The writer and broadcaster Kenan Malik, in an article for Al-Jazeera has made an interesting analysis of the Paris attacks that is, I think, well worth reading.

What the terrorists despised, what they tried to eliminate, were ordinary people, drinking, eating, laughing, mixing. That is what they hated – not so much the French state as the values of diversity and pluralism.

It’s the first of the two articles he has posted on his blog here: AFTER PARIS

Painting by Pierre Soulages
Painting by Pierre Soulages
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6 thoughts on “After Paris

  1. I am not sure if I am right but … should we not have the same feelings of outrage, horror and pain EVERY DAY over the simillar number of killings in Syria as happened on one day in Paris, not to mention other parts of the world where atrocious things are happening to innocent people in even greater numbers ?

    1. Absolutely, but why are you not sure you are right? I hope that you are not bullied or cowed by people who believe that there are virtuous victims who deserve our outrage more than those in distant lands who have their heads and limbs blown off by US and French bombs and drones.

      1. Thank you Yossi, I do believe I am right – but living in a rural part of Poland among conservative catholics I have got used to expressing my “extreme” views diplomatically! In fact many of my neighbours are not supporters of our recently elected, very right wing government (its response to Paris was an immediate withdrawl of Poland’s agreement to take in a few thousand Syrian refugees). People here are confused – the media show and explain nothing of what the refugees are fleeing from and why. No one seems to have got particularly upset by the deaths of over 200 Russians in the recent plane crash/terrorist attack either.

    1. Which is why I think it is so important for young people to travel – not as tourists but to live and work in other countries, the further away from home the better, to make friends, get to know families and to keep in touch afterwards. I am a WWOOF and HelpX host and have had Egyptian, Iranian and Vietnamese volunteers on my farm (as well as many different Europeans) – I hope that their participation in local community life here means that at least a few of my neighbours will feel closer to other people in distant countries. It’s hard to persuade young Polish people to travel (except some who go to work in the UK!) so very few of them have ever met a person from a differnt culture or ethnic background.

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