Were the Islamic Terrorists Just Copying the French Revolution?

“No country knows better than France that freedom has a price because France gave birth to democracy itself,” John Kerry said. “France sparked so many revolutions of the human spirt [and] that is what the extremists fear the most.”

What? The case could be made that the extremists were only copying what the French revolutionaries did. Why should they be condemned? They were only following a long French tradition that is celebrated around the wold.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that Christiane Amanpour described the terrorists as “activists.”

In terms of what most young people learn, it was Greece that gave birth to Democracy. While this is a popular interpretation, Democratic elements can be found in the Hebrew republic (Ex. 18; 1 Sam. 8). In modern times, especially if we are to count the 18th century, it was the United States that gave birth to democracy, and France tried to emulate the birthing process but failed miserably and bloodily.

Contrary to John Kerry, the French Revolution is nothing to celebrate. It should be condemned with the strongest possible language. The world has lost its moral center and is unable to account for moral outrage at a time when moral relativism reigns.

Those on trial at Nuremberg pointed to our nation’s eugenics’ policies and Supreme Court decision in Buck. v Bell (1927) in their defense.

The storming of the Bastille was a catalyst for what became known as the reign of terror. “French society underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from left-wing political groups and the masses on the streets.” How bad was it?

Prise de la Bastille by Jean-Pierre Houël

 “Internally, popular sentiments radicalized the Revolution significantly, culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins and virtual dictatorship by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror from 1793 until 1794 during which between 16,000 and 40,000 people were killed.”

Did you get that? Between 16,000 and 40,000 French citizens were killed for a better France. Consider the following:

“Ordered by the king [Louis XVI] to surrender, more than 600 Swiss guards were savagely murdered. The mobs ripped them to shreds and mutilated their corpses. ‘Women, lost to all sense of shame,’ said one surviving witness, ‘were committing the most indecent mutilations on the dead bodies from which they tore pieces of flesh and carried them off in triumph.’ Children played kickball with the guards’ heads. Every living thing in the Tuileries [royal palace in Paris] was butchered or thrown from the windows by the hooligans. Women were raped before being hacked to death.

“The Jacobin club . . . demanded that the piles of rotting, defiled corpses surrounding the Tuileries be left to putrefy in the street for days afterward as a warning to the people of the power of the extreme left.

“This bestial attack, it was later decreed, would be celebrated every year as ‘the festival of the unity and indivisibility of the republic.’ It would be as if families across America delighted in the annual TV special ‘A Manson Family Christmas.’1

In time, the just cause of the revolutionary mobs got out of hand, and people began to notice. “During the Reign of Terror, extreme efforts of de-Christianization ensued, including the imprisonment and massacre of priests and destruction of churches and religious images throughout France. An effort was made to replace the Catholic Church altogether, with civic festivals replacing religious ones. The establishment of the Cult of Reason was the final step of radical de-Christianization.”

It was at this point that the people became disillusioned with the revolutionary ways of the radicals, but not before more atrocities were committed for the “salvation” of the people and the nation. As revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat declared, “Let the blood of the traitors flow! That is the only way to save the country.”

Defenders of the French Revolution tell us that it was these “just causes” that legitimized the actions of the French mobs.

The Paris Islamic terrorists were amateurs compared to the leaders of the French Revolution. If I had been leading the Islamic terrorists that murdered 12 people in Paris, I would have surrendered, demanded a trial, and used the French Revolution as my defense.

I would argue that the French Revolution is celebrated on July 14th as Bastille Day, a national holiday. It is often compared to America’s War for Independence. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France. It is also celebrated in Belgium, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and in more than 50 cities across the United States.

I would bring in John Kerry as a witness for the defense.

If the French celebrate beheadings and other such atrocities, then why would it be wrong for we terrorists to follow their example? Bloody revolutions must be a good thing if they are celebrated with such fervor and delight.

The murdering mobs that attacked the nearly empty Bastille (at the time of the siege there were only seven non-political prisoners) believed their actions were for a better France, similar to what today’s political revolutionaries and Islamic terrorists have in mind. How is what the French revolutionaries did different from what the Islamic revolutionaries are doing? France and the West have a moral dilemma on their hands.

  1. Ann Coulter, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2011), 107. []
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