Until recently, france has been reluctant to deal with the radicalisation of Muslims taking place in its mosques and Islamic centres, believes Israel’s former ambassador to the French Republic. Now, however, as terror is rearing its head again, the country seems to be recalculating its position.
The beheading of Samuel Paty, a French teacher murdered last Friday for showing caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, has sent shockwaves across france.
Sparking mass demonstrations in Paris and several other French cities, the brutal murder, carried out by an 18-year-old immigrant of Chechen origin, has also prompted a harsh response from the authorities.
Shortly after the murder, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his country would dissolve the Cheikh Yassin Collective, a pro-Hamas group, following a video released by its founder that insulted the history teacher.
Macron also vowed to step up actions against other Islamists threatening the security of his country, and Avi Pazner, Israel’s former ambassador to France, says this is one of the first times the French Republic has decided to approach the matter seriously.
The reason for this, believes Pazner, was not only the unwillingness to upset “a big chunk of voters”, who make up some ten percent of the country’s population but also France’s liberal values that refused to link an entire community with terror and the notion of equality the state has tried to promote.