It is one thing to feel resentment for discrimination and stigmatisation, another to kill people, and the path from one to the other is neither short nor straightforward. But a warmongering response similar to Bush’s after 9/11, which Prime Minister Manuel Valls chose to adopt in his immediate response to the attacks, will only aggravate the tensions, problems and grievances. There are already many reported assaults on mosques and insults on Muslim women depicting signs of their religious affiliation through dress, who, once again, seem to be disproportionately victimised. It is also highly likely that Arab and black male youth will suffer a backlash that will do little to improve their already precarious position in the job and housing markets, and their experience of police harassment. It is the hate arising from such everyday grievances that the fundamentalists will seek to mobilise for recruiting future terrorists. The rally and its political theatre is over now. Very well, but tomorrow what do we do?
UPDATE (later on January 19): A post on Derek Gregory’s Geographical Imaginations links to other worthwhile commentaries on the violence in Paris.