French React to Terror - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
French React to Terror

In an open society, you expect opinions to vary, and you consider that the competition in the market place of ideas is healthy in every sense. Prior even to the cornering and elimination of the gang responsible for the murderous assault on the editorial offices of Charlie-Hebdo, the Paris satirical newsmagazine, questions were raised in France and other countries about the who and the why and what next. This is as it should be, even if we are inclined to feel there may be some value in letting the powder dry while the forces of order — three of whom gave their lives in defense of the valeurs de la République that the journalists also promoted and protected in their daily work — did what was necessary and what they are trained to do. The terrorists’ other victims, a maintenance man at the paper’s building and three hostages taken when part of the gang holed up in a kosher market in Vincennes, a southern suburb of Paris, paid, too, in the fight to keep France free. The fight continues, and the terse statement below (the English translation is mine), issued by a Paris research institute that for many decades has been dedicated to research on the enemies of free societies, defines the basic premise of the fight in which France is engaged. France has been engaged in this fight for a long time and is not likely to back off now:

La société démocratique en état de légitime defense. Democratic societies are at war. La guerre que mène l’islamisme radical à l’Occident démocratique et à ses valeurs ne s’arrête pas au Moyen-Orient. Radical Islamism’s war against the democratic West is not confined to the Middle East. L’attentat contre Charlie hebdo vient de nous le rappeler. The attack against Charlie Hebdo reminds us of this fact. Des journalistes, des dessinateurs, ont été assassinés pour avoir osé manifester en diverses occasions leur esprit critique envers la religion musulmane, comme ils l’avaient fait pour les autres religions et, au fond, pour tous les sujets. Journalists and cartoonists were assassinated for daring to express on several occasions skepticism in regard to the Muslim religion, as they did in regard to other religions and, in fact, in regard to every other subject. Il faut le dire et le redire: la liberté d’opinion et d’expression, y compris le droit à la critique d’une religion quelle qu’elle soit, sont au cœur de nos sociétés démocratiques. It must be stated again and again, freedom of opinion and expression, which includes the right to criticize any religion whatsoever, lies at the heart of our democratic societies. Céder sur ce droit serait renoncer à ce que nous sommes. To surrender an inch on this right is to renounce who we are. Les musulmans ont le droit de pratiquer leur culte dans une société démocratique. Muslims have the right to practice their religion in a democratic society. Et ce droit doit être respecté. And this right must be respected. Mais ils doivent prendre clairement leurs distances, comme tous les autres citoyens, avec les diverses formes d’intolérance et avec les manifestations de minorisation des femmes et de haine contre les athées et les Juifs, même si on trouve des appels dans ce sens dans le Coran. However, they must clearly reject, as must all other citizens, the various forms of intolerance, subjection to second class status of women, and hatred of atheists and Jews, even if there are prescriptions in this direction in the Koran. Ceux qui s’y refusent, incapables qu’ils sont de supporter la présence de l’Autre, et assez lâches pour tuer de sang froid des gens désarmés, doivent être mis au pas. Those who reject this, who are unable to accept a society in which live individuals with whom they differ, must be forced to do so. La société démocratique agira alors en état de légitime défense. Thus must democratic society justifiably defend itself.
— Pierre Rigoulot, director, Institute for Social History

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