Demonstrations: Islamist attack in France – politics

The applause spills over the square in waves. Like an acoustic La Ola, sometimes there is clapping on the north side, sometimes on the south side. The Place de la République is full of people, Corona cannot scare them. She horrifies the idea that France is bowing to terror and allowing itself to be divided by religious hatred. They want to stand close together this Sunday in Paris, old and young, fine ladies with poodles in their arms, simple people, families. Some hold up a caricature of Mohammed, and one word is written in capital letters on the banners. The word is also on top of the monument in the middle of the square: “Liberté”.

Juliette wrote “Je suis prof” on her mask, “I am a teacher”. She was shocked by the alleged murder of the teacher Samuel Paty last Friday. “We’ve all been to school once,” says the architect, who just wants to give her first name. “We’ve all been taught the importance of freedom of expression.” She also wants, says Juliette, to stand up against Islam and Islamism being mixed together. She came with a friend, they are there to express their sadness, to come to terms with the recent shock. And to defend their country against the dark, deadly Islamist ideology.

The attack hits the country in the heart. It seems like an assassination attempt on the school as an institution

They want to uphold freedom of expression – this fundamental value of the republic, which also includes the right to blaspheme religion. Paty, 47 years old, wanted to teach the basic value and paid for it with his life. Since the attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo In January 2015, with twelve dead, France’s teachers were particularly encouraged by the Ministry of Education to teach these values. Paty did that by drawing out controversial Mohammed drawings Charlie Hebdo showed.

In 2015, 1.5 million people opposed Islamism in Paris. Their motto was: “Je suis Charlie”. This Sunday the motto is “Je suis prof” to show solidarity, as Emmanuel Macron had called for. The president is different today than he was in 2015, but his slogans are similar to those of François Hollande: “You will not get through,” says Macron imploringly. “They will not divide us.”

Nevertheless, everything is different from 2015. Since then, 259 people have died in Islamist attacks in France. The country did not get used to it, but it did get tired. It takes strength to oppose radicalized Muslims. Not least in schools, where Muslim students in some places refuse to take part in physical education or biology classes or deny the equality of women and men. Unlike 2015, the intellectual arsonists are not in Syria or Afghanistan, but in France. They rush against a teacher on Facebook, who then has his head cut off with a knife. And unlike 2015, this time politicians argued only a little after the fact about omissions.

1.5 million people are not on the Place de la République on Sunday, but at least several thousand. People gathered in many cities on weekends. In front of the high school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where Paty taught, hundreds met for a vigil. Many in the quiet suburb to the north-west of Paris knew Paty. Here he taught, here he lived with his family, here he was killed on Friday. The autumn break had just started.

In the long series of assassinations that France experienced, the one on Paty is one of the most symbolically and emotionally charged. The attack has the effect of an assassination attempt on the school itself, which, in the understanding of the state, ensures the integration of people of all origins and religions. “There is no doubt that we are dealing with enemies of the republic,” said Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. “The school is the backbone of the republic.”

People are particularly shocked that it was probably videos of an indignant father that incited the assassin Abdoullakh A. The man denounced his 13-year-old daughter’s teacher for teaching, and gave his name and the address of the school. Some videos were shared by relevant Islamists and mosques. The murderer, it looks like, was instigated by people in the middle of France.

Abdoullakh A. ambushed Paty in front of the high school, according to the Paris anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean François Ricard. He had never seen his victim in person, but knew his name. “A. asked several students to show him Paty,” said Ricard. Abdoullakh A. was born in Moscow in 2002, was of Chechen descent and lived as a recognized refugee in Normandy. He was never noticed by the authorities as a radical Muslim, but as violent. When the police tried to arrest him in Conflans after the crime, he was struck down with nine shots. A. shot the officers with a so-called airsoft rifle and attacked them with a knife, according to public prosecutor Ricard. Before that, he shared a photo of Paty’s severed head on Twitter. This is the revenge on him “who dared to humiliate Mohammed,” he wrote. The account was quickly blocked.

The investigators are now looking for possible accomplices or accomplices. The police took eleven people into custody over the weekend, including the perpetrator’s parents and grandparents. The student’s father, who posted his anger video online, is also questioned.

This Wednesday, Macron wants to honor Samuel Paty as a hero with a state funeral. “A hero?” Asks Juliette, the protester on the Place de la République. “He wasn’t a hero, he just did his job.” She wants what Paty did – teaching children tolerance and democracy – to be taken for granted. And doesn’t become a test of courage.


Murder near Paris: Died teaching freedom – politics

Samuel Paty was a history teacher and wanted to teach his students what freedom of expression meant. At the beginning of October he showed his eighth graders at the “Collège du Bois d’Aulne” Mohammed caricatures. Political drawings with the potential for shock, especially for Muslims, but not only for Muslims. Drawings that have served Islamists for years as a pretext for killing people in France and elsewhere.

Paty, 47 years old, wanted to teach his students that such a thing must be endured because freedom of expression, including freedom of religious blasphemy, is a core value of French democracy. Since the attack on the editorial staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo In January 2015 the French Ministry of Education urged teachers to include these values ​​in their lessons.

Late on Friday afternoon, the autumn break had just begun, Paty was killed on his way home – it looks like he was doing exactly that. A man armed with a 35 centimeter long kitchen knife cut the father’s throat on the open road, very close to the Bois-d’Aulne high school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb about 30 kilometers northwest of Paris.

“One of our fellow citizens was murdered because he campaigned for the freedom of expression among schoolchildren,” said President Emmanuel Macron when he visited the crime scene on Friday evening. The head of state looks uncomfortable and he is quick to commit: the teacher has “clearly fallen victim to an Islamist terrorist attack”. The attacker Abdoullakh A., an 18-year-old Russian of Chechen origin, was already dead at this point, gunned down by a police force. He lived with his parents in the town of Evreux in Normandy. That’s about 100 kilometers from the crime scene.

The attack shakes France, once again. Some questions about the stability of the foundation, on which all citizens should stand, are now particularly bothering the country: Was the ideal ground for a fanatical assassin by people who themselves do not accept the values ​​of the republic when these values ​​supposedly conflict with the Islam advised? Specifically: What role does the protest that the parents of Muslim students brought to the school management and brought to the Internet in the days after Paty’s controversial cartoon lessons?

Macron: “They will not divide us”

The murder of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine is one of the most symbolically and emotionally charged acts in the long series of assassinations that France has experienced for years. The attack hits the country in the heart. The fatal attack on a teacher is like an assassination attempt against the school as an institution, the foundation of the republic, which in the French understanding of the state ensures the democratic integration of people of all origins and religions. “You won’t get through,” says Macron, and it sounds like an incantation. “They won’t divide us.”

The mood in the country is already depressed because of the corona pandemic, since this weekend freedom rights have been restricted by a night curfew in the big cities. Now the Islamist terror is back, which has cost 259 lives in France since 2015. The cruel act by Conflans reminds the French that the threat of terrorism from within, which was pushed into the background by Corona, remains high.

The fact that people keep killing or at least trying to kill in the name of Islam. Also people who had not been noticed by the police as radicalized and those who do not need any guidance from foreign terrorist organizations such as the so-called Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaida to take action. Just three weeks ago, a man from Pakistan came to the previous editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo seriously injured two people with a hatchet. In his interrogations he stated that he wanted to protest against the republication of the Muhammad cartoons. The satirical sheet had the drawings at the beginning of the Charlie-Hebdo-Reprinted the process currently running.

It is not uncommon for Islamism and social networks to interact in the worst possible way in the attacks. So it is with the alleged assassination attempt in Conflans-Saint-Honorine.

In his class, Samuel Paty had caricatures out Charlie Hebdo shown, reported the Paris anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard his first investigation results on Velvet afternoon. “The subject of the lesson was freedom of expression and its limits,” says Ricard. One of the drawings depicted Muhammad naked. The prophet crouches on the floor praying, his buttocks stretched out high and covered with a star. Above it says: “Mohammed: A star has risen.”

In the days that followed, several parents contacted the school administration to complain about Paty’s cartoon lessons. One father was particularly outraged. He asked the school principal to fire Paty and even filed a complaint with the police about the alleged dissemination of pornography in class. Above all, this father of a 13-year-old schoolgirl posted several videos on Facebook and YouTube to denounce Paty. In it he called Paty a “crook” and asked to distribute the recordings. And: In one of his video messages, the man gives the exact address of the grammar school, the name of Samuel Patys, and calls, in a cryptic and yet unmistakable way, to punish the teacher.

Apparently the killer knew the video. From Friday noon, according to the prosecutor, he was waiting in front of the high school to watch Paty. He had never seen the teacher, did not know what Paty looked like – but he had the name thanks to the video of the indignant father. “A. asked several students in front of the exit so that they could show him Paty,” said Ricard. Until he found the teacher he would take revenge on.

A. was born in Moscow in 2002 and had not yet been noticed by the French authorities as a radicalized Muslim. But as violent. A half-sister As joined the IS in Syria in 2014 and is wanted by the French authorities. In Conflans, according to witnesses, Paty’s killer yelled “Allahu Akbar” on Friday. He was struck down with nine shots by a task force when the police tried to catch him. The man threatened the officers with a knife, according to public prosecutor Ricard, and carried other weapons with him, including a so-called airsoft rifle.

Shortly after the attack, A. spread a gruesome message on the short message service Twitter. It showed Paty’s severed head. This is the revenge on the “who dared to humiliate Mohammed”, wrote the assassin in the message, in which President Macron was also called the “leader of the infidels”. The Twitter account was quickly blocked.

The investigators are now looking for possible accomplices or accomplices. The police had taken nine people into custody by Saturday morning. Among them are the parents and grandparents of the perpetrator. The student’s father, who posted his anger video online, is also questioned.

Teaching becomes a test of courage

France is deeply insecure – especially its teachers, it would be all too understandable. The killing of the colleague Paty seems like a massive intimidation, according to the French educational associations. You ask who should now take the test of courage to teach the republic’s principles of freedom. For years, teachers in France have been confronted time and again with parents who forbid their children from taking part in physical education or biology classes for religious reasons.

This is what Macron calls “Islamist separatism”. Just a few days ago, the president gave a keynote address on how he intends to counter these secession tendencies in his own country. After the bloody act of Conflans, he and his ministers now ceaselessly assure the teachers of the solidarity that the whole country has for them. Liberal imams condemn the attack and declare that Mohammed cartoons are of course compatible with Islam.

In Conflans-Saint-Honorine and many other places in the country, people gather to commemorate Paty. A rally is planned for this Sunday in Paris – on the Place de la République. Of course, a political battle of interpretation has long broken out over the attack: Marine Le Pen, head of the right-wing extremist Rassemblement National party, calls for Islamism to be “driven out of our country by force” – as if it were not also a homemade product of French society itself .

Macron wants Samuel Paty to be honored as a hero in a state ceremony next week. “Obscurantism and violence will not win,” says the head of state. He is right in the middle of the fight against separatism.


Near Paris – man killed, terrorist investigation ongoing – politics

The teacher, who was fatally wounded with a knife, had shown cartoons of Mohammed in his class. The police shot the alleged attacker. Nine people were arrested.

In a suburb of Paris, a man was killed with a knife in a suspected terrorist attack on Friday evening. The attacker was killed shortly afterwards by a police force. The victim is said to be a history teacher, his body was found near the high school in the city of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Apparently his throat was cut.

The alleged perpetrator was armed with a kitchen knife, French media report, citing police sources. When he was caught by the police, he refused to put down the knife and threatened the officers. Thereupon the command opened fire. The alleged perpetrator had succumbed to his injuries. The man is said to be an 18-year-old Chechen who was born in Moscow.

The police arrested four people that night. One of them is a minor, said the prosecutor responsible for anti-terrorism investigations Jean-François Ricard on Friday evening. Five other people were later arrested. This was confirmed by the anti-terrorist prosecutor on Saturday. She didn’t give any further details. There are currently nine people in police custody. According to reports, those arrested are said to be members of the alleged perpetrator’s family as well as other people.

President Emmanuel Macron went to the scene on Friday evening and was deeply moved. There is no doubt about the attacker’s motives, said the head of state in a brief address. The teacher “clearly fell victim to an Islamist terrorist attack” because he wanted to teach his students a basic principle of French democracy: “the freedom to believe or not to believe,” said Macron. Islamists wanted to bring down the republic. “They won’t do it. They won’t divide us,” he said. The head of state assured France’s teachers of solidarity from the whole country.

“The murder of a history teacher is an attack on freedom of expression and the values ​​of the republic. To attack a teacher means to attack all French citizens and freedom,” wrote National Assembly President Richard Ferrand on Twitter.

The Paris anti-terrorist public prosecutor’s office immediately took over the investigation. Witnesses report that the alleged assassin shouted “Allah Akbar”. According to several media reports, citing investigators, the victim recently read the famous Mohammed cartoons from the satirical magazine in a lesson on the subject of freedom of expression Charlie Hebdo have shown.

The editorial staff of the magazine was the victim of an Islamist attack in January 2015, in which twelve people died. The trial against possible supporters of the attackers at the time is currently underway in Paris. Had to start the process last month Charlie Hebdo republished the Mohammed cartoons. At the site of the attack in 2015 just three weeks ago a man from Pakistan attacked two people and seriously injured them with a knife. His motive is said to have been that the republication of the cartoons bothered him.


Measures in the Amri Committee of Inquiry: Practical gaps in memory

Hans-Georg Maaßen is self-righteous when it comes to the Breitscheidplatz assassination. His authority “ultimately did a good job”.

Hans-Georg Maaßen is self-righteous when it comes to the Breitscheidplatz assassination Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

BERLIN taz | Error? At most others do. That is the quintessence of the appearance of Hans-Georg Maaßen (CDU) on Thursday before the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Breitscheidplatz attack in 2016. A joint responsibility of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) for not having recognized the danger of the assassin Anis Amri early on wants whose president at the time still does not recognize it today.

Maassen began his testimony by reading out a long statement. He explained in detail the threat posed by Islamist terrorism, which was the “greatest challenge for internal security” during his tenure. If the BfV was already blind in the right eye at its time, the right-wing populist with the CDU party membership wanted at least to leave no doubt that he had at least recognized this danger.

However, Maassen was unable to provide a comprehensible explanation of why the Tunisian Anis Amri appeared early on as an Islamist threat on the radar of the German security authorities, but was also only rated as less dangerous by the BfV until it was too late. “I don’t think you could come to any other decision back then,” he said simply.

Maaßen himself claims to have only been dealt with in a very rudimentary way with Amri before his attack on the Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz on December 19, 2016, in which twelve people lost their lives. At that time, the BfV should have dealt with around 1,600 Islamist threats because there were “completely different cases”. “We were incredibly stressed during this time.”

Maassen’s popular answer: “Can’t remember”

In addition, it was “not an original BfV case”. Rather, responsibility lay with the police. That is why the role of the protection of the constitution was “very limited, contrary to claims to the contrary”.

“I think that from today’s perspective we could have done some things differently,” Maaßen admitted after all. But then to add: The BfV, which he headed from 2012 to 2018, “ultimately did a good job under the conditions at the time”.

When MPs asked for details, a popular answer from him was: “I can’t remember that.” Left MP Martina Renner also rated Maassen’s statements as unsatisfactory. In particular, when it came to which informants from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution were in the vicinity of Amri, many questions were still open. “I think he’s still not telling us the truth at this point,” Renner told the taz.


The Figaro letter of October 2, 2020

What does this letter have in store for you? The announcements that are not from Olivier Véran, Trump positive for the coronavirus and Macron’s plan against Islamist separatism.

La lettre du Figaro, your information meeting every morning.
The letter of Figaro, your information meeting every morning. Le Figaro

Hello dear readers,

Olivier Véran decided that he had not yet decided. The Minister of Health will announce on Monday possible restrictions in the Paris region if the deterioration is confirmed by then. Then he will make a second decision a little later in the week if the resuscitation services continue to fill up in Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Étienne. In view of the latest figures for the epidemic in these metropolises (the intensive care occupancy rate is 25%; 30% being the alert threshold), the author of this letter is “Very optimistic about the future of pessimism” (Jean Rostand).

The information of the day also comes from the Minister of Health: “The coronavirus is, as the name suggests, a virus.”

Have a delicious weekend,

Ronan Planchon, journalist at Figaro

• Featured

Covid: last reprieve before new restrictions?

Paris and its inner suburbs will be fixed on their fate on Monday. In Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Étienne, the evolution of the pandemic is considered “very worrying” by the Minister of Health, who relies on dialogue. GONZALO FUENTES / X07238

A four-day reprieve for Paris and barely longer in five other metropolises (Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne) where

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Mercenaries in action (newspaper Junge Welt)

Karo Sahakyan / PAN Photo / AP / dpa

Warheads after an Azerbaijani artillery attack in Hadrut (Thursday)

The suspicion that Turkey is recruiting Syrian mercenaries for its own geopolitical goals and letting them fight in various countries – for example in Libya – has long been in the room. However, the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has led western politicians to say what is usually said only in secret diplomatic meetings: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday ahead of the EU summit that Paris had Indications that Ankara is relocating »Syrian fighters from jihadist groups« to Azerbaijan.

The Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan previously made similar accusations. On Sunday he repeated this in an interview with the daily newspaper The world. According to this, fallen Syrian mercenaries account for 30 percent of the losses on the Azerbaijani side. Turkey lured them with false promises. Ankara was actually primarily responsible for the escalation, said the head of state. A total of 4,000, said the British daily Guardian on September 28th on Pashinans.

Turkish officials deny the export of fighters, but even a 2016 paper by the German BND stated that Turkey had developed into a “central platform for action for Islamist groups” and supported them. However, it is also noticeable that, in addition to members of the Islamist militia, ordinary Syrians join the fighting. Their motivation is not ideological like the »jihad« against Christian Armenians, but has financial reasons: They should earn between 7,000 and 10,000 Turkish lira (around 770 to 1,100 euros) on assignments abroad, he wrote Guardian. The fighting in Syria, on the other hand, only brings in 450 to 550 Turkish lira a month.

In the article, the daily refers to several interlocutors. They stated that they also had no knowledge of the fighting. A Turkish security company, whose name they do not know, trained them in the Kurdish city of Afrin, which has been occupied by Turkey since March 2018. They were told they would only “assist” and “patrol”. Besides, they didn’t know how long the mission would take.

Said “security company” could be Sadat, headed by former Turkish Brigadier General Adnan Tanriverdi. In 1996 he was forcibly retired due to Islamist views. He has remained true to his ideals from almost 25 years ago. On the English-language website of Sadat, the aim is listed to “help the Islamic world to take the place in the world that it deserves”. Until January 2020 Tanriverdi was for many years “military advisor” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He had to resign because of a speech that had caused much criticism in the ruling AKP party.

The Turkish government appreciates the activities of the Sadat company: strategic gains for the country without the loss of Turkish soldiers, which means that the government does not come under domestic political pressure and it is difficult to officially prosecute. In Libya, Ankara’s mercenaries helped the allies of the “National Consensus Government” (GNA) in Tripoli to avert the military defeat against the “Libyan National Army” (LNA). However, private security companies like Sadat are not an isolated case.

In any case, Russia should not like the use of the Turkish mercenaries. The Russian Republic of Dagestan has major problems with Islamists and borders Azerbaijan. That is why there is also some speculation as to whether Turkey might not intentionally create a source of fire on Moscow’s doorstep in return for Russia’s concessions in Libya. Moscow supports the LNA there.


Macron wants to take action against Islamist “ghettos”

FFrance’s President Emmanuel Macron has announced heightened crackdown on Islamists. In a long-awaited keynote speech in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux on Friday, he said that “Islamist secession tendencies” and “ghettos” would no longer be tolerated in France.

Among other things, he spoke out in favor of banning fundamentalist associations that disregard French values ​​and laws. In addition, home lessons for children should only be possible under strict conditions. Macron announced a draft law for the beginning of December.

Macron reaffirmed its will to “recapture” problem areas where radicals influence schools or public order. The right-wing political camp in France accuses the head of state of not cracking down on Islamists. Conservatives and right-wing populists are calling, among other things, for safe custody for so-called “threats”.

France has been rocked several times since 2015 by Islamist attacks that killed more than 250 people. Many of the perpetrators confessed to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist militia or other extremist networks.

Just a week ago a young Pakistani had seriously injured two people with a knife in front of the former editorial building of the satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris.

The left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon criticized Macron for not having been at the end of the EU summit because of the speech, and called him a “deserter”. The President was represented by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on the second day of the top meeting in Brussels.


Macron: “Fight Islamist Separatism” – Politics

The French President Emmanuel Macron has presented a five-point plan with which he wants to counter increasing Islamist tendencies and even radicalization in his country.

“What we have to fight is Islamist separatism,” said Macron during a visit to the impoverished Paris suburb of Les Mureaux, about 40 kilometers northwest of Paris. “The problem is an ideology that claims its own laws should be superior to those of the republic.”

In this context, the authorities have warned that “parallel companies” could emerge in France. The government in Paris is increasingly concerned about signs of – often non-violent – radicalization within Muslim communities, government officials said.

What is meant is, for example, the refusal of some Muslim men to shake hands with women or that men and women are prescribed alternating time windows in swimming pools. The instruction to girls aged four and over to wear a full face veil and the spread of religious “madrassa” schools are also viewed critically.

At the same time, Macron warned against stigmatizing French Muslims. This would be a “trap” set by the radicals. France itself was partly to blame for the “ghettoization” of a population that could easily fall for the sermons of those who wanted to replace the nation’s laws with their own.

Restrict home schooling to prevent indoctrination

Macron’s bill will require all children aged three and over to attend French schools from next summer. This is intended, for example, to severely limit home schooling – which is to prevent children from being “indoctrinated” in schools that are not registered and deviate from the national curriculum. Distance learning should only be permitted for health reasons.

Associations supported by the state would have to account for their expenditures, their management staff, who sometimes act covertly, and the misuse of financial resources. French schools are “the heart of secularism, where children become citizens,” stressed Macron.

The package of measures also proposes a gradual departure from the long-standing practice of bringing imams from abroad – such as Turkey, Algeria and Morocco – to France, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Rather, imams should be trained in France. A Muslim organization is to act as the official switchboard and help with the implementation of the plan. A corresponding law should be discussed in the cabinet at the beginning of December, Macron announced, and it should be presented to parliament at the beginning of next year.

The country has been rocked by Islamist terrorist attacks for years, killing more than 250 people. Many of the perpetrators come from France. Macron recalled the knife attack near the former editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which two people were seriously injured last Friday. The 25-year-old suspect is being investigated on suspicion of terrorism.

France follows a strict form of secularism known as “secularism”. It aims to strictly separate religion and public life. The principle was enshrined in law in 1905 after a violent dispute with the Catholic Church.

The left-wing foreign politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon criticized Macron for not being at the end of the EU summit because of the speech and described him as a “deserter”. The President was represented by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on the second day of the top meeting in Brussels.


Torn France: The stressed country

Five years after the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the November terror: France is in a deep identity crisis.

Illustration: Katja Gendikova

It is a serious and heated discussion in France: How do you dress for school? Belly-free is not possible, say stick conservatives. This clothing debate now appears even more bizarre than usual against the devastating background of a second corona wave with high case numbers and strict regional restrictions, which are protested by those responsible there because they are not allowed to participate in decision-making. The new bans severely weaken the “France Relance” plan recently announced by President Macron and the government under the new Prime Minister Castex to revive the corona-plagued economy. But they are not yet comparable to the repressive nationwide lockdown in spring. The state currently wants to avoid it at all costs and therefore appeals to the citizens: internal reason, please (and properly dressed) not to overdo it with the beloved savoir vivre.

The unfortunate clothes debate, it appears like a lost piece of a French society puzzle. It is a jigsaw puzzle in which a nation that has been stressed on various levels has come to a standstill. So how torn can jeans be in the classroom? Education Minister Blanquer from the ruling LREM party is seriously calling for a “tenue républicaine”, whatever it may be – perhaps a floor-length tricolor for Elev: inside in the national colors, one would not seriously throw in. Under the hashtag # lundi14septembre, students recently campaigned vehemently not to allow short skirts and co. To be banned anywhere.

Instead of calling out solidarity and laissez-faire in unison in a community that claims freedom on paper, there are contradicting signals from society and politics. Here people, mostly men, who cling to traditional conventions, ultimately work on a figure of thought that never existed in reality, even before 1968: good old France, France, in which women and girls, depending on each other They knew how to behave in a flirtatious to “decent” situation, men were still “real”, seductive men, and the many immigrants, mostly from the former French colonies, were obediently ghettoized.

Of course, France has not only been harboring social explosives since the appearance of the yellow vests at the end of 2018. That phenomenon, like the uprisings in ailing French suburbs as early as 2005, shows, however, as if in a burning glass, resource and distribution struggles. And: excessive violence by protesters and the often racist state power. This complicated social situation has nothing to do with the republican pathos that President Emmanuel Macron avidly serves in everyday life. It is characterized by frustration and feelings of inferiority on the one hand and elitism on the other.

New breaks in society

The former editor-in-chief of the German edition of Charlie Hebdo, Romy Strassenburg, recently said succinctly in a taz interview (when the trial of the Islamist-motivated attack on the satirical newspaper began) that the French dose horribilis In 2015, with its big questions about identity, religion and terror, it was replaced to some extent by new questions that revealed new breaks within society. The public focus is now less on the detached, radicalized young Muslims, but more on a frustrated white lower class in peripheral urban areas who do not shy away from violence. France, according to Strassenburg, “is probably even further away from social unity or pacification than in 2015”. Now on Friday two journalists were caught in a knife attack near the former office of Charlie Hebdo injured. Identify anti-terrorist units; it remains uneasy – also on the subject of Islamism.

After the Islamist attack in front of the former seat of the satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris, the main suspect confessed to the crime. The man arrested after the attack was taking “responsibility for his act,” it said on Saturday, September 26th. from investigative circles. As a motive he named the republication of controversial Mohammed caricatures by “Charlie Hebdo”, which he “could not stand”. (afp)

In early September Macron gave a speech at the Panthéon in Paris, where many French celebrities are buried. The tenor of the speech: The values ​​of the French Republic such as freedom, equality, fraternity and secularism are “indivisible”. And in a discourse in mid-June after the second major Parisian anti-racism demo, Macron actually said: “This fight is unacceptable if it is captured by separatists.” You have to act against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, but please don’t . How then? The country clearly has problems with the acceptance of its state organs – and people who think critically about it are pilloried.

France is drifting apart at critical points. And the monetary gap between the poor and the rich is growing steadily. Social housing, for example, has become noticeably less under Macron. A so-called tax on the rich never came. Whether there is good education and good support often depends on the “right” address – and the qualification at an elite institution – in the centrally managed hexagon, which is strongly geared towards the president. Those who apply for jobs, for example, often fall through the grid due to their non-French sounding name and origin from suburbs that are considered desolate.

System of inequality

Only recently, the powerless, conservative human rights representative of the government, Jacques Toubon, recalled that the “system of France” as a whole must be called into question: “a system that creates and maintains inequalities”. For people who do not look French and / or are not materially well off, “the republic does not keep its promises”.

This condition existed before Macron, but contrary to his promises, almost nothing has happened under him in terms of social and appreciative opportunities for advancement. That Macron is meant, who in his 2017 election campaign with the movement La République en Marche (LREM) like Kai aus der Kiste successfully advocated a France “beyond right and left and on the move”, the man who supported the socialists and the conservatives largely cannibalized to this day. That Macron, who in his election campaign was emphatically social democratic and multicultural. And now, in view of the likely final electoral duel in 2022 between him and Marine Le Pen, the head of the Rassemblement National, strategically moves ever further to the right in his domestic political agenda. Garnished with wishy-washy slogans like “Look ahead and don’t leave anyone behind”.

This mix now drives quite a few in the party into dismal perplexity; the mood is bad and trench warfare at LREM. Several MPs have left the National Assembly and Pierre Person, LREM Deputy Chair, has recently resigned. Aurore Bergé, a more conservative MP, recently warned in The world: “Our movement is in a real malaise. We no longer know who we are and what we stand for. ”What the self-absorbed“ Roi Macron ”probably doesn’t care about – for him, technocratic and vertical governance is more important. He sees movement as a vehicle for power.

Socialists as good as dead

The opposition parties, which are heavily revolving around themselves, and the first visible successes on the Franco-German EU axis after a long time are not (yet) making things really uncomfortable for Macron. The Parti Socialiste (PS) is as good as dead and is only discussing the question of whether it would not be smart to gather behind the Greens (EELV), which were very successful in the last European and local elections. But EELV is clumsy at the national level. Does the party even want to gain power, does it want its own presidential candidate?

The Greens are neither trying to clarify their relationship to liberalism, nor are they clear about whether they are striving for a radical, more emotional course or a more rational, moderate one in the future. And two influential figures at EELV, the Grenoble mayor Éric Piolle and the EU parliamentarian Yannick Jadot, are not green in the truest sense of the word. Cooperation with the conservative Republican Party (LR), also divided and divided, is, unlike black-green options in this country, zero issue for both sides. And then there is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the left-wing movement La France insoumise, who is perfect in populist rhetoric. But since neither the Greens nor the Socialists will agree on him as a presidential candidate, the left will probably remain disparate for the time being, unless a left-wing party with a majority for a change is founded.

In contrast to Germany, where due to the electoral system and the federalist principle, a new party cannot march through from a standing start, in France it is much easier to bundle moods and sensitivities in one movement at the national level, see LREM. If Macron, as the most powerful in the state and the current government, does not slowly succeed in defusing the social explosives with rationality and foresight, the mood, which is doubly stressed by Corona, can brusquely tip. The country would then experience a violent reprint of the yellow vests or similar social, thoroughly heterogeneous movements. As a precaution, the national anthem, the bloodthirsty Marseillaise from the days of the revolution, is sung at demos of all stripes.

The republic – it is currently stressing the people in France. She doesn’t let go of her.


“Charlie Hebdo Assassination Was A Belated Awakening” Policy

On January 7, 2015, the terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi stormed the editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and killed twelve people.

A day later, Amédy Coulibaly, a friend of the Kouachi brothers, also took action. On January 8th, he shot and killed a policewoman in the Paris suburb of Montrouge, and on January 9th, he attacked a kosher supermarket, primarily where Jews were shopping. Four people were killed in the hostage-taking that followed.

Five and a half years after the murders, the trial of 14 perpetrators of the attacks begins in Paris. The attackers themselves were killed in police operations. Political scientist Hugo Micheron will be in the audience during the trial. He researches the emergence of terrorist networks in France. His book “Le Jihadisme français. Quartiers, Syrie, Prisons” (French jihadism. Quartiers, Syria, prisons) was published in January. The book is the result of his doctoral thesis, for which he interviewed 80 self-declared jihadists in French prisons.

Interview in the morning

This series of interviews is devoted to current topics and appears Monday through Friday by 7:30 a.m. at the latest on All interviews here.

SZ: As a scientist, what are you hoping for the Charlie Hebdo trial? And what do the next 50 days of negotiations mean for French society?

Hugo Micheron: How important the process is can also be seen from the fact that it is completely filmed and archived. That only happens because the process is already considered historical. I am personally interested in understanding how jihadist structures anchor themselves locally. How it comes that such extreme ideas can be considered normal in some environments. The process is important for the French people because it shows that the state is in control of the situation again. Five years ago it was as if the country was being hit in his heart. The Kouachi brothers were on the run for 48 hours after the attack, and the state appeared to be powerless. To spread this feeling of bewilderment and paralysis is a goal of terrorists.

In their book they argue that jihadism should not be interpreted as a phenomenon of banlieues, i.e. not as a consequence of poverty and a lack of prospects.

Yes, this theory that jihadism is a product of social inequality is wrong. This idea is represented by two camps in France. From the left, who want to downplay the problem. And rights that spread hysteria and equate immigration with crime and Muslims with Islamism. The deniers’ camp sees the reason why 5,000 people from Europe traveled to Syria to join ISIS is that Muslims are discriminated against and disadvantaged. The attacks are then interpreted as revenge against Western society. The camp of hysterics, on the other hand, declares every poor suburb to be a hotbed of Salafists. But if you take a closer look at where the people set off from who wanted to fight for a “caliphate” in Syria, the result is a geography of its own. There are actually only ten places from which the majority of the assassins and jihadists were recruited. This includes cities in the Parisian banlieue but also the small town of Lunel in the south of France. And at the same time there are from the suburbs of Marseille, which in theory combine everything that one imagines as factors of radicalization, Muslim majority, high unemployment, not a single departure for Syria. I am not saying that social discrimination does not exist. But I say that it is only one of several factors.

What are the other factors?

Indoctrination and propaganda. Salafism and jihadism did not fall from the sky in France, they are actively spread. For example, I spoke extensively with members of the Clain family from Toulouse, Catholics who converted to Islam and who deliberately built a Salafist structure. Family members say of themselves that they fight to gain new followers every single day. For this purpose, sports clubs and associations were founded, and contacts were made with radical preachers. Islamist terrorists are often portrayed as madmen, people who don’t really know what they’re doing. The Clains were also mocked in their environment at the beginning. But they still convinced people of their ideology. When Fabien Clain went to Syria, he was immediately accepted within the IS hierarchy because it was clear that he had influence in France.

They describe how these networks came about largely unnoticed by the public in France. How could that be?

The 2015 Charlie Hebdo assassination was like a belated awakening. Suddenly, Islamist structures that had developed within 15 years became visible. The first jihadists who began to spread their ideas in France were fighters from the Algerian civil war and from Afghanistan. They were very small groups, three or four people. Their recruiting efforts became easier after the World Trade Center attack, and 2001 was a turning point. In France, the attack by Mohammed Merah also acted like an ideological accelerator. In 2012, Merah shot and killed seven people, including three children, and three soldiers at a Jewish school in Toulouse. At that time it was considered an isolated case, in 2015 it was understood that a series of Islamist attacks began at that time.

What is the significance of the prisons for the emergence of terrorist structures?

Our society regards imprisonment as the greatest possible punishment. But within the jihadist logic, it is not. A prison sentence is interpreted as a test of God and an opportunity to educate yourself because you have the time to read. The jihadists I interviewed see the time in jail as an opportunity to rise intellectually and also within their hierarchies. Most of the jihadists I have spoken to in jail will be released within the next two years. There are hundreds in the prisons who are considered to be Islamist radicalized.

How do the prisons handle it?

France’s prisons are dramatically overcrowded; in some institutions there are almost twice as many people as there are designated prison places. And from 2014 to 2019, returnees from Syria were collected in the particularly congested prisons in the greater Paris area. That had dramatic consequences. Fleury-Mérogis prison was so destabilized that for a few days the prison administration feared losing control of the prisoners.

As for the deradicalization measures, describe, among other things, how convicted terrorists should pet a ferret in order to reassure themselves of the value of life.

I wrote the book with the determination not to make fun of the prison system or the jihadists. The subject is far too serious for that. But with this example of the ferret I wanted to show that this deradicalization often goes wrong. Among other things, because in prison it is believed that those who detonate a bomb are the most dangerous. Without realizing that there are inconspicuous inmates who specifically recruit fellow inmates. Both the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly were indoctrinated in prison.

Has anything improved since then?

In the meantime, there has been a move towards no longer locking up prisoners with Islamist convictions in specially designed wards; they are now being distributed among more than 70 prisons. That straightened out the situation. The attacks in January 2015 made something visible that has not stopped. The terrorists are more numerous today than in 2015. But compared to then, we now have the advantage that we know how their networks work and what their ideology is based on. We have made up our intellectual delay.