Terrorists want to limit the world we live in. Fortunately, their most recent attempt failed, but it immediately signified new constraints for travelers, like more visa inspections and hours of waiting at the airport.
Looking beyond the death of a young Nigerian and a ticking time bomb, his fundamentalist viewpoint sought to limit the horizons of his people, his country, and his religion. Bush laid out a tight trap for fundamentalists after September 11. Responding in the name of fear and security, he enacted new restrictions and violations of freedom, from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib. Of course, we must fight with all possible means against murderers like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Muslim delinquent. However, the free world, which has been fighting against dictators like those in Tehran, Moscow or Beijing, should resist temptations to use their enemy’s methods. We need to be vigilant and accept the new security inspections in our airports. But we do not have to give in so freely to fear and hate.
Understanding how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab eluded all of the questioning and inspections still remains to be seen, but security will never be totally foolproof. Finally, it is important to remember that this young African failed. His fiddling, solitary attempt, his family’s denunciation of his diversion, and the reaction of the passengers on Flight 253 show that terrorists, even those inspired by al-Qaida, are the true losers. We must continue to travel and meet others. We must not allow ourselves to be terrorized by the terrorists.
About this publication
Circulation: 134,800 (2006)
Owner: 39% of shares in the paper are owned by Edouard de Rothschild. A staff consortium holds an 18.4% stake, and the remaining shares are owned by Pathe, the investment group 3i and friends of the paper.
Launched in 1973 by Jean-Paul Sartre and a group of like-minded left-wing intellectuals, Liberation was aimed at the “1968 generation” – those who felt frustrated by the slow pace of social change in France and wanted a paper with an alternative outlook. What started off as a radical chic publication moved closer to the mainstream from the 1980s onwards, and by January 2005, when the banker Edouard de Rothschild became the main shareholder and invested 20m euros (£13m) in the title, the process of counter-revolution seemed complete. A restructuring plan proposed by Rothschild gave rise to protracted and acrimonious battles with staff, and many of Liberation’s most respected journalists left the paper.
Edited by Jessica Anderson