Emmanuel Macron warned against mounting Islamism and the threat to freedom of expression. After a shocking attack this now sounds prescientAT THE th
AT THE the start of this month, Emmanuel Macron headed to the town of Les Mureaux, in the Yvelines department north-west of Paris, to warn the French about the rising threat of “Islamist separatism”. This is a radical political project, the president declared, which is testing the resilience of the secular French republic, and constitutes a menace to “freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and the right of blasphemy”.
At the time, Mr Macron was accused in some quarters of cynically chasing the far-right vote, and in others of stigmatising Muslims. The beheading of a middle-school history teacher on October 17th, however, which the police are treating as an act of terrorism, has rendered Mr Macron’s analysis less extravagant than prescient.
The teacher, Samuel Paty, was murdered following threats he received for showing pupils caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression. (He had apparently invited those who might be upset to leave the classroom before he did so.) The slaying took place on a leafy street in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in the Yvelines, not far from Les Mureaux where the president had spoken. Mr Macron said after the murder that it bore all the hallmarks of an “Islamist terrorist”…