well-known (and even threatened) for its corrosive, controversial and debated satire in France, but also defended as a symbol of freedom of expression, the pride of French laicité.

 

 

And that this was a great target has been confirmed by the oceanic event on Sunday 1/11 along the boulevards of Paris: its extent and its transversality, the presence of dozens of heads of government (including those of a number of countries where dissident journalists are rotting in jail), has made it unique in the history of Europe, a textbook turning point. Millions of people from every social class and cultural and religious backgrounds together to say “I'm Charlie.” The hashtag #jesuisCharlie is the quintessence of the universal desire of being-there to raise ones voice and shout in unison, “I too am one of those who were killed.” A perfect slogan, which refers to collective identification with the victims of a barbaric attack, which some would now raise among the heroes of the homeland of the Pantheon in Paris. But there's something more: a reaction well beyond our standards has confirmed that, hitting that paper (before the tragedy, poorly tolerated by various French society circles), was more outrageous and unacceptable to the majority of European media than the attack on the twin towers or the destruction of sixteen Nigerian villages where two thousand people, of which we may never even know the name, were killed (the African 11 September only deserved a few lines in our mainstream media).

 

 

So maybe it's true that newspapers have become untouchable for Western society, sacred temples of civil religion, freedom of expression, the foundation of our democracies? The Kouachi brothers have really scored a masterstroke ‘on the road to God’ as required by jihadist martyrology. In December 2001, Osama Bin Laden said about the attacks on New York and Washington: “These young people have said it with facts, overshadowing any other speech made in any part of the world. Speeches understood by Arabs and non-Arabs ... They have spoken above all the media
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