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Will universalist republican slogans be enough to save France?

After the deadly knife attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, the French are particularly worried about a terrorist risk. So-called "progressives" have contributed to this situation, the Minister of National Education stressed. But Emmanuel Macron is guilty too.

Published: October 23, 2020, 10:18 am

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    The very symbolic, and particularly violent and cruel, attack against Samuel Paty, on Friday, October 16, marked the minds of the French. They now demand more measures to fight against the Islamist scourge, an Elabe poll for BFM TV published on Friday, October 23, showed.

    One of the particularly telling lessons of the survey is that 60 percent of those questioned believe that the government is not implementing all the necessary means to fight against the terrorist threat. This is 10 points more than a similar survey conducted in May 2018.

    Some 83 percent of those polled also say they are worried about the terrorist threat. However, many of them consider the expulsion of a certain number of foreigners registered for radicalization effective, and 79 percent believe that the dissolution of associations that support radical Islamism is effective.

    They also consider effective (72 percent), the closing of mosques where personalities are involved in radical Islamism. At the same time, 71 percent of French people say they are in favor of the ban on anonymity on social networks, “which will make it possible to prosecute the authors of illegal content and reduce hatred on the internet”.

    Since the beheading of Samuel Paty, investigators have gradually traced the line of radicalization of the one who called himself Al Ansâr or Tchetchene_270 on Twitter. By analyzing the many accounts he had on several social networks, the police discovered that the Islamist had been reported on several occasions.

    In addition, his accounts had been the subject of several reports for “contentious comments”. Last July, for example, after hate comments against the Chinese regime and the Afghan situation, a user alerted the judicial police, via Pharos. The DGSI had then inherited the report but had estimated, according to a source close to the file cited by France Info, that “the disputed remarks […] did not target France “.

    The intelligence service then also declared: “The account holder was not included in the file of radicalized people. He was not known to frequent radical Islamist circles. This is the reason why his tweets were not considered a priority.”

    After this first report of one of the terrorist’s Twitter accounts, others followed. Thus, at the end of July, the Licra had reported the openly anti-Semitic content of the account. However, the procedure escaped the national police because the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism had complained about the content of the content directly to Twitter.

    The father of one of the alleged accomplices of the terrorist who beheaded Samuel Paty told Le Parisien, that his son was not a devout Muslim. But he accompanied the the killer Abdullakh Anzorov when he went to buy the weapon that had been used to behead Samuel Paty. Indeed, the two suspects went to Rouen last Thursday to spend the day there. It was there that Abdullakh had bought a large knife.

    At the microphone of French public broadcaster Europe1, the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer pointed out that it was parties seeking Muslim votes which were responsible for “what is called Islamo-leftism which is wreaking havoc”. He said “the fish rots from the head […]. These are ideas that often come from elsewhere, from a model of society that is not ours. […] I will be very firm in the face of all those who today, believing themselves to be progressives, are in reality making the bed of a form of tolerance for radicalism. This is unacceptable and it leads to the worst”.

    But by entrusting the reins of Islam in France to the French Council for Muslim Worship, the President of the Republic has however fulfilled an old dream… of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    It was a little over a year ago, May 28, 2019 when Christophe Castaner, then Minister of the Interior,  attended the annual Ramadan fast breaking dinner with the French Council of Worship Muslim (CFCM).

    This was the first time, because since the election of Emmanuel Macron, no government representative had been present at this traditional meal.

    Emmanuel Macron unveiled the broad outlines on October 2, at Les Mureaux in a speech announcing that he had entrusted the CFCM with three important missions in order to organize worship and achieve an “Enlightenment Islam” free from foreign influences. This body will be responsible for “labeling imam training” , “assuming a religious responsibility which will be the certification of imams” and developing an imam charter.

    But these are very heavy responsibilities for an association whose balance sheet has been close to nothing for seventeen years. Moreover, the legitimacy of this representative body of a religion without clergy has never ceased to be questioned.

    The mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard, captured the current French drama in ten words on Twitter: “They behead our teachers. We are going to teach Arabic.” The “Republic”, insists Macron, will be kinder to Muslims. In fact, the president spoke 91 times of the “Republic” and only 17 times of France.

    The lessons of this drama – the 267th person killed in France in the name of Islam since the murders of Mohammed Merah in March 2012 – are numerous, but being kinder will not solve the problem. In his speech at Les Mureaux, Emmanuel Macron only mentioned immigration on two occasions, to signify that Islam, in France, was a consequence of the migratory phenomenon – which any observer attentive to reality had since guessed. But no mention, for example, that the time had finally come to strictly control this migratory flow.

    Despite the serious crisis that the whole of Europe continues to experience on this subject, the migrant remains above all a person to be welcomed and nothing in Emmanuel Macron’s speech, indicates that this view will change.

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