The country sees itself as the standard bearer, but the spate of terrorist attacks might demonstrate that secular liberalism is impotent.
You won’t find many in the media who will concede that secular liberalism is impotent in preserving and transmitting itself as a culture. But the current jeopardy that France is in may indicate exactly that.
Below is Candice Malcom’s grim commentary in which she notes that France resembles a “failed state”:
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The idea that France might be or might soon become a failed state is amazing since France widely identifies as the representative of liberal values. In a recent article, The Guardian addresses why France has suffered so many terrorist attacks. It says in part:
One reason that France is a particular target is down to a specific decision by Islamic State to target it. In September 2014, shortly after the beginning of airstrikes by a US-led coalition which includes France, the chief spokesman for Isis, Mohammad al-Adnani, singled out the “spiteful French” among a list of enemies in a speech calling for the group’s sympathisers to launch attacks across the west.
Undoubtedly, the role France has historically assumed as standard bearer of western secular liberalism has also put the nation in the spotlight. Islamic extremists may see the US as a source of moral decadence and economic exploitation, but France is seen as an atheist power which is both defending western ideals such as human rights, free speech and democracy and, in the eyes of jihadis, trying to impose them on the Islamic world.
We know from interrogations of Isis returnees that the group started planning strikes in France even before it seized the Iraqi city of Mosul and declared a caliphate in 2014.
Much of the article is stupid because it emphasizes economics. But what about poor people in France whose ancestors have lived in France for centuries or millennia? Why don’t we hear about them committing mass murder? Happily, it does acknowledge that much of the trouble comes from importing foreigners and Islamic theology, even though it doesn’t emphasize it enough.
Nor does it ask why a “standard bearer of western secular liberalism” would make such suicidal policy decisions.
One statement stood out to me:
Successive governments in Paris have also taken a hard – and much publicised – line on issues such as the wearing of full-body coverings and the veil in public, which has been well noted by Islamic militants.
So these secular governments expected all immigrants to meekly comply with their dress code. Did it never occur to anyone that they were importing people who are having far more children than the secular French? It was obvious that it is only a matter of time before the veil was allowed. Or required!
And even more important: they assumed that secular rules would be peacefully honored. That’s something that is part of living in a democracy. But the people they were targeting did not agree with the rule of democracy.
Secular liberalism is impotent.