After Paris what do we do? I am sure there will be lots of blogs, editorials, commentaries and many political rants. Will there be a voice of reason?
My first inclination is to decide where the Isis leadership resides and many of its supporters or fighters and bomb each and every place back into the stone age without regard for others who may reside in these areas. The punishment must be so severe as to permanently cripple Isis. At the same time we need to look closer to home. The so called home grown radicals. The borders get closed, police profile and arrest many Muslims, mosque get closed down and we make the world safer, or so we want to believe.
This is neither rational nor is it possible. The ability to target Isis leadership and its supporters at home or in the Middle East needs to become more effective. The intelligence and police activities are somewhat effective but we need more to preclude another Paris from ever happening. What can we do?
I read earlier today the Iranian President condemned the Paris attack. This is one of the few such condemnations by any Muslim government leader for this type of terrorist activity that I am aware of. Granted Iran is a Shia state and Isis is Suni but the public condemnation is significant. The Muslim world both Shia and Suni must join the civilized world and help to stop terror attacks, suicide bombers and the recruitment of their youth by groups like Isis and Al-Qaida. It can not be enough for the leaders of Mosques and their followers to say after a terrorist event we thought someone was radical and told them to leave the Mosque. No, these people need to report them to the police. Intelligence information gathered on the ground is the best way to obtain the most reliable information. This relationship between the local authority and the Muslim community requires mutual respect. I personally may disagree with many of my fellow Christians on various issues but I am not about to bomb their community or protect someone who does.
The western world recognizes the separation between church and state. I personally do not advocate Christian theology as a part of the laws of the state. Nor do I believe that Christian beliefs are the only correct beliefs for all people. The Muslim world must learn to understand and support this separation. We believe in the same God and this God is not a suicide bomber or killer of innocent people. At the same time we need to recognize that our various leaders and proffets are just that. Criticism or disagreeing with them should not be a capital offense.
Unfortunately I suspect that my first tongue is cheek scenario is closer to the course the world will follow out of fear. Revenge may matter more than cooperation in creating a safer world. Time will tell but these types of terror attacks throughout the world must stop and stop now.
My prayers and my heart goes out to the people of Paris. On this day we can not be Christian or Muslim or European or Middle Eastern, we must all be French.