Paris, Place de la République-Nation, Jan 11: The whole world is with the French people, more and more heads of state and government and world leaders cutting across every possible line of division have announced their presence in the UNITY MARCH in Paris.
Serguei Lavov, Russian foreign minister;. Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian President; Benjamin Netanyahou, Israeli Premier; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President Mehdi Jomaa, Tunisian Premier; Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar…..
The three days of terror seems to have left a profound impression on the world…. to bring together leaders of countries in conflict over other issues in a symbolic joint action to show their opposition to extremists, to racists, to anti-semitic elements, and to those who want to stifle the freedom of expression.
When I say France is changing, it is something which can be observed in the reactions of the people in offices, in factories and in and in the attitudes of all the communities in France and in the media. All the religious organizations – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist have come out strongly against the murderous anti-semitic attack and have called for more harmony between persons and faiths living in France. Something has changed, never before have the Muslim organizations and community come out as strongly against the dangerous and violent tendencies of a minute minority. Something has changed, the Muslims of France are assuming their place in the national community.
But all of this has to be seen in the days and years to come….France needs to have a permanent introspection on the ways and means to integrate into the mainstream a sizable section of the immigrant population (including Muslims) which is feeling abandoned and alienated – in terms of better housing, education and job opportunities etc. Till it achieves this, it is likely that we will unfortunately see radicalized youths seeking an outlet to vent their frustrations in a violent manner. French society must wake up to this reality…………