In Confronting Jihadism, France Is at the Forefront of a War for Europe’s Future

After a knifing at a church last week, the Associated Press published an “explainer” bearing the headline, “Why France Sparks Such Anger in Muslim World.” The article went on to cite the country’s “brutal colonial past, staunch secular policies, and tough-talking president who is seen as insensitive toward the Muslim faith” as reasons for jihadist violence. But France suffered from radical Islamic terror well before Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. Moreover, write Benjamin Haddad, Macron’s “tough talk” constitutes a mere acknowledgment of reality:

Since 2012, more than 260 people of all backgrounds have died in terrorist attacks: in a Jewish school, at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, in a concert hall, in the streets of Nice, in churches, and in police street patrols.

[There have been] many reports over the years of growing pressure on teachers trying to teach about the Holocaust, sex education, or even basic biology. In 2002, a book written by a collective of high-school teachers, The Lost Territories of the Republic, warned of alarming sexism and anti-Semitism in the French banlieues, [slum-like suburbs that often have large immigrant populations]. Jews, who represent 1 percent of the French population but are disproportionally targeted by hate crimes (about 40 percent of attacks most years), have largely deserted these areas in the last decade.

[B]laming the French state for the attacks and the rise of radicalism shows a dangerous moral confusion. . . . Terrorist attacks have struck Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and others. France is at the forefront of a deeper battle striking major European societies.

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Anti-Semitism, Emmanuel Macron, European Islam, France, Jihadism

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy