What will France do? (regarding kidnapped French)

Earlier today I read this article about two French reporters who were kidnapped due to France’s stance that ‘bans Muslim students from wearing headscarves in French public schools.’

So, what will France do? Will they back down on their stance or will they hold fast. How will the French people react if France takes a hard line on this, assuming the kidnappers execute these two journalists the way they kidnapped and murdered Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni.


I can’t see the president asking the parliament to overturn a law for this reason (though I would like it to be overturned) , but actually, I didn’t pay attention to the official statements of the administration. Since “Radio France International” is the station I usually listen to, they probably will cover it abundantly, and I’ll tell you if there’s any statements specifically responding to the kidnaper’s demand. Until now, I only heard about the obvious condemnation of the kidnapping by the minister of foreign affairs.

Was hoping you’d show up in here clairobscur. :slight_smile: Its maybe a bit too soon for this thread, but I wanted to get a thread on it started.


I will be interested in what happens also. It wouldn’t seem very French to give in to those kind of tactics. But I agree that the law is not a good one. This act of terrorism may make it harder to change. France can’t be seen as “giving in,” can they?

Actually, they just mentionned that nor the presidency, nor the prime minister has made any official statement on this issue.

Shoot the hostage.

I heard a quick report earlier today that Russia and Germany were meeting together somewhere in Russia to discuss this kidnapping. Why? What could these two countries do about it? Also, why now? Why not when the Italian journalist was kidnapped and murdered (well, I assume they didn’t meet then). Anyone know?


Probably because Russia and Germany are considered as holding positions similar to France whereas the Italian’s were more pro-US.

This will be an interesting decision though I think it is an easy one, even for France. This is about terrorists shaping law vs. policy. Allowing the latter is bad enough, but the allowing the former is unforgivable.

Never forget that this is the nation that paid tribute money to Libya to keep its self “safe” from terrorism in the 80’s,
Even though they have a carrier, a fleet, & an army. :smack:

Until now, AFAIK, the administration didn’t make any comment about the kidnappers demands.

They’re using heavily the french muslim representants (like the head of Paris mosque, members of the representative council of muslims in France, etc…) to state that french muslims have accepted the law banning scarves in school, to send messages asking for the liberation of the hostages (including one an Al Jazeera), etc…and sent the minister of foreign affairs to Irak.

That might be true, but I would like a cite for that. Especially since in the 80’s the relations between France and Lybia weren’t exactly friendly, with “minor issues” like the war in Chad.

Apparently, the Franch Gvt. has told the hostage takers to go pound sand: “The (headscarf) law will be applied”, says Gvt. spokesman. Excellent work.

Interestingly, if you read the link, the French/Muslim anti-headscarf-law organization is telling the terrorists to mind their own business:

Besides, it’s ludicrous to assume that french presidents have some sort of inherent “frenchness” that make them all act exactly in the same way, using the same methods, etc… I mean, Carter and W. Bush are exactly the same kind of people and one expect Bush to handle issues in the same way Carter did, right? :rolleyes:
By the way, since you’re refering to the 80’s (that would be Mitterand), it comes to my mind that it was also the time of the three-years long hostage taking in Lebanon. I don’t remember Mitterand giving in the kidnappers demands, either.
Actually, though I might be mistaken, I don’t remember any case of the french government giving in the demands of hostage takers since the 70’s. Since a number of posters seem to be sure it’s the way it’s usually done, I’m sure they would point to me the numerous examples of such a behavior that they probably have in mind and on which they’re basing their opinion.
As I said, I might be mistaken. But I would really want the people who actually made these comments (direct or understated) to tell me whether they had a specific knowledge of such examples of the french government giving in demands when they wrote these statements, or if they just had the “feeling” (prejudice? caricature?) that it’s the way things are usually done in France. I would tend to bet on prejudice.

Except for the part about the law being passed at the first place…But that’s another debate…

Do you think that appeals from the French Muslims will have an effect on the kidnappers? Will they let them go? It seems insane to me for these guys to kidnap French nationals. Not so say that France has supported terrorists, because they most certainly have not, but France has remained relatively neutral, especially with reguards to Iraq. Aren’t they worried about pissing France off??? All stupid jokes of France aside, real history tells me that I wouldn’t want them pissed off at ME.


The French are an extremely stubborn and proud people (much like us Americans) I don’t see any chance of them caving whatsoever.

True, dat. But I guess now the hostage takers has made it political suicide to back down from the law. And so, I guess, they get to influence French politics anyway.

Apparently this organization is considered as extremist amongst the extremist. My wild ass guess would be that they didn’t specifically intended to kidnap italian or french people, but just seized an opportunity. I suspect that if they had found a chinese and two danes instead, they would have taken those as hostages. I suspect that from their point of view, the difference in political stance between the US and France regarding Irak is an irrelevant detail in the grand scheme of fundamentalist things. I don’t think they’re following some subtle diplomatic strategy.

Carter and Bush are the same kind of people? Is this a joke? Unless you’re talking about religion I don’t see this at all.

Maybe that’s the point. One of the tactics of terrorism is to force your enemy into making unpopular decisions to combat the terrorist. So the terrorists WANT the headscarf ban, because they hope it will radicalize French Muslims against France, and serve as an anti-Western talking point.