Terror Attacks in France: A Culture of Denial

by Alain Destexhe  •  October 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 03: Police block the bridge near Paris Police headquarters after four officers were killed in a knife attack on October 3, 2019 in Paris, France. A civilian police worker wielding a knife stabbed and killed four officers at the police headquarters before being shot dead. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
  • This latest attack also demonstrates how inadequately prepared France is to tackle the problem. The murderer was not just any civil servant: his security clearance allowed him to have access to sensitive files such as the personal details of police officers and individuals monitored by the department, including several individuals suspected of terrorism.
  • Beyond the political sphere, there is also a culture a denial of the Islamist threat in the French media. Journalists, academics and politicians, with a few exceptions, have consistently played down not only the risk of terrorist attacks but also the threat of growing Salafist radicalization in the country.
  • According to a study by the Montaigne Institute, 29% of Muslims in France believe that Sharia law is more important than French law. This means that almost one-third of French Muslims live according to values that are fundamentally incompatible with French or Western standards.
  • It is important to note that theses quotes are not from right-wing thinkers or activists. Both François Hollande and Gerard Collomb were long-time eminent figures of the Socialist Party.
  • These are typical examples of what some call “la démission des élites” (the abdication of the elites): refusing to act on a situation of which they are perfectly aware but afraid to mention because of the dominant ideology of political correctness.