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To counter radical Islam, we must confront our own hypocrisy

Opinion
on 65 Comments

In the wake of the horrific Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, we need to think more about how we can prevent some young citizens from being drawn to the anger and hatred of radical Islam.

Jailing people for their terrorism sympathies is demonstrably counterproductive; Chérif Kouachi and Amédy Coulibaly, two of the home-grown French terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks, both spent time in prison and came out more radical than they were going in. Prisons are a breeding ground for radicalisation. Young men, angry with society and with an inclination towards violence, jammed together in a confined space without access to mass media or the balancing influences of friends and family. It’s the wet dream of any Anjem Choudary or Abu Hamza.

Another option, often favoured by populist media pundits, is preventing travel to Syria or other Islamist hot-spots by jailing travellers before they go, or alternatively preventing their return by revoking their passports. Gilles de Kerchove, the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator, estimated last year that more than 2,000 European citizens have travelled to Syria, with the largest numbers from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Aside from the legal problems of this approach, it brings up another, more fundamental question – are we a society that punishes people for their thoughts and opinions? And even if we do, would it work? While inciting or planning a terrorist attack is a crime and is punishable by law, travelling to an Islamic country or merely sympathising with an extremist doctrine is not.

Realising this, many European countries are struggling to establish effective de-radicalisation programs, meant to engage at-risk youths and teach them that Islam is, in fact, a religion of peace that outlaws the murder of civilians. This is important. However, compelling arguments have been made that radical Islamism is a political movement more than it is a religious one. Its followers are drawn to it because of its fury and its uncompromising ruthlessness just as much as, or more than, because of its misinterpreted religious affiliation. In order to prevent recruitment to radical groups, we must also counter their political reasoning. We must take away the power and sting of their arguments. Not by giving in or changing our society’s principles, but by making sure that we are living true to those principles.

Radical Islamists argue that the Western world is in a long-standing and continuing cultural war against Muslims. One of the main talking points revolves around Western support for Israel.

Pictures of dead families in Gaza feature heavily on radical Islamist internet forums. The U.S. and Western European countries, they tell their followers, are enabling Israel’s harassment and murder of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank through their unquestioning support of Israel, regardless of its well-documented human rights violations. In a recorded exchange with one of his hostages in Jewish supermarket Hyper Cacher in Paris, hostage-taker Amédy Coulibaly declared: “… We are the ones who will make peace in Palestine.”

The problem with countering this argument is that it has some truth to it. Last autumn, more than 2,300 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza strip in a matter of a few short weeks. UN figures show that the vast majority of them (1,462) were civilians, including 495 children and 253 women. Imagine a terrorism campaign in London or Paris where 500 children were killed. Anger wouldn’t begin to describe our reaction. So far, Israel has faced no consequences, and this is only the most recent example of excessive Palestinian bloodshed at the hands of Israel from the many decades of conflict.

According to statistics from the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which has been tracking death tolls on both sides of the conflict since September 2000, 7,065 of the conflict-related deaths since then have been Palestinian, while 1,101 have been Israeli. That means that out of every 15 conflict-related deaths, 13 are Palestinian and two are Israeli. The figures become even more disproportionate in recent years, with the same figures showing that since 2005, 23 out of every 24 deaths have been on the Palestinian side.

In addition, claims have been made that the Israeli military is deliberately targeting Palestinian children in Gaza. A UNICEF report from 2013 documented patterns of ill-treatment of children during “arrest, transfer and interrogation of child detainees in the West Bank”. This issue was also raised in an Australian TV documentary from 2014.

When Western governments stand idly by and allow the violence, occupation and Apartheid-like conditions in today’s Israel to continue, and, at least in the case of America, refuses to do anything other than mildly criticise Israel for its human rights abuses and indiscriminate killings in Gaza, we are showing a double standard to the world. This is costing us. It damages our moral authority, and it gives credence to the extremist idea of a Western culture war.

Groups working for a boycott of Israeli goods through initiatives such as the BDS movement or by putting pressure on their governments to take a firmer stance are often faced with accusations of anti-Semitism. This logical fallacy, which equates Judaism to Zionism by claiming that criticising Israel is the same as attacking Jews everywhere, is the exact counterpart to those holding all Muslims accountable for the extreme political views of a minority. It doesn’t add up.

Ultimately, nothing can justify the murder of innocent civilians. No aggravation or provocation in the Middle East can ever make it acceptable to kill civilians elsewhere. And even when Israel’s human rights abuses do come to an end – as history has shown that they inevitably will, as with slavery in America and Apartheid in South Africa – there will still be extremist forces and old-fashioned practices within Islam that will need to be countered in Europe by other means.

So our approach to Islamist extremism needs to be multifaceted. We need strong community relations and de-radicalisation initiatives. We need well-equipped and effective security services, nationally and internationally. We need to effectively and repeatedly communicate and evaluate our reasons for intervening in Middle East conflicts, as well as face up to the disastrous mistakes and consequences of the Iraq war. We need to look at issues of discrimination and economic mobility. We need to put pressure on the U.S. to close the illegal Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.

But one of the most important steps towards discrediting the worldview that radical Islamism is presenting to European youth is also to correct our governments’ double standard on Israel’s human rights abuses.

This post first appeared on Jon Kindberg’s site

Jon Kindberg

Jon Kindberg is a journalism graduate and freelance writer living in London. @JonKindberg He blogs at jonkindberg.wordpress.com

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65 Responses

  1. amigo on January 19, 2015, 1:12 pm

    Looking at that child cuffed and crying one can only hate Israel more and more .Are those two brave heroes willing to stand up and say we are proud Jews .Are they willing to say, when asked by their parents ,what they were doing that day ” We were about our Fathers business”.

    “Jesus said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you realize … it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that it behooves me to be about my Father’s business?”.

    Some Father. Some business.Some belief system.Some nation.

  2. just on January 19, 2015, 2:35 pm

    That picture (and many more) says it all. Thanks to ISM.

    End the Occupation. End the ongoing Nakba. 1S1P1V.

  3. Bornajoo on January 19, 2015, 3:21 pm

    Thank you for your article. It makes a lot of sense. The double standards and hypocrisy, for an ever increasing number of young Muslims is simply unbearable. It leads to a feeling of huge frustration and rage. And it’s fully understandable.

    They watch israel deny the Palestinians their basic human rights and treat them in a similar fashion to the way the Nazis treated the Jews. They watch israel slaughter thousands of Palestinians using the most sophisticated weaponry on the planet. Instead of being condemned israel is supported politically, financially and militarily by the very countries in which they live.

    And the more disconnected, disenfranchised and radicalised some Muslims become, the more israel plays on this very issue to claim justification for their actions. Israel relies on the results of their heinous crimes to fuel their agenda.

    The more we blindly support israel the more we fall into the trap of creating the false impression of a clash of civilisations and hence feeding the Zionist agenda.

    • American on January 19, 2015, 4:23 pm

      @ Bornajoo

      double ditto to that.

    • seafoid on January 19, 2015, 4:52 pm

      Here’ an interesting riposte to the notion that’s it’s 1930s redux in the UK

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/19/antisemitic-britain-jewish-experience-1930s

      • just on January 19, 2015, 5:07 pm

        Super piece. Thanks for linking it, seafoid.

      • Bornajoo on January 19, 2015, 5:17 pm

        Thanks Seafoid
        Good riposte, but I would go further and question why even his synagogue in Manchester has to have their usual community security, as do so many in London. What is that all about? I think they do it to try and remind the community that they shouldn’t forget they are the eternal victims! I mean you don’t want the community to just relax and believe that everything is actually just cool and hunky dory right? Nah….

    • light2014 on January 20, 2015, 7:23 pm

      “The Only Good Jew is a Dead Armenian”

      The old woman was telling a tale of massacre. She had just heard of another Israeli family murdered by terrorists, and there were tears in her eyes as she remembered back those many years. “I had luck,” she said in Armenian. “I hid from the Turks behind a trellis. I saw my mother and father shot down, my baby sister spitted on a scimitar.”

      The old woman, who’d been a young girl in the year Turkey slaughtered several million Armenians under the cover of World War One, understood the link between Armenian and Israeli corpses. Because Armenia, the first Christian state in history, whose prosperity was a reproach to Turkish squalor, and whose high culture was an insult to their ignorance, was, like Israel, an infidel island in a sea of Islam. And for that there could be no forgiveness.

      The Arab complaint today against Jews, while wretchedly tired, is identical to their excuse for murdering them in their beds: failure to provide Palestinian statehood, refusal to relinquish occupied territories. For the murder of Jews to appear plausible, though, the victims must be stigmatized. Epithets like Zionist oppressors and Fascist murderers are used incessantly to browbeat hearers and achieve that purpose. This is a tactic taken straight from the Ottoman Turks of 1915.

      …con’t

      http://www.combat.ws/S3/BAKISSUE/CMBT03N4/GOOD_JEW.HTM

      by Christopher S. Baldwin
      … who is a transportation director interested in history, with numerous cultural and political articles published in The American Spectator, National Review, Chronicles, The Leading Edge, and elsewhere. His short stories have appeared in literary magazines; and while Night of the Barbarian is making the rounds with publishing houses, he is progressing with his second novel, The Butcher and the Calf. His work has previously appeared in this magazine, where he is also a contributing editor.

      • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 10:56 pm

        Oh yes “light2014” you certainly are bringing lots of illumination to us. I’m sure there’s going to be a lovely sunset soon. Be a pleasure to see you fade away.

        Went to the link (I’m a fool). It’s actually a long begging letter, ending with pleas to send money to Israel, so they won’t “sink under the weight” of all those “Arabs and Muslims”!

      • Sulphurdunn on January 24, 2015, 8:07 pm

        The major problem with your argument is your analogy and the relationship of its pairs. You state that Armenian : Turk : : Jew : Muslim, when the historical evidence suggests that Turk : Armenian : : Jew : Palestinian.

  4. Whizdom on January 19, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I want to know who feels safer, because of this action. This is madness.

  5. American on January 19, 2015, 4:29 pm

    ” But one of the most important steps towards discrediting the worldview that radical Islamism is presenting to European youth is also to correct our governments’ double standard on Israel’s human rights abuses -”

    Thats the *only* step that will work.
    The rest is babble crap.

  6. Keith on January 19, 2015, 5:00 pm

    Yet another article which obsesses about the symptoms while ignoring the disease. Most of this terrorism is in retaliation for the consequences of imperialism, neo-imperialism and neoliberal globalization. All of society is under attack by the 1%, increased conflict virtually inevitable. Solution? Stop neoliberal globalization, get control of the rogue financial system and demilitarize. Unfortunately, that is highly unlikely in our global oligarchy.

    • Bornajoo on January 19, 2015, 7:01 pm

      @Kieth
      ” Solution? Stop neoliberal globalization, get control of the rogue financial system and demilitarize. Unfortunately, that is highly unlikely in our global oligarchy”

      Do you think there is any hope that the BRICS, mainly Russia and China could burst the bubble? Reduce dependency on the dollar, set up an independent trading block with new payment systems…. Or will they just get destroyed trying?

      • Keith on January 19, 2015, 7:36 pm

        BORNAJOO- “Do you think there is any hope that the BRICS, mainly Russia and China could burst the bubble?”

        Extremely difficult to predict, however, my general feeling is that their current efforts are too little and too late and much too halfhearted. Only Russia seems to recognize what is happening, with China clinging to the illusion that they can increase their influence WITHIN the imperial system. Russia needs China to survive, and China needs to assert itself by retaliating for US actions by dumping say $500 billion worth of their reserves of US Treasuries on the market with a threat to unload the rest. Uncle Sam is literally getting away with murder with no significant consequences to show for it. Of course, if the US doesn’t cave, then these actions will likely collapse the global financial system along with the Chinese economy, the end result would likely be chaos with unpredictable consequences. The global economy is interdependent and fragile. The next one to two years will be extremely volatile and dangerous. Of course, there is always the slim possibility that the psychopaths who run the empire will come to their senses, but don’t hold your breath.

      • Bornajoo on January 20, 2015, 6:02 pm

        @Kieth
        Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with your assessment.
        There is no doubt that Russia is very vulnerable but cannot act effectively without China. But if China doesn’t act fast they will be left in a very vulnerable position and next on the list after Russia. Then it’s checkmate for the empire

        It’s just amazing how effective the oil price drop has been in weakening 3 of the last few countries still trying to resist; Russia, Venezuela and of course Iran.

        Psychopaths are hard people to beat as they are capable of doing things most normal human beings can’t.

  7. Cliff on January 19, 2015, 6:00 pm

    We as a species will NEVER face our hypocrisies.

    I’m being hypocritical right now by focusing on my ideological enemies (Zionist Jews and American nationalists).

    Zionist Jews will continue thinking they are ‘chosen’ – not in the religious sense, although some do. ‘Chosen’ in the sense of exceptionalism and a simultaneously and contradictory, empowering victimhood. Zionist Jews want to be righteous victims.

    American nationalists are similar but they are merely crypto-racists/White supremacists. Either through the veneer of championing freedom of expression or ‘democracy’.

    We will never ever ever sympathize with various shades of brown people, unless those brown people sellout their culture, pride, religious values, etc.

    There is never going to be reconciliation between Israel and Palestine without intense violence. Just like there will never be reconciliation between anyone in similar relationships with similar power dynamics.

    Either you are ground into dust and rebuilt up from the wreckage as something different and leashed. Or you resist enough that the abuser/occupier is sick of you and doesn’t bother you anymore.

    We write these articles to delude ourselves that there is a moral pendulum in history that swings toward justice. That is bullshit.

    We are animals floating on a rock in a vast nothingness. There is no God nor Heaven. This is it. We are our own Gods and our universe is the our planet, which will continue going long after we’ve killed ourselves off.

    Fuck Israel and Zionism. But also this false hope and optimism. In real life, the bad guys always win.

    • bintbiba on January 19, 2015, 7:01 pm

      You said it , Cliff !!
      And HERE is our heaven and hell. Just as WE make them. Beyond here is nothing and nowhere .

    • Bornajoo on January 19, 2015, 7:47 pm

      I wish I could disagree with your comment Cliff. Even just a bit. But unfortunately I cannot. And that’s a bit depressing

      Yes the bad guys always win but we can try and give them hell along the way.

      • Ellen on January 20, 2015, 1:27 am

        I also wish I could disagree , but I can’t. At least not completely.

        I do believe Zionism, as we know it, will fade away. Not because the primitive human tendencies behind it and other expressions of superiority over others, nationalism, etc. will dissapear. That dark destructive stuff will always be with us in some form.

        But at some point, and maybe soon, the Zionist enterprise will not pay anymore. There will be little more to squeeze out of the US and Europe to keep the enterprise alive.

        There will be no incentive to immigrate where the majority of children live in poverty. Where conflict defines a people.

        The oligarchs, who posses most all of Israeli trade and GDP, will have left for the shores of Lake Zurich or Monterey. Or join their partners in thieving a people — the Gulf “royals” — to their townhouses in London.

        And Israel will be left with dwindling dupes of Zionist ideology blaming the world for abandoning them.

        The really bad guys will have plundered and won off the backs of Zionists followers. And then new gig will be invented.

      • Kay24 on January 20, 2015, 1:58 am

        Ellen, it seems they are now targeting yet another victim, and that is Asia. It seems they realize BDS and the disgust for Israel’s last massacre in Gaza, is losing vital support. Of course, Bibi blames “Islamization”, but reality is different. I think they have extracted all they can from the Western nations, now on to another victim. Very soon they will find themselves without any more. Asian nations would be naive and foolish to invite this serpent into their nations.

        “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that a wave of anti-Semitism and what he called “Islamization” in Western Europe are factors in the government’s push to expand trade with Asia.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/business/1.637751

      • Ellen on January 20, 2015, 2:38 am

        Kay24, I don’t think characterizing a trade push with Asia, including India as targeting for another victim is correct. Eastern countries are not and will not be victims. They know what they are doing.

        Yes, doing business with the west may become increasingly difficult as crimes, illegal occupation and other abuses come under the scope of the general public.

        It is simply that doing business with near east Asia and Asia will be much easier. Reality is that many governments there do not care about abuses. Heck, officials in their own diplomatic corps. sell and trade their own fellow citizens for labor and trafficking. (That is a blanket statement, and can be supported, but would make this post too long.)

        Israeli oligarchs and senior politicians seeking new partners to the east because of western “anti semitism” and Islamifcation is really rich.

        Like I said, as the Zionist gig runs out of dough and partners, it will become increasingly desperate, while blaming all on its way down the drain.

      • Kay24 on January 20, 2015, 4:31 am

        Ellen, I see anyone or any nation that has to deal with this parasitic nation and be faced with their demands, sense of entitlement, and have their arms twisted, are victims, but that is my opinion. I do agree that Asian nations will be easy pickings because corrupt leaders and officials, will easily be won over, or bought over, much quicker than Western officials, because many Asian countries operate that way. I am sure they will welcome the association because of mutual benefits, but the will not realize just how difficult it will be to deal with the demands, and extricate themselves from the curse that will descend. Our Congress is the perfect example of those under the influence. There is no doubt Israel has already worked towards this goal, with the sudden acceptance of India, and India buying Israeli weapons for millions. It also has some presence in some other Asian nations supposedly for trade.

    • ejran on January 20, 2015, 2:57 pm

      Ouch.

      “We are our own Gods and our universe is our planet.”

      Sometimes my only source of optimism is that the universe can be more than that, that it is in fact infinitely more than that. I imagine and envy how devoting one’s existence to exploring existence, to studying the dizzying number of “worlds” out there, can make war and nationalism and racism and religion and superiority and “chosen people” and muslim and jewish and white and brown and lust for money and lust for power and lust for “world” domination all feel small and absurd and pathetically juvenile.

      We should probably all be doing that. What stands in the way is the possibility that we will destroy ourselves soon, which is more and more likely.

  8. Whizdom on January 19, 2015, 8:22 pm

    I am gonna get shit for being a pollyanna, but the only alternative to armed conflict are mediation and resolution under some sort of International consensus. Utterly imperfect, but the alternatives are worse

    • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 11:25 am

      Shorter Whizdom: ‘Nah, nah, the Zionist should get to keep everything they have stolen.’

      • Whizdom on January 20, 2015, 11:43 am

        Nope, mediation is preferable to armed conflict or the current slow rolling genocide, for all parties. The occupation is killing Zionism.

      • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 11:09 pm

        And you just answered: You don’t even want to consider Israel giving anything back, returning to a state from which it is possible to negotiate

        For Chrissakes, Whizdom, to “negotiate” with the people you are occupying? You do know who liked to do that, don’t you, to get “agreements” from them?

        Either you are a completely amoral dolt, or you have no idea about what Zionism is actually doing and has done.

        Yeah, and I bet the Israelis are real scared of “armed conflict” with the Palestinians. Maybe there will be another “war” in Gaza.

        You just keep leaning on that “negotiations” and “meditations” thing. And yes, we’ve seen Israel’s respect for and cooperation with “international consensus” And whatsamatter, you scared to say “UN”?

      • Whizdom on January 21, 2015, 6:47 am

        I wouldn’t presume to pre judge outcomes. I think you are right, bilateral negotiations are a dead end, so that leaves International mediation. An imposed solution that both sides are gonna hate. Which is the inevitable endgame, the only question is if there is another long and bloody conflict before a settlement is arrived at, or not.

      • Mooser on January 21, 2015, 11:48 am

        ” Which is the inevitable endgame, the only question is if there is another long and bloody conflict before a settlement is arrived at, or not.”

        Sure! Maybe the Israelis can even the odds a bit before they are forced to negotiate? Yes, it’s been “long and bloody” for Israel, hasn’t it? What pluck they have.

  9. Kay24 on January 19, 2015, 9:15 pm

    That is a very sad and telling picture. This is what goes on in Isra-hell and that is accepted by the US. There are thousands of little kids traumatized and suffering from mental problems, all because of the violence by this war mongering nation, that our congress supports.
    Who can blame them for growing up with hatred for those who occupy and abuse them?
    This is a vicious cycle that the US can stop, but prefers not to.

    OT, but it seems the anti Muslim witch Geller, is spreading hate and lies, again.

    Perhaps Annie has seen this:

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Anti-Muslim-Ads-on-Muni-Buses-Stun-Riders_Bay-Area-288486491.html#

  10. John Douglas on January 19, 2015, 9:52 pm

    If an important part of western hypocrisy is the exceptionist idea that Western ways of war = good, other ways of war = evil, then perhaps a first step would be to strip our discussions of prejudicial language, e.g. Jon Kindberg’s, “Muslim extremists”, “drawn [to jihadism] because of its fury and its uncompromising ruthlessness”; “homegrown French terrorists”; “drawn to the anger and hatred of radical Islam”; “Islamist hot-spots”; “breeding grounds for radicalization” (Do full fledged human beings emerge from “breeding grounds”? Isn’t that where mosquitoes and vermin come from?) On the other side Israel is said to be accused of “human rights abuses” in its bombing to death of 500 children. I read in vain if I look for the Paris murderers being accused of “human rights abuses”. The point is that the language used to discuss the conflict between Islamists and the West is so riddled with prejudice as to make reasonable discussion impossible and even a good guy like Jon Kindberg comes off as a bigot. The starting point here is the word, “terrorist” is which by definition no state actor can be one no matter how many civilians his decisions kill.

  11. Bandolero on January 20, 2015, 9:06 am

    Well, not to commit crimes against Muslims is certainly a good recipe to contribute to not enraging Muslims. So it’s certainly a good idea to stop the racist colonialisation of Palestine, to stop waging war of agressions against Muslim countries, to stop torturing Muslims in places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, to stop murdering participants of Muslim wedding parties with drones, to stop applying double standards against Muslims etc.

    However, I think that’s necessary, but likely not sufficient to bring down the global jihadi terror. Another important point is to not support those who spread and finance the spread of the extremist ideology with billions of Dollars which is feeding the global jihadi terror, but instead to counter the spread of the extremist ideology. As it happens to be, the main ideology underlying almost all the global jihadi terror is what is known as Wahhabism (also incorrectly called salafism, or better called takfirism) and the main source of the spreading of the extremist ideology is Saudi Arabia, the West’s and Israel’s best friend in the Arab world. No deradicalization programme for jihadis will ever be effective, when they go afterwards in widely accepted mosques financed by the Saudis (or other Wahhabi types who are soaked in that Saudi state ideology) and get their heads stuffed again with the Wahhabi propaganda there.

    So, what I think, what, besides committing crimes against Muslims, is urgently needed is to confront Saudi Arabia on Wahhabism. As the oil-controlling Saudis are a main column of Western power and good friends of Israel, almost nobody dares to confront them. But some people think that’s very important. And it’s especially important for Muslims because most victims of the global jihadi terror are Muslims in Muslim countries. Here are some links on this topic, which I find helpful:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudi-arabia-exported-main-source-global-terrorism

    https://nocheinparteibuch.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/what-the-mass-media-hides-about-the-charlie-hebdo-terror-attack-wahhabism-takfirism-and-saudi-arabia/

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-islam-muslims-charlie-hebdo-perspec-0120-20150119-story.html

    I think there shouldn’t be silence on the desastrous results of the spread of Wahhabism anymore, and I think, action is needed, and it would also help to bring the case of Palestine forward, because the Wahhabi Saudis are the main Israeli partners in the region.

  12. just on January 20, 2015, 9:48 am

    Very stark words by the PM that was manhandled by Shin Bet:

    “PM Valls: France must address ‘territorial, social and ethnic apartheid’

    Valls, a relatively conservative Socialist whose hard line on Islamic extremism has won many fans, said fight against hatred, racism and anti-Semitism is urgent.

    Deadly shootings by homegrown Islamists have cast a light on France’s “geographical, social and ethnic apartheid”, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday in one of the starkest indictments of French society by a government figure.

    “These last few days have underscored a lot of evil that is gnawing at our country and challenges we must be equal to,” Valls said at a New Year’s address to the media.

    “We have to look at all the divisions, the tensions that have been going on for years … the neglect of the suburbs, the ghettos, the social misery,” he said. “A geographical, social and ethnic apartheid has established itself in our country.”

    Run-down neighborhoods ring many French cities, often populated by poor whites, blacks and people of North African descent who feel marginalized from mainstream society. Yet it is rare for a French leader, even from the ruling Socialists, to paint a picture of inequality in such strong terms.

    The three killers were of Algerian and African descent, prompting some in the National Front to push their calls for less immigration – an argument the government has rejected.

    The unrest is often blamed on a combination of unemployment rates in such zones as high as 40 percent, racial discrimination and perceived hostile policing.

    The government is due to unveil proposals this week looking at issues from security to education and urban policy.

    While politicians from all governing parties have vowed to tackle the problems over the last 30 years, the failure of such efforts has left a growing sense of desperation and isolation that has fuelled radicalization.

    “Reforming means fighting relentlessly against the inequalities,” Valls said. “We have to battle each day this terrible feeling that there are second class citizens or some people that are more import than others.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.638085?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Bravo.

    • steven l on January 20, 2015, 1:00 pm

      Our dear American President told the world (EU) that Muslims in America are much better treated and integrated.
      First they are 2 to 3% of the US population and that is a crucial factor. No traction yet. But they are already the double of a divided Jewish population (20% right and center and 80% left)
      The 2nd point is what he did not tell the world: that Anti American Muslim organizations are pushing for establishing Sharia law in the US like it already exists in many places in GB.
      Third: Qatar, SA and other ME countries are poring $billions into academia to promote a war against Jews with the full support of 80% of leftist “Intellectuals” and to undermine US CONSTITUTION.
      Fourth, most peaceful Muslim organizations are soon or later infiltrated by Islamists.
      Fifth: the President has allied himself with extreme Muslim organizations (CAIR) and rejected moderate Muslim organizations (American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)
      Etc …

      • annie on January 20, 2015, 1:31 pm

        Anti American Muslim organizations are pushing for establishing Sharia law in the US

        LOL. uh oh, we’ve been invaded by the tin hat brigade.

      • just on January 20, 2015, 1:38 pm

        you’re so kind and funny, Annie.

        stevenl~ are you going to listen to the SOTU? Or are you going to keep making stuff up?

      • annie on January 20, 2015, 5:36 pm

        i don’t know about “kind”, just. but that was just too funny to pass up.

      • Bornajoo on January 20, 2015, 5:46 pm

        @Steven L
        “The 2nd point is what he did not tell the world: that Anti American Muslim organizations are pushing for establishing Sharia law in the US like it already exists in many places in GB.”

        Sharia law exists in many places in GB? Uh oh! I must have been sleeping when it happened, or not paying attention (they always said that in my early school reports!). Damn! How did I miss it?

        Can you please tell me as a matter of urgency where Sharia law is already established in the UK? I mean I live here and I didn’t even know.

        Waiting… Whenever you’re ready, thanks…

      • just on January 20, 2015, 5:52 pm

        Yes Annie, but you were rather ‘gentle’… his postings are all ‘hilarious’.

        I’ll wait with you, Bornajoo… lol!

        (city of Paris is going to sue Fox over the very same thing that he is saying!!!)

      • oldgeezer on January 20, 2015, 5:52 pm

        @Bornajoo

        Everyone knows that sharia law has been implemented in every no-go city in the UK. It’s a fact because someone told him. Just like yonah’s sources.

      • amigo on January 20, 2015, 6:28 pm

        Annie forgive steven home alone 1.

        He is new around here and needs breaking in.The ziocaine shot has not worn off yet.

      • Teapot on January 20, 2015, 6:33 pm

        establishing Sharia law in the US like it already exists in many places in GB

        Yes, I’ve heard of those places. I think they’re called Lyingpool, Birmingsham, Oxfraud and Edinbogus.

      • just on January 20, 2015, 6:49 pm

        Hilarious! Well done, Teapot!

      • RoHa on January 20, 2015, 7:04 pm

        “establishing Sharia law in the US like it already exists in many places in GB.’

        Where does this story come from? Sharia Law has no more legal force in the UK than Jewish law or Catholic Canon law.

        “Jewish Beth Din courts have in fact been operating in the UK for more than a century and are frequently used – particularly by the Orthodox community -– to solve civil disputes. Under British civil law a third party can be used to resolve a dispute as long as both sides agree to the arbitration. They cannot, however, replace civil law. ”

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/scandal-of-women-trapped-in-marriages-by-jewish-courts-1765888.html

        Of course, people trapped (with the encouragement of the multiculturalists) in the “communities” which accept the force of those legal systems will be oppressed by the systems, but the fact remains that those systems are not part of English or Scots Civil law. British citizens can reject all three.

      • Whizdom on January 20, 2015, 7:14 pm

        Let’s put this to rest. Sharia law in England is a current meme on right wing talkie devil box shows. The UK permits some aspects of family law (divorce, adoption, custody, inheritance) to be handled by religious courts, both Jewish and Islamic. But the participants can opt out any time, and the courts can not make any decisions that contravene UK law.

      • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 11:15 pm

        “First they are 2 to 3% of the US population and that is a crucial factor. No traction yet. But they are already the double of a divided Jewish population (20% right and center and 80% left)”

        Gosh, looks like you’re screwed, “steven l” Might as well get used to it. So Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi wa barakato’ to you, and I’ll see you over at the Mosque.

      • Kris on January 21, 2015, 12:14 am

        @steven 1: “First they are 2 to 3% of the US population and that is a crucial factor.”

        This is great news, and I hope their numbers will increase rapidly! Muslims are known for their generosity http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/21/muslims-give-most_n_3630830.html , something that is sadly lacking in the U.S. today.

        Muslims oppose usury. Back when the rest of us cared about what God thought about things, we in the U.S. were against usury, too. Now we allow our young people to be crushed by usurious student loans. We could use more Muslims to help us get back on the right path.

        Muslims are also known for their hospitality and delicious cooking. I wish some would move in next door to me.

        Maybe you need to get a grip, steven 1.

      • Mooser on January 21, 2015, 11:54 am

        “Back when the rest of us cared about what God thought about things, we in the U.S. were against usury, too.”

        And that’s exactly why we ended up needing The New Deal, and regulations for bank and securities dealers. And reverence for God’s creation was also expected, but we got the EPA and Superfund instead.

  13. hophmi on January 20, 2015, 10:47 am

    “One of the main talking points revolves around Western support for Israel.”

    So what? One of the main talking points of the gun lobby in the United States is that possessing firearms is part of our history. Should we allow everyone to possess assault weapons because of this talking point?

    “Pictures of dead families in Gaza feature heavily on radical Islamist internet forums. ”

    I’m sure that they’re far more common than pictures of dead Muslims beheaded by Saudi Arabian authorities or Nigerians murdered by radical Islamist group Boko Haram or Israeli Jews murdered in suicide attacks. Does that mean that we should encourage this line of thinking, where the only dead Muslims that are important are the ones killed by Jews or Christians?

    “We are the ones who will make peace in Palestine.””

    Do you believe that argument? You certainly seem intent on enabling it.

    “we are showing a double standard to the world.”

    So, if we criticize Israel harder, we will not be showing a double standard to the world, is that it? Maybe it would be better to increase criticism of all human rights violators, including Venezuela, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and everywhere else, instead of focusing on one country.

    “Imagine a terrorism campaign in London or Paris where 500 children were killed. ”

    That’s a tendentious comparison, but it’s exactly the one terrorists make. The 500 kids killed in a dense area where the leadership decided to fire rockets into the civilian area of a well-armed country are not the same as 500 people dying in a massive terrorism attack in London. It’s the difference between collateral damage and the deliberate targeting of civilians, and it’s a difference terrorists intentionally blur to bleed the hearts of Westerners like you.

    “Groups working for a boycott of Israeli goods through initiatives such as the BDS movement or by putting pressure on their governments to take a firmer stance are often faced with accusations of anti-Semitism.”

    That’s because so many of the people involved in them are antisemites. That’s something the majority of the BDS movement either refuses to face up to or tacitly encourages.

    • eljay on January 20, 2015, 11:33 am

      >> hophmeee: The 500 kids killed in a dense area where the leadership decided to fire rockets into the civilian area of a well-armed country …

      The broken bones and bruises where the woman decided to punch and stab the sensitive areas of a very strong man. Makes perfect sense.

      But wait: The man is a serial rapist and the woman is the victim who’s been chained in his basement for months.

      Once again, a Zio-supremacist deliberately glosses over the fact that that well-armed country:
      – was established by means of terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population from their homes and lands;
      – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing land outside of its / Parition borders for over 60 years;
      – has oppressing, torturing and killing civilians outside of its / Partition borders for over 60 years;
      – refuses to end its 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
      – refuses to honour its obligations under international law;
      – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and
      – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    • RoHa on January 20, 2015, 7:29 pm

      “Maybe it would be better to increase criticism of all human rights violators, including Venezuela, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and everywhere else, instead of focusing on one country.”

      You are so right, hophmi.

      It is disgusting the way the US Congress gives standing ovations to every comma of Putin’s speeches when he is invited to speak before them.

      Every US politician has to pledge his loyalty to Iran if he wants a chance of being elected.

      And woe betide any journalist who writes, says, tweets, or even thinks anything critical about Syria!

      “That’s because so many of the people involved in them are antisemites. That’s something the majority of the BDS movement either refuses to face up to or tacitly encourages.”

      And your evidence for these claims is overwhelming.

    • oldgeezer on January 21, 2015, 12:19 am

      “Maybe it would be better to increase criticism of all human rights violators, including Venezuela, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and everywhere else, instead of focusing on one country. ”

      Well Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Syria all have had sanctions placed on them. Egypt we backed overthrowing the elected governmentand voiding democratic rule. China we would do the same if we could and we do back break off Taiwan. Some of them we’ve bombed and others either we would like to bomb them or Israel wants us to bomb them.

      That you think the criticism of Israel is one sided shows your total ignorance of western relations with the world at large or it’s just a childish attempt at dissembling.

      I would probably criticize Israel a lot less once we hit them with crippling sanctions which they richly deserve to have placed on them.

    • oldgeezer on January 21, 2015, 12:20 am

      “That’s because so many of the people involved in them are antisemites. That’s something the majority of the BDS movement either refuses to face up to or tacitly encourages.”

      So what? Am I my brothers keeper? A segment of Israel is openly racist and the rabble race through the streets with their vile chants. The government doesn’t tacitly encourage it but openly incites it.

      Get back to me when you recognize that and own it.

    • talknic on January 21, 2015, 2:32 am

      The things they say

      @ hophmi ///“Pictures of dead families in Gaza feature heavily on radical Islamist internet forums. ”///

      “I’m sure that they’re far more common than pictures of dead Muslims beheaded by Saudi Arabian authorities or Nigerians murdered by radical Islamist group Boko Haram or Israeli Jews murdered in suicide attacks. “

      Indeed they’re far more common because there are far more of ’em.

      “So, if we criticize Israel harder, we will not be showing a double standard to the world, is that it?”

      If you say so … no one else has..

      ” Maybe it would be better to increase criticism of all human rights violators, including Venezuela, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and everywhere else, instead of focusing on one country”

      How many are committing human rights violations like Israel, illegally in other folks territories? Careful not to choose Netanyahu’s pals, China & Russia

      ” It’s the difference between collateral damage and the deliberate targeting of civilians”

      The IDF memorial site shows there have been more injuries and deaths thru attacks on the Israeli military than there have been attacks, injuries and deaths on civilians

      “That’s because so many of the people involved in them are antisemites”

      Evidence please…

      “. That’s something the majority of the BDS movement either refuses to face up to or tacitly encourages”

      Strange that you offer no evidence for your accusations. BTW don’t bother posting more accusations as evidence, because accusations ARE NOT evidence

      • Mooser on January 21, 2015, 11:57 am

        “BTW don’t bother posting more accusations as evidence, because accusations ARE NOT evidence”

        And Hophmi says: ‘B-b-but they always used to be? What’s happened?’

  14. Mooser on January 20, 2015, 11:33 am

    Hophmi, are you feeling all-right? Not seeing spots before your eyes? No fever? Is your tongue coated? Both forks?
    Anyway, pal, you might want to sit down and take a breather. You are, in most of those points, arguing against yourself.

    Let’s take one! Yes, I agree, we shouldn’t let historical misconceptions about firearms determine gun-control policy, and we shouldn’t historical misconceptions dictate our stance on Israel.
    Of course, the one about the “500 dead kids” is a real whopper. You need a break, Hophmi. I suggest a good breakfast in sunny, southern California!

  15. steven l on January 20, 2015, 12:36 pm

    When was the last time JK went for a comparative tour of Israel “Palestinian territories” and Muslim countries of the ME or N-Africa?
    Keep in mind JK that Israel has been at war since day ONE and Palestinian authorities (PA, Hamas and other fanatics) have done everything to undermine Israel and the Palestinian population.
    Whether you like it or not, these fanatics want to transform the whole area in one GAZA.

    • just on January 20, 2015, 12:56 pm

      fanatics? Are you talking about the indigenous Palestinians~ the ones that Israel has cruelly Occupied and terrorized since day 1? The ones that still endure the nightmare of the Nakba?

    • Kris on January 20, 2015, 1:17 pm

      Keep in mind, steven l, that Israel has been murdering Palestinians and stealing their land since day ONE, and the U.S. and other western powers have done everything to facilitate Israel’s crimes against humanity.

      Whether you like it or not (apparently you do like it), these racist Zionist Jews want to transform the whole area into one Jews-only ghetto.

    • eljay on January 20, 2015, 2:04 pm

      >> steven leee: Keep in mind JK that Israel has been at war since day ONE …

      … using terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, theft, torture, murder, occupation and colonialism to help establish as large as possible a supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine. Correct.

      >> Whether you like it or not, these fanatics want to transform the whole area in one GAZA.

      Whether you like it or not, Israel is not absolved of its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes or its obligations under international law because “fanatics want” something.

    • RoHa on January 20, 2015, 7:34 pm

      “Israel has been at war since day ONE”

      Actually, the Zionists started attacking their neighbours before day ONE, and Israel has kept up the war ever since.

  16. a blah chick on January 20, 2015, 7:14 pm

    I saw on Twitter an “anti-sharia” rally in Texas, I believe, and one of the people there was carrying a flag that was the star and stripes on one side and the Israeli flag on the other. And my first reaction was “doesn’t this idiot know that there is sharia law in Israel?”

    For the record here on the locations of the sharia courts in Israel: Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Be’er Sheva, Nazareth, Acre, Taybeh, and Baka Al Garabiya.

    So the next time you hear someone condemning sharia law tell them about sharia law in Israel and watch their heads explode. Bring a raincoat.

    • Mooser on January 20, 2015, 11:19 pm

      “And my first reaction was…”

      And the second was ‘Another patriot with no flag etiquette’!

      “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature”

  17. Vera Gottlieb on January 21, 2015, 9:40 am

    The West MUST respect another culture, another religion. Stop provoking Muslim countries, stop insulting their religion, stop making fun of their Prophet, stop destroying their countries…stop behaving like barbarians.

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