Justin E.H. Smith at Slate:
One thing to notice, first, is that they did not target wealthy old operagoers, or fat plutocrats and their diamond-encrusted mistresses. They targeted the young, multiethnic, bohemians of Paris, people who likely have limited resources of money and endless capacity for the enjoyment of life. This is an image of a certain kind of Parisian life that is old and familiar enough for even the limited imagination of a fundamentalist to understand. As an ISIS communiqué issued Saturday morning announced, Paris was chosen in part because it is a “capital of prostitution and obscenity.”
Are the Eagles of Death Metal obscene? Well, sort of. They like to mix things up in ways they aren’t supposed to be mixed up. They are not obscene, however, in ways that many progressive Westerners of a liberal or leftist orientation understand this notion. They do not hoard wealth and resources and force others to live in abject poverty. They do not help to maintain impediments to the health, well-being, and social integration of refugees and other marginalized communities. These are varieties of obscenity with which ISIS is significantly less concerned. Their precise aim in the Paris attacks was to eliminate the very people who serve as a check on rampant xenophobia and violent reaction in France: to kill the utopia of the young multicultural bohemians who believe, above all, in happiness.