One has to read almost the entirety of Dominique Moisi’s essay before one reaches something that resembles political rationalism, instead of respectable bourgeois political hand-wringing.
‘More seriously, if France wants to continue to present itself to the world as the country of liberty, equality and fraternity — and it should probably add “security” if it is serious about protecting the democratic nature of the French republic — those in charge have to answer fundamental questions.
The most important of these concerns the progress that the authorities have made in trying to regain control of the republic’s lost territories — the deprived suburbs of France’s biggest cities where young people, enmeshed in crime, drugs and violence, have become the foot soldiers of jihad.
In order for France to remain resilient, it needs to offer a vision of progress for all its citizens and not simply to react to attacks and provocation in knee-jerk fashion.’
The majority of the essay is devoted to: what is defended,explained and advocated is the more invasive political imperatives of the French National Security State.
Two of the salient questions that might have been asked: how many French citizens participated and aided the perpetrators of the murders? And what of the pressing question of the 2005 riots in the banlieues? And of the integration of marginal immigrant communities into full fledged participation in French political/civic life?
A selection of essays at The Economist on the banlieues:
France’s suburbs, Two years on- http://www.economist.com/node/10105050
Africa and France, Beyond the banlieues – http://www.economist.com/node/9163543
French banlieue film, Chronicles of the years of fire: http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21651155-new-film-set-frances-poor-housing-projects-mines-rich-seam-chronicles-years
A possible answer provided by The Guardian from 2015:
‘Nothing’s changed’: 10 years after French riots, banlieues remain in crisis. Despite years of emergency assistance, residents of the suburbs that erupted into violence in 2005 are still waiting for things to improve’
Another matter that remains unaddressed is that Charlie Hebdo used degrading cartoons of The Prophet, as a stand in for a politically vulnerable minority in the name of laïcité, Enlightenment values, as the modern voice of the Deist Voltaire: author of The Philosophical Dictionary and La Pucelle d’Orléans.