There were a lot of things said on twitter Monday concerning Notre Dame, the most profound came from James Lileks
No one who ever stood before it or within its walls thought he would outlive it.— James Lileks (@Lileks) April 15, 2019
Those words are not only memorable and true but you would be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree with it. There were of course other things said that day that were true, but that many would like to forget.
I suspect that the most common prayer being said in the secular world right now is: “Please make the #NotreDameFire be an accident & not a terror attack”
You see if the Notre Dame fire is an accident, then those who have been ignoring the torching and desecration of Catholic Churches all over France can continue to ignore them safe in the knowledge that they will not have to acknowledge a reality they wish to deny such as the fact that Notre Dame has been a target of jihadists for a long time.
ONE OF THREE women allegedly involved in a foiled plot in 2016 to blow up a car packed with gas canisters near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was today sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court for earlier offences.
But if the Notre Dame fire is in fact a terror attack then the difficult question of “fight” or “submit” comes to the forefront.
Deleted tweets not withstanding as of this writing we don’t know the origin of the fire but let me make a simple statement of fact.
If the Notre Dame fire is a jihadist attack, no amount denial or disbelief will make it not, contrariwise, if the Notre Dame fire was an accident or a non-jihadist act of terror/arson no amount of denial or disbelief will make it one.
I suspect the investigation of the fire will take place under a microscope and we would all be well advised to wait this investigation to be finished before passing any judgement, but I’d like to make a corollary to the statement above.
The result of the investigation of the Notre Dame fire will not change the reality of the continued vandalism of Catholic places of Worship in France.
That is something that needs to be addressed either way, whether the French authorities will be compelled to do so that’s another matter.
Oh one thing, there is a second bit of a debate whether Muslims are celebrating the fire at Notre Dame or not. In one respect it’s a silly question. Given the number of Muslims in the world in general and in France in particular it would be amazing if you couldn’t find some cheering this (if you want to understandy why see DaTechGuy’s laws of crazy uncles). The actual relevant question if you want to know how Islam see the burning of Notre Dame is this:
Are a significant number of Muslims either cheering the event or portraying it as a sign that Islam will conquer the west?
That question can be answered if one takes a look at what is being said in Arab language newspapers, broadcasts in Arabic and social media accounts and see how people whose native language is Arabic are reacting.
That data is available if news organizations, governments and academics want to find it. That leads to another significant question:
Do the people with the required skill set and the time to do this research (Governments, Academics and Media) want to find out the answer to that question, or will it be left to individuals who can be discounted if the answers they produce prove inconvenient?
I suspect the answer is the latter because it is much easier to ignore inconvenient data if you don’t have it.
Update: James Lileks had a great follow-up piece on Notre Dame here
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