At today’s rally, Zohra Bouchiba, a French Muslim, was handing out fliers for a prevention group for youngsters tempted by jihadism. “We should have been out here a long time ago,” she says.
No kidding…in any case, a couple of weeks ago I reposted my piece They Feel the Shame, about Muslims being actually embarrassed at the conduct of their co-religionists. Well, finally we’re seeing signs that some of them have had enough, and are speaking out.
I don’t think that it’s an accident that France is where this is happening. It has Europe’s largest Muslim community. The beheading of French tourist Hervé Gourdel in Algeria has put them on the spot. You can be sure that the Algerians are tracking this knife-happy crew down; they have little patience with terrorists pulling stunts like this on their soil, as al-Qaeda in the Maghreb found out the hard way when they attacked a gas facility. So, with cover from the old country, they probably feel more emboldened to articulate what they doubtless feel instinctively but hate to admit in public.
There’s also an ethnic element to this. France’s Muslim community is largely made up of people drawn from their old colonies, especially Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. ISIS (and al-Qaeda as well) are largely Arab centred movements, and many Algerians are not too fond of the Arabs.
Whether their counterparts in Britain and elsewhere (to say nothing of the U.S., where Muslims are really on the hot seat after the Oklahoma beheading) will follow suit remains to be seen. It makes more sense to follow a religion whose founder told his first followers that he who lives by the sword will die by it, and more Algerians are coming to this realisation than you’d think.
I told one of my commenters that the rise of ISIS is a defining moment for the West, and it looks like it’s one for the West’s Muslim community too. This is a great opportunity for an establishment bogged down in politically correct multiculturalism to come to reality, perhaps with some help from parts of Islam itself. Let’s hope they don’t blow it for all of us.