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IPFS News Link • France

French Leaders Warn That Social Justice Ideas Imported From US Are Undermining Their Society

•, by Stacey Lennox

French President Emmanuel Macron felt the sting of social justice criticism last year following terrorist attacks that targeted France's religious past and secular present. A Chechen refugee beheaded a schoolteacher for sharing the cartoons drawn by artists at Charlie Hebdo that were caricatures of the prophet Mohammed. He opened a class on free speech to celebrate France's tradition of free expression and Enlightenment values. The same cartoons that triggered a massacre at Charlie Hebdo cost Samuel Paty his life.

This was one of three terrorist attacks during the trial in Paris for the Charlie Hebdo perpetrators. Two people were injured by a Pakistani refugee outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Three people were killed when a Tunisian man carrying a copy of the Quran entered a church in Nice with a knife. Macron responded with measures to eliminate Islamism. According to the New York Times:

In a long-awaited speech on the subject, Mr. Macron said that the influence of Islamism must be eradicated from public institutions even as he acknowledged government failures in allowing it to spread.

The measures include placing stringent limits on home-schooling and increasing scrutiny of religious schools, making associations that solicit public funds sign a "charter" on secularism. While these measures would apply to any group, they are intended to counter extremists in the Muslim community.

Under the measures, the widespread practice of bringing over foreign imams to work in France, where they are often accused of preaching an outdated or extreme version of Islam, would be ended.

Macron made distinctions between Muslims and Islamism as many other commentators, including Bill Maher and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, do in other parts of the world. He was roasted by the New York Times for a right-ward tilt and Islamophobia. Macron's response to the criticism was to pick up the phone and call the reporters at the paper.