Amid increased tensions between Westerners and Islamists in his nation, French President Emmanuel Macron told a columnist for the New York Times last week that he blames the U.S. media for “legitimizing” Islamic violence with excessive political correctness and dishonest reporting.
He’s not wrong.
In a conversation with Ben Smith published by the paper on Sunday, Macron accused our nation’s media of having a “bias,” explaining that English-language media has largely characterized his government’s response to Islamic terror attacks as being racist or Islamophobic.
“When France was attacked five years ago, every nation in the world supported us,” he said of the horrific coordinated terror attacks at the hands of ISIS sympathizers in Paris on November 13th, 2015.
“So when I see, in that context, several newspapers which I believe are from countries that share our values — journalists who write in a country that is the heir to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution — when I see them legitimizing this violence, and saying that the heart of the problem is that France is racist and Islamophobic, then I say the founding principles have been lost,” he continued.
According to The Times, over 250 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in France since 2015.
Last month, a schoolteacher in a suburb of Paris was beheaded after igniting ire in the Islamic community for using a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in a lesson on free speech.
In the wake of that attack, three people were assaulted and one beheaded inside a church in Nice.
The Macon administration, The Blaze notes, responded with a “crackdown on extremism, initiating raids of suspected terrorists’ homes, dissolving associations accused of spreading Islamic propaganda, and targeting terrorist funding.
Macron also denounced “Islamist separatism,” noting in an October speech that Muslims living in France under separate religious laws, within their own isolated communities, form a danger to society at large with the establishment of a “counter-society.”
He unrolled several policies “intended to make Islam in France inclusive of French citizenship, including strictly monitoring sports organizations and other associations to stop the spread of Islamist teaching; ending the practices of imams being sent to France from abroad; increasing oversight of funding for mosques; and restricting homeschooling,” The Blaze explains.
Macron’s goal, as he puts it, is to create a modern “Islam of the Enlightenment.”
Indeed, the post-Enlightenment principles on which nations like France and the United States were founded are wholly incompatible with Islamic extremism.
The Muslim world has been as scathing towards Macron as you can imagine, calling for boycotts of French goods.
An op-ed in the Financial Times published on November 3rd declared that “Macron’s war on Islamic separatism only divides France further” and that his policies would only further isolation of Muslims in France.
One might say that Macron has every right to hold every citizen or resident in his nation to the same standard of not beheading, assaulting, or mowing other people down with a vehicle in the name of your god.
Seems like a pretty reasonable thing in any fair and just society, wouldn’t you think?
“We don’t believe in political Islam that is not compatible with stability and peace in the world,” Macron said in October, defining “Islamist separatism” as “a conscious, theorized, politico-religious project, which is materialized by repeated discrepancies with the values of the republic, which often results in the creation of a counter-society and whose manifestations are the dropping out of school of children, the development of sports, cultural and communal practices which are the pretext for the teaching of principles which do not conform to the laws of the republic.”
He accused U.S. media of being biased on the basis of our own history of racism and thus sorely misunderstands what his nation is currently grappling with.
“There is a sort of misunderstanding about what the European model is, and the French model in particular,” Macron told the Times. “American society used to be segregationist before it moved to a multiculturalist model, which is essentially about coexistence of different ethnicities and religions next to one another.”
“Our model is universalist, not multiculturalist,” he continued. “In our society, I don’t care whether someone is black, yellow or white, whether they are Catholic or Muslim, a person is first and foremost a citizen.”
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