Paris, France, experienced a terrorist attack this morning.
Two gunmen walked into a Parisian newspaper and opened fire, killing 11 people and critically wounding four others.
11 lives were lost this morning. And for what?
We could – and to a large degree should – blame religion. After all, these were Muslim extremists shouting “we have avenged the prophet;” and this was directly after the publication in question, Charlie Hebdo, featured controversial author French Michel Houellebecq on its cover.
Not convinced? Well, here’s something you have to know about French Michel Houellebecq: He just released Soumission (translation: Submission), a book that explores the question of what France would look like ruled by Muslim extremists.
And here’s something you have to know about Charlie Hebdo: It’s been targeted before, first in February 2006 after reprinting those Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed… then in November 2011 when it published another cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed… then in September 2012 when it published still more cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed… and now today. For insulting the Prophet Mohammed.
It’s therefore pretty obvious that they ticked off Muslim extremists, hence the religiously motivated attack.
However, I’m learning something about human nature. And here it is…
People will do whatever they can to feel better about themselves. We humans have a historically bad habit of seizing on anything – religion, skin color, gender, sexual preferences, rank, ethnicity, status, politics, etc. – to elevate ourselves at the expense of others.
So this terrorist attack in Paris? It’s human nature stooping to lows we’re very used to achieving.
And Islam? It’s basically one giant excuse for too many people to behave badly.