What to say after a slaughter ? What to answer to terror ? A response has been relayed on social networks since we, too, have been affected by deadly terrorist acts. The only one that is audible to me, and that I regret not to hear from our policians. And that runs in a loop in my head, since France is no longer able to offer better than liberticidal measures. Sorry, but I catch the light elsewhere :
« I have a message for those who attacked us and for those who are behind them : you will not destroy us. You will not destroy democracy and our work to make the world a better place. […] We will respond to terror with more democracy, more openness and tolerance [*]. »
This is the response of the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, to the massacre of 77 people, in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, on July 22, 2011. He is not alone, since the next day the king pursues in the same direction :
I cling to the belief that freedom is stronger than fear. I cling to the belief in an open Norwegian democracy and society. I cling to the belief in our ability to live freely and safely in our own country. Echoing these words of Benjamin Franklin, our leaders seem to forget :
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
But never naivity
Some people believe this answer is naive. Dangerously angelic. Even this opening, too permissive, let barbarism enter. We must fear. To protect ourselves. Strengthen security, controls, borders, beware of migrants and better arm the police, or even the citizens, restore the death penalty and bump these son of a b…
Thus the French far-right claims that the problem is not the massacre but the "naivety" of the Norwegian government, its tolerance and openness, and the society that as a result, peaceful and multicultural.
On the contrary, it’s here, in the accusation of naivety, in those thoughts dictated by the fear of danger, lies what nourishes enmities and gradually radicalises the minds, at the risk of the worst.
If we allow these ignoble phrases to go into our speeches, if we let this idea that Europe of today can not be a multicultural society, then we all make the bed of those who do the most horrible. […] We create the climate where lunatics, crazies, can act in this way. said Green MP Daniel Cohn-Bendit during a lively exchange in the European Parliament in September 2011.
It is naïve to believe, like kids, that violence respond to violence. That we must respond to blows by hitting harder. That the answer to these bloody massacres can be the firmness advocated by our president, with the reinforcement of security controls, the closing of borders and even, already, punitive bombings in Syria, engaging us in the spiral of overbid… Don’t be so naive ! Don’t fall into the terrorist trap : don’t let fear, anger, feelings, dictate your reactions. Don’t lower us to their level.
That the answer to violence is even more democracy.
Even more humanity.
But never naivity.
That is something we owe the victims and their families.
Young people mixing
« We’re interested in socialism and fascinated by the Scandinavian model. » says Natia Chkhetiani, survivor of Utøya, who came from Georgia to settle in Norway, to live the Nordic model : « I wanted to understand and participate to move forward. » The victims and survivors of Utøya were young people, like the multicultural societies that exist in Europe. Like the survivors and victims of the recent attacks, which today brings the death to Paris : French, Chilean, Algerian, Spanish, Romanian… Young people who gather, happy to be together, meet each other, fall in love. Young people mixing.
This is the reality of today’s Europe.
I want to continue living in peace with those around me. Whites, blacks, yellows, Arabs, those who pray and those who booze, those who are veiled and those who dye their hair in blue testifies Armance Ageorges, survivor of the Bataclan. She asks us :
Say no to the government when it tries to take liberticidal and horrific emergency measures for those who will be the victims.
The problem is our fear. Legitimate. Human. How do we calm fear ? In comforting. By opening the door. As so many Parisians spontaneously did on this terrible night. The problem is our fears, on the other, on the stranger, on the danger. They are defused by more openness and humanity. In welcoming.
Open the door is not naive. But lucid. And determined to live in a free country. Personally, I am much less afraid of attacks than of the failure of our fraternity, third word, remember it, of our motto. It would put a damn on our Republic. Don’t give them this victory.