Only hours after the first flames that eventually would consume Notre Dame’s roof and spire flickered, the questions about the cause began.
“Detectives investigating the catastrophic blaze are today interviewing specialist restorers who were carrying out works on the cathedral spire when the inferno broke out,” reported DailyMail.com.
“French police are understood to have launched a criminal inquiry after a ‘stray flame’ cause fire to engulf the landmark last night, with heroic firefighters battling for eight hours to bring the blaze under control.”
With the recent desecration of a dozen Catholic churches in France in just one week, investigators will not rule out the possibility of arson.
Talk-radio host Dennis Prager wrote in a column: “I don’t know if a worker accident or a radical Muslim set fire to Notre Dame Cathedral (as they have scores of other churches around Europe). In terms of what the fire represented, it doesn’t much matter. What matters is the omen: Europe is burning, just as Notre Dame was.”
Prager said the “symbolism of the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, the most renowned building in Western civilization, the iconic symbol of Western Christendom, is hard to miss.”
“It is as if God Himself wanted to warn us in the most unmistakable way that Western Christianity is burning – and with it, Western civilization.”
Islam critic Pamela Geller posted a report under the headline: “Notre Dame Cathedral inferno ‘intentionally set.’”
She cited Time columnist Christopher J. Hale writing: “A Jesuit friend in Paris who works in #NotreDame told me cathedral staff said the fire was intentionally set.”
Geller noted France has been hit with a string of fires at Catholic churches, some of which occurred alongside desecration of sacred objects and acts of vandalism.
“While the fire at Notre Dame appears to be an accident connected to renovations of the church,” she wrote, “the image of the famous spire engulfed in flames is a hard hit on the historically deeply Catholic France, as well as Catholics all over who have seen their religion reeling from devastating scandals, cover-ups and attacks.”
She said that while Notre Dame is “undoubtedly the most well-known landmark to be affected, Paris’ second largest church, Saint-Sulpice, briefly burst into flames on March 17, the fire damage doors and stained glass windows on the building’s exterior.”
Police later said the incident was not an accident.
Twitter users commenting on Hale’s tweet pointed out a deliberate attack was possible.
Hugh Easton wrote: “The area of roof where the fire appears to have taken hold was covered with scaffolding. That would have allowed an arsonist to climb up there and set the fire. Normally the roof would be completely inaccessible.”
And Mirjam152 added, “Just dress up as a construction worker.”
Breitbart reported the attacks on a dozen Catholic churches in France over the period of one week in March.
The attacks culminated with a fire set at Saint-Sulpice shortly after Mass. Other vandalism occurred at the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants in Nimes, the church of Notre-Dame in Dijon, and in Lavaur.
“In the peripheries of Paris, in the department of Yvelines, several churches have suffered profanations of varying importance, in Maisons-Laffitte and in Houilles,” the report said. “Although commentators have been reluctant to attach a particular religious or cultural origin to the profanations, they all share an evident anti-Christian character.”
In 2018, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts and 1063 anti-Christian acts.
Prager noted Europe’s foundational Christian culture has eroded since World War I.
“Meanwhile, Europeans brought a non-European ideology into Europe, an ideology that, for more than a thousand years, sought to replace Christianity as the world’s dominant religion. The Europeans, believing in nothing distinctly Christian or Western and believing in the moral and intellectual nonsense known as ‘multiculturalism’ – a doctrine that asserts that all cultures are morally equivalent – saw nothing problematic in bringing millions of Muslims into Europe. They had no idea that most of these people actually wanted to replace Christianity with their religion. They had no idea because, in their ignorance and arrogance, they assumed that because they were secular multiculturalists, everybody else was, too – or would be, once they lived in Europe,” he wrote.
“They were wrong, of course. And as a result, the two dominant forces in Europe – secular leftism and Islamism – sought the end of Christianity and the West. (The left believes that protecting Western civilization is equivalent to protecting white supremacy.)”
The Daily Mail reported “ISIS fanatics are heartlessly reveling in the inferno at Notre Dame Cathedral just days before Easter, calling it ‘retribution and punishment.”
“A poster of the blazing cathedral appeared online accompanied by the words, ‘Have a good day,’ and was created by the ISIS affiliated Al-Muntasir group according to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium.”
Social-media users with Muslim names celebrated the catastrophic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer pointed out many Muslims “believe that the ruins and destruction of non-Muslim structures testifies to the truth of Islam.”
The Quran, wrote Spencer, “suggests that the destroyed remnants of ancient non-Muslim civilizations are a sign of Allah’s punishment of those who rejected his truth.
The Guardian reported in 2016 a cell of radicalized French women guided by ISIS commanders in Syria was blamed for a failed terrorist attack near the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Geller’s report noted that in June 2017, “a jihadi attacked a police officer with a hammer at the Notre Dame cathedral. Farid Ikken injured the officer with the hammer, and was found to be in possession of butcher knives.”
In the mean time, the Daily Mail reported, authorities are focusing on the Notre Dame as an “involuntary destruction caused by fire.”
“The focus of prosecutors is currently on contractors … which had been working on scaffolding erected … as part of the restoration project when the blaze broke out.”
Remy Heitz, Paris’ public prosecutor, said he is favoring “the theory of an accident.”