NBC's Terror Expert Kohlmann: "France Has A Very Serious Problem With Islamophobia"


EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC TERRORISM EXPERT: I think it is important that anyone who is looking for tolerance be able to tolerate the ideas of others. So, it is a bit odd that these folks are unwilling to tolerate people criticizing Islam and yet you see what happens today. It doesn't make a lot of sense. But let's also put it in perspective, France has a very serious problem with Islamphobia. And that may not the cause today but the guys who were involved here, the suspects who have been named, these were individuals who were radicalized in their youth. They were recruiting people to go to Iraq when they were 19, 20 years old. That's very young. And that means that they were radicalized at a young age, before they had any full understanding of the geopolitics of the Middle East. And because of that I think it is important to consider the fact that there are a lot of French Muslims who feel that they are alienated from the society they're in. They feel like they can't get hired for normal jobs. They're not treated the same by police just on the virtue of their religion or their ethnic background.

And, look, again, there is no excuse for murdering people and there is a excuse for murdering people, especially when it comes to the freedom of speech. At the same point, it is very important for French society to be show and to be demonstrating to everyone who lives there that they can be accepted into society, that they don't need to wage war against society to have their voices heard. And I'm not necessarily saying that's what has happened here but certainly it's what contributed to the atmosphere that leads to people like this who, again, have apparently grown up in France to suddenly decide to turn their backs on their own country. And I think it is important to ask why that happens and what we can do about that.

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