Paris, known as “The City of Light” for its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment, is darkened in sorrow after a bloody massacre Wednesday, intended to stifle freedom of the press.
The terrorist attack took the lives of twelve after satirical publication Charlie Hebdo fomented Islamic ire for its caricature of Muhammad —- although other religions and various political figures have been the target of the weekly magazine’s jibes.
Eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor to the office were killed. Eleven others are reportedly wounded — four of them seriously.
A massive manhunt has been underway for the trio of French nationals, including two brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi ages 34 and 32. Another man, 18, has surrendered. The brothers had previously been tried on terrorism charges. Cherif was part of an Iraqi jihadi network dismantled in a nearby Paris neighborhood. He was sentenced to just three years in prison with 18 months oddly suspended in relation to terror charges in May 2008.
As they entered the offices to commit the atrocities, the masked and heavily armed murderers shouted, “Allahu Akhbar,” a phrase with which the civilized world has become all too familiar.
The UK’s Telegraph reports France’s stand against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria —- ISIS, called a JV team by Barack Obama —- its bans on wearing a full-face veil in public and headscarf in state schools have made it a prime target for Islamist terrorists. It has western Europe’s largest Muslim population, estimated at approximately six million. At least 1,000 French nationals are believed to be involved in jihad in Syria, Iraq and on home soil.
Most disturbing is the information contained in this Washington Times report, detailing how Parisian officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists, block by block. Large segments of this population have not assimilated and some talk openly of eventually controlling the country, replacing Western legal systems with Sharia law.
“The situation is out of control, and it is not reversible,” said Soeren Kern, an analyst at the Gatestone Institute and author of annual reports on the “Islamization of France.”
“Islam is a permanent part of France now. It is not going away,” he said. “I think the future looks very bleak. The problem is a lot of these younger-generation Muslims are not integrating into French society. Although they are French citizens, they don’t really have a future in French society.
Let this be a lesson. A massive influx of cheap labor coming from impoverished countries can appear attractive to the business community. But the cultural divide carries a steep price and one we ultimately can’t afford to pay.