Saturday, January 10, 2015

Today in Paris Muslim leaders walked with Jewish leaders to a Synagogue - An Interfaith Statement

The Paris gunmen have just been linked to a known Al Qaida recruit who roamed Europe for years.   

They also claimed that Anwar Al Awlaki was the guy who paid for their training trips to the Middle East. Remember him? The radical American preacher who was killed in a drone strike, He sought western recruits to train for attacks on the west --bombing airliners, underwear bombs, etc. His acts led to subway bombings in London, etc. (Do you still feel this American-in-Yemen sending bombers to hit us should not have been a target?  

Paris officials say today that they have information that more terrorist sleeper cells in Paris have been activated in the last 24 hours, targeting police. Things could get hotter. ISIS is still  making millions per month while skillfully using social media to attract candidates, about 30% of them women

Those same candidates may be feeling pressured and isolated as they peek out their windows at streets full of European right wing anti-immigrant protesters, like those marching in Dresden, Germany. It's a bad mixture. Hate and rejection in Europe makes the ISIS propaganda look more attractive.

The shooters were radicalized by American torture photos, provided training in countries collapsed by our invasion of Iraq, and have passports and local knowledge of European (or American) cities they grew up in,  so we have to fix this broken china shop for our own safety. 

It's in problem for both America and Europe.  This is a problem that Europe has not handled well.  

Two of the shooters had been arrested in 2010 in a plot, one had 240 rounds of assault bullets on him. Both were soon back on the streets.  The authorities stopped monitoring them. Boom. The EU countries have not been coordinating their tracking of high risk individuals, such as those who go to Syria to fight.

It's worse. Since France is put of the EU (European Union) their citizens can freely travel to any EU country. In fact, you can literally drive from Paris to Damascus, Syria --much of it without showing a passport!  Jihadis get to Syria via Turkey, which wants to be an EU member. this map will show you that Europe doesn't live on an island.

So how do we fight this? Hezbollah, amazingly, CONDEMNED the Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo. So what is the antidote?

This. Today in Paris Muslim leaders walked with Jewish leaders to a Synagogue - An Interfaith Statement was made. 

Jewish leaders in Paris have called for more interfaith dialogue between Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. Their rationale is that better communication and understanding is needed to counter the tiny but growing number of young jihadis trained in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, three of whom who just murdered journalists over a cartoon. They are right. 

Charlie Hebdo 's biting satire has also been critical of Catholics, Jews, politicians, etc - there were no 'sacred cows' with them. No other newspaper would say what Charlie said or had such graphic political cartoons.  The Japanese have a saying about a nail that sticks out "gets hammered."

But while the Catholics sued Charlie fourteen times over cartoons they didn't show up with AK 47's spraying bullets. But they aren't the only threats Drug lords south of Texas have done worse, killing journalists for doing what journalists do. 

2012 was a record year for the number of journalists killed worldwide.

In Mexico journalists who simply write a story about gang murders are now targeted and assassinated on the streets. I quote from Wikipedia:

"Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists and among the ones with the highest levels of unsolved crimes against the press.[1] Though the exact figures of those killed are often conflicting,[2] press freedom organizations around the world agree through general consensus that Mexico is among the most dangerous countries on the planet to exercise journalism as a profession.[3][4][5] More than 100 media workers have been killed or disappeared since 2000..."

So, we have more than just Islamists attacking journalists. They have become targets WORLDWIDE. Russia has killed its free press and journalists who act independent with it.  So the problem is BIGGER than just France and just Islamists.

The only way we will improve the Islam situation is by countering the propaganda by ISIS on social media and the radical preachers  preying on unemployed youth. 

The antidote is what they are doing in Paris -- getting different communities together and cooperating.

I have had dinners with Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, Europeans, Nigerians, etc. both in those countries and here in America in places like diversified Houston and Ft. Bend County. To me they are not stereotypes or names on a map; they are friends' faces.

If Americans would do what I have done they will discover a secret plain as day: how much we are all alike.  All of us desire respect, an opportunity for education for our kids and an opportunity for a job and how everyone, even Muslims, just want to be left alone.

Most Muslims do not support Al Qaida. But if ISIS can create a backlash against Muslims, they hope that will help recruiting. 

Ten percent of France is Muslim. Most French people know someone who is Muslim or do business with them in a store, etc. We have the same situation in the U.S. especially in diverse cities like Houston.

There is hope... it will take each of us getting out of our 'comfort zone' to meet Muslims and learn that the vast majority are on the same side as we are.  That person to person outreach will defeat ISIS like nothing else.

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