Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Paris Terror Attack: Charlie Hebdo, on the Smithsonian Channel
the time, it seemed as if the terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine
Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t wake up the
world to the profound threat of terrorism nothing would—but as usual, it didn’t.
However, the cost of the Western world burying its head in the sand would
become tragically clear during the coordinated Mumbai-style attacks in Paris
this November. In fact, the January 2015 murders and hostage crisis are explicitly
identified as forerunners of the larger atrocities to come in the special
report, Paris Terror Attack: Charlie
Hebdo, which air this Monday on the Smithsonian Channel.
we forget, the terrorists targeted Charlie
Hebdo not out of frustration with unemployment, but because their Islamist
ideology could not abide a few jokes at the old prophet’s expense. You can hear
them scream precisely that during their murderous assault. PTA includes most of the highly disturbing closed circuit camera
footage of their crimes, but it cuts away at the fatal moment when the vicious
Kouachi brothers shoot Muslim Parisian policeman Ahmed Merabet point blank in
are a lot of inconvenient truths in PTA,
like the fact the Kouachis and their former prison mate Amedy Coulibaly were
native born French. Also, no doubts should remain as to why Coulibaly chose to
take the patrons of a kosher Hypercacher supermarket hostage. According to one
survivor, he tellingly told her: “you Jews love life, but we Muslims prefer
death.” Details like that have been grossly under-reported, but PTA duly includes them.
coverage of the Hebdo and Hypercacher incidents were pretty sketchy at the
time, because the media is always uncomfortable reporting Islamist terrorism.
As a result, the special’s tick-tock chain of events is quite illuminating. There
is also a good faith attempt to present Merabet’s grieving parents as the voice
of moderate Islam. Yet, when they condemn extremists of all faiths, we cannot
help thinking their beloved son was not killed by radical Unitarians.
underlying thesis arguing the Charlie Hebdo attack was an unheeded warning of
greater terrorism to come is totally on-point and tough to argue against. By
chronicling the horrific events, step-by-step, it gives us another chance to
come to grips with Islamist terror, but we will probably ignore it again. Recommended
for anyone who wants to better understand issues of terrorism and homeland security,
Paris Terror Attack: Charlie Hebdo premieres
this Monday (1/4) on the Smithsonian Channel. Happy New Year.
Labels: Charlie Hebdo, Smithsonian Channel