(…as a scenario to create rabid hounds for the spread of jihadist terror…)

The recent barbaric assault on the French weekly magazine – Charlie Hebdo – in Paris, should disabuse everyone that the extreme elements of Islam are simply misguided mis-interpreters of the Koran. They are not. They are…criminally organized entities using the cover of religious fundamentalism…as a means to conduct their criminal activities. As such they are anything but “holy warriors defending their faith”.

Whether it’s al Qaeda and its many affiliates, or the Taliban, or ISIS/ISIL, or Boka Haram, or any other self-proclaimed jihadist group, they are of the same ilk. That is, ready to use religion as a weapon to impose their will on any and all that might attempt to oppose them. In the process their murderous savageries simply further defame the name of Islam with apparent impunity. We say “impunity” because, as far as we know to date, not a single Islamic cleric of any note, not an Imam, not an Ayatollah, not any other religious leader of Islam, has ever stood up in a mosque at Friday prayers to publicly condemn such acts as being not only criminal, but defamatory of Islam as well.

Instead that message to their co-religionists, whenever one of these atrocities occurs, they engage in what can only be considered – PR damage control efforts- aimed at convincing those not of their faith, that they do not condone such acts, and that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, etc., etc., etc.. Such protestations are rank hypocrisy. If they were sincere they would be proclaiming that message instead from every pulpit in every mosque in the world, and calling on all their communities not only to reject such acts, but also proclaim –fatwah- against all those who aid, abet, or condone them, either by their silence, or by their passive non-intervention to prevent them.

It should also be noted here that there seems to be a pattern about these insane so-called lone wolf type atrocities. We saw it with the Boston Marathon bombing. We’ve seen it with similar previous attacks in France and elsewhere. In each incident the culprits were alienated apparently “radicalized” youths incited to conduct such acts by very calculated and sophisticated “programming” via special sites and social media links on the internet. Which leads us wonder if these might not be Islamist adaptations from the –Manchurian Candidate – playbook…as a scenario to create packs of rabid hounds for the spread of jihadist terror.



Which raises this question: If so many authoritarian regimes are able to control access or even block access to the internet, why is it not possible for democratic societies, like ours, to install targeted blockages on such Islamist sites? Surely a reasonable legal case could be made that such sites are a menace to public safety and national security, thus justifying appropriate injunctions to various ISP entities from allowing any kind of linkage to them?

As for today’s situation in France, there is another worrisome aspect about all this, which is, the possibility that these tensions could ignite an extreme backlash of “revanche” against anything related to Islam; and, even worse, re-kindle long buried French-Algerian antagonisms from their conflict of long ago. A conflict in which the mutual barbarities between “l’Algerie francaise”adherents, the notorious rogue SAS, and Algerian fighters for independence, took on the aspects of a bloody civil war lasting until 1963. A war which nearly destroyed everyone involved (which included sparking a near-mutiny and contemplated military coup d’etat attempt by one of France’s elite armored divisions…at the time a key frontline unit of the NATO defense of Western Europe. Fortunately wiser councils prevailed…but it was a very near thing). We can but hope that such bad-old-days mindsets will remain properly buried…as ancient history…where they rightly belong.

Well, we don’t know if it’s a coincidence, or, if our own cartoon alter-ego – Charlie – can rightfully claim any kind of kinship with –Charlie HEBDO-, beyond the fact that ours is also of a slyly satirical nature, much less evolved, still not much more than a doodle, and milder in its form and expression. Nevertheless, we like to think they might be, indeed, kindred…in spirit.

Salut…Charlie…nous sommes la.