“The Prophet Has Been Avenged”

“The Prophet Has Been Avenged” January 7, 2015

Horror and heartbreak in Paris:

Three masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people, including its editor, before escaping in a car. It was France’s deadliest postwar terrorist attack.

CBS News’ Elaine Cobbe reports that, according to witnesses, two armed and masked men walked into the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and opened fire in the entrance hallway, killing people as they saw them. The gunmen reportedly sought out members of the newspaper’s staff by name during the rampage through the 2nd floor office, which lasted between five and 10 minutes, according to witnesses…

“Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo,” one of the men shouted in French, according to a video shot from a nearby building and broadcast on French TV. Other video showed two gunmen in black at a crossroads who appeared to fire down one of the streets. A cry of “Allahu akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great”- could be heard among the gunshots.

Many of us here in the States have very fresh memories of the grief, shock and helpless panic of 9/11. This is a moment in which the world can and must collectively grieve and pray for families of the victims and indeed for all of France.

The reaction from many major media outlets has been nothing short of disgusting. Some are even venturing that the attack shouldn’t be a surprise given the magazine’s “provocative” religious parodies. Look at the naked victim blaming found on the front page of The New York Times’s site:

Capture

I don’t think I’ve ever seen journalism turn on its own like it has today. Could it be because our global conversation about Islam and terrorism is so dysfunctional? Has the fear of appearing racist to the likes of Ben Affleck replaced our ability to talk in clear moral terms about the unique threat of the Islamic worldview to democracy?

We should grieve for France, grieve for all victims of terror, and grieve for ourselves and the jettisoning of clear moral reasoning that has left us with nothing more to say to these things than, “We shouldn’t be surprised!”

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