Sunday, 11 January 2015

In the wake of "Charlie"

It wasn't a happy start to the year - watching terrorists massacring innocents in Paris. I wasn't too surprised but it was shocking and I had the luxury of watching it on TV from the safety of a location outside Paris. I've lived in France for more than 4 years now and the current situation is alarming. As an 'outsider still' I try to use my otherness to look at things from a neutral perspective or at least try to appreciate different sides but I'm starting to become convinced that France has certainly created this problem but its ruling ideology will never take the steps to rectify the problems because it wouldn't be politically correct.

France is not a meritocracy.You don't get to enter and succeed based on your commitment and interest in the good of France. If that was the case a lot of dodgy people with no French language or resources or education would never have been allowed to enter.  Once you're here you can't say anything bad about groups of people who share a particular religion or ethnicity or you are racist, even if some facts are clearly there. Rights are quickly defended except for the rights of the majority to be able to move around France in relative safety. To my mind, it's a twisted sort of thinking leading to some reasonable fears for the future culture of France. There really are threats ahead.

There are 751 no-go zones in France. For a list of those you can visit this government website list of no-go zones
 They are usually low education, low employment, low levels of home ownership areas. What this means is that if you are not of a certain type you don't enter. That includes emergency and government services like the police. So these little 'states' rule themselves according to their own rules; often islamic sharia law. This makes drug dealing, organised crime and jihadi recruiting rather easy because the State isn't going to interfere. I scratch my head. What on earth is France thinking?

 I agree that most Muslims are not terrorists and it's a shame they get lumped in with it all, but what's really being done to separate the two? The parade in Paris, avoiding its no-go zones of course, isn't really going to achieve much, I fear. Good to see the 'French' not cowering down, and wanting to keep relatively free speech and democracy but this is an internal war. They've got to clean out these nests of vipers with French nationality. How to do that? I hear some pretty alarming suggestions from some quarters which will be unworkable and will just augment the hate, but you can't have 'freedom to live separate and in hate' for the haters and no freedom for the rest? Jews are leaving France in unprecedented numbers because they feel it's not safe to stay. Some of them might go back to Israel and support the occupation of Palestine though. What a twisted world.

The terrorist who killed shoppers in the Jewish supermarket was one of 10 kids whose family had lived free (ie provided for) thanks to the State. I think French taxpayers have a right to expect all citizens to accept the French way of life or get out willingly or be evicted, instead of being murderous parasites and killing the hand that fed it for decades. If it's good enough for Napoleon to be exiled in the middle of the Atlantic surely we can airdrop these vermin somewhere like that. French nationality should be conditional on good behaviour and integration, for all citizens. It will be the case for me, why not them?

I'm not yet French but I feel proud of some of the values held here, yet horrified by the ridiculous ideologies that have allowed this situation to continue. If citizens don't feel part of a country it's up to them to adapt, not the other way around. The real problem is these no-go zones, and that everyone should be treated with the utmost niceness while they are murdering you, threatening your way of life, insisting France become a different country. France has 10% of its population Muslim. In my opinion this is only unbalanced if they persist in living as they did in their countries of origin. I have no problem with anyone who integrates - there's no reason to fear them.

I have many religions in my classes. I'm an atheist so I have to have tolerance for their views, so long as they are not trying to force it down my throat or threaten me. None of that, fortunately, happens as they are interesting and pleasant people. I'm also comfortable sharing my atheist ideas. That's how it should be. We listen, we learn, and we agree or disagree, that's all. And I'm not left, right or centre; I have the best of everything in my head and live by my own rules in accord with the rules of the country I live in.

I think this march today should be about freedom of speech and thought and religion but only if you consider yourself French first; not Jewish or Muslim or Catholic etc. France first, personal life at least second. I fear today's symbolic gathering may achieve little, or perhaps it's a start of a better way... we'll see. JC and I wanted to participate to show solidarity against terrorism and fear, to support French values of freedom but we were sadly too sick to spend many hours in the cold.

Note: I'm glad the scum terrorists were shot dead. No need to waste more money on them with a pointless trial, publicity and jail. They killed jews, muslims and christians alike. Likewise I don't include pics of them because they deserve to be invisible. I wish the media would understand that. If we no longer need to identify them we don't need to give them visual publicity.


Anonymous said...

Hey there! Thanks for blogging on such a difficult and emotional subject. For what it's worth, though: I don't know what the other 700-some ZUS are like, but all of those listed in Gironde are places I have lived or worked or voluntarily walked/biked/hung out around in the middle of the night. (I'm a smallish woman with an upper-middle-class French job.) A few of those zones are indeed a bit sketchy, but none are remotely like the self-ruling sharia states abandoned by government, police and emergency workers that you described. :) I hope you guys are feeling better and that you've been able found opportunities for showing your support and for healing in the past ten days. What a terrible, dark way for this country to start the year.

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