Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Are the French serious about terrorism? From

National Review via Merde in France

April 26, 2004, 8:43 a.m.
Fight or Flight?
Will France stand up to terrorism this time?

By Glen Feder

On a street in Paris, there is a kiosk that on the outside looks like all the other kiosks selling their wares. On the inside, just above the tourist maps and miniature Eiffel towers, there is an entire wall lined with pro-bin Laden and anti-Semitic books for sale. One book maintains that Jews run the Saudi government. Another praises bin Laden and his cause and violently attacks the U.S. and Western "values" in general.

The name of that street is the Champs Elysées. The kiosk sits right by the chic Louis Vuitton store just about ten-feet away.

In a country where freedom-of-speech laws are much stricter than in the U.S., the radical stance of this vocal minority of Islamic fundamentalists is virulent and often unabashedly public. Even more worrisome is that it is often connected with officially recognized Muslim organizations.

The Union of Islamic Organizations of France is the largest umbrella organization of French Muslim groups and has obtained more seats than any other in the "Conseil Français du Culte Musulman" (CFCM), supposedly the leading voice of the more than five million Muslims living in France. Tariq Ramdan, grandson of Hassan al Banna — founder of the Muslim Brotherhood — has been a frequent guest of the UIOF's annual national congress meeting in Le Bourget, a suburb north of Paris. The UIOF has had longstanding ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Outside the conference you can buy books with titles such as "The Sharon Protocols" and "The Jews Follow the Protocols of the Elders of Zion." The recent Israeli assassination of Hamas's "spiritual leader," Sheik Yassin, drew immediate condemnation by the UIOF on the front page of its website.

Thought not.

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