France is a former colonial power which fought a bitter war against nationalists in Algeria. Most Muslims in France are from Algeria, North Africa and most former French colonies in Africa. Most Afro-French Muslims live in poor “suburbs” on the outskirts of cities like Paris.
France has long played a role in destabilizing and propping up dictatorships in their former African colonies/client states. Chronic racism against Africans and Arabs within France + a paternalistic, antidemocratic attitude abroad = radicalization.
The paternalistic and violent history of UK, France and US in Sunni Muslim Arab, African states gives us our current world. Let’s talk about “freedom of speech” when we begin to listen to speech of those who come from politically-broken peoples. Until then,
#MarcheRepublicaine is masturbatory, self-congratulatory, opportunistic, jingoistic nonsense from a country that hasn’t addressed its violently-bigoted history.
The bodies of innocent dead are not yet cold while the defense of historically-racist French “way of life” is ratcheted upward for the world. Attacks like that on
#CharlieHebdo and their attackers are useless, wasteful and bloody expressions of ethnic derangement. But that derangement has a long history and does not comes from a deep, dark vacuum.
If we’re so concerned about threats to the French, or European, or U.S. or Canadian “way of life” by way of violent, rhetorically-explosive Sunni Muslim protests against cartoons of Muhammad of Quraysh, then why is it that we Westerners station militaries in, and bomb the shit out of, predominately-Muslim countries? If we’re so concerned about threats to our freedoms, why is it that we’re so glad to invest militarily in conflicts in these regions? If the French people are so concerned about safety and civil peace, why does France go out of its way to maintain corrupt post-colonial relationships with dictatorships and support violent interventions in order to keep post-colonial borders largely intact?
Why is it that we practically invest into the undoing of former colonies as well as, by indirect way of when citizens of these post-colonial states migrate to countries like France, our own undoing?
Why can’t we in the West practice abroad what we preach at home?
We don’t have to have hypocrites in leadership or violently-hypocritical foreign policies. We can enforce our own absolute neutrality in foreign policy and let the chips fall as they may. We can stop investing militarily in post-colonial conflicts. France can end its “Francafrique” relationship with terrible governments on the African continent. We can stop being so invested in the instability of nations, which could result in troubled migrants being invested in their home countries and stable governances there.
But that would take us taking the thumb out of our assholes, stop pitying about our “decline”, rethinking our status quo and treating Black and Brown lives with more dignity, wouldn’t it?