Tags: Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | John Laughland | Charlie Hebdo | Paris

Europe Expert on Paris Massacre: 'Political Correctness Is Finished'

By    |   Wednesday, 07 January 2015 02:43 PM

The terrorist massacre at a French satirical magazine should bury the politically correct argument that criticizing radical Islam or addressing the threat it poses to Western democracies is racist, a Paris-based political scholar and lecturer told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

After gunmen slaughtered 12 people on Wednesday at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, it is not out of bounds for Europeans to wonder "how many more radicals are left … within our midst," John Laughland, director of studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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Laughland said the attack — carried out by gunmen seen on video shouting "Allah!" — will leave people living in Western countries with sizable Muslim populations frightened at the potential for more terror, and "understanding, above all, that political correctness is finished."

The irony, said Laughland, is that Charlie Hebdo — which angered some Muslims by mocking conservative and radical Islamists — was itself prone to politically correct editorializing against other critics of Muslim religion and culture.

Its latest issue, for example, takes aim at a controversial French novelist, Michel Houellebecq, for his new book, "Soumission," which imagines France under a Muslim president.

"Charlie Hebdo itself ridiculed this book in its front-page edition, the one that's currently on the newsstand," said Laughland. "The magazine where journalists were murdered in cold blood today itself is a politically correct magazine, which itself particularly attacked this book and made fun of the author, saying that he was a scaremonger and an idiot.

"You couldn't wish for a more terrible, bloody symbol of the inadequacy of this politically correct ideology," Laughland said of the massacre.

Similar debates over the propriety of criticizing Islamic radicalism are playing out elsewhere in Europe, he said.

"In Germany, there have for several weeks now been demonstrations — spontaneous demonstrations in Dresden — against the Islamization of the West, and those demonstrations have been routinely denounced by the entire political and media establishment of Germany as being scaremongering," said Laughland. "This is the end now of this kind of talk."

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The attack may also leave defenders of Islam as a peaceful religion with fewer arguments in their favor, he said.

"Muslim leaders have been among the first here in Paris to denounce this attack. One of them has even visited the site of the attack," said Laughland. "They have tried. My fear is that they can't contain this.

"My fear is that the message of violence is contained in Islam," he said, adding that "It's more difficult to argue, as is often claimed, that Islam is quite simply a religion of peace. I personally don't buy that. These attempts by Muslim leaders to contain this issue are likely to prove futile."

He said the Paris attack will also, unfortunately, have a stifling effect on any journalist or cartoonist who thinks about addressing the subject of Islam in the West and the sometimes violent tension between the two cultures.

"However many denunciations there may be [of the Paris attack], it is inevitable now that journalists and caricaturists, satirists, and others will think about what happened to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists when they want to speak freely in the future," said Laughland.

"It's obvious, in other words, that the margin of free speech is going to close down under this pressure," he said. "There's no getting around that."

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The terrorist massacre at a French satirical magazine should bury the politically correct argument that criticizing radical Islam or addressing the threat it poses to western democracies is racist, a Paris-based political scholar and lecturer told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
John Laughland, Charlie Hebdo, Paris
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2015-43-07
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 02:43 PM
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