De Franse 11 september

PARIJS – ‘De Franse 11 september.’ In de onmiddellijke nasleep van het bloedbad bij het satirische weekblad Charlie Hebdo, is de vergelijking met de aanval van Al-Qaeda op de Verenigde Staten in 2001 door heel Frankrijk gemeengoed geworden. De aanslag van 7 januari was inderdaad de meest moorddadige die Frankrijk sinds het eind van de Algerijnse oorlog in 1962 heeft meegemaakt. Maar hoe accuraat is deze analogie precies?

Op het eerste gezicht lijkt de vergelijking kunstmatig en vergezocht. In Parijs stierven 12 mensen, waar er bij de aanvallen in New York en Washington, DC. Bijna 3000 gedood werden. De daders gebruikten Kalasjnikovs en geen gekaapte vliegtuigen. En in tegenstelling tot de aanvallers van 11-9 waren ze allemaal burgers van het land dat ze aanvielen. Daarom lijkt de aanval in Parijs in 2015 meer op een combinatie van twee andere aanslagen: de bomaanslagen op de Londense metro in 2005 (de terroristen waren allemaal Britse burgers) en het complot dat in 2008 in Mumbai ten uitvoer werd gebracht (de terroristen gebruikten handwapens en richtten zich op individuele burgers).

Toch hebben de aanslagen in Parijs en New York, ondanks de grote verschillen, dezelfde essentie. Beide steden belichamen een zelfde universele droom. Beiden zijn metaforen voor licht en vrijheid. Beiden behoren aan de hele wereld en niet alleen aan hun respectievelijke landen.

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