On Friday, November 13, 2015, France was hit by yet another series of terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming the lives of 129 innocent people in several locations practically simultaneously. I had just returned from my biannual ministry trip to France four days prior, on the 9th of November. On the 7th, my wife and I attended a concert in Paris in a place as frequented and as famous as the Bataclan. Almost everyday of our stay we ate meals at restaurants and bistros near the attacked venues. The victims were the 129, but it could have easily been us or it could have easily been you.
It was only nine months ago that the whole world joined France in the mourning of the 17 Charlie Hebdo/Hyper Cacher victims. Hashtags like #jesuischarlie and #jesuisjuif abounded. Flowers and candle memorials kept growing on Paris sidewalks and of course there was the 4 million people march on January 11. France had woken up to the sad reality that apocalyptic Islam had hit them hard. Freedom of Speech at Charlie Hebdo was hit hard, but also Freedom of Religion at Hyper Cacher. Days later, Prime minister Manuel Vals delivered a very poignant speech to the French National Assembly in defense of the Jewish community and vowing to go to war against terrorism. I was hopeful that things would change but I didn’t hold my breath. The world continued to placate the comforting hashtags on all social networks. It was the warm and fuzzy appropriate thing to do. It was a time when the planet was united with France and its Jewish community. Well, virtually united I should add, but you don’t fight a war with hashtags and candle vigils. Unfortunately, the world’s attention span is only as long as the next Super Bowl, Hollywood hit or iPhone iteration. And so, we went our merry way, quickly forgetting France and its crisis with terrorism.
But what about France itself? What was really accomplished in the aftermath of the January attacks? Not much I fear. Sure, there were some foiled attacks here and there, some arrests and even search warrants. But soon after the emotional and seemingly determined speeches, politics returned and it was business as usual. The different political parties would rather be blinded by petty disagreements than catch a common vision on how to fight the real enemy. By real enemy, I am not speaking of global warming here but the global WARNING of apocalyptic Islam. Don’t misunderstand me for saying that France doesn’t care about the attacks. I think the French people care very much and to an extent even the government does too. But there is a strange behavior resulting from a hydrid of denial, fear and political correctness. And so it goes with France…another day, another euro.
It was obvious to all that another attack would take place. That it would be so soon and so intense wasn’t expected. The use of explosive belts brought terrorism on French soil to an all new level. And of course, for once it would appear as if the targets weren’t Jews. This is in no way any relief, but simply an observation. I just want to point out that flexing under Islamic threats, Palestinian social justice demands and/or BDS rulings will not stop the enemy. According to Winston Churchill, appeasement is akin to feeding a crocodile hoping it will eat you last. Well, France, on November 13 the crocodile just bit off your hand! Now what?
France was devastated last January and had a chance to take action with the kind of authority and leadership that would have led the free world into an all out war against apocalyptic Islam. That ship has sailed. But now it returns as an armada and with a vengeance, because the Islamic State hates France and all that it represents. It probably goes back to the early 1800s and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the French Revolution of 1789. Looking back nine months, France was mostly all bark and no bite after the January attacks. Today it has a second opportunity to stop evil. This isn’t going to be an overnight feat but rather a concerted international effort that could take 20 years. France could actually lead the way if they put their euros where their mouth is.
On the Monday following the carnage, French President François Hollande spoke in front of the Congress in a room in Versailles that hadn’t been used since 1955. It was indeed historic, but it remains to be seen if the outcome will be positive or negative. Mr. Hollande opened his speech by declaring:” France is at war!” He had the Congress’ attention and he had mine as well. Contrary to Mr. Obama who one day before the attack said that the Islamic State was contained. Soon after, Mr. Obama declared that what happened in Paris was a set-back. A set-back to what, the Middle Ages? Mr. Hollande on the other hand, affirmed that ISIS had to be destroyed. Not slowed down, not stopped, not talked to…but destroyed! I couldn’t agree more. He was speaking one day after having sent fighter jets to bomb strategic ISIS location in Syria. Good for you Mr. Hollande. Please keep on, don’t stop now. They must be eradicated.
In the meantime, may I suggest that you close your borders or at the very least strictly enforce border control. Forget about the accusation of profiling, we are way past that. May I also suggest that you seriously limit the intake of migrants into France (and all of Europe for that matter)? It is now proven that one of the Paris terrorists came to France through the Greek island of Lesbos invisible and untraceable in a wave of refugees. This open-door policy spearheaded by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is now showing us how easy it is for ISIS to infiltrate Europe. And finally, please close all the mosques that are instrumental in the radicalization of other Muslims. Incidentally, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 imams in France alone and only one –the Imam of Drancy– that came out to denounce the terrorist attacks of November 13. Muslims of the world, if you want us to make a distinction between moderate Islam and radical Islam, then please speak up against the terror attacks of November 13–not to mention many others worldwide– otherwise your silence will speak for you.
France is at a critical crossroads for the second time in one year. How many more terrorist attacks by ISIS will it take, in France or anywhere else, for us to take them seriously? Protect synagogues and Jewish schools and they attack a stadium, restaurants and a concert hall. Protect these venues and they will attack a movie theater, a mall or amusement park…and the list goes on. Too many innocent lives are destroyed by people who glorify death. My ultimate prayer is that they would truly have a change of heart and meet the true God of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through His Messiah Yeshua. It is a difficult prayer to pray but we must not stop praying. Prayer can change them, but if they do not change they must be stopped. This is France’s second chance to fight the war against Islamic terrorism and it might very well be Europe’s last chance.
It has only been two months since the terrorist attacks in France, which led to the death of 17 people including four Jews in a kosher supermarket on the east side of Paris. Prime minister Manuel Valls delivered an emotional speech punctuated with rightful indignation in front of the French Assemblée Nationale, calling anti-Semitism, “The symptom of a democracy in crisis”.
French President François Hollande vowed to defend France’s Jews when he was recently quoted saying: “Jews are at home in France, it’s the anti-Semites who have no place in the republic, in protecting its Jews, the republic is protecting itself.” In reality, French Jews continue to feel very uneasy in France. The assurance of safety seems to only be a façade. Even with 10,000 troops and police officers deployed all over France in front of key Jewish locations like schools and synagogues, French Jews do not feel properly protected. After all, it wasn’t long after the January attacks that some French soldiers were attacked by a man as they were guarding a Jewish site. Additionally, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in northern Alsace and over 200 tombstones were destroyed.
French Jews are scared and they are not alone. Other European Jewish communities have joined the French in their feeling of uncertainty. But there is no doubt that France leads the pack when it comes to immigration to Israel.
This unprecedented increase in immigration didn’t just happen because of the Paris attacks of January 2015. To be sure, the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in general and France in particular has led to an exponential increase in the number of European Jews making Aliyah. But again, France is way ahead of all the other European countries. In 2012, about 2,000 Jewish people left France for Israel followed by 3,120 in 2013 (a 60 percent increase over 2012). Then in 2014, over 7,000 French Jews made Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, making it the largest Aliyah out of France since the 1970s and the top country for Jewish emigration in 2014( the highest global number in 12 years). We must keep in perspective that this number of over 12,000 Jews out of France over the last three years all happened even before the events of January 2015.
Over 1,000 Jews have already left France for Israel in the first two months of 2015. Numbers could exceed 10,000 by the end of the year. This is of course if no other tragic act of anti-Semitism takes place in France, something I am unfortunately not willing to bet on. Here are some other frightening statistics from the Jewish People Policy Institute:
- At least 15,000 French Jews are expected to make Aliyah by 2016. (possibly as many as 10,000 in 2015)
- The Jewish Agency is planning for up to 120,000 French Jews to move to Israel in the next 4 years.
- By 2030, over half of French Jewry could have made Aliyah.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky expressed his fears in the summer of 2014 in Paris while the Gaza War was taking place in the Middle East, and French Jews were already leaving in droves. He was quoted saying: “Something historic is happening, it may be the beginning of the end of European Jewry. I think it’s a tragedy for Europe, what is happening in France, the strongest of Europe’s Jewish communities, reflects processes taking place elsewhere in Europe. I keep asking people if Jews have a future in Europe.”
I am afraid that Mr. Sharansky might have been right. We might be witnessing the start of the decline of European Jewry with the departure of the French Jews as some sort of “handwriting on the wall” of western European civilization. The question that I ask myself has to do with the numbers of Jews leaving or planning to leave in the next few years. While a few thousand already create a noticeable demographic shift, if we indeed see up to 100,000 Jews leave France in the next five years or so, we are not talking Aliyah anymore, we are talking exodus.
Not all French Jews will immigrate to Israel. Some will move to America, Canada and even the U.K, but those who choose to make Israel their new home will constitute a formidable demographic and economic challenge to region. Set aside the challenge, Israel will gain a pool of people that will undoubtedly contribute to its further developing. It will be a win/win situation for the French Jews and Israel.
The loser in all this will be Europe. Already demographically circling the drain, Europe cannot afford to lose its Jews. With the Jews still in Europe, we are already seeing the emergence of Eurabia as a result of the Muslim “demographic Jihad” of the last 50 years. If France cannot protect its Jews, it is only a matter of time before other people groups or minorities become a target.
If indeed we are in the infancy stage of a mass European Jewish exodus, there is much more at stake than the loss of a once thriving community. God was not speaking figuratively when He promised Abraham to bless those who bless him and the Jewish people and curse him who curses them (Genesis 12:1-3). God meant every word of it then and He means every word of it today. With its Jews leaving, France becomes even more vulnerable to her enemies. Isn’t it ironic that the very people that many have described as a curse actually are a blessing from God?
France is still trying to recover from the terrorist attacks of early January 2015. France that wasn’t the only area affected, as many around the world are starting to realize the dangers of radical Islam. The problem isn’t specific to the Middle East and/or exclusive to the Islamic State. Our global community was hit. There is still a very long road ahead of us if we really care to defeat people with an ideology in line with that of ISIS. It is now impossible to ignore the danger.
It is one thing to acknowledge a real danger. It is another to strategically move forward to fight it. The world is being forced to recognize the brutality and barbarism of the Islamic State. Few if any have made any progress in the war against that enemy. Its is quite mind boggling that some governments have yet to clearly label the Islamic State as a radical Islamic group. Leading the pack is the Obama administration. Their vagueness regarding the Islamic State is a real danger.
We can all agree that the beheading, crucifixions, stoning and burnings have placed the Islamic State to the forefront of our contemporary enemies. Any government hesitant in calling these extremist a radical Islamic terrorist group, is making a grave mistake. Last September, in one of his addresses, President Obama declared that the Islamic State was neither Islamic nor a State. The Islamic State might have declared a caliphate a few months back, but it doesn’t qualify them as being a state. They are more of an illicit economy as the Wall Street Journal labeled them.
On the other hand, they are every bit “Islamic” if we understand the meaning of the word Islamic. It is a misconception to believe that Islam is simply a religion of peace, because it is much more complex than that. Many Muslims want nothing to do with the Islamic State’s barbaric methods, yet any serious student of the Qur’an cannot ignore that it contains plenty of verses about violence, deception and killings of the infidels.
What we could call “orthodox Islam” is a lot closer to radical Islam than one might think. There simply are many Muslims who do not adhere to that kind of literal approach to the Qur’an. They have distanced themselves from the extremism taught in those verses. They are “moderate Muslims”, yet they are not even recognized by radical Muslims as true Muslims. I think that a better description would be to call them “cultural Muslims.”
To avoid calling the Islamic State “Islamic” is a vagueness that is far from accidental. It is deliberate! It remains uncertain if the choice is made out of fear of reprisals or political and/or ideological alignment. Nevertheless, the Islamic State IS Islamic from a Qur’anic standpoint.
Continuing with the vagueness that has stricken our President in the past few months, we also need to question his motives when he claims that the Paris Kosher Market attacks were random attacks. In an interview with VOX in the last few days, Mr. Obama didn’t identify the victims as Jews, but simply as”a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” The fact that Amédy Coulibaly (the killer) entered a “kosher” store, said that he was linked to Islamic State, and killed the people inside, because they were Jewish was purely anecdotal, and I guess irrelevant! What an insult to the Jewish community!
Mr. Obama was further defended by the White House press secretary Josh Earnest who very awkwardly backed him up. This didn’t satisfy the press and drew the ire of the social networks. Then, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki added a couple of days later that we should let the French government decide if the events were of an antisemitic nature. Give me a break! If a radical Muslim barges into a kosher store and kills Jewish people, it is NOT RANDOM! The French government has authority since this took place on French soil, but that doesn’t invalidate the original intent of the act itself.
The White House decided to back pedal and do damage control on Thursday. They made a statement declaring the events of the Paris kosher store as anti-Semitic. The vagueness applied to the description of the terror attack at the supermarket is very dangerous, because it reduces the tragedy to a random act of violence, removing it from the hate crime that it was.
Is this part of the conditioning of the masses to lead them to ignore both a real danger and a real victim? This vagueness is terrifying to me, because it was only 70 years ago that some of my family members went from being human beings, to being prisoners, to just being a simple number. Eventually, the whole process led to a need to exterminate my people who had been reduced to the status of animal.
Calling the Paris terrorist attack “random” is in and of itself “targeted”. We say a lot more by saying less. Once again Mr. President your vagueness doesn’t appear to be accidental!
The Paris terrorist attacks of January 7th-9th, 2015 are still very fresh in the memory of the global community. The response to the attacks on freedom of expression and on the Jewish community was, and continues to be, overwhelming. Officials from various countries are still visiting the sites and paying their respects.
Both the home where I grew up, and my niece’s apartment turned out to be within a few hundred yards of the Kosher Supermarket massacre. I was taken aback by the proximity of the attacks, as well as the choice of neighborhoods. I would have never guessed that “my quiet neighborhood” could become the scene of a bloody terrorist attack. But I suppose that in 2015, no area is sacred or even safe from global terrorism.
This series of attacks seemed to be a wake-up call for France. But the country had been snoozing for quite a while, since the torturing and death of Ilan Halimi in 2006, and the brutal murder of 4 Jewish people in a Jewish Day school in Toulouse in 2012. As a matter of fact, similar statements of potential action against terrorism were made at those times. But hey were just that: potential. Has it since become water under the bridge of political correctness?
Since last week’s events, Belgium thwarted a terrorist attack and killed two suspected jihadis in the process. The country is currently struggling with some of its citizens going to Syria to train with the Islamic State, a dilemma that France and many other European countries are now faced with. In fact, the whole world is at risk as people from all over see fit to join the Islamic State. How anybody would be attracted to joining a barbaric organization thriving on crucifixions, beheadings and rapes is beyond comprehension, yet it is a reality.
As it turns out, France is at war. But France isn’t alone as the rest of Europe finds itself caught in this complicated conflict against terror, a conflict that knows no geographical OR moral boundaries. While the current war has nothing of a conventional conflict between two or more countries, it could still be driven by some of the very basic principles that punctuated conflicts in the past.
Know your enemy:
One foundational principle of war is to know your enemy. In the case of France, I am convinced that this is not the case, at the very least not fully. As much as I appreciated President Hollande’s attempt at gathering the free world on the streets of Paris on January 11, and as much of a historic event as it turned out to be, I remain puzzled by the presence of certain officials. Why in the world did France invite Mahmoud Abbas (and originally not invite Benjamin Netanyahu) to the march. I compare inviting Abbas to a march against terror and promotion of freedom of expression to inviting Hitler to a Passover Seder. Seriously! Abbas is in bed with Hamas and we know too well what they are capable of. Not to mention some of the African heads of state that were also present at the march, who definitely have their own definitions of freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
Additionally, France and most of the planet for that matter, continue to keep their head in the sand as it pertains to Islam’s infiltration into Western civilization; with or without violence. Radical Islam has become the weed that will choke the West. To simply state that the attacks of January 7-9 in France have nothing to do with Islam is an oversimplification that proves ignorance on the part of France, and Greater Europe. Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists but can anyone remember the last time a terror attack ANYWHERE in the world had no connection to Islam? In light of the recent blood bath, French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, was quoted saying:
I do not like … I do not want to be a censor, but I think the term Islamist – and I have also said this about the expression Islamic state – is probably not the right one to use. I call them terrorists. Because when you use the word Islam, you promote a kind of continuity between the Muslim (who practices his religion, which is a religion of peace) and a certain [extremist] interpretation of the Muslim religion.
I really don’t think that the whitewashing taking place will help to defer any future attacks. On the other hand, it might condition the masses into believing that an imminent danger is simply a misnomer and should be ignored–something that radical Islam is counting on!
Have a Strategy:
So how do you fight an enemy that has no moral equivalence with the Judeo/Christian ethics of the western world? Very carefully! Keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to have a strategy if you haven’t really identified who it is that you are fighting.
There has been a controversy in the last few days over a story of France’s 750+ No-Go zones. They are sensitive urban zones all over France with a large concentration of Muslims, and in many cases, presenting a real danger for the locals and even the authorities. An American journalist from FOX News was forced to apologize for some very bold statements he made about theses areas, and he did. This doesn’t take away the many areas were known Muslim communities exist today. Some say that it is a myth. Some say that they do exist. The reality is that from both sides of the spectrum, all agree that their is a malaise within French society that has been created by Islam’s obvious refusal to integrate French society over the last 50 years. Given that about a third of France’s Muslim population of 5.5 million is under the age of 30 and highly unemployed, this creates an ideal breeding ground for radicalization. The French city of Marseille is a perfect example of that with a Muslim population of between 30% and 40%. It is well on its way to becoming the first major metropolis of France that has a Muslim majority. It is only a matter of time before we discover if the No-Go zones are a myth! French analyst and author Guy Millière stated recently that:
Anyone who knows Islam and knows of the existence of the internet also knows that “French Islam” does not exist, and that Islam in France cannot be separated from Islam as it is everywhere else.
As difficult as it is for me to admit, the only person who seems to have an opinion and somewhat of a strategy on how to deal with the French problem of Islamist radicalization and infiltration is Marine Le Pen. The current leader of French extreme right party Front National is becoming increasingly popular, even within a Jewish community well aware that her and her dad Jean Marie Le Pen are rather anti-Semitic. After all, it was Jean Marie Le Pen who once said that the Holocaust was simply “a hiccup of history“. Marine Le Pen promotes a strict immigration policy that would be a good start for a safer France. Unfortunately, she doesn’t stop at radical Islam’s threat to the country. If she had her way, she would clean France of Arabs, Blacks and Jews. At the rate this is going, she might have her way, God forbid!
I fear that France’s strategy is simply based on a war of semantics and a reactive move against terror instead of a pro-active one. If indeed we hear mostly words but see no action, Islamists will continue to infringe on our liberties, kill many more people, and prove that if France didn’t know their enemy and didn’t have a strategy, THEY [radical Muslims] certainly did! The French Jews can always move to Israel, but where will the rest of the natives go?
After three horrific days of unprecedented terror in Paris resulting in the death of 17 innocent victims, the City of Lights was the center of a historic event on Sunday, January 11, 2015. Within about 48 hours, a solidarity march was organized by the French government, hoping to rally its citizens under the banner of unity and freedom of expression. What took place on Sunday was much bigger in so many ways. It was history in the making.
The French government admitted that it was extremely difficult to gauge how many people really participated, but at the end of the day they had agreed that the number was about 4,000,000 all over France with probably about 1,700,000 in Paris alone. The Paris Freedom March was the largest gathering of people on French territory for a single cause, ever. It was even larger than the Liberation of Paris in 1945.
Security was of course a huge concern, considering that about 50 heads of state were present at the march. How much can really be organized in 48 hours in the midst of an ongoing crisis? There was obviously a huge risk factor and the various heads of state present were all aware of it. They came anyway. At least most of them, although President Obama’s absence was an embarrassment and a message in and of itself. Even Attorney General Eric Holder who was already in France couldn’t be spotted in the crowd. In a very negative way, America also made history on Sunday.
Fortunately, in addition to the French marches, many other countries showed their support by having gatherings of their own. French President François Hollande rightfully said: “Paris is today the capital of the world”. Logistically speaking, the Paris March made history.
But beyond the variety in the march’s composition, it must also be noted that politically speaking the march was an incredible amalgam of ideologies. Nationally, all those who could be there were there, from the left to the right, including previous french presidents such as Nicolas Sarkozy. They were participating in a very apolitical protest against terrorism, anti-Semitism and in support of freedom of expression.
Internationally, it was probably the largest concentration of heads of state outside of a funeral for another head of state or monarch. Leaders in attendance came from Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ukraine to name just a few European countries, as well as many African countries. Of course, it was also impossible to ignore the presence of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in the front line of the march. On any given day, most of the countries and political parties represented in Paris would disagree on a lot of issues, but Sunday was the day to agree against Islamo-Nazism and its barbaric ideology. Politically speaking, the Paris March made history.
The streets of the capital were filled with people from all religious walks. We could see Muslims and Jews marching together, accompanied by Catholics, many other faiths and even atheists. The march was serving several purposes under the banner of fighting terror. The Friday Kosher Market hostage crisis claiming the lives of four Jewish victims made France realize that anti-Semitism is alive and well within its borders. It was time for France to admit that whatever they had tried in the area of tolerance, integration and appeasement was a huge failure. Former President Sarkozy already knew that after the carnage of the Toulouse Massacre in 2012.
But in the midst of a very anti-Semitic community, France still produced some heroes like the young Muslim from Mali, Lassana Bathily, who decided to hide all the customers he could find in the downstairs–refrigerated room at the Kosher Market. Several Jewish hostages were saved because of this young Muslim.
The day ended with a service at the Grande Synagogue de Paris packed with Jewish worshippers as well as people from other faiths, in support of all the victims and of the Jewish community. President Hollande, Mr. Netanyahu and the Paris Imam among others were all present at this moving service where the French national anthem La Marseillaise was sung as if to signify that the gathering was going well beyond the memory of the four Jewish victims, and it was. Religiously speaking, the Paris March made history.
But the question remains in the hearts of French people and especially within the French Jewish Community: “Will the march be remembered as a Day of unity against terror or will it it be the catalyst of something much bigger”? “Will the French government, in cooperation with the other countries of the European Union, enforce existing anti-terrorism laws as well as adjust others and create the ones that are still needed”? The Jewish community doesn’t have much hope that this wake-up call will actually empower the country to continue fighting against extremism.
French Jews are scared to go shopping, or go outside wearing Jewish garb or even sending their children to Jewish schools. As a result, we have seen a mass exodus from France to Israel in the last few years with 7,000 in 2014 alone.
French Prime minister Manuel Valls said: “France without its Jews isn’t France anymore”. I agree with him, even though I am not sure that he fully grasps the meaning of his statement. So, today, much remains on the table for French politicians who showed that even for a day they could agree to fight for freedom of expression and speak against anti-Semitism and terrorism. Not just France, but the whole world needs to press on and stand up against radical Islam.
No matter what follows, Sunday January 11, 2015 will always be remembered as the Paris March against Terror. But for the future of mankind in general and that of Jewish people in particular, France and the other countries present at the event should not lose their momentum of unity and dedication.
On Sunday, France led the free world in showing us how to stand-up against the cancer of extremism, but we all know that diagnosing cancer is pointless if you don’t aggressively attack the disease. Tomorrow will tell.
Kurt Westergaard, the man who made the famous Muhammad drawings, have made a special edition of his “Free Speech” drawing. He has done that to raise money for Charlie Hebdo’s fight for free speech, and to help the surviving relatives after the terror attack in Paris.
On the drawing is a man with a pen, who tries to keep himself standing, even though he has an unreasonable possibilities of doing that.
Stand up for freedom of speech.
“We all need to stand up for the freedom of speech and this is my way of contributing to this fight. We hope that people will buy a drawing, and/or share this story with friends and family,” says Kurt Westergaard.
“Je Suis Charlie” can be bought here:
The special edition drawing will be sold for 350 Danish Krone or approximately $60 US Dollars incl. postage. The entire amount after deduction of costs and expenses will go to Charlie Hebdo to support those left behind and the continued work of Charlie Hebdo.
Buy the drawing today, and show your support for the free world and artists’ right to speak freely.
Please order here: http://www.galleri-draupner.dk/
IMPORTANT: Mark your order with your full name and the delivery address!
A delivery period of 5-8 days should be expected.
NOTE: This story has been edited for content after publication.
PARIS, France — On Wednesday, 12 people were killed and 11 more were wounded at Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris, France. The gunmen managed to shoot their way through multiple encounters with police.
Heavily armed Islamic terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” stormed the Paris magazine headquarters killing journalists and police officers in an attack that brought more than 100,000 protesters onto streets across France.
Why were they killed? Because a satiric French paper published offensive cartoons about Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Yes, cartoons. They ‘offended’ Islamic terrorists, so these barbaric scum chose to do what they do, which is to murder innocent lives for their beloved Muhammad.
The suspects screamed “we have avenged the prophet, we have killed Charlie Hebdo,” according to some witnesses.
The journalists were in an editorial meeting at the time of the attack when masked gunmen stormed in and started shooting. They initially shot and killed eight journalists, including some of France’s best-known cartoonists, a security guard and a visitor. One person survived by hiding under a table.
WARNING: Extremely Graphic Video
Video below shows the murder of a French police officer by the gunmen.
Charlie Hebdo was known for publishing controversial cartoons targeting all religions, including Islam and their Prophet Mohammed. They were killed for exercising their freedom of speech as a group of radical terrorists could not take what the scary and insulting cartoons were expressing.
Many media outlets have refused to air or publish any of these cartoons. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and NBC, all decided not to show the offensive cartoons.
This is exactly what these barbarians want. They don’t want them to be published and they killed those who chose to utilize their freedom of expression.
Here are some of the cartoons that happened to ‘insult‘ Islamic terrorists:
In a video published on a French website, you can hear the suspects shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” or “Allah is the greatest”.
A statement from President Obama condemned the attack but failed to mention Islam.
I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people,” Obama said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world.
The men responsible for the Paris massacre Chérif Kouachi, 32, and his brother Said, 34 were killed by French Police in a terror raid on Friday. The youngest of the three, Hamyd Mourad, 18, surrendered to police at Charleville-Mézières, about 50 miles northeast of Reims in Champagne on Wednesday.
The Kouachi brothers had taken several hostages at a Jewish grocery store in eastern Paris on Friday.
French police took out Cherif and Said Kouachi and a suspect in a policewoman’s killing, but also left four hostages dead, according to authorities and reports from the scene.
French police released mugshots of the other man involved at the store, Amedy Coulibaly, 32, as well as a woman named as 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, also wanted over the shooting of the policewoman.
U.S. intelligence officials believe Said Kouachi trained in Yemen for a few months in 2011 with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda’s franchise organization there, according to a U.S. counter-terrorism official.
Cherif Kouachi was arrested in 2005 by French authorities and convicted in a French court in 2008 of trying to help smuggle fighters to Iraq. The brothers were linked to a plot in 2010 to free an Algerian militant from jail but neither one was prosecuted in the case, the official said.
There are now reports that the brothers had been on a US terror watch list “for years”.
A member of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said the group directed the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. The Al Qaeda member on Friday provided a statement in English to The Associated Press saying “the leadership of AQAP directed the operations and they have chosen their target carefully.”
France has been struck directly in the heart of its capital, in a place where the spirit of liberty — and thus of resistance — breathed freely. – French President Francois Hollande
The victims from this deadly attack were eight journalists, including the magazine’s chief editor, Stephane Charbonnier (Charb), two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor.
Social media users have been expressing their solidarity with the people of France since the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Shortly after the violence, #JeSuisCharlie or #IAmCharlie began to trend worldwide.
The words of Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief and beloved illustrator “Charb”:
‘‘I am not afraid of reprisals. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a wife, I don’t have a car, I don’t have credit. This may sound a bit pompous but I would prefer to die standing than to live on my knees.’’
There can be no compromising on freedom of speech. Charb and his fellow cartoonists lived by that. They fought for what they believed in. They died for not backing down, but they never wavered nor waved a white flag.
Rest in peace brave souls, rest in peace.
Now, we stand and proudly say #JeSuisCharlie.
NOTE: This story has been edited for content after publication.
PARIS, France — Another shooting occurred in Montrouge, France just outside Paris on Thursday morning just one day after the deadly newspaper attack.
Security forces detained a man soon after the shooting but he was not the shooter, police said. They then raided a hotel room nearby but that was unsuccessful.
A 20-year-old female trainee police officer was killed when a man opened fire in the street just after 8 a.m. The gunman is still at large.
The French government has placed the country on the highest state of terror alert after an attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead, including two police on Wednesday.
Paris announced that an extra 650 soldiers and 2,000 more police officers will patrol the streets of the capital on Thursday.
In a tweet, the French president François Hollande has said: “Freedom will always be stronger than barbarism. Our best weapon is our unity.”
“France has to be at war against Islamist fundamentalists. They are at war against France.” – Marine Le Pen, Far-right party (Front National) leader
The Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé called for an upholding of national unity, “for as long as possible.” He also asked “the Muslim community representatives to speak up and say that Islam does not mean the ideology of murder. We will resist.”
According to the interior ministry security personnel including 50,000 police officers, 32,000 gendarmes and 1,150 soldiers have been mobilized across the country.
French investigators found a dozen Molotov cocktails and two jihadist flags in the getaway car used in the massacre at a Paris magazine, a source close to the case told AFP Thursday.
Police are still searching for the two suspects in the Charlie Hedbo attacks who are believed to be the Kouachi brothers, Cherif, 32 and Said, 34. Cherif Kouachi was known to police in France after spending time in prison.
An 18-year old Hamyd Mourad turned himself into police on Wednesday after seeing his name circulating on social media.
There have been on-going terror raids going on in France over the last couple of days.
French special operations forces deployed on Thursday in a northern town where two brothers suspected in the Charlie Hebdo attack.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said nine people remain in custody in connection with the investigation into the terror raids. Various raids have been carried out and numerous properties have been searched. Around 90 witnesses have given statements to police.
A vehicle exploded in the Villejuif area to the south of Paris on Thursday evening.
— killwill13 (@killwill13) January 8, 2015
An American cartoonist shows solidarity with Charlie Hebdo
This cartoon is by Tom Stiglich:
“I’m a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist with Creators Syndicate. I feel for our friends in France. Here’s a cartoon that I did showing American cartoonists’ support for the fallen journalists from Charlie Hebdo.”
Solidarity is being shown all around the world.
We are all cartoonists now.
Police are currently searching the Retz forest for the Paris terror suspects. This forest is one of many leads they are receiving.
Please stay with ANM News on this developing story.
NOTE: This story has been edited for content after publication.
PARIS, France — On Wednesday, France woke-up to a carnage that took place in the center of Paris at the Headquarters of the weekly magazine “Charlie Hebdo”. I grew up in Paris when Charlie Hebdo was already making anti-establishment, anti-God and anti-anything-and-everything statements on a weekly basis. Much of what they publish is often a mix of satire and really bad taste, but freedom of the press shouldn’t be for the faint of heart and cannot be a one way street.
This being said, I am in shock and my prayers go out to the families of the 12 victims. France is in shock as well and remains on the highest alert for terrorism. There was absolutely no excuse for such a barbaric blood bath. As this is a developing story, some of the details could change fast.
Charlie Hebdo was started in 1969 and outside of a break from 1981 to 1992, is still being published weekly in 2015. They already had been attacked in 2011 when they published a cartoon of Mohammed and as a result got their facility firebombed. As the staff was having their regular editorial meeting on Wednesday, the killers barged inside the conference room and after asking for names, started shooting the staff. Twelve people lost their lives at the hands of what the authorities now believe were three men.
Two brothers by the names of Saïd and Cherif Kouachi (Franco-Algerian), in their thirties, and another younger man, Amyd Mourad (nationality unknown). Amy Mourad apparently decided to surrender to the police later in the night. Two of the twelve innocent victims were police officers killed in the line of duty. More people were wounded and several are still in critical condition.
As the story develops, we will undoubtedly learn much more, but even though French authorities were originally very reluctant to connect the crime to an Islamist terrorist act, there is no longer any doubt that it was act of radical Islam against French citizens. Not to mention the fact that on the scene and as he went on his killing spree, one of the three terrorists declared: “We have now avenged the Prophet”. Speaking of course of Mohammed, and leaving little doubt as to the real motive of this mass murder. Additionally, it was later reported that all three men shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they went on with the carnage.
People will look at Islam from different vantage points from categorizing all Muslims as bloodthirsty barbaric terrorists to embracing all Muslims as peaceful practitioners of one of the three major world religions. I find myself somewhere in the middle and frankly, regardless of where you stand, we can all learn a lesson from such a tragedy.
This is not the first wake-up call that France has received but it would appear that tolerance, multiculturalism and political correctness keep pushing the snooze button over and over again.
Today, France was tested regarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Will the country that championed satirical literature–taking it back all the way to the days of Marie-Antoinette–flex under pressure from the Islamists? Hard to say quite yet, but if France doesn’t take a stand, today will be remembered as much more than the “Charlie Hebdo Massacre”, it will be remembered as the day that freedom died.
There was in excess of 100,000 people rallying all over France within hours, many brandishing signs with the motto:”Je suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie” in a sign of solidarity. This was a very spontaneous reaction from the French who apparently have decided not to cave in. I applaud that move.
The French people and the French press might have spoken but the government must take this matter beyond the propagating of the new hashtag #jesuischarlie or #Iamcharlie. As a matter of fact, I agree wholeheartedly with Benjamin Netanyahu who in the short message of support he sent France, reiterated that this was an international problem, not just a French one.
This should serve as a wake-up call to the international community. Islamists are getting bolder and bloodier by the day. We have seen a lot of these kind of acts against the Jewish people lately, especially in France. The Islamists hate Israel and the Jews and will continue to go after them with rage. The way that the Jews have been attacked, and even killed recently should have been an early sign of what was coming. Israel is the “little Satan”, France and the rest of the West are “The Great Satan”.
The world must understand that what happened in Paris today wasn’t an act of anti-Semitism it was an act of evil and barbarism that, if left unpunished, will only invite many more…much bloodier acts. Yet for years now the Jewish community has been the greatest recipient of anti-Semitism and the world has for the most part looked the other way, not reading or possibly not willing to read the writing on the wall.
I am reminded of this profound statement that Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby made in 2004:
What the world should already know but so often forgets is that Jews are the canary in the coal mine of civilization. Anti-Semitism is like cancer; unchecked, it can metastasize and sicken the entire body. When civilized nations fail to rise up against the Jew-haters in their midst, it is often just a matter of time before the Jew-haters in their midst rise up against them.
If today wasn’t a wake-up call, I have lost all hope for France!
Eleven people were run down by a 40-year-old man in Dijon, France. Two of the victims were badly heart, but their life is out of danger.
Driver was shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
The criminal was shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), and that he did this for the children of Palestine, while running down the pedestrians, says one of the eyewitnesses. Another source close to the investigation says that the motive behind the criminal act is unknown. However, the 40-year-old criminal is already well-known by the French authorities, and is an Islamic extremist.
After the Jihadist was arrested he was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital.
The criminal act happens a day after a Jihadist was shot by police, after he attacked three police officers in Joue-les-Tours, France. This Jihadist also shouted “Allahu Akbar” before his criminal act.
Brave soldiers from Europe and the United States have long protected ships from piracy off the coast of Somalia. Now the European Court of Human Rights demand that some of the countries actually have to pay the pirates for breach of their human rights.
ECtHR: France broke the law
One of the countries that the court has imposed to pay pirates for breach of their human rights is France. After a mission in 2008, where nine Somali pirates were taken hostage by French soldiers, they were not placed in front of a judge in the required period of time after arriving in France.
“The Somalis have to face a judge within 48 hours of arrival, and France did not comply with that rule. Therefore, France must pay a compensation to these Somalis for not upholding their human rights,” says the court.
The European Court of Human Rights demanded that France pay up to $11,150 to each of the nine Somali pirates.
Piracy on its peak – Had control of 736 Hostages
When the Somali piracy was at its peak in January 2011, they had the control of 736 hostages and 32 hijacked ships. Today, this amount has decreased because of brave American and European soldiers, who secure a safe passage for ships in the Gulf of Aden. However, the piracy will probably continue, when we have to pay terrorists for not upholding their human rights.