Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight's events as "an attack not just on Paris, it's an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share".But in fact -- as I learn from a roundup of reports on the Paris attacks at London's Telegraph -- peaceful French Muslims were targets of this attack as well:
But that's not true, is it? He's right that it's an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world - an attack on one portion of "humanity" by those who claim to speak for another portion of "humanity". And these are not "universal values" but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta "universal" when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those "universal values" are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don't want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live - modern, pluralist, western societies and those "universal values" of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who's been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.
"I take my morning coffee here every day," said Tania Press, pointing to Le Carillon bar and hotel, where the gunman burst in staying the evening's clientele with bullets....Also:
She pointed out the awful irony of suspected Islamist terrorists targeting Le Carillon - which is owned by Algerians and staffed exclusively by waiters of North African origin.
"All Muslims who work here and own this place," she said. "But that seems to have made no difference to these people...."
The owner of Paname Restaurant and cafe, just down the road from [a] Cambodian restaurant [that was also targeted], said he saw five dead bodies after the attack.Steyn says Muslims in the West "either wish [for] or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live." That's garbage. People live and work and take care of business in their own lives. Steyn wants them to be heroes and intervene in activities about which they may or may not have the slightest inkling, at great risk to themselves, and wants to damn them as traitors to the countries in which they live if they fail to stop terrorist attacks that even the police and intelligence services can't seem to stop.
Karim Kachour said he heard the gun shots from his cafe around 9.30pm....
"I saw five dead bodies on the terrace, it was awful. A terrible situation....
"I am a hard-working Muslim but these terrorists are not Muslims - not in my name."
The Paname Restaurant opened this morning at 11am and Karim said he would not let the terrorists scare him.
"We have opened as normal," he said. "We won't let them stop us from carrying on with our lives."
I feel solidarity with these restaurant workers. The West I want to live in is a West that's both peaceful and multicultural.
Iyad El-Baghdadi, an Arab Spring activist and opponent of radicalization, tweeted this:
ISIS's goal from their own publication. A black & white world. What they call "grayzone" is our coexistence zone. pic.twitter.com/dDPqigam4t— Iyad El-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) November 14, 2015
The restaurant workers live and work in the grayzone. The grayzone is what we need to sustain.
The jihadists want to destroy the grayzone. Mark Steyn thinks we're deluding ourselves if we think we can sustain the grayzone.
The grayzone is real. It can endure. It can win out -- but only if we prevent the jihadists and the Mark Steyns of the world from working hand in glove to destroy it.