French press review 14 September 2012
Making headlines in France, the anti-American protests in the Middle East sparked by a video mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
Le Figaro reports that the anti-American contagion sparked by an anti-Islam video is spreading across the Arab world with reprisal attacks on diplomatic buildings in Yemen, Egypt, Iraq and in Tunisia. According to the conservative paper, all eyes will be on the Mosques this Friday as the faithful emerge from their traditional prayers.
The moment has come, the paper says, for the depositories of the Arab revolt to chose where they belong. “The clash of hatred will not be a clash of civilisations”, it says. Le Figaro warns that Western countries could reconsider their military and political support to the region. According to the paper, new Arab leaders must prove that they are “not hostages of extremists” and that “the Islam they practice is compatible with modern values”.
Le Monde says in an editorial that the 12 September assassination of the US ambassador to Libya has delivered a fatal blow on Islam and their country, regardless of the reasons behind the attack.
The paper described the Benghazi killings as an “extension of the criminal series which has only darkened Islam’s image, making it look like a religion of sectarian violence and intolerance." Le Monde alleges that it is the blind and delirious crusade against Jews which is spurring on the jihadists, “perpetrating a killing spree in the name of a religion”.
Aujourd’hui en France /Le Parisien wonders how the crudely-made video ended up causing so much trouble. The paper also warns that Friday is set to be a highly explosive day.
La Croix looks ahead to the Pope’s first visit to Lebanon starting today. The Catholic newspaper says Lebanon’s political institutions allow for the peaceful co-existence of various ethnic and religious communities. According to La Croix, while the system remains fragile, its existence is already a symbol of hope for the Arab World.
As the French government opens a conference on the drafting a national environment policy, Libération suggests a trial on a ban of diesel-powered cars in France’s city centres.
The paper claims the government’s decision to slap high taxes on fuel has transformed France into a diesel champion. As a result, automakers wasted no time making cheaply-operated but highly polluting cars. Libé says government officials and car makers must focus on environmentally friendly cars, especially after the World Health Organisation pushed a report showing that diesel fumes cause lung cancer.
This Friday, the French Communist party begins three days of festivities to mark the 77th anniversary of the founding of its newspaper L’Humanité. The Communist party is calling for tougher action from the Socialist-led government to block the “avalanche of vicious blows” delivered by the country's business chiefs.
The two free newspapers Métro and Vingt Minutes looks at "European Heritage Day" in France this weekend. They report an estimated 14 million citizens are expected to visit prestigious buildings, official homes and monuments around the country for free.