The silent question, which will cease to be silent in 3, 2, 1… is:
Did the Muslims burn Notre Dame?
First, is it a reasonable question to ask in the absence of credible evidence to date?
Second, what evidence exists?
The second question breaks down into two pieces; historic, trend or indicator evidence, and of course evidence specific to the case at hand. A historical trend is insufficient to condemn in the current sense, but it is not meaningless either. And Islamists have both threatened and attacked Notre Dame before; and Paris in general is a target:
On 6 June 2017, at around 16:00 CET, French police shot a man who attacked a police officer with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral.
On 4 September 2016, a car containing seven canisters of gas and pages with Arabic writing was found parked near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.Nov 13, 2015 – Paris attacks of 2015, coordinated terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on the evening of November 13, 2015. At least 130 people were killed and more than 350 were injured.At least 12 people have been shot dead in Paris – 2 of them police officers – after masked men stormed the offices of a French magazine. 10 others have been wounded – several critically – at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly which has printed cartoons deriding the prophet mohammed.Nov 2, 2011 – The offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo have been destroyed by a petrol bomb, a day after it named the Prophet Mohammed as its “editor-in-chief”
There are many more. So this, as the best evidence to date, means that the answer to the first question is an emphatic YES.
1) YES, it is reasonable to ask if Muslims burned notre Dame for their religion.
A significant portion of Islam is actively at war with the West, and Notre Dame is a leading symbol of the West. We find ourselves in a parallel to a pre-Crusades situation, where an expanding, conquering Islam is claiming vast swathes of territory through a combination of continuous public agitation, massive migration, specific and credible threats, a terrorizing background noise of constant, random, low-level violence, and the spectacular application of targeted destruction of Western symbols.
It would be unreasonable *not* to ask.
2) Standing by.
There are, of course, powerful prospective explanations for an accidental origin. There was ongoing work. The place is reported to be full of candles and torches, flammable furnishings, and as we have seen, flammable structure.
So it would also be unreasonable to insist that we know the answer.
Cue the immediate condemnation of any who would introduce the question of Notre Dame being just one more attack in the war. Those who issue this condemnation refuse to publicly admit the war in which we find ourselves, and will never be convinced. They break down neatly into the stupid, the merely dishonest, and the actively deceptive.
We have the right to ask relevant and reasonable questrions. Frankly, we retain the right to ask any damned question we like, but in this, we are on solid ground.
And so I ask: Did the Muslims burn Notre Dame?