Acts of terror, especially those toward defenseless civilians, acts that turn everyday life into a battlefield, lead to serious results in many ways.
The issue of area of freedoms is one of these…
After Sept. 11, 2001, we saw how this security wave restricted the area of freedom, with its permanent affects still continuing.
When such of acts are committed toward open society, it causes that society to become introverted and prepares the ground for a rising “skeptic and security” mood.
Today in France, two sets of major contradictions are seen within this context.
The first one is: A society establishing a relationship between freedom and security under the umbrella of the first, with the spread of terror into daily life, rapidly turns the umbrella upside-down. To protect freedom it prioritizes security, and thus accepts restriction of its freedoms. Of course this is not surprising; it is an inevitable reaction to the catastrophe that was experienced and the trauma faced.
There is more to it than that.
The point in question is not only to “accept,” but it is at the same time a request. The request often pertains to the instrumentalization of the idea of freedom and double standards.
An important philosopher, Judith Butler, shared her observations from Paris after the attack:
“Those commentators who seek to distinguish among sorts of Muslim communities and political views are considered to be guilty of pursuing 'nuances.' Apparently, the enemy has to be comprehensive and singular to be vanquished and the difference between Muslim and jihadi and ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] becomes more difficult to discern in public discourse”...
The second contradiction is related to the state and politics.
France's political tradition focuses on the freedom and open society idea, but has shown signs of changing into an order restricting freedoms in order to protect the freedom the act of terror has been restricting.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said yesterday in a statement, “Security comes first among all the freedoms.” Of course this is a correct determination.
It encompasses all freedoms from the right to live and various areas of existentialism. But the question of “how can this freedom be protected?” is no less important.
As is known, France declared a state of emergency. This measure has only been implemented three times in France: The first was in 1958 during the Algerian incidents, the second was in 1961 during the coup attempt of the generals depending on Algeria and the last time only in some cities in the suburban riots. When the state of emergency was declared in 2005, we should not forget that almost 100 professors and media reacted strongly to this regime.
We are talking about a measure which was not resorted to even during the student protests in May 1968.
The 1955 constitution on which this regime is based gives the rulers the authority to govern the country with the police and suspend many basic rights and freedom (home raids, searches at police discretion, detention periods, precautionary detentions, suspension of freedom of assembly, freedom of press, et cetera).
That is why a state of emergency can only be declared by the government for 12 days. After that the legislation should intervene and laws should be made.
The French government is looking for a way to change this rule. The matter discussed in the French parliament was whether government authority should be increased from 12 to 90 days.
The determinations and criticism of French President François Hollande's acting as a politician, civil administrator and an army commander are part of this situation…
However in a survey, 73 percent of the French people find Hollande's attitude “as it should be” and they support it.
It is worrisome that a security effect similar to that of the US after 9/11 has been spreading in waves to the other countries.
To fight against organizations such as ISIL, all issues ranging from military alliance to religious discussions and resolution of the integration problem should be laid on the table.