giovedì 9 giugno 2016


Some striking similarities between then and now. 

Quelques similarités frappantes entre hier et aujourd’hui. 
Alcune coincidenze suggestive fra ieri e oggi 
Sometimes in reading Simenon’s works, I’ve noticed he seems to be commenting on something going on in the present. This post presents a good example of such an association that appears in Les Mémoires de Maigret 1950 and Maigret’s Memoirs 1963. Credit goes to Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum for pointing this connection out. ( 1/03/2016.) 
The passage of interest refers to the violent disturbance in Paris on February 6, 1934, but much of what Maigret had to say in 1950 applies to the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015. Below I compare some text (in quotes) translated from Les Mémoires de Maigret with some text (in italics) translated from the Communiqué sur l’attaque bénie de Paris―the official statement made by ISIS the day following the attacks. 
Maigret begins: “Here and there, almost always in times of political upheavals, troubles break out in the streets.” ISIS offers: The ground of Paris trembled under their feet and its roads became too tight for them. 
Maigret notes such events are “no longer merely expressions of popular discontent.” ISIS agrees more than discontent was indicated by some soldiers, a group of believers [who] in a blessed attack for causes facilitated by Allah, targeted the principal center of abominations and perversions. …This attack is only the start of the storm, and a warning for those willing to learn from their mistakes. 
Maigret decries “this invasion of a few hours in the center of Paris by individuals who spread as much terror as a pack of wolves.” ISIS brags about how its eight brothers wearing explosive belts and assault weapons [chose] the center of the French capital [and] struck terror into hearts on their own land. 
Maigret criticizes the perpetrators forscarcely knowing our language or not knowing it at all,” [and] “obeying some other laws, some other reflexes than ours.” ISIS explains it has reacted against those who follow the French way [for having] dared to insult our prophet, boasted about fighting Islam in France,[and] struck blows against Muslims. [So] Allah helped his brothers and gave them what they hoped for (Martyrdom). 
Maigret differentiates the troublemakers: “Many ask only to integrate themselves, and the troubles don’t come from them, but there are some who, in groups or alone, deliberately stay on fringes of society and lead, within the masses who don’t notice them, a secretive life.ISIS defines them more comprehensively: a group having split from life over here [that] advanced towards their enemy, looking for death in the ways of Allah, securing their religion, their Prophet, and wanting to humiliate their enemies. 
It is sad but true that Maigret and ISIS could just as well have been commenting on the horrors in Brussels of March 22, 2016. 

David P Simmons

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