First of all, our sympathies and thoughts are with the victims of Mohamed Merah, a gunman who killed seven people before being killed himself by a French SWAT team. Merah claimed to be a member of Al-Qaeda, which is in all honesty extremely unlikely, but nonetheless should be taken seriously and investigated properly. Whether Merah acted alone or was encouraged, we need to make sure tragedies like this don’t happen again by rooting out their causes and stopping them.
Or, if you’re France’s Twitter-hating President Nicolas Sarkozy, you can blame the Internet.
Sarkozy has announced that, effectively immediately, that it’s now illegal in France to frequent websites that “promote terrorism or hate.”
“From now on, any person who habitually consults Web sites that advocate terrorism or that call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished,” Sarkozy said in a televised address, according to Reuters. “France will not tolerate forced recruitment or ideological indoctrination on its soil.”
Of course! It must have been the websites! It can’t be that France’s politicians are actually pretty horrible towards Muslims, or that there are tons of people sitting in housing projects ringing cities unable to get a job thanks to racial discrimination. Terrorist groups and criminal organizations don’t thrive on situations like that at all! Stuff like that never drives people around the bend!
Yep, France can just keep on keepin’ on, doing what it’s doing, safe in the assumption that angry young men who get repeatedly dumped on by a society will do absolutely nothing whatsoever. You know, like the tea parties they got up to in 2005.
We’re not trying to make light of this tragedy, but realistically, the causes of this are staring Sarkozy, and every other politician in France, right in the face. The racial problems are well-documented. The root causes of attacks like this, especially if Merah was acting alone, have been exhaustively researched. But apparently, not enough people have died yet for them to do anything about it. Until France admits that “liberte, egalite, fraternite” are just empty words for too many of its citizens, it’s going to keep having these tragedies, no matter how many websites they ban.
And it’s probably only a matter of time before he calls for a ban on hoodies.
(Image courtesy Shutterstock)