Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France, Episode 92

Category: Health & Safety

New terror attacks in France have been making the headlines for over a week and have shocked the world. It is important to try to make sense of what happened with the attacks of Nov 13th, 2015 and put it in the context of French culture and history. Guest Patrick Béja comes on the show to share his experiences as a news commentator and a resident of Paris. Patrick is the host of a news commentary show in English as well as two French language podcasts on Tech news and Gaming news. He comes on the show today to help Annie make sense of terror attacks in France.

Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France Episode Highlights

  • Recap of the Events of Nov 13, 2015
  • What the State of Emergency Means in France
  • Should You, Potential Visitor, Change Anything As a Result of these Attacks?
  • The Effects of Terror Attacks on Tourism
  • What the Word "Laïcité" Means in French
  • The Issue of Wearing the Veil in France
  • How Much Religious Accommodation Is Too Much?
  • Religion and Patriotism Are Not What Unify French People, the Republic Is!
  • Where Do You Draw the Line?
  • Law Against Conspicuous Religious Signs in Schools
  • Conclusion: Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France

If you liked this episode, also listen to How to Stay Safe in France, Episode 50 and Secularism and Free Speech in France, Episode 51.


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Discussed in this Episode

  • Muslim veil in France
  • Terror Attacks in France
  • Lack of multiculturism in France
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Let's Review

Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France

Hopes and Guesses About the Future

On the tech side, Patrick fears that bad decisions will be made pertaining to cryptography and back-doors. Recently the US government has decided that requiring back-doors is not effective. It appears that the perpetrators of the terrorist attack in Paris used non-encrypted text messages.

Patrick hopes that France will send the message loud and clear that we're not going to take this from groups of extreme religious fanatics while at the same time sending the message that Islam is a part of France just like any other religion.  He also hopes that we'll be more accepting of people named Mohamed or Abdoul be just as French as we are. That some guys named Charles is dark-skinned, etc. But at the same time it has to be extremely clear that you cannot come to France and preach in a French Mosque that music is a tool of the devil and has to be disallowed.

We both hope that we'll be more accepting of the great majority of Muslims who don't want to hurt us while at the same time coming down like a ton of bricks on the few who do. French people should learn not to push their buttons and they should learn not to push ours. We know for sure that terrorists want to divide us and we need to make sure that we don't do that.

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Show Notes 

Category: Health & Safety

2 Replies to “Making Sense of Terror Attacks in France, Episode 92”

  1. Annie & Patrick,

    As I had coffee this morning I listened to your podcast on the crazy attack on Paris. I enjoyed it and fully respect your perspectives. I have one word of caution.

    As an American I watched as my nation thrashed around like a wounded beast after the attack on the World Trade Center. We reacted out of fear and anger(which is what the perpetrators wanted). We ended up with Abu Grave, Guantanimo, over 4,000 dead American soldiers, at least 250,000 dead Iraqis and Afgans, and the waste of billions of dollars that could have fed and clothed all the people we killed for life.

    Still one of the biggest mistakes we made was the Patriot Act. Similar to the “temporary” security measures you have in France now. In America this did not turn out to be so temporary. Supplying or civilian police departments with military equipment, recording EVERYTHING anyone might say or post, searching without warrants, extra judicial execution of American citizens, the arrest and holding of American citizens without legal representation or a hearing before a judge is what we have now. It looks like these things are here to stay. We were told at the time that all of these were to be temporary. Not so much.
    It is clear from your comments that you love your republic and freedom. I just want to caution you to be careful. Politicians only extend liberty when forced to do so. They will take as much freedom as we let them. Once they are gone they are very tough to get back.
    I loved the discussion on assimilation and diversity. With the music and food comes the cultural weirdness. In America we have always struggled with it. For us it has been the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese, and now we are struggling to accept Muslims. Sometimes we do well and other times not. In time I hope we can all work it out and live well with each other.

    Sorry I will stop now. I rant therefore I am.

    Happy Trails,

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