In my last post, I mentioned an attack on pedestrians in France. I neglected to mention that this was preceded by a knife attack Saturday night on two policemen in Tours by a 20-year-old recent convert to Islam. On Monday night, shots were fired into a synagogue in Paris. Yesterday, the country witnessed a second car attack on pedestrians, this time in Nantes. Eleven people were injured, one of whom, a 25-year-old man, died later from his injuries.
“(Prosecutor) Tarrare described the man (the attacker) as a French-born son of North African immigrants, acted alone and had no religious motivations, but was upset at the treatment of Chechen children. He shouted ‘God is great’ to give himself courage to act, and not out of religious belief, Tarrare said.” (Fox News website).
Denial clearly continues unabated on both sides of the Atlantic.
Today, France deployed an additional 300 troops to police potential targets during the busy Christmas shopping season. 780 had already been deployed in major pedestrian and shopping areas, like Paris’ famous Champs-Elysees. Almost immediately, a heavily armed man was detained in a market place, again in the city of Nantes. That’s a total of five incidents in five days.
In New York, the murders of two policemen by a deranged Muslim has been turned into a black and white incident, a continuation of the Michael Brown/Eric Garner deaths at the hands of white policemen. The Islamic connection is being overlooked.
It’s the same in France. Following the second car attack on pedestrians, the police are focused on the driver’s history of mental problems. He may well have been suffering from mental issues but this does not rule out a connection with Islamic extremism. Shouting out “Allahu Akbar” may indeed have given him courage but could also reflect religious fanaticism.
ISIS and other extremist groups are very active on social media, encouraging sympathizers around the world to stage “lone wolf” attacks of the kind that France has witnessed over the last few days. However, it seems suspiciously likely official reactions to such attacks will divert attention away from the Islamic connection. We’ve seen this in the last few days in France, the US and Australia.