Will the French Republic Defeat Radical Islam?

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on October 30, 2020

After the brutal decapitation of a French school teacher for showing a cartoon of the Mohammad at the hands of a terrorist, tensions have been increasing between French Republic and radical Islamists, both domestically and internationally.

The teacher, Samuel Paty, was teaching his class about the right to free speech following a copycat terrorist attack against the Charlie Hebdo publication which had published cartoons of Muhammed and refused to apologize even after the terrorist attacks. 

Little over a week since the murder and Macron’s refusal to bend on the French people’s free speech rights. Instead, he has put the focus on the concept of Islamism, the desire to push islamic domination through the political system, and not just the terrorists who carry out the violence. Usually after terrorist attacks Western leaders find it easiest to pretend that the attack was an isolated incident and ignore the fact that in this case multiple family groups, religious leaders and Institutions were ramping up a hate mob against Samuel Paty.

The Islamist aggression towards French liberties has not stopped since. The Pressure campaign against France has been taken up internationally by the leaders of Turkey and Pakistan.

As a result of the hatred directed towards France, a terrorist beheaded a woman and stabbed two others to death outside of a church, and another man was shot dead after threatening people with a knife in broad daylight. Both attackers were shouting “Allahu Akbar (“god is great” in Arabic) at the time of the attacks.


France President Emmanuel Macron so far has not bent to the international pressure from Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist governments around the world, and in response to the attacks yesterday has deployed 4,000 military personnel into the streets to defend the public against further attacks.

It seems that Macron and the French public at large are coming to the realization that only the way to rid France of these radical Islamists is to respond to their threats and violence with overwhelming force. 

Macron described the attacks yesterday as, “Islamist and terrorist madness,” adding that, France “will not give into terrorism,” signalling that his strong stance for French values and the rights of its people is not likely to waver. This is the correct rhetoric to be putting out as the extremists only respond to strength and not negotiations or dialogues. Macron should continue to push the idea France will fight back. 

The next few weeks will be the true test though. Macron and the French people need to decide whether they are willing, or not, to fight Islamism in the long term and reject the fear culture that comes with speaking out and taking action against the extremists’ views.

France will be entering one of its toughest times as a nation and soon not just Macron, but the French people will have to make a choice if the Republic is worth fighting for.  Not only will France have to deal with the threat of violent terrorism, but the Islamists and their allies in the media will do everything they can to smear every criticism as Islamophobic. 

It will not be easy, but the next few weeks will determine if the values of the French Revolution, liberty, equality and fraternity will stop at cartoons of Mohammed. 

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

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