Tragedy In France
by Hal Lindsey
Once again the world has been shocked by the cruelty of terrorism — this time along the beautiful French Riviera in Nice, France. The numbers will probably change, but French officials are now saying 84 died and 50 were injured when a truck plowed into a massive crowd, zigging and zagging to hit as many people as possible over an area a couple of miles long.
As I write this, no terror organization has taken “credit” for the attack, but it fits the pattern of radical jihadism that has dogged France for some time.
A crowd of around 40,000 had gathered for a fireworks show as part of Bastille Day celebrations. Video shows police vainly trying to stop the truck as it passed through one of their checkpoints and entered the strip of road where the spectators stood.
There are reports that the driver had both firearms and explosives with him, despite the strict gun control laws of France. Of course, you can’t outlaw trucks, but this strip of road had been closed to vehicle traffic in order to accommodate the crowds. It shows again that terrorists will use whatever means they find at hand in our highly mechanized civilization.
World leaders, including President Obama, have condemned the attack and offered support to the French people. But these kinds of condolence calls have begun to feel wholly inadequate in the face of repeated tragedies.
After the jihadist attack last November killed 130 people, France declared a state of emergency. It was to have been lifted on July 26th. In making the announcement, President Francois Hollande said, “We can’t prolong the state of emergency forever. That would make no sense, it would mean that we were no longer a republic with laws which can apply in all circumstances.”
Then, just a few hours after his announcement, the attack in Nice took place. When he spoke to the nation after the event, Hollande announced that the state of emergency would be extended for yet another three months.
If this becomes the “new normal,” then by President Hollande’s own words, France would cease to be “a republic with laws which can apply in all circumstances.”
Why France? After all, massive numbers of Muslim immigrants have passed into several European Union nations over the last year, including a million in Germany. On arrival, many Muslim immigrants have a hard time assimilating, but so far, the real ticking time bomb seems to be among second and third generation Muslim immigrants.
Muslim immigration saved France from what would have been a time of negative population growth. A decreasing population devastates a nation’s economic and military strength. So, beginning as early as the 1970s, France began to actively bring in Muslim immigrants. They felt sure they could seduce them with the French way of life, but it didn’t work.
The Islamic population tended to stay in enclaves, building their own society. They stayed in close touch with their home countries, and raised their children with a Muslim identity and not a French one. The government reached out to them creating such organizations as the “French Council of the Muslim Faith.” But that didn’t work either.
The immediate trigger for the wave of Islamic terrorism going on in France has been ISIS and the Syrian civil war. But the underlying cause is a deeply unhappy, underemployed and impoverished Muslim population living apart from the rest of French society.
Events in France portend difficult years ahead for Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Greece, and possibly, the United States — all places with heavy Muslim immigration.
When you pray for the people of Nice, and for France generally, remember the missionaries. France was once a proudly Catholic nation, but today there are few Christian believers of any persuasion. Church attendance is almost nonexistent. Protestant Christians make up less than 3% of the population. Only 27% of the French say they believe in God. Muslims make up more than a third of the 27% because polling data makes no distinction between God and Allah.
France has become a spiritual wasteland. But several missionary organizations are at work there, and they need our support. Stronger borders and better laws may help, but the only long-term answer for that nation, or any other, is a spiritual awakening to the reality of Jesus Christ.