Listen as Clarion Editor Meira Svirsky discusses the escalating Islamist terror in France and the following questions: Why France? Why now? Is there a solution to the problem of Islamist extremism in France? Could this have been expected or even prevented? What is the difference between Europe and the U.S.?
In the past two weeks, France has seen three apparent Islamist terror attacks in the wake of the trial of the accomplices in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacres.
- On October 16, in broad daylight, French schoolteacher Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded on a suburban street for teaching his students a required lesson about free speech. The community had been agitating against Paty for showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in the context of his lesson and the ongoing trial. False information had been circulating about him and what he was teaching. Paty was murdered close to the school where he taught, by an 18-year-old Chechen immigrant (identified only as Abdoulakh A.) who had come to France as a child refugee.
- On October 29, three people were stabbed to death inside a church in Nice by a 21-year-old Tunisian who had just recently arrived in France: a 60-year-old woman who was “virtually beheaded;” a 45-year-old father of two identified as Vincent Loquès, who had worked at the church for more than 10 years, and a 44-year-old mother of three named Simone Barreto Silva, who managed to flee to a nearby cafe but died shortly afterward of her wounds. Silva was from Brazil and had lived in France for 30 years.
- On October 31, a 52-year-old Orthodox priest was shot point-blank as he was closing a church in Lyon. He is currently in a life-threatening condition at a hospital; a suspect has been apprehended.
In 2015, 14 Islamist extremists murdered 17 people in a killing spree that started at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. As a satirical magazine in France, Charlie Hebdo had published “Mohammed cartoons” that triggered the violent assault, turning the newsroom into a scene of carnage, blood and gunpowder.
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