On October 2nd, 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech on cracking down on radical Islamists and the “Muslim separatism” in France after many attacks had occurred by radical Muslims. Fast forward to Wednesday 18th, President Macron discusses a “long-planned” bill that will be addressed in the French cabinet. He states that the bill will “challenge to fight against those who go off the rails in the name of religion … while protecting those who believe in Islam and are full citizens of the republic.” According to Local France News, the bill is called loi confortant les principes républicains (law confirming republican principles), and its final draft will be discussed in parliament on December 9th, 2020.
The loi confortant les principes républicains will set out to make it an offence for any person to share personal information, especially any share of identification if a person exists who wants to harm them. This follows the incident involving Samuel Paty, a professor who showed his class a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad and was subsequently beheaded by a radical Islamist. This bill will also provide each child with an ID number to ensure they are attending school. These numbers are currently used under law but will include homeschooled children and those in private schools. Gérald Darmanin, France’s Minister of the Interior, believes it will work to “save children from the clutches of the Islamists.” The bill also can intimidate teachers, and officials, as well as keep accountable NGOs and charities suspected of being infiltrated by radical Islamists. Additionally, judges will be able to ban any individual from entering a place of worship in the event of the “conviction of provocation act of terrorism.”
The Washington Post, however, has criticized President Macron’s act to “reform Islam” and clamp down on “Islam separatism” as systemic racism rather than dealing with radical Islamic terrorism. According to the New York Post, in 2016, there was a high population of Muslims living in ghettos located in Paris and Brussels incubating and creating Islamic extremists. The two brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015 lived in these incubators. Ghettos are also places where police typically do not visit, unemployment is rampant, and radical Islamists aggressively recruit young men for the Jihad. Some of these young men are already radicalized Muslim men who have travelled from Syria and live in these ghettos. Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at Gatestone Institute, states, “These ghettos are called ‘no-go zones,’ very deprived areas in many northern European cities. I call them stateless; they’re not accepted in France and Belgium.” He believes this problem will not be fixed easily as radicalism is passed on from generation to generation.