Macron targets radical Islam in France with 'massive and unprecedented' measures

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Published: Dec 03, 2020, 10:18 PM(IST)

Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In the coming days, France is expected to investigate at least 76 mosques.

More than a month back France was rocked by two terror attacks as the government began a wide-ranging crackdown on radicals.

An imam was punished for propagating terror through TikTok. The leaders of the Muslim world led a vicious campaign against President Emmanuel Macron. There were protests even violence, however, it failed to derail the French president's campaign against Islamism.

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Now, the French government has launched a "massive and unprecedented" wave of measures to combat religious extremism.

In the coming days, France is expected to investigate at least 76 mosques. In addition to that, more than 2,600 Muslim places of worship have been flagged. They have been reportedly tagged as "possible threats to France's republican values and security".

France is expected to investigate places of worship, if the doubts are confirmed they will be closed down. The country is also deporting 66 "undocumented migrants". They are suspected of radicalisation out of these more than a month back out of these 66 were expelled, 46 are in administrative detention centres, 30 have been placed under house arrest and five incarcerated.

It is a major step in Macron's fight against radical Islam. In October, France had temporarily closed the grand mosque of Pantin outside Paris after the beheading of Samuel Paty, the teacher who had shown cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his class.

The Mosque had shared a video on its Facebook page reportedly this video was of a man who had directed verbal attacks at Samuel Paty before the beheading. The man's daughter allegedly was in Samuel Paty's class.

In the video, he had called Paty a thug and called for other parents to join in the campaign against the teacher. Paty's move had triggered outrage among some parents who were calling for his resignation.

The gruesome murder of Paty followed by the attack in Nice has forced France to push for a law that specifically targets radical Islam. The bill has now been finalised. It will reportedly be presented to the French cabinet next week after that it will be introduced in Parliament.

Some of the proposals of the bill include restrictions on homeschooling, harsh punishments for those who intimidate public officials on religious grounds and national identification number for all children to ensure they are attending school.

It is not a measure specifically directed at Muslim children. All children in France irrespective of their religion will get a national identification number. The bill also proposes a ban on sharing personal information in a way that could allow someone to cause harm.

It hasn't been smooth sailing for Macron. His government recently had to withdraw a proposed bill that would have curbed the right to film police officers in action.

The bill had led to a massive uproar in France with rights advocates taking to the streets to protest even when France is battling a second wave of Wuhan virus cases but the French president hasn't deviated from his goal.

Last month Macron called for a "rapid and coordinated" European response to the recent terror attacks. It was an outreach to the leadership of the European Union. While the bloc has been thinking about a larger effort to tame radical Islam, it has been put in a spot by countries like Turkey.

Turkey has a trading relationship with the European Union and it had applied to become a full member but Turkey's bid for EU membership could now be evaporating. In fact, the bloc is mulling sanctions against Turkey.

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