Islamiske terrorister: muslimers forsøg på at være franskmænd
I am very late getting to this, but I have not seen many links online, so I will proceed anyway.
One of the most provocative and interesting articles I've seen in the past year on Islamic terrorism was published in the November/December issue of Hoover's Policy Review: John Rosenthal's "The French Path to Jihad."
The article can be read in full here, but it is long and people are sometimes reluctant to click through, so let me summarize.
Between 2001 and 2003, a French academic named Farhad Khosrokhavar interviewed terror detainees in French prisons, including 10 suspected members of al Qaeda and 4 other Islamic radicals. His interviews and commentary have now been published in a French book, Quand Al-Qaida Parle, "When al Qaeda Speaks." Khosrokhavar's research suggests that al Qaeda has something very different to say from what most of us would expect to hear.
1) The terror suspects in French custody are not poor and not unsophisticated. One of them warns Khosrokhavar against the risks of using invalid sampling techniques in his research! The most radical are also the most privileged.
2) These French radicals tend almost never to come from religious families. Their religion is self-taught, and largely self-invented.
3) The pre-eminent target of their hatred is not the United States or Israel, but France. In fact, they know almost nothing about the United States or Israel - and what they do know, comes not from al Jazeera, but from the French media: Almost none of them speak Arabic.
That last observation suggests two very disturbing conclusions.
The first is this:
Europeans across the political spectrum share a belief that their comfortable lives have been jeopardized by an American-imposed "war on terror" that has radicalized their Muslim populations. Khosrokhavar's research suggests exactly the opposite conclusion: It is the failure of European societies to assimilate their Muslim migrants that creates a security threat for America.
One of the most fascinating and significant features of the Khosrokhavar interviews is that the mechanism of this transference of hate is clearly observable. Time and again, an inmate, having provided an inventory of the sources of his frustration in France, suddenly announces his intention to purge the full charge of his hatred in fighting against Israel and the United States.
Here's the second conclusion: the French media play an astoundingly important - and incredibly irresponsible - part in stoking the anti-American and anti-Israel prejudices of French Muslims. Listen to these observations based upon
The source of the inmates’ convictions about the injustices of which they accuse France is experience. What, then, is the source of their convictions about the injustice they believe Palestinian Arabs suffer at the hands of Israel and its presumptive American accomplice? “The TV.”It is important to recall in this connection that the first language of most of the inmates interviewed is French. Some, like Jacques, do not speak Arabic or have at most only a very limited knowledge of it. “The tv” to which they allude for the most part is undoubtedly French television. In France, where the cable and satellite television markets remain relatively limited (and were even more so when the interviews were conducted) and where just two channels split the bulk of the network television audience for news programming, “the tv,” generically designated in this way, typically means either tf1 (the only privately owned network to offer substantial news programming) or the leading public broadcaster, France 2.
It is, in effect, by way of the false immediacy of images of the Middle East conflict on the nightly news that the hatred the Islamists feel for France gets transferred to Israel. In the images of the Palestinian chebab doing battle with their homespun weaponry against the massively superior force of the Israeli Army, the French candidates for jihad see their own sense of victimhood reflected back to them in heroic guise. The Palestinian gunmen with their less wholesome Kalashnikovs and m16s remain outside the frame. So too, needless to say — since, in any case, it is not accessible in images — does all the background and context that could render Israeli military actions in the West Bank or Gaza comprehensible and/or dissipate the aura of absolute victimhood in which Palestinian Arabs are almost invariably bathed in the French media.
In order to appreciate just how deceptive the sense of immediacy relayed by these images can be, one need only consider the role played by France 2 in the creation of what has become the iconic representation of Palestinian victimhood: the image of 12-year-old Mohammad Al-Dura pinned against a wall and cowering behind his father’s body while allegedly caught in fire from an Israeli army post at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza strip. On September 30, 2000, at the very outset of the Second Intifada, France 2 broadcast footage of the seeming ordeal of Mohammad and his father, ending, after a mysterious cut, with the boy apparently lying dead on the ground. It was France 2 correspondent Charles Enderlin who identified the supposedly fatal fire as coming from the Israeli Army post. Indeed, Enderlin described the boy and his father as the “targets” of Israeli fire, thus seeming to imply that the killing of the boy was intentional. He would later explain the mysterious cut in the footage by claiming that the scene of the boy’s death throes was too heartrending to broadcast.
From the start, simple considerations of geometry contradicted France 2’s attribution of the gunfire to the Israeli Army. Some investigators went so far as to suggest that the entire episode had been staged. More recently, new evidence has come to light that clearly supports such allegations. Following years of stonewalling, in October 2004 France 2 agreed to allow three well-known French journalists — Luc Rosenzweig, Denis Jeambar, and Daniel Leconte — to view the unedited rushes filmed by the France 2 cameraman at Netzarim Junction. All three concur that the 27-minute reel consists almost entirely of obvious “play-acting” [mise-en-scene]. Jeambar and Leconte have politely allowed that the roughly three minutes depicting the Al-Dura episode “might,” nonetheless, be authentic. All three journalists likewise concur that, contrary to the claims of Charles Enderlin, the rushes contain no footage of Mohammad Al-Dura’s death throes. Confronted by the revelations of his colleagues, Enderlin has averred that even if his original report should turn out to have been false, “for me, the image corresponded to the reality of the situation not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank.”
The effects of such would-be representative and symbolically charged images of the Middle East conflict upon French and, more generally, European public opinion are well enough known. But the Khosrokhavar interviews clearly reveal the incitement they represent — incitement, namely, to jihad — for those in Europe or, for that matter, around the world who are psychologically predisposed to identify most intimately with Palestinian grievances.
Roseenthal adds his own broad and ominous coda:
Rosenthal, Frum og Khosrokhavar overser her, at det ikke er franske værdier, islamisterne her forsøger at abe efter. Det er den franske venstrefløjs had til den individualisme som USA og for den sags skyld hovedparten af resten af den vestlige verden står for.
The French Islamist inmates are evidently well aware that their ideas about the malevolence of American power, like their ideas about the exemplarity of Israeli “oppression,” place them well within the French intellectual mainstream. Thus “Karim,” for example, in admitting to having given lodging to Jihadists, remarks nonchalantly: “If they engaged in jihad, they had their reasons. When they revolted against the Americans, they weren’t the only ones. A large part of the French are also against American policy with respect to the Palestinians and others.”
. ... This recognition on their part suggests, finally, an intriguing question about the psychological dynamics propelling French Muslims into jihad. Prima facie, entry into jihad would seem to represent their ultimate rupture with French society. But as we have seen, despite the bluster with which the Islamists and fellow travelers interviewed by Khosrokhavar claim to reject “being French,” their discourse in fact exhibits significant traces of ambivalence toward France. Khosrokhavar goes so far as to suggest that for some France remains an unobtainable “object of desire.” Could not, then, the entry of French Islamists into jihad — not against France, but against precisely America — be rather a last desperate attempt to prove their worthiness of the affections and respect of French society: to prove, in effect, that they, the Islamists, are the better Frenchmen?
Islamisme er, med andre ord, ikke andet end et miskmask af gammeldags stokkonservativ islam og 70´ernes anti-amerikanske socialisme (hvis man vil trække det ud i det absurde og se en konspiration bag det, kan man prøve at læse "All roads lead to the third Rome" af Antero Leitzinger. Jeg skal understrege, jeg ikke tror på hans idéer, men spændende læsning er det da). Også i 70´erne gav den europæiske socialisme liv til terror-grupper.
Skulle man for øvrigt ikke have hørt om Mohammed al-Dura og de kontroversielle påstande om, at han skulle være blevet skudt af Israelske soldater, så kan jeg varmt anbefale mini-dokumentaren (14 minutter) "Birth of an Icon", der kan ses her: