I studied in Paris, have friends there, traveled throughout the country and visited the city many times with my wife and kids. France is a dear friend and I speak its language. When I am there I feel as much at home as in Holland or the USA. I am deeply saddened by the loss of beautiful life, the agony of the people who lost their loved ones, the wounded who are suffering in hospitals, and the depression everyone must feel.
What happened today meant Black Friday for Paris. As 9/11 changed the face of America and the western world, so does this additional heinous murder of Parisian innocents by Islamic fascists.
As this is now an author page, I will not enter into the political aspects of Western leadership and forcefulness to suppress this outrageous religious overkill. The absence of American strength to name a spade a spade has been obvious for the last six years. Now the beast has grown exponentially and it will be so much harder to contain and destroy it.
Untamed religious fanatics are a phenomenon of history. It is cultural, political, and power-based. It professes exerting the will of religious leaders over the flock of faithful believers, and suppression of the infidels. In the West we are coming slowly out of it, but we fought many wars over it. The current Middle Eastern turmoil is not new. For more than 1000 years Islamic and Western Religions have been battling for hegemony. Our societies are diametrically opposed: ours is individualistic, propagating personal freedom, theirs is socially inward, emphasizing submission to the prophet and a strictly controlled family behavior. I have witnessed Islam in my travels and experienced its deep features of belief and close nit family life, which are commendable, but got always struck by its reactionary posture. It’s what destroyed the Ottoman empire, the last caliphate. Its initial supremacy in science, medicine and art was overpowered by the Western renaissance, industrial revolution and scientific inventions.
And now the fanatics want it back their way. Several Middle Eastern nations like Egypt and Jordan that have evolved to a more rational outlook are opposed, but Iran sees an opportunity to put oil on the fire. Their Shiite schism with Sunni Islam is an internal battle for hegemony. It plays out in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. What we must avoid is that we become the battleground of their frictions and shared hatred of Western freedom and society. Paris has already become a battle ground. Throngs of Syrian refugees in Germany and other European countries will only fuel the rifts in the future. The USA with its open border policy will be next. Unless it becomes unanimously serious in preventing this from happening. Today and not tomorrow.
It may already be too late. America will have its own Black Friday shortly if we don’t put the silly politics behind us and take action, finally. And American advertisers better stop using Black Friday as a commercial incentive. The pitch has now acquired a bitter connotation with today’s Black Friday in Paris.