TERROR IN PARIS
FR. PAWEŁ ROZPIĄTKOWSKI
In textbooks of history the day of 7 January 2015 will be mentioned in one sentence with other dates: 11 September 2001, 11 March 2004 and 7 July 2005. In the second line a historian will write about Paris, New York, Madrid and London.
A lot happened in the world on 7 January 2015. I will not enumerate all important events of that day. I will mention only two of them. On 7 January 2015 in San in Jemen, an assassin – suicide blew up a car loaded with explosive materials. 30 people were killed. There were a dozen of the wounded. The dead and wounded casualties were the Muslims, also a Muslim man fired off a bomb. A few hours later in Paris 3 armed Muslim extremists entered an editorial office of a satiric magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and killed 12 people, and injured 11 people. One of assassins was trained in Jemen. The French police killed both murderers in their assault on a hide of terrorists. The third murdered gave himself in to the hands of the police.
After the assassination in Paris, TV and radio studios got full of experts who were trying to answer the questions: Why did it happen? Are we all endangered? Opinions, as usually, were more wise and less wise. Some of them were even silly. I was personally shocked by an opinion defining what had happened, as a consequence of the Christian-Muslim conflict. And, please, forgive me saying that, but what does the editorial office of the leftist magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ have in common with Christianity, as the magazine does not only criticize but also mocks at everything which is religious – at Christianity and Christ, and treats every religion as an extreme silliness? Evaluating the events in Paris – I emphasize that it is necessary to consider the fact that here the evaluation is explicit but not as a mitigating circumstance for assassins.
The events of 7 January 2015 remind us about one thing: that we have a problem with Islam. It is impossible to forget about this problem, sweep it under a carpet and consider it as a triviality. It is impossible to fight it in a radical way. It must be solved in a dialogue, whereas the western political elites are not able to do it for a structural reason, which was discussed by Benedict XVI in the famous interview in Ratyzbona. In the last part of his speech to people of science he said in 2006: ‘In the western world there is a general opinion that only the positivism reason and forms of philosophy based on it, are popularly important. However, the deeply religious world cultures consider this exclusion of divinity from the universality of the mind as an attack on their deepest beliefs’. And to make this picture fuller, there is a longer fragment from his speech to politicians in Bundestag in 2011: ‘The positivistic concept of the nature and the reason, the positivistic worldview as a whole, is a big part of the human cognition and knowledge, which we should not renounce at all. However, as a whole it is not culture which is sufficient in order to be fully human. Where the positivist reason considers only itself as sufficient culture, bringing other all cultural realities to the categories of subcultures, it diminishes the man and endangers humanity. I am saying it, thinking about Europe, in which wide groups are trying to acknowledge only positivism as the common culture and the common base for forming law, while other beliefs and other values of our culture are brought to the status of subculture. Europe is placed together with it, in comparison with other cultures of the world, in a situation of the lack of culture and also extremist and radical trends are aroused’.
It is true that Islamic extremism find a good medium in the divided Islam, which does not have any authority yet. It is also true that depreciating and ostentatious contempt of divinity, may arouse this radicalism.