Jeffrey Goldberg: Europe Is Under SiegePosted: January 8, 2015
The Charlie Hebdo massacre represents a direct attack on perhaps the most crucial Western ideal.
Jeffrey Goldberg writes: The European Parliament complex in Brussels, where I happen to be sitting at the moment, is meant to be a monument to post-World War II continental ideals of peaceable integration, tolerance, free speech, and openness. All of these notions seem to be under attack at once, and what is striking to me, as a relatively frequent visitor to Europe over the past year, is that not many people—until a few hours ago, at least—seem to believe that their union, and their basic freedoms, are under threat.
The massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo falls into the category of events that are shocking in their intensity and brutality, but not at all surprising. This attack, which killed at least 12 people, including journalists and two police officers, was utterly, completely predictable.
The brittle, peevish, and often-violent campaign to defend the honor of Allah and his prophet (both of whom, one might think, are capable of defending themselves with lightning bolts and cataclysmic floods and such, should they choose to be offended by cartoons) has been pursued in earnest since the 1989 Iranian-led crusade (I use the word advisedly) to have Salman Rushdie murdered for writing a book. In 2011, of course, the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed—the equivalent of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, an attack that should have told us more about long-term jihadist intentions than it unfortunately did.
And Europe has had specific, sometimes fatal, warnings about the capabilities and desires of jihadists in recent months—the car attacks in France, conducted by men shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and, most obviously, the assault on the Jewish Museum in Brussels last May, in which four people were murdered, allegedly by Mehdi Nemmouche, a French citizen of Algerian origin who apparently spent time in the Middle East in the employ of ISIS.
I visited the Brussels Jewish Museum on Tuesday and got a glimpse of Europe’s future: Entering the museum is a bit like breaking into a prison. Barricades and unfriendly police outside; suspicious looks and CCTV surveillance; wanding and bag checks. All necessary, and, to be sure, Europe’s Jews, and its Jewish institutions, have been living in a semi-besieged manner for some time. But these measures will spread, by necessity….(read more)
- Salman Rushdie Responds To Charlie Hebdo Attack, Says Religion Must Be Subject To Satire (accidentvictimsalliance.com)
- Salman Rushdie: ‘I stand with Charlie Hebdo’ (theweek.com)
- Religion is a “medieval form of unreason”: Salman Rushdie responds to Paris attacks (salon.com)
- Glenn Beck on Charlie Hebdo: ‘We Should Not Mock’ Religion, but… (mediaite.com)
- Cartoonists react to Charlie Hebdo shooting: ‘Break one, thousands will rise’ (digitalspy.co.uk)
- WSJ: ‘Jihadists Target Western Principles of Free Speech and Religious Pluralism’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- The Rushdie Fatwa 25 Years Later (nationalreview.com)
- Rick Warren: “Legendary Cat Stevens came by to see me today as I worked at home on a sermon” (jihadwatch.org)
- Monty Python star won’t parody Islam: “There are people out there without a sense of humour and they’re heavily armed” (jihadwatch.org)
- Remembering Hitchens: 5 Great Christopher Hitchens takedowns [VIDEO] (dailycaller.com)