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Sunday, August 29, 2004

French Journalists Kidnapped

The French government, in crisis mode, on Sunday called for the release of two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq by Islamic militants demanding that Paris rescind a ban on headscarves in state schools.   [...]

The two men went missing on August 20, the day they were to have left Baghdad for the central holy city of Najaf, then the scene of fierce fighting between US forces and Shiite militia loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.
Late Saturday, Arabic-language Al-Jazeera television broadcast images of Chesnot and Malbrunot along with an ultimatum from the Islamic Army in Iraq, the same group that killed Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni after kidnapping him.
The group gave Paris 48 hours to meet its demands, describing the ban on the Islamic veil in state schools as "an injustice and an attack on the Islamic religion," the Qatar-based network reported, citing its "own sources in Iraq."

Now, isn't this a fine kettle of fish? Will France capitulate, or is she willing to sacrifice two of her sons to take a principled stand on the right to limit religious expression?
... both Chesnot and Malbrunot's employers and Sunni Muslim scholars had earlier expressed faith that if they had been kidnapped, they would be safe because France had staunchly opposed the US-led war against Iraq. 

I guess they hadn't noticed the intelligence report revealing that planning for the Madrid train bombings began prior to the 9/11 attacks, when Spain wasn't in Iraq or anywhere else. You'd think that journalists and their employers would be on top of details like that.

Posted by Kate McMillan on August 29, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink


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It seems to me that this was just a matter of time. As soon as France passed that law they were on the clock.

Maybe they will realize that they can't sit this one out. And Canada can't either...

Posted by: Greg Staples | 2004-08-29 6:36:43 PM

"You'd think that journalists and their employers would be on top of details like that."


Posted by: alan | 2004-08-29 6:37:37 PM

Mon dieu! Don't be silly. Do you not realize this is the fault of the those Americans and their comboy foreign policy?

/sarcasm off/

Posted by: Fred | 2004-08-30 6:33:36 AM

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