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Culture wars: Muslim immigrant in France. Photo: Nicola Fioravanti
Le Bouscat

Two French Catholic schools on high alert after jihadist threats

Several colleges in the small town of Bouscat in Gironde have been the target of jihadist threats, for the second time in a week.

Published: November 18, 2020, 9:18 am

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    There have been recent surveys by pollster Ifop on the proportion of young Muslims hostile to the French Republic. A month after the beheading of a teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, nothing has changed for this group.

    Le Bouscat, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France has been put on alert. Even though the anti-terror plan Vigipirate plan has brought France to a state of maximum alert – namely at the “Emergency bombing” level – several schools in the neighboring Gironde municipality of Bordeaux have been the target of recurring death threats for a week, reported France Bleu.

    The private college Sainte-Anne discovered a new inscription on its walls on Monday, November 16: “You are all dead”. Exactly the same tag that had been written on the wall of the establishment on Tuesday, November 10. An investigation had already been opened by the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office reporting the presence of “suspicious” individuals near the college.

    But the private Catholic school is apparently not the only one targeted. The Jean Moulin college, located just over 500 meters away, has also discovered inscriptions carrying death threats. “You are all dead, you are all dead. Samuel Paty, Allah Akbar” can be read on the walls.

    A new investigation was opened by the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office for an “apology for terrorism” and “death threats”. Investigations will be carried out but so far, no suspect has been arrested. As a reminder, the government has strengthened security in front of schools since the beheading of Samuel Paty.

    In the south of France, tags were discovered on the walls of the small town of 1 300 inhabitants in Fréjairolles. A complaint has been filed.

    Fréjairolles, in the Tarn, discovered tags on Sunday, November 15. According to facts reported by France Bleu, many words or expressions written in red covered the walls of the municipal premises, referring to the government or to Islam.

    According to the mayor, the criminals tagged “Islam> France” (suggesting that Islam is superior to France), “Adama” [Traoré] accompanied by a heart, “Mahomet> France” or even “Nik la Fransse” [Fuck France] and “Nik Jesus” [Fuck Jesus]. All the tags contained gross spelling errors.

    Samples have been taken, but no individual has been arrested for the moment. The mayor, Jérôme Casimir, decided to cover the inscriptions with panels while waiting for everything to be cleaned.

    Some 74 percent of French Muslims under the age of 25 say they put Islam before the Republic, according to an Ifop poll done in September, before the teacher was beheaded in broad daylight.

    A teacher from the Parisian immigrant suburbs has meanwhile testified that a third of her pupils felt that Islam should not be criticized.

    The French teacher working in the Parisian suburbs almost “fell from her chair” after questioning her students following the minute of silence organized in her establishment on November 2, according to regional outlet Ouest-france.fr

    When she presented drawings by Daumier [a famous 19th century cartoonist], then those from Charlie Hebdo – but not the ones depicting Muhammad – she never used the word “caricatures”. And the course went well. But afterwards, when she questioned them on the tribute to Samuel Paty, a third of the students said: “It is not normal to criticize Islam, like other religions, for that matter”; “It was better before when there was no freedom of expression”; “Why are the cartoons on the school programs?”; “I don’t see the point of talking about all this.”

    To lighten the mood in the end, she said: “Reassure me, you are not going to behead me?” One student responded however: “Do not worry. Not you…”

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