Guest post: Isn’t it already a war?

Originally a comment by Papito on Blaming the beheaded.

Freedom of speech isn’t worth civil war.

I simply cannot get past the way in which this statement holds an implicit threat. Another, ruder way to say the same thing is:

You better shut up, or we’ll keep killing you.

Isn’t it already a war? One could say that Samuel Paty was killed as a defender of the French nation and its values. This is the country where the first universal declaration of the rights of man was written, and among those rights the following:

Article XI – The free communication of thoughts and of opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: any citizen thus may speak, write, print freely, except to respond to the abuse of this liberty, in the cases determined by the law.

This right is not just enumerated among other rights, it is a foundational right of the French state. To act against this right, as the murderer did, is, as the education minister said, “an attack on the French nation as a whole.” To justify action against this right is also to act against the French nation as a whole. To die defending this right is to die a martyr to the nation. Samuel Paty should be buried with state honors.

There may appear to be no civil war in France now, but this was an act of war. When one side is fighting a murderous war and the other is not, but only responding with police arrests and stern speeches, one calls it asymmetric warfare. In this case, France is already in an asymmetric civil war, with combatants like Abdoulakh A and the multiple villains involved in Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Roshan M Salih is also a combatant in this war, in the propaganda division. France should revoke his permission to visit, as he has declared himself an enemy of the laws and values of the French nation. Of course, France should welcome people of all religions to live peacefully in France, but if one cannot respect the laws and values of France, why should they be welcomed?

France must recognize that it is already in a state of war, whether it likes it or not, and stirring speeches will not end this war.

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