His body, dumped into a canal in northeast Pakistan,
showed signs of torture. Human Rights Watch accused Pakistan’s
intelligence services; a Pakistan judicial commission attributed the
murder to “various belligerents. in the war on terror which included the Pakistani state and non-state actors such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda”.
We will never forget Saleem, one of the bravest and best journalists
of his generation. We will not forget the dead of Charlie Hebdo.
This is a new and terrible step on the part of the terrorists: they
have threatened individual journalists for years and forced a few into
hiding or witness protection. We have never seen anything like this before
in the sorry history of terrorism. In the “no-go” zones
of France now effectively ruled by Muslim gangs, moreover, the
terrorists can intimidate the Muslim population.
France already has lost
the capacity to police part of its territory, which means that it
cannot conduct effective counter-terror operations. To put that number in context, the whole prison population of France is less than 70,000, of whom 60% are Muslims.
It only takes a few dozen trained terrorists with an effective support
network to bringing ordinary life to a stop in a major city.
The means by which France, or any other nation, could defeat the
terrorists are obvious: to compel the majority of French Muslims to turn
against the terrorists, the French authorities would have to make them
fear the French state more than they fear the terrorists.
That is a nasty business involving large numbers of deportations,
revocation of French citizenship, and other threats that inevitably
would affect many individuals with no direct connection to terrorism. In
the short term it would lead to more radicalization. The whole project
of integration as an antidote to radicalism would go down the drain.
effort would be costly, but ultimately it would succeed: most French
Muslims simply want to stay in France and earn a living. There is no good outcome here, but the worst outcome would be the
degeneration of France into a hostage state. We refuse to be hostages.