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The City of Light Falls Dark


The City of Light Falls Dark

Eric Margolis

On Friday the 13th, Paris, the City of Light, was plunged into darkness and fear.

At least eight young jihadists, allegedly from the so-called Islamic State group, attacked the national sports stadium, where President Francois Hollande was attending a soccer match with Germany’s foreign minister. They also attacked outdoor cafes, a pizzeria and a rock club.


It recently came to my attention how often it is that people are unmercifully judged for their reactions--often to horrific things--in ways that take the spotlight off the precipitating horror.

If anyone reading this comment takes what I've just outlined to heart, they will notice that it is indeed this protocol that too often defines the species of analysis that any newsworthy event (particularly if it features violence or a victim) will get.

A true paradigm shift will happen when the same kind of media attention goes to the senseless bombing of a hospital in--Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine--as is going to the current terrorist event in Paris.

In other words, while it's easy for those who culturally identify with the West to make use of this frame to hold Islamists (in one of their various forms) to account; it is not yet applied to those who have begun to see hospitals, students, wedding parties, and journalists as "fair game" :

"The murderous Ismaili cult quickly came to be known as “hashishin,” or “assassins,” the origin of our term. The assassins terrorized the entire Mideast, shaking down its rulers for great amounts of gold. One never knew when or where they would strike. Their first warnings were often pinned to the pillows of intended targets as happened to the famed Saladin. The assassin teams would strike with poisoned daggers, then die under torture laughing and calling out to god."