France is at war. This war is of utmost significance not just for Paris, but for the world community at large. France is fighting tooth and nail and is vowing to protect its society from the menace of Islamist extremism. Let’s be frank. The world is lagging in its fight against Islamism. Religious extremism of one community is upending world peace and communal harmony between communities. The social fabric of countries is being torn apart by Islamists while their governments sleep at the wheel. India too is nowhere close to France when it comes to curbing Islamist extremism. You know it for a fact. We have a lot to learn for France and its President, Emmanuel Macron.
France’s interior minister said on Tuesday he had launched a procedure to close a mosque for up to six months because of the radical nature of its imam’s preaching. The mosque in Beauvais, a town of 50,000 some 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of Paris, is being shuttered because of “unacceptable” preachings. Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin said the mosque’s imam “is targeting Christians, homosexuals and Jews” in his sermons. Authorities in the Oise region, where the mosque is located, said sermons inciting hate, violence and defending jihad were a regular affair during Friday prayers.
According to the interior ministry, 99 mosques and Muslim prayer halls out of France’s total number of 2,623 have been investigated in recent months because they were suspected of spreading “separatist” ideology. Out of these, 21 mosques have been shut down under France’s anti-separatism bill, spearheaded by President Macron to curb the rise of radicalism in France. But that’s not all. 36 mosques have been tamed by the French government, and they have booted out radical imams from their premises.
France’s Fight Against Islamism
Europe has been grappling with Islamists for quite some time now. These elements have either themselves shifted to Europe from the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa as refugees in search of greener pastures or are merely the first line of children reproduced by refugee parents in Europe. Either way, they do not accept European values. Islam reigns supreme for them, and therefore, they find themselves engaging in violence. Between 2014 and 2016 alone, France witnessed 236 deaths owing to Islamic extremism.
In January 2015, two Muslim gunmen killed 12 people for allegedly publishing a cartoon on Prophet Mohammed. Additionally, Samuel Paty was beheaded by Islamists in October 2020 for showing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad during a civics class. The beheading was the turning point in the French history of tolerance of Islam and Emmanuel Macron’s government finally started its crackdown on Islamic extremists.
Emmanuel Macron has not been sleeping. Unlike other leaders from around the world, he is not afraid to be seen as a bad person for taking on Islamism. According to newly made laws in France, the French government is given powers for intervention in mosques and the associations in charge of their management, as well as financial oversight of Islamist-owned associations and non-governmental organisations. It also limits the Muslim community’s educational options by prohibiting families from providing home education to their children. The law makes “secularism education” mandatory for all elected officials and forbids patients from selecting doctors based on gender for religious or other purposes.
Additionally, the law forbids “clandestine” schools that embrace Islamist ideology. It also enforces a polygamy ban by rejecting polygamous applicants for residency.
Islamist immigrants were pumped up with plans to put Europe on fire. Because of Emmanuel Macron, the only thing left burning now are their posteriors. France is not shying away from taking on Islamists in their own style, and in a language that they can comprehend.