The founder of the Observatory of Arab countries and political scientist Antoine Basbous analyzes the situation after the two attacks in France in the space of two weeks, and places them in the particular international sequence in progress.
What is the context of this new Nice attack?
We are in a context of Islamist effervescence that dates back more than thirty years. The beheading of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine and the knife attack in Nice are a new episode. The Islamists are in a dynamic of conquest and separatism. They do not want “good Muslims” to frequent French society. This turmoil is fueled by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is adding fuel to the fire by trying to make France’s call for public order an attack on Islam. It must be said and repeated that Muslims have more freedoms, especially of conscience, in France than in their countries of origin.
October 29 is the feast of the mawlid, the celebration of the birth of Muhammad. Can this have any significance with the Nice attack?
This holiday is not unanimous in Islam and was not included in Islamic agendas until late. Does this have any special meaning? Perhaps. Perhaps also that the imminence of the containment pushed to the act before the streets emptied. What is certain is that Thabat, an agency close to Al-Qaeda, called in October for individual jihad with violent modes of expression that do not need organization, that do not need to be commissioned from Afghanistan or the Syrian-Iraqi theater. This call was taken seriously by the Ministry of the Interior, which issued recommendations to the prefects to protect places of worship for All Saints’ Day and by the imams who condemned the assassination of Samuel Paty.
What about the tweets of Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian Prime Minister, who believes that “Muslims are right to be angry and to kill millions of French people in revenge for the massacres of the past”?
What is surprising is that Asian Islamism has rarely been violent and little in tune with Eastern Islamism. If a former chief executive of Mahatir stature adopts Daesh’s speech, it is worrying. But he is a baron of the international Muslim Brotherhood, led by Erdogan and Qatar and which stirs up hatred. These tweets are a manifestation of ideological and intellectual solidarity with its allies.
Why is France particularly targeted by these attacks?
France has the particularity of having a secular system, which is not fully understood in the Islamic world. Secularism is either interpreted as weakness or as a form of anti-religion and opposition to Islam. In addition, France, which twisted the neck of the Church during the Revolution, has been surprisingly flexible with the mosque. The initial affair of the Creil scarves in 1989, and the lack of a firm and immediate decision, thus made matters worse with its interminable debates, to the point of making France pass for an anti-Islamic country.
What solutions to put an end to this terrorist frenzy in the country?
I believe that firmness is the first answer, and that vigilance is the second. All those identified as potential terrorists must be watched and even expelled. We need to be confident in our values. An effort should also be made to explain the French concept of secularism and avoid biased interpretations. In particular, it should be explained that secularism is not against religion, but for the separation of faith and state. In France, you can be a Sunni Muslim, a Shiite, an atheist. One can exercise one’s faith, or the absence of one’s faith. This practice exists in few Muslim countries, where the other is ostracized because he is in the minority.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr