The Dilemma of Arab Neighbors in Paris (continued)

… I went to the police station anyway and gave them a statement about what we saw and heard. I also said I knew they (the police) were overwhelmed right now, especially with Obama and 129 other presidents here spreading them very thin. The officer said you have no idea, but that I had done the right thing, and to come back in if I see anything else suspicious.

That’s what going on in the City of Light, Gay (grey) Paris!

We asked Steve Buck, who was a senior US Foreign Service officer at embassies throughout the Middle East, for his opinion:

I find this very understandable and very sad.

There’s no easy answer to this. This summer I went to Lebanon, spent two weeks in Beirut, went all over the place, and had lunch, tea, and dinner with friends every night. Arabs are very, very hospitable. Arabs are the flip side of us often taciturn, reserved WASPs. They love to talk, sometimes loudly and gesture with their hands. So all that “noise” from next door does not get me excited. As for the wires, maybe.

The tragedy of all this is that what is happening is succeeding for ISIS beyond its wildest dreams. For the more everyone becomes suspicious of Muslims and Arabs, the more they become isolated, and the more they become isolated, the more fertile the recruiting ground.

The answer in my view would be to reach out to those neighbors in French, and more generally, for all the people in France to do the same. Most of this would be positive, and, where those who are reached out to really resist, then perhaps worth pursuing.

 

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  • Terrence Lee Croft July 14, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Bake them a cake or take them a plate of cookies. Then, invite them over for dinner. Get acquainted. See if they can help you fix your TV, or something. Be neighborly until the explosive devices come out. Good luck!