Sunday, November 15, 2015

French Muslims' Post-9/11

Paris just suffered a terrorist attack that will leave an imprint as deep in the French psyche as the September 11th attacks did on the American psyche. After families of the victims mourn and bury their loved ones, and hopefully heal from an unimaginable pain, the national wound will remain.

From it will rise anger, hate, and retaliation directed at the Muslims in France, whom by virtue of their identity will be guilty by association.

The line drawn to keep them as outsiders from French society will thicken. They will be told to “go home” to some unfamiliar land in North Africa or the Middle East which most have never seen. Their bodies and minds will be placed under surveillance watching every step they make, listening to every word they utter. Their very presence on French soil will be viewed as an existential threat to the survival of France.

Few will notice the tears in their eyes as they mourn their friends and family killed by the terrorist attacks in Paris. Few will acknowledge that they too were born in France, their parents were born in France, and their grandparents lived much of their life in France. That they too feel their country has been attacked. That they too feel their sense of safety has been shattered.

The right wing will grow stronger. Their chants of hate will grow louder. Kick them out. Close the borders. Bomb them. They will blame the left for being naïve in thinking “those Muslims” could ever be integrated, could ever be civilized. They will demand stricter immigration laws, stricter criminal laws, and punishing Muslims for practicing their faith. The backlash will last for months, maybe years. The hate will spread on the wings of fear crossing borders to other European countries.

Innocent Muslims will be targeted in public spaces, harassed at work, bullied in schools, and the hostile stares will follow them everywhere. Carrying a double burden – French Muslims will grieve for their country and fear for themselves.

All the while, France's Muslims will remain herded into ghettos where jobs are rare and social problems are ample. The only way out is deportation or incarceration. No one will care about their plight.

Instead, attention will be on suspecting them of past, present, and future terrorism. The French ghetto will become a theater of war where informants lure in vulnerable youth into sting operations and terrorists recruit the hapless and hopeless to fight in Syria where they are promised treasure and dignity.

All eyes will be on the Muslims in France, but the stares will not see the looks of trepidation and sadness in their eyes.

The City of Lights was attacked by terrorists on November 13, 2015. Criminals claiming to be Muslims killed over 130 people and injured over 400. Millions of French Muslims will pay the price. But France will not be any safer for it.

November 15, 2015 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (2)