This is Radio Paris
Paris has become the space for Africa and Arabia, a refuge from patronizing statements about Islam, Arab bashing and paranoia. Where you can shout Allah est grand in the Metro and no one raises an eyebrow or sends in the Marines.
Tonight I went to see a stand-up Muslim Arab woman comedian, Rashida Khalil. Ever see a chador fashion show? A Moroccan country housewife? A clueless tourguide in Nazareth? Arab girlpower hip-hop? Ululations coupled with applause? It feels like breaking into a new reality.
France has made the break and is running free.
As a footnote about Lebanon, today's editorial in La Liberation says that Bush wants Lebanese Hizbollah on the terrorism blacklist, which France refuses to accept. In Lebanon, Hizbollah is a political party; France only wants Syria to pull out its troops and is digging in its heels. Watch for impending tectonic developments.