CNN International Anchors Press French Muslim To Accept "Responsibility" For ISIS Attacks In Paris
Isha Sesay: "You Have To Accept That Responsibility To Prevent The Bigger Backlash That Comes Your Way When These Things Happen"
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From the November 15 edition of CNN International's CNN Newsroom, via Raw Story:
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YASSER LOUATI: The problem is that you're still mixing the Muslim community and giving them somehow an affiliation with these terrorists. But you are paying two prices. The price of being targeted by these terrorists and some of the right-wing columnists, like one of your guests just said, like we are being asked to choose our camp. Our camp is the French one, make no mistake about it.
JOHN VAUSE (ANCHOR): Yasser, If your camp is the French camp, why is it that no one within the Muslim community there in France knew what these guys were up to? Because it seems to me that this was a pretty big plan. Surely someone beyond the seven guys who have been killed over the last 48 hours would have to have known something, and that was probably within the Muslim community, but yet no one said anything.
LOUATI: Sir, the Muslim community has nothing to do with these guys. Nothing. We cannot justify ourselves for the actions of someone who just claims to be Muslim. Our secret services knew about these guys, and again, just like the January attacks, it turned out they were all on a black list somewhere, somehow on a desk. So right now we can't take responsibility for anything. Right now, what these terrorists --
VAUSE: Why not?
VAUSE: What is the responsibility within the Muslim community to identify what is happening within their own ranks when it comes to people who are obviously training and preparing to carry out mass murder.
ISHA SESAY (ANCHOR): But Yasser, let's talk about the bigger issue. The fact that France does have a large number of Muslims that have gone over to join ISIS and be part of their ranks. Why is that? Why is that? You may say that there's no responsibility for these attacks that took place on Friday, but there is that outstanding issue that we need to deal with. Help us understand that.
LOUATI: Okay, France is home to the biggest Muslim minority in Europe. At the same time, it has the greatest number of laws specifically targetting the Muslim community. And at the same time, France has exported more foreign terrorist fighters than any other European country. So there is indeed an issue. But that issue is related to foreign policy and failed domestic policies. When it comes to the Muslim community itself, everybody knows that radicalization does not take place in mosques. It takes place either on the internet and in the streets, away from organized communities.
SESAY: Given the fact that the finger of blame is pointed at the Muslim community, rightly or wrongly, does that not shift you into a situation where leaders of the Muslim community and the leaders should step up and take a greater role in looking at the young people and the road that they're going down? You have to accept that responsibility to prevent the bigger backlash that comes your way when these things happen.
VAUSE: You know, I've yet to hear the condemnation from the Muslim community on this, but we might see.
SESAY: You know, again, the point he's making is, it's not our fault. But the fact of the matter is that when these things happen the finger of blame is pointed at the Muslim community, so you have to be preemptive. It's coming from the community.
VAUSE: The word "responsibility" comes to mind.
SESAY: Yeah, it just comes to mind. You can't shirk that.