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tv   Focus on Europe  PBS  November 30, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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♪ valeria: november 13 started out as a normal friday night in paris. a time for simple pleasures, going to dinner with friends or watching a concert or football match, but for hundreds of people, the night ended in death and tragedy. i'm valeria risi, and this week on "focus on europe," we've got a special programm looking at the tragic event that has shaken europeans. the brutal islamist terror attack in paris. ♪ first, a football stadium was
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bound and then next a restaurant and data. it is a vicious series of attacks here it up by militants on the so-called islamic state. the attacks had a personal impact and weighed close to home literally. she lives with her family in the neighborhood where one of the attacks took place, so she knows the people in places where it was hit and she has been not talking to friends and neighbors to find out how local people and she herself can cope after a trauma. [sirens] >> she and her neighbors -- a new day dawns in paris, the home of dw correspondent susanna dorhage. she and her neighbors spent the night barricaded in their homes in the city's 11th arrondisment while the police searched their street for the perpetrators. now, the day after the deadly attacks, she's able to view the aftermath at a local restaurant la bonne biere. 10 people were shot dead here just hours earlier.
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susanna: we were just a few buildings away, but we could easily have been sitting here. the pavement here was covered in blood, but now it's been washed away. the wife of a colleague works at the restaurant, but luckily, she wasn't working last night. it's shocking to stand here and see how an attack like this can happen practically on our front door. any one of us could become a victim. >> she notices a young man sitting on the ground outside the supermarket looking rather disconsolate. his name is thomas, and he only recently moved to paris to go to college. he lives above the restaurant, and cannot get the images of what happened out of his head. thomas saw the terrorists killing hotel guests and passers-by in cold blood, showing no emotion as they fired indiscriminately.
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thomas: i was up there in my room. down below, i could see a body. he was facing me, and it felt as if he were looking at me. i was right above him, and could see his eyes. it's awful. i can't stop thinking about how he looked at me. that's the horrible part. >> a horror that began at 9:20 the evening before, gangs of men attacked five restaurants armed with kalashnikov assault rifles. two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the national soccer stadium during a match between france and germany, and a mass hostage-taking took place inside a concert hall. over 130 people have died and around 350 were injured. we now know there were at least nine islamic fundamentalists
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involved in the attack, seven of whom are now dead. some of the suspects are from belgium. the attacks on the restaurants have left this neighborhood scarred and shocked. susanna: usually at this time, there's a market going on over there, but not today. it's the saddest sunday i've ever seen here. >> just two blocks away, a cambodian restaurant, popular among young parisians, was another of the targets for the terrorists. people have been coming from across the city to pay their respects. the streets are full of people, but on this saturday morning, the neighborhood is a world away from its usual bustling self. >> it's devastating.
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i feel deep sorrow, and i feel the pain of the people. i'm in total shock and the mood is so grim. >> i wanted to pay my respects, but i couldn't go. i couldn't get all the way over there. >> it hurts to see so many innocent victims. it's shocking. i never would have thought there would be attacks here in our neighborhood. we have people from everywhere living here. there's no conflict here. >> paris is a center of european and christian heritage, but today, very much a cultural melting pot. susanna goes to this restaurant every day to get a cup of coffee. it's never been an issue that its owner ahmed is muslim.
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and if it is now, it's only because he wants nothing to do with the perpetrators. ahmed: whoever does something like this is not a muslim, shooting at people with kalashnikovs. it could have been me or my family. the shooting was at the other end of the street, but they could just as easily have been shooting here in my restaurant, and there were a lot of people inside. >> susanna's husband and ahmed have been friends for many years. last friday's attacks have only brought them closer together. francois: what i feel is the absolute necessity to stand together, whether we're christians or muslims or whatever else. >> the local community is pulling together in the face of adversity as elsewhere in the city, and especially outside the bataclan theater, where the
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atrocities reached their horrific climax. amateur video footage from a local resident. here, a group of heavily armed men stormed into the theater during a rock music performance and began firing into the crowd. they then systematically killed dozens of young people before detonating suicide vests. 89 people died. susanna: back there is the bataclan concert hall, where our older children often go, they could easily have been at the concert and been killed. the question now is, do we now stop them from going out? are they supposed to be extra careful and just stay at home?
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>> it's at least encouraging to see that most businesses have already reopened. life has returned to the streets, despite, or perhaps, because of the huge police presence. the local florist is giving away flowers today. on a day like this, he's more interested in showing his commitment to the community than making money. issa: i closed my store at first because i was in mourning. i went to see my friends. there are a lot of old people living alone here. people would be confused to find my store shut. no, we can't allow them to get the better of us. >> can you tell me your first name? issa: my name is issa, which is
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jesus in arabic. >> a name and a symbol of the deep links between islam and christianity and other religions, just as local people here have close ties. during the attacks, susanna briefly considered moving to a quieter, smaller town, but she's now certain she'll stay. susanna: if we barricade ourselves and no longer go out, and if we orbid our children to move around freely, it means changing our way of life. and that's the real objective of this terror, to make us live in fear, and that's something we cannot accept. >> susanna's neighbors are sitting beside the canal saint-martin as usual. she sees it as a calm and determined show of defiance in the face of adversity, not to let their lives and values by destroyed by terrorists.
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valeria: brave words, echoed by many of those in france who are refusing to let themselves be intimidated by terror. the attacks themselves may have hit france, but all the signs point to belgium as the place where the deadly plan was hatched. some of the suicide bombers who blew themselves up during the paris attacks were living in the belgian capital of brussels. to find out why so many jihadists come from belgium, we've been to meet some of the young men the extremists are trying to win over. these young men are buddies. they're mostly from muslim families in the town of vilvoorde, north of brussels. they're almost like a gang. the soccer field is their kingdom, and they're the ones in charge here. >> hey, don't talk with the reporters. all they're going to do is make us look bad. >> stop filming. stop. >> but then a few do speak with
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us. they say they feel ambivalent and stigmatized ever since almost 30 youths from vilvoorde went to syria recently, recruited by extremists to fight for isis. -- to fight for is. >> it's bad. i don't like thinking about it, because sometimes it's people, you know, and who come back dead. >> i'm against these guys going to syria. that's my opinion. >> moad el boudaati knows almost all of the young men who went to syria. he himself was able to resist the false prophets. his parents are devout muslims, who taught him that war is not holy. moad: these guys really believed they have to take part in the fighting. for them, jihad is an ideal, and they want to follow this ideal. >> the imams in belgium's mosques have lost their influence over many young people in the suburbs. now, they want to offer
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orientation on the internet, to stop hate propaganda from luring young people. abdelkader: we are active on facebook. our koran teachers call on their students to engage with radicalized young people on facebook, and use arguments to show them islam is a religion of peace and love. >> the other side, the fanatics don't use arguments. they snare the gullible with dubious prophecies, the website "sharia 4 belgium" tells young muslims they will one day rule a theocracy in belgium. the website is now banned. its leaders have been convicted of terrorist activities. dimitri bontinck was one of those who took part in the litigation. his son jejoen had fallen into the extremists' clutches and
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gone to syria. dimitri risked his own life to bring him back. he's bitter about how the belgian state left him in the lurch. dimitri: of course, we asked for help by the authorities and by the police by youth organizations, and the answer was they couldn't do something because there was the freedom of organization, there was freedom of speech, there was freedom of religion. you know, they were laughing at me. they took me as a clown. you know what they said to me? it was not my business to know where is my son. i say, excuse me, i'm a father . >> the belgian state has come in for much criticism. for years, the country has been strongly divided, so belgium is finding it harder than most other european countries to integrate foreigners. that is what islam expert anne-clementine larroque says
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. anne-clementine: in the last 20 years, belgium has not forcefully fought against radical islam and now it's become a huge problem. that's also due to belgium's lack of unity. islamists have taken advantage of the lack of coordination between the flemish and walloon communities. >> the country's security forces are alarmed and the police are out in force, but for the mayor of vilvoorde, that's only the first step. hans: we need more facilities for young people and new schools. we also need more sports facilities because i think sports promotes integration. moad: you need to look at the problems here in belgium. what pushed young people to go to syria. they didn't just wake up one day and say, i want to go syria because it seems to be great there.
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it's part of a process. these youths no longer feel accepted by belgian society. >> but even the young people in vilvoorde know there are ways to avoid becoming the target of hatemongers. most of them just want to be accepted and become a part of belgian society. valeria: terrible that so many young europeans are being recruited by jihadis to fight in syria, but how can it be prevented? let me know what you think by getting in touch on twitter, email or facebook. this is in fact the second major islamist attack which has rocked paris this year. in january, gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical magazine "charlie hebdo," killing some of the country's most famous cartoonists. the magazine was a target because it had mocked the prophet mohammad. for the survivors of terror attacks like this, it's difficult to leave behind the trauma, as we found out when we
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met up with some of the surviving "charlie hebdo" journalists earlier this year. >> journalist zineb el rhazoui found it hard to come here back in june when this was shot back to the place where her colleagues were killed. it brought back too many memories. she was on vacation back in january. otherwise, she'd have been at the editorial meeting when gunmen stormed in and murdered seven of her co-workers, her friends. zineb: it's sealed off because of the police investigation. this is where we worked. >> she was trying to move on, but there were still more questions than answers. zineb: now we have to refocus on the basics. why was "charlie hebdo," a little magazine produced here in paris, the object of such immense hatred and violence? it's because it represented something, and that's what must
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survive, in spite of the crime that took place. >> like all of the satirical magazine's surviving employees, el rhazoui was traumatized. after the attacks, she was unable to work. her thoughts kept returning to her murdered colleagues. she was especially close to editorial director stephane charbonnier, known as charb. he hired her after she was forced to flee morocco as a result of her pro-democracy activism. zineb: charb was the brother i never had. he was really important to me. >> she couldn't imagine just going on without charb and the others. she still thinks it was a mistake to keep on publishing right after the massacre.
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but not everyone felt like she did. some of the staff immersed themselves in work, like "charlie hedbo's" editor-in-chief gerard biard. he's under police protection, so we met him at a secret location. gerard: personally, i need this. i think it's a necessity, it's indispensible, to show that what happened hasn't killed "charlie hebdo." >> after the attacks, the magazine's staff first worked out of the offices of french "liberation," but have since found new quarters in paris. the location is secret for their own protection. the magazine itself looks much the same, though some readers feel "charlie hebdo" has lost its bite. religious cartoons have become a rarity. >> they didn't care before and
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they shouldn't now. they should keep on provoking people. whether they change topics or not, they must keep shocking us. >> but nothing at "charlie hebdo" is like it was before. during editorial meetings, people used to laugh and joke around. biard says tempers now flare easily. the staff feels under pressure to meet the public's high expectations. gerard: we receive lots of cartoons, but only few of them get published. the bar is simply set too high. we had, and have, people whose talent is irreplaceable. and thproblem is that we can' lower the bar. >> zineb el rhazoui has also thought about quitting, but she thinks that as a muslim woman
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and a human rights activist, her duty is to keep going. zineb: if my colleagues were killed for their religious cartoons, then it's out of the question for me to just give up. that would be letting the terrorists make the rules of the ga through violence, and they'd ve won. it's our ty as survivors ensure they don't win. >> biard, el rhazoui and their colleagues will likely have to learn to laugh again before "charlie hebdo" can get its bite back. putting the magazine together is still a bitter-sweet experience. valea: people all over the continent are united in grief. english football fans singing the marseillaise in a london stadium, a minute's silence across the continent to remember the victims, and flowers and candles laid outside the french embassies of european capitals.
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the jihadists wanted to divide us, but they have failed, is the message. particularly here in germany, france's neighbor and closest european partner, where so many french people live. >> in berlin, people's thoughts are with paris. days after the terrorist attacks there, people are still placing flowers in front of the french embassy on pariser platz. frenchman luc paquier is overwhelmed by the outpouring of sympathy. he has lived in the german capital for 12 years and works for the cfb, the french cultural center of berlin. he feels comforted by the solidarity the germans have demonstrated. luc: all these thousands of flowers and candles show me that the germans, too, want to defend values like tolerance and solidarity. i feel a kind of security among the people here with their humanity and empathy. >> paquier has seen how the
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terrorist attacks have brought germany and france closer together. the germans, always reluctant to take military action, are discussing a nato mission. >> if there are joint measures, including military action, we can't just sit on the sidelines. >> war against terrorists, but not against islam, paquier has strived for th in both countries for years. he says france in particular has neglected intercultural dialog and tolerance. luc: last week, parisians died in the barrage of gunfire, but i am also thinking of the syrians, lebanese, and turks who have also been the victims of this barbarity. suffering can't be divided. >> paquier admires the germans for their efforts on behalf of refugees. he wants to open up berlin's french cultural centre to
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refugees. he says the french should show solidarity with refugees, especially now. after all, many of them have fled from the same is terrorism. he proudly shows the center's clothing storeroom for needy refugees. the center has showers and computer work stations. in a few days, it will open. luc: our facebook page is called "bienvenue refugees berlin." it is a gathering of french-speakers in berlin who want to help the refugees. >> the center also has a stage, where paquier wants to organize more intercultural encounters, now more than ever. but it hasn't grown easier to motivate people to that end, after the attacks in paris, people feel threatened in berlin, too. luc: i just got a message on facebook, bomb found at alexanderplatz. that creates fear, of course. >> when paquier walks home, he
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passes the turkish and arab shops in wedding district. he loves the city's colorful diversity. he will continue to support it, together with germans and migrants. luc: we have to stand together. that has to be our goal for a better world. >> many french have become interested in how germany deals with its immigrants. pascal: there are deficiencies in the integration of immigrants in germany, but here the city isn't characterized by the formation of ghettos, like we have in france. >> paquier is convinced that ghettos have led to the radicalization of young muslims. all day today, he's been promoting dialog between the cultures. in the evening, he sits, exhausted, in a french bistro. sadness wells up once again.
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luc: that's why we're sitting here drinking red wine. it's really hard to find energy. >> i'd like to say i'm not afraid, but i am afraid. but at the moment, i mostly feel outraged. >> outraged at terrorism, but luc paquier and his friends in berlin don't want to let fear paralyze them. they will continue to work for a europe that is open to the world. valeria: well, that's it for today. do get in touch anytime with your comments. i'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on the situation in europe. in the meantime, it's goodbye from me and the whole team. see you next time. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪
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welcome to "newsline." it's tuesday, december 1st. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. the u.n. climate conference in paris opened with speeches by leaders of some of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters, but all countries, big and small, faced a tough challenge at the meeting, agreeing to a global framework to tackle warming temperatures. >> reporter: french president hollande kicked off the conference in the presence of about 150 government leaders and heads of state. among them, u.s. president barack obama. >>


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