18 janvier 2015

Liberty, equality, fraternity in the wake of Charlie Hebdo

By Ian Coller. Beyond the tourist fantasy of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, France today is a fabulously colourful mixture of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists. This is the situation all over Europe. Yet many Europeans are deeply uneasy with this diversity.
The names of Charlie Hebdo victims reveal the diversity hidden by the Je suis Charlie hashtag: cartoonists and writers Charb, Cabu, Wolinski; psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat; proofreader Mustapha Ourrad; policemen Franck Brinsolaro and Ahmed Merabet; two students killed in a kosher supermarket, Yoav Hattab and Yohan Cohen.
Yet media and government often still refer to Muslims as “them”: tolerated foreigners, immigrants graciously accorded rights by the state. And Muslims often respond by considering themselves unwanted outsiders, even enemies.
Until World War II, many believed that Jews could not be French. That lie was at the heart of the Dreyfus Affair that tore the country in two. Under the Nazi occupation, millions of Jews were arrested across Europe and sent to their deaths.
Since the 1980s, France has come to terms with the ugly truth about its role in those deportations. When it comes to Islam, however, many Europeans still suffer from historical amnesia. Read more...
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