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Bearing the Brunt of the French Identity Crisis

DSCN0518 Despite decades of privilege, it seems that modern societies across the West are still finding it hard to come to terms with their good fortune, and perhaps more significantly, with the ways such privilege has been secured. The result is a series of initiatives that, although purportedly designed to protect Western civilization and its values, in reality expose exploitation and hypocrisy. 

Consider the following examples. The United States of America invaded Iraq in 2003 on the basis that it was routing the fundamentalist terrorists and bringing “democracy and freedom” to the beleaguered Iraqi people. The UK government backed such a mission in the belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, despite the fact that no weapons of that description have been found in Iraq, either in the months leading up to the invasion or afterwards. The French, meanwhile, adamantly opposed the invasion of Iraq because they believed it was illegal under international law. Yet, at the same time, they initiated a campaign against what they believe to be the “aggression” of Islamic religious symbols at home.

Like the United States and the United Kingdom, whose “enemies” were figments of their own imagination, the biggest threat to the French way of life appears to be young Muslim women who want to wear headscarves to school.