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Europe Expert: Political Response to Paris Attacks 'Wrong'

By    |   Monday, 12 January 2015 03:11 PM

The massive rally in Paris on Sunday, attended by dozens of world leaders, was a politically correct show of unity that failed to articulate and confront the threat posed by radical Islam to France and other countries, a Paris-based political scholar and journalist told Newsmax TV on Monday.

"The political response to this outrage has been completely wrong," John Laughland, director of studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner in the wake of terror attacks across Paris last week that left 17 people dead.

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Referring to his "MidPoint" appearance on Wednesday, shortly after Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at a newspaper office, Laughland said, "I discussed the fear I had then that political correctness would blind people to the nature of the threat and make it impossible for that threat to be counted."

"Well, even I could not have predicted the extent to which we have been absolutely engulfed by political correctness, particularly in the march yesterday," Laughland said on Monday.

He noted that France's right-wing party, the National Front, was excluded from the march despite "having campaigned for a generation against immigration and having warned of the dangers of Islamism."

He said the National Front "is precisely the party that should have been there."

"Instead of national unity, what we had was international unity," said Laughland. "All the most politically correct figures from around the world traveled to Paris to demonstrate."

"Nobody in the march denounced Islam or Islamism," he said. "People instead demonstrated in favor of tolerance. But I'm afraid tolerance is not going to make this problem go away, and there were so many questions left open by the marches yesterday that we're now left deeply pessimistic about the political or, indeed, security capacities of the French state, or of any European state, to deal with them."

Laughland said that, likewise, the promise by world leaders to hold a global terrorism summit soon is another misplaced gesture — "undertaken simply because we will not or cannot attack the real problem."

"It is obvious that an international summit, particularly of heads of state or heads of government, will not solve anything," he said. "Perhaps there might be useful cooperation between the security services of different countries, but a political summit, no. The problem is a technical problem of counter-terrorism and, unfortunately, since the events of last week we've seen a number of other, similar displacement or substitution activities.

"People are being told in the train to make sure their luggage is labeled as part of a counter-terrorism operation. I mean, this is absurd. Labeling your luggage is not going to prevent terrorists," said Laughland.

"I see such initiatives as merely an attempt to pretend to be doing something when, in fact, nobody is prepared to face up to the real problem, which comes from Islam itself, "he said. "Not, of course, from all of Islam, but from a part of Islam and, of course, from the fact that there are many Muslims living in Western countries, some of whom have been radicalized.

"That is the problem," said Laughland. "It's very easily stated, and no doubt it's much more difficult to resolve, but you're not going to get anywhere unless you start by stating the problem clearly."

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The massive rally in Paris on Sunday was a politically correct show of unity that failed to articulate and confront the threat posed by radical Islam to France and other countries, a Paris-based political scholar and journalist told Newsmax.
paris attacks, John Laughland, completely wrong
Monday, 12 January 2015 03:11 PM
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