A wrong battle in a wrong name

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A wrong battle in a wrong name

A number of people asked me, “Why Paris?” Having lived in Paris and worked as a conflict zone reporter in the Middle East, they thought I would have an answer. I explained the general geopolitical situation in France, which is located in the heart of Western Europe, where free travel is relatively guaranteed and where surveillance on potentially dangerous people by the intelligence agency is not as extensive as in the United States and United Kingdom.

I would also like to add that France is the origin of the Crusades, the medieval military expedition that Islamic State terrorists could use to fan hatred. The Muslim world calls the Crusades the invasion of al-Franj or Afranj. Al-Franj, or Afranj, means the Franks, who are the French people today, according to the book “The Crusades Through Arab Eyes” by Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese-born French author. The Crusaders that Peter the Hermit urged to go to the Holy Land were mostly Frankish knights, and the Muslims defined the war as the invasion of the Franks. Syria, the stronghold of the Islamic State, was destroyed in the early stage of the Crusades.

In an interview with Islamic State propaganda and recruitment magazine Dabiq, 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, said that he entered Europe to “terrorize the crusaders waging war against the Muslims.” He instigated that the Crusades were not over.

“Au nom de quoi?” Someone left a note at the site of the tragic attacks in Paris on the bullet hole on the broken window alongside a rose. “In the name of what?” It was the quiet censure of a Parisian asking how the cruelty could be justified “in the name of God.”

Nine hundred years ago, the Crusaders shouted, “Deus lo vult!” or “God wills it!” Crusaders made seven military campaigns over 150 years. However, they were not about the will or order of God. It was a groundless claim of Pope Urban II.

Muslims around the world continue to say that their Allah would never want carnage by terrorism. They also say that the Islamic State did not have God’s calling. In the end, their terrorism is nothing but ruthless violence under false justifications. Operation Inherent Resolve is the name of the U.S. military operation against the Islamic State that began last year, and France joined in earnest on Monday. “Inherent” means innate, and it could also mean instinctive retaliation. The fight of false names continues today.

The author is the deputy national news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo. JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 18, Page 35

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