Fear follows mourning
Prompted by fears of new Islamist terrorism President François Hollande is mobilising 10,000 soldiers in France. The Ministry of the Interior has meanwhile registered an increase in anti-Muslim attacks. The country must now recognise to what extent France itself is responsible for the rise of terrorism, commentators urge, and criticise the double standards of Western politicians who fuel conflicts in the Arab world.
Western society also full of violence
The rallies in which millions of people have demonstrated against terror cannot hide the fact that Western society is also marked by violence and barbarity, the weekly magazine Le Vif/L'Express writes: "Social injustice, putting profit before people, day-to-day exclusion and indifference, self-withdrawal: all of this kills silently, 'legally', without gunfire, far from the media. And is it not in this 'civilised' society that the future assassins grew up? Was it not in our prisons - to which we refuse to allocate sufficient funds - that they were indoctrinated? ... What we don't want to see, and yet all know, is that humour can also be incredibly violent, that it can hurt, it can destroy: some people end up killing themselves as a result of ridicule. Some cartoons and jokes are worse than guns: the latter kill outright while the former kill much more slowly."
Fight radicalisation in prisons
France must not react to the terrorist attacks with repression and surveillance as the US did after 9/11, the left-liberal daily Le Monde warns: "Our country must remain true to the values that its people defended when they demonstrated en masse on January 11: the values of democracy and liberty targeted by the terrorists. … The fight against radicalisation, particularly in our prisons - where too many disoriented juvenile delinquents are transformed into fanatical future terrorists - must be a top priority. In addition Islamist terrorism must be fought on a European level. ... Cooperation in the EU is stronger than ever, even if Europe is cutting its defence budgets and is only begrudgingly moving forward on judicial and security cooperation. Failing to do so would be to turn a deaf ear to the message of January 11."
Global perspectives: West's double standards on Islamism
Europe's governments are acting hypocritically when they condemn the terror in Paris on the one hand yet support repressive regimes on the other, the Egyptian paper Daily News Egypt admonishes: "The West is curious about the Middle Eastern Other. The Other is good for business; entertaining to watch; makes for amusing satirical material … But when it comes to issues that are arguably identifiable as sameness, it's best to turn the other way and feed the narrative that these are the barbaric ways of so-called third world countries. On the other hand, the 'barbarians' of 'third world countries' continue to flood social media with hash tags of solidarity to ease the sense of guilt by association that has not stopped swelling since 9/11. Though beautiful in spirit, it does little to appease pontificators who are clueless about the degree of heavy handed oppression and corruption exercised by autocratic regimes that are fully supported by Western governments for their own interest."
Islam provides sanctuary to losers
The poor image Islam has in the West is justified to the extent that an enlightened approach to it frequently seems to be lacking, the liberal daily Taraf criticises: "Losers from all over the whole world seem to have gathered under the banner of Islam. It provides a sanctuary for the anger of those in the West who are filled with hatred and frustration. ... This has gone so far now that people who can't integrate in Western society choose Islam as an alternative to express their hate. Whether it's written in the Koran or not, it looks like this religion is destined to produce terror. ... Christianity has already been rationally examined and questioned. ... People have managed to draw a curtain between social life and its teachings; in fact Catholicism has even been pressured to reform. But unfortunately, in Islam the time for this hasn't come yet."
Radicalised France would spell the end of EU
If the terrorist attacks in Paris increase the polarisation in France this will have fatal consequences for the rest of Europe, the conservative daily Financial Times warns: "If France, the country with the largest Muslim population in EU, succumbs to inter-communal tensions and political extremism, the rest of Europe will draw a dismal lesson. On a practical level, a Le Pen presidency after the next election in 2017 would probably mean the collapse of the EU - since it is hard to see how Germany could work with a far-right government in France. A collapsing EU and a resurgent far right would then be a recipe for a Europe in which nationalism and ethnic sectarianism were once again on the march."
Mass vigil a big occasion for hypocrisy
Politicians who have journalists arrested and who massively curtail freedom of speech in their own countries were in the first row of the funeral march in Paris on Sunday. There's a contradiction here, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung observes: "Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu marched in the first row. His country blocks Twitter and Facebook when they make the government look bad. ... In Egypt, 18 critical reporters are in prison but Foreign Minister Sameh Schukri walked arm in arm with his colleagues. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrow, whose government locks away bloggers and bullies the press, was also full of big gestures in Paris. They all want to be Charlie. But they're not. Great moments of sorrow are often also great moments of hypocrisy. If these powerful people really did defend press freedom they would have their work cut out for them in their own countries."