'It's Not Islam': 2 Friends Represent A Wounded France In Paris, two young men in their early 20s, co-workers and best friends, talk about their anger about the attacks, how scared people are, and how their own backgrounds — black and white, Christian and Muslim — represent the wounded face of France.

'It's Not Islam': 2 Friends Represent A Wounded France

'It's Not Islam': 2 Friends Represent A Wounded France

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/456253973/456253974" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In Paris, two young men in their early 20s, co-workers and best friends, talk about their anger about the attacks, how scared people are, and how their own backgrounds — black and white, Christian and Muslim — represent the wounded face of France.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Paris is both a French city and a multicultural city. As Parisians try to make sense of what happened on Friday, reporter Lauren Frayer met two friends of different backgrounds sharing their grief.

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: On a normal working day, Christophe Mocko and Cyril Silva sit next to each other in the marketing department at Air France. They're good friends, so when their office was closed to mourn victims of the Paris attacks, they decided to hang out on their day off. They check out a sports footwear store, but Christophe says they just can't distract themselves from the trauma of Friday's attacks.

CHRISTOPHE MOCKO: We are actually in a state of war, I presume. We have been attacked in our deep hearts. They wanted to shoot French people. It could be me, my friend or yourself.

FRAYER: His friend Cyril is wearing a French soccer jersey for national solidarity because he's especially scared about a backlash.

CYRIL SILVA: I am Muslim. It's not Islam that attack for Paris.

FRAYER: He says he thinks his religion needs to rid itself of evil elements. His friend Christophe jumps in, saying his religion, Christianity, had to do the same thing in the Middle Ages after the Crusades.

MOCKO: Which were some kind of form of a jihad, right? We had the same problem before, and we not considered us terrorists now, right?

FRAYER: They launch into a debate about theology and history - two 22-year-olds outside a sporting goods store. And they realize they are France right now.

MOCKO: He's black. I'm white. Let's say this person is purple, yellow, blue. We are the same part of the same melting pot.

FRAYER: Christophe's heritage is Polish. Cyril's is West African. They're both second-generation immigrants, just like the Paris attackers. But Christophe says he and his buddy are proudly French.

MOCKO: We are French. We love the taste of coffee in the morning. We love eating croissants. We are living our life. If you don't like this country, get the - out of here.

FRAYER: They're angry about people who choose not to accept modern day France and choose extremism instead. For NPR News, I'm Lauren Frayer in Paris.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.