Two Years after Samuel Paty’s Death, Islamist Violence Remains a Real Threat to France

On October 16, 2020, Samuel Paty, a teacher at a French high school, was beheaded by a young Muslim man after showing a picture of Mohammad to his class. Liam Duffy observes that, on the two-year anniversary of the murder, prominent French newspapers of the left, right, and center lamented the fact that little seems to have changed. As Duffy explains, they had a specific reason for their pessimism:

[J]ust days before the anniversary, a schoolteacher was forced into police protection after receiving death threats and anti-Semitic abuse in a letter promising the same fate as Paty. Another teacher was threatened by the relative of a pupil for merely discussing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in class.

Far from being deterred by the knowledge of Paty’s fate, campaigns and threats against educators have continued unabated in the two years since, and in some cases have crossed the Channel.

There’s a sense that schoolteachers are on the frontlines in the defense of republican principles, [what in the U.S. would be called democratic values], which is under assault from the religious right (Catholic or Islamist) and the identity-obsessed left. But it is France’s Islamist scene that clearly sees the classroom as a frontline. A confidential government report recently sounded the alarm that Islamist “influencers” have been waging an online offensive to destabilize institutions and undermine laïcité (official secularism) in the school. Large accounts on mainstream social-media platforms encourage young people to confront staff on matters of religious contention, to pressure other students, and deliberately to violate school rules on dress code and religious attire.

Read more at UnHerd

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Islam, France, Radical Islam

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University