Global Insight: France's Macron heeding the Call

France has adopted New Zealand's approach to tackling terror as the European nation struggles to deal with the beheading of school teacher, Samuel Paty, by a Muslim extremist.

Following this week’s Paris terror attack, President Emmanuel Macron is prioritising weeding out Muslim extremism over assimilating Muslims in to French society, international relations specialist Professor Robert Patman says.

This is a change of tack for France, which has valued secularism and assimilation above religious freedom and diversity.

The shift comes in the wake of Macron’s support for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ‘‘Christchurch Call’’, launched in the aftermath of the March 15, 2019, mosque shootings.

The Christchurch Call urged governments and global tech companies to make changes that would stop social media being used to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.

‘‘President Macron and our Prime Minister seemed to have a good dialogue and they collaborated very well on the Christchurch Call,’’ Prof Patman says.

‘‘It may be that President Macron is listening to people from overseas.

‘‘I can see situations where there will be further exchanges of views between our government and the French government.’’


That very terror has of course never gone away, and as MI5 recently revealed, terror from Islamist concerns radicalized into action against European civilians, is still the most dominant area of concern. Regardless of Macron's interest in "The ChCh Call" it does not extend to ignoring the wider threat manifest upon his own soil. Separation of church and state is very dear to the hearts of the French people as is the education system and freedom of speech. When those are so crudely and violently violated, there will be repercussions against those factions within French society disinclined to celebrate those hard won achievements.


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