It was with barrages of explosions and heavy fire that French police and other special forces ended a three-day frightening siege in and around Paris late this afternoon. A coordinated assault on the terrorists holding hostages in both Paris and in Daamartin-en-Goele effectively crafted the epilogue of a bloody feuilleton that began on Wednesday morning with the killing of a dozen people at the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, right in the heart of Paris. Late this afternoon, on all the TV News Networks, viewers could watch live footages of scores of black-clad security forces encircling both sites, as booming explosions, heavy gunfire and dense smoke heralded the news that the twin sieges finally had ended.
When it was over, the Kouachi brothers, who went on that infamous rampage against the journalists at Charlie Hebdo, were declared dead. They had been holding up in a printing plant in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris. Simultaneously, Amedy Coulibally, who killed 4 hostages in a Paris supermarket and threatened more violence unless the police let the Kouachis go, was also declared dead.
Unless someone is heartless, it is very difficult not to be moved by the cries of innocent civilians, victims of actions of deranged people who are ready to commit hideous crimes in the name of religion. There is another twist in this latest development in Paris. This latest episode will strengthen the hands of reactionary elements and their xenophobic minds. It will further their cause and creed in their horrific thirst to extirpate all that seems different from them. This is the case of the National Front headed by Marine Le Pen, daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen who founded the rightwing organization. For 50 years, France has never witnessed such a bloody scene.
Does this mark the beginning of a new era in European insecurity? Can a violent response from law enforcement ultimately subdue this new surge of violence? In urban centers in industrial societies, cracking down on minorities may inject fear and force underground those who feel threatened. The terrorists would welcome this move, for it would create fertile grounds for their recruiting drive.
What will definitely put an end to these horrific crimes is a change in attitudes toward minorities. It is a sincere effort to create an inclusive society where all of its citizens are offered equal opportunities under the law.
There is a constant feeling of rejection or marginalization among youths from minority communities across Europe. Lack of opportunities fuels despair, and desperation always produces violent reactions. Consequently, the best and most effective weapon against terrorism is a true application of liberté, égalité, fraternité under the law or one country under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all—not for some.
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is the chief-editor for CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at UNF (University of North Florida. He is also a novelist. He is the author of this latest gut wrenching novel Midnight at Noon. He may be reached email@example.com