Paris: Grand Mosque Open, Grand Synagogue Closed
by Lawrence A. Franklin
January 11, 2015 at 5:00 am
What did the shoppers in a Jewish supermarket, four of whom were slaughtered, have to do with the cartoon images of Mohammad?
In light of all the expressed concern about possible anti-Muslim incidents, claims on television that "Muslims are the most persecuted people" seemed jarring and wrong.
A seemingly required inclusion in most reports on the recent mass murder in Paris was the rhetorical question posed by reporters has been: "Will these events invite a wave of anti-Muslim incidents"? Since these Islam-inspired murders, however, there have been only a few anti-Muslim actions -- all against property.
Under-reported, however, was how rapidly the assault against Charlie Hebdo migrated into an anti-Jewish mini-pogrom in the heart of Paris. What did shoppers in a kosher market, four of whom were slaughtered, have to do with the cartoon images of Mohammad? Nothing. But the assault on the HyperCacher Jewish kosher supermarket has a lot to do with the true nature of Islamic militancy.
It seems the drawings in Charlie Hebdo offended some true believers of Islam, but the mere existence of Jews also offends them. So, apparently, does the existence of Christians, Yazidis, Hindus, Ahmadiyyas; anyone considered a "disbeliever," "infidel" or "not Muslim enough;" other Muslims, such as those blown up on the streets of Asia each week or the unfortunate Muslim policeman, Ahmed Merabet, wounded, then slaughtered at point blank range, on the sidewalk for not being "part of the plan."
French police storm the HyperCacher Jewish supermarket in Paris, as hostages flee the store, Friday, December 9.
In reaction to the murders in Paris, the French capital's Grand Synagogue was closed for the first time since World War II. In fact, synagogues all over Paris were closed. There were no Shabbat services this Saturday, the Jewish day of rest. The stores in the Marais, the Jewish section of Paris, were also shuttered. In light of all the expressed concern about possible anti-Muslim incidents, claims on television, such as on CNN, that "Muslims are the most persecuted people," seemed jarring and wrong.
The Grand Mosque in Paris, like mosques all over the capital, was open for business on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer. Moreover, there was little discernible increased security around the Grand Mosque. It seems French security authorities were less worried about attacks directed at Muslim institutions than were America's media commentators.
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he served as a Military Attaché to Israel.