Incidentally, a sentence in Le Monde’s account was very revealing about the social milieu from which the perpetrator emerged: “He was known for petty crimes — robberies, drug-dealing — but had never really drawn attention to himself in the quarter where he lived.” Robberies and drug-dealing are nothing unusual, and therefore unworthy of remark.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/insane-approach-to-french-islamist-terror/story-e6frg6zo-1227168702709
The second perpetrator was a man with a long psychiatric history who had been released from hospital only weeks before what I dare say will soon be called his “accident”. The police reported that after his arrest he spoke incoherently of the children of Palestine, Islamic State and so on, his incoherence — a symptom of madness — coming as a relief to those who want to hear or see no evil. It allowed them to dismiss him as an isolated lunatic, such as there have always been and always will be. It did not occur to them that madness and political or religious fanaticism are not contradictory or even incompatible.
For now, there is more mystery about the third perpetrator. The prosecutor of Nantes said his attack was an “isolated” event with no terrorist intent. Absurd though this sounds, she might be right. Clusters of unusual events do occur, coming and going without signifying any long-term trend or common origin. Moreover, bizarre or sensational crimes often evoke imitation by the weak-minded. But no one in France is likely to believe this, even if true.
The political class is so wedded to political correctness, which it expresses in language of almost Soviet woodenness, that people are now inclined to assume that it is lying even when it speaks the truth. And since 1200 young French Muslims gone to Syria to kill for Islamic theocracy, which is more fun than working for a living or long-term unemployment in a soulless and soul-destroying HLM (Habitation a Loyer Modere, rent-controlled housing), there are certainly enough Islamists in France to commit three acts of terrorism in quick succession.