Emmanuel Macron and Islamic radicalism: Who is going to win the battle?

Can Emmanuel Macron tolerate beheadings?

Emmanuel Macron's determination to defend France's values has angered the Muslim world from Morocco to Pakistan.

Shock and reaction

After the brutal murder of college teacher Samuel Paty by 18-year-old man of Chechen origin Abdulakh Anzorov, the French president promised to use all the power of the country's state system to protect secular values from Islamic radicalism. Remembering Samuel Paty, Emmanuel Macron stated:

"He was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic. He was killed because the Islamists want our future. They know that with quiet heroes like him, they will never have it," Macron said.

The beheading of the French teacher shocked the French society, and the people of France had their own way to respond to it:

in Montpellier, caricatures of Prophet Muhammad were projected on the walls of the town hall;
in Paris and other cities of France, rallies and meetings were held in memory of the victim and in defense of the freedom of speech.

Macron's determination

The French President believes that radical Islam poses a threat to the republic. The isolation of Muslim communities, according to Emmanuel Macron, promotes and enforces its own rules and laws in the country. In fact, a parallel society is being created, the essence of which comes contrary to the laws and values of the French Republic.

"Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world, not just in our country," Macron said.

Emmanuel Macron, even before the tragedy in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, announced his intentions in December 2020 to submit a bill which, in his opinion, would strengthen republican values. The declared tough line of the head of the Fifth Republic aims to create "enlightened Islam" in France.

President Macron is determined to achieve this goal even at the cost of a quarrel with the entire Muslim world. The French leader proposed a number of actions, including:

  • strict monitoring of the activities of sports clubs and other organizations that can be used as a cover for the activities of radical Islamists;
  • deny visas to foreign imams;
  • tighten control over the operation and funding of mosques;
  • limit homeschooling of children;
  • make it easier for immigrants and their descendants to move along social lifts.

The voluntary imposition of a number of restrictions that affected Christmas trees and other symbols that weave the diversity of French culture may become a thing of the past.

A fecal flower

The reaction to the brutal murder of Samuel Paty was unequivocal among the citizens who deny the cannibalistic aesthetic. One of the former UFC fighters, Zelim Imadayev, called the killer a "hero." Mixed-style fighter Albert Duraev also expressed his support for the executioner. It is worthy of note that the determined men subsequently deleted their posts of solidarity on social networks. The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, also expressed his opinion on the subject:

"Well, Macron, if you call him a terrorist, then in that case you are a hundred times worse, because you force people to terrorism, you push people towards it, you leave them no choice and create all conditions for nurturing extremist ideas in the minds of young people. You may call yourself the leader and mastermind of terrorism in your country."

Enforcement to terrorism is a serious statement to make. It sounds almost like an indulgence for future achievements. The Kremlin, through the mouth of Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov, tried to slightly slow down Ramzan Kadyrov's activity in the field of foreign policy.

Russian most famous it-girl and socialite Ksenia Sobchak faced criticism from MMA fighter Magomed Ismailov for expressing her support to Emmanuel Macron. Ismailov did make an effort to impress his instagram audiences with metaphors:

"The President of France is Islamophobic, so he tries to offend and insult the feelings of believers. Turning to Ksenia Sobchak, I want to say this: Ksenia, you are a filthy stupid animal. You are like a flower that grows from shit, from a heap of shit."

This is certainly a very romantic message, but any educated person knows that plants feel best when  they receive fertilizers of natural origin. It is worthy of note that Magomed Ismailov imprudently ignored the wise recommendation of Prophet Muhammad, who said that the person who is strong is the one who controls himself when he is angry.

The principle of the republic

French teacher Samuel Paty, even though that he warned students that the illustrations he was about to show might offend someone's religious feelings, showed the infamous cartoons anyway.

To be able to either condemn or justify the actions of the teacher, one has to be either born in France, or live in the country for many years to realise, understand and feel local culture, traditions and fundamental values. The same is the case with the perception of humor that comes from Charlie Hebdo magazine.

One of the fundamental principles of French national identity is laicism (irreligiousness). Any French national sincerely believes that infringement of freedom of speech for the sake of something or someone is a threat to the state. To break the established state of affairs is tantamount to offering a Muslim to enjoy a pork knuckle.

Neither the anger of the Turkish president, nor the indignation of the head of Chechnya and fighters of various styles taken together will be able to do anything at this point. France is a state with its own principles. The citizen who has his own opinion will always remain a priority.

Finding balance

A balance of interests and beliefs will some day be found to stop radical manifestations of religiosity. In fact, this balance existed to some extent until the genie of Islamic radicalism was released from the bottle during the Cold War between the USSR and the Western world.

Pictures of pre-war Afghanistan and Iran during the times of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi now look like something unreal. Even in Moscow it was difficult to imagine thousands of rugs on Fridays and top officials attending landmark services in Orthodox churches.

The idea of replacing communist ideology with religion in Russia instead of the solid system of the rule of law was hopeless from the start. The legislative simplification of punishment for real and imaginary insults on religious grounds can hardly be called a breakthrough towards harmony in the society either.

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Author`s name Vasily Amirjanov