The Paris killings now appear to have extended to 17 (including hostages) and involved three gunmen who have been killed by police. The two sets of killings, the second involving a kosher supermarket, were coordinated and carefully planned and were Al Quaeda Yemen inspired. The gunmen may be part of a wider Islamist group in Paris and Hollande has warned of possible further attacks. It appears that the gunmen had been known to both US and French intelligence services and were on the US no fly list.
My message on Friday on the killings then known drew attention to the apparent failure of some world leaders to identify the link of the gunmen to the Muslim religion. This analysis written by prominent US Republican politician, Newt Gingrich, refers to a seemingly incredible (and worrying) response by the White House. It implies that Obama either does not understand what the “tenets of Islam” are or that he is dodging the issue. His condolence message to Hollande included no reference to an Islamic influence and UN Secretary General said the killings did not involve any religion.
One might expect, judging by the wide expressions of concern by Western leaders, that there will be an attempt to agree on a course of action to deal with Islamic extremism – apart that is from increasing surveillance and policing. Note in that regard, however, that reports of the French action to track down the two gunmen who shot 12 at the HQ of the magazine involved 90,000 police! Some commentators have suggested that the extent of possible Jihadists makes it virtually impossible to track all of them.
The most important response I have seen is by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is on the kill list of Jihadists. The Australian has today published an article by her but a more interesting analysis from her was on Friday evening’s 7.30 report. The text of her interview is set out below and I have added my emphasis to the text. Note in particular her:
- indication that there are two “strains” of Islam- the religious and the political;
- the response attacks on mosques in Paris did not involve any deaths of Muslims;
- “We need to dismantle this infrastructure of indoctrination and replace it, replace it with an infrastructure where we inculcate into the minds and hearts of young people an ideology or ideas of life, love, peace, tolerance”.
Full marks (for once) to the ABC for giving Hirsi Ali extended time and for the interviewer apparently accepting what she said.