Update before this was even published: French media is claiming that the hostage takers are dead and the hostages have been freed. May God have mercy on their souls, and the 72 virgins none.
Today, French authorities have at least two of the gunmen they believe were responsible for the attack on Charlie Hebdo cornered near the main Paris airport at a printing plant. Â As this piece is written, the Islamist fighters are holding hostages and are in a stand off with police. Â Naturally, the world’s prayers are with the hostages and French authorities, and for a resolution with the smallest loss of life.
What is frustrating, frightening and infuriating all at the same time, is that while the terrorists themselves say, “The prophet has been avenged,” followed by “We are ready to dies as martyrs,” the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, “We are in a war against terrorists, we’re not in a war with religion.”
(This from the Prime Minister of the country whose defense strategy in the run-up to World War II was the Maginot Line. Â Yeah, THAT really worked to keep the Germans from invading.)
Well, Monsieur Valls, minor problem with that statement: The terrorists are waging war on YOU for violations of THEIR religion. Â Like it or love it, they are in a religious war and with that sort of zeal behind their actions – being on fire for Allah – they are very motivated. Â It would be a good idea for western leaders to quit kidding themselves that members of all religions will be respectful toward members of religions that oppose theirs. Â Not every faith out there is peaceful as part of catechesis and doctrine, and believe whole-heartedly in turning the other cheek.
(The further into the writing of this piece the more contentious the standoff is. Â Runways at the airport are closed. Â The video feeds via Britain’s Sky News showed flash bangs through the winter landscape, and explosions could be heard. Â If western leadership does not wake up, this is going to be situation normal in more places than France.)
These terrorists who are really foot soldiers for violent, fundamental Islam have said they are willing to be martyred to anyone who will listen, just like the early Christians did. Â In fact, they are begging for it, just like the early Christians did. Â Back in ancient times, the authorities generally refused the request instead using Christians as slaves. Â Nowadays, we tend to oblige them, if they don’t blow themselves up first. Â They want the “well done, good and faithful servant” reward and are willing to go to great lengths to get it.
The attempts to prevent Charlie HebdoÂ and other lampoonish publications from “insulting” Islam and the prophet are not going to stop. Â That is what today’s stand-off is all about. The terrorists are trying again. Â And they will try over and over until the west stands up and says to the leaders of Islam itself that this is unacceptable for compatibility and that THEY must be the ones to address the issue.