After the terrorist attacks in Paris, Canadian journalist and entrepreneur Ezra Levant hopped on a plane to France. His mission? To interview French Muslims about the attacks. He wanted to know their views: Who committed these horrific attacks, does it have anything to do with Islam, and does this mean France is at war? If so, a war against whom?
Now, Levant has published a 20-minute video with highlights of these interviews. Although the conversations are in French, his organization, Rebel Media, put English subtitles below them. The results are both troubling and, in some way at least, reassuring.
Let me start with the reassuring part. Most French Muslims Levant talked to condemned the attacks. They made clear they don’t want to have anything to do with ISIS and don’t share the organization’s views and goals.
So far, so good.
However, many of them also said some things that are extremely troubling. For example, almost every single one of them said ISIS can’t possibly have anything to do with Islam. Muslims can’t kill innocent people, they say, so ISIS terrorists aren’t Islamic.
Although that may make them feel better about their faith, the problem with that attitude is that it denies reality. If radical Islam is to be defeated, non-extremist Muslims have to be honest with themselves about the problems within their faith. Sadly, many of them clearly aren’t prepared for that.
What’s more, while condemning the attacks and claiming the terrorists can’t possibly be Islamic, many of the interviewees put the blame on… Jews.
And it’s not just Jews who are responsible for ISIS, say these “moderate” French Muslims. No, when push comes to shove, it’s actually an American organization:
In other words, ISIS isn’t Islamic at all! Nope, as far as these enlightened adherents of the Islamic faith are concerned, the group is nothing more or less than a cabal of “really sick” Jews and their capitalist American friends:
As Levant points out in his video, the most troubling part of this is that the interviewee who made this statements doesn’t look like a radical Muslim at all. He’s not wearing traditional Arabic clothes, nor does he have a long beard. “He looks like a hipster”: an average guy and active participant in French society.
Yet his views are anti-American, anti-Semitic and, dare I say it, downright fundamentalist.
It would be one thing if the man who said this was the exception, but Levant’s video proves that not to be the case. Many other French Muslims — men who appear to be completely normal — share his ideas.
All in all, Levant says about half of the French Muslims he spoke to told him that ISIS was created by “the Jews” and America.
Their reasoning is simple: Muslims don’t kill other people, and especially not fellow Muslims. ISIS kills innocent people — and especially Muslims (in their eyes) — and so the group can’t possibly be Islamic. It’s as simple as 1+1=2.
On the other hand, these people are convinced that Jews do kill innocent people — and Muslims most of all.
To summarize: ISIS “is an organization that follows the United States and the Jews.”
So at best, French Muslims are in denial about ISIS’ Islamic views, and at worst, they blame “the really sick Jews and Americans” for the rise of the organization and its attacks in Paris last week.
If it proves one thing it is that France has a massive Islamic problem on its hands.