Adam Shatz on moral clarity in terms of France, Islam, violence and freedom

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Globalization, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

One comment on “Adam Shatz on moral clarity in terms of France, Islam, violence and freedom

  1. Terry Tee says:

    There is so much that is appalling about this article that I hardly know where to begin. But:

    a) The writer argues repeatedly that it is not radical Islam that is to blame for recent events in France. The blame lies with the social and political conditions that have created radical Islam – and we, the West, are the creators in turn of those conditions. I take it, therefore, that if a burglar breaks into the writer’s house, then the burglar will not be to blame. It is the poverty, the discrimination, the inherited prejudice against him, that is the real culprit.

    b) Polite words fail me when I read his sentences about France’s Jews being a privileged elite, with the history of antisemitism and the holocaust being taught in schools while other ethnic groups and their histories of being exploited are ignored. Let’s be charitable and guess that the writer is not well informed. Straight off, there is a logical contradiction here. He wants to argue that the French have not come to terms with the history of their colonial wickedness. Yet he wants to let the French off the hook with their history of collaboration with the Nazis in Jew-hunting? (Google Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup and you’ll see what I mean.) Moreover, from Camus onwards the French have been confronted with their colonial exploits and made to remember them.

    When I read articles like this I am reminded of the well-thinking people who were fellow-travellers with communism and fascism. Why criticise the USSR, they used to say, our own house is not in order. Why criticise Nazis, they used to say, the Versailles Treaty was outrageous in the penalties it imposed on post-World War I Germany. All ability to discern, to assess, to see with moral clarity, is lost.