The commentators 12-01-15
...on Charlie Hebdo
Decency, taste and the rituals of human solidarity declare a horror like the Paris terrorist atrocities a no-go area for routine partisan argument. That is why so many heads of government and other public figures, including David Cameron and Miliband, flocked to Paris to participate in a remarkable expression of global unity and defiance. It is also why Nigel Farage sounded so cheap, trying to score points for Ukip with a McCarthyite attack on the “fifth column” of Islamist terrorism.
- Matthew d'Ancona, The Guardian
There is a pattern here of troubled men projecting their self-hatred on to other people: fellow students, women, novelists, journalists, Jews, Muslims. They display a sense of aggrieved entitlement which over-rides any possibility of empathy with their victims; acquiring an arsenal of Kalashnikovs and grenade-launchers offers a feeling of power which they seldom experience in their everyday lives.
- Joan Smith, The Independent
France's effective handling of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo — and the symbolic nature of the target — has invoked something in America’s DNA. “Solidarité” is the cover of the New Yorker against a cartoon of the Eiffel Tower as a pencil — an artful echo of Le Monde’s “We are all Americans” post-9/11 headline. The popular slogan, “Je Suis Charlie”, may be overblown. But this tragedy has brought out America’s underlying sympathy for France.
- Edward Luce, Financial Times
Many Muslims abhor extremist terror; indeed, a Muslim employee of the Jewish grocery saved a number of shoppers. But to deny this terror is rooted in a valid interpretation of Islam is delusional. The Muslim world, which insists terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, must now take responsibility for its own religion. But it never will if the west continues to endorse this evasion. As long as the ignorant, the complacent and the prejudiced dismiss this threat as caused by a few rogue actors, the west will surely lose this war it refuses even to name.
- Melanie Phillips, The Times
This situation is not hopeless – and it is not war. It is more dangerous than that. But it will only be a threat to freedom, or “civilisation”, if we allow it to be.
- Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph
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