Discussion : Current Racial Tensions In France

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Written by Annis Ferrey
The sudden global reaction after the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ shootings in Paris (7th January 2015), is both refreshing and disturbing.
Refreshing in the sense that people have finally woken up to the fact that radicalization is a global issue, it’s happening here, in the rest of Europe as well as in the middle east. Disturbing in the sense that it makes me wonder: is this the culmination, or the “tip of the iceberg” of racial tensions?
While I was looking at the “top 10 popular articles” on the Telegraph’s website yesterday, I came across a very interesting, much older article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/4351672/French-cartoonist-Sine-on-trial-on-charges-of-anti-Semitism-over-Sarkozy-jibe.html
written in June 2009 this shows that this is not the first time Charlie Hebdo had been at the forefront of racial/racisim debates.
The Cartoonist: Sine, was put on trial for “anti Semitism” and there had been a spate of anti Judaism attacks on synagogues etc in the same week. According to the Telegraph yesterday: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11340358/Charlie-Hebdos-Wednesday-edition-to-include-Prophet-Mohammed-cartoons.html.
There have been many people claiming that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an attack on free speech, yet, 6 years ago in the same country, there was very little fuss made when a cartoonist was put on trial for his work. Is it simply the fact that it was Muslims who were responsible for the attack that have made the reaction so powerful and wide spread? Is the French media only able to speak freely about some religions, but not others?
Perhaps Islam has become a global scapegoat.
On the 11th April 2011, France ‘banned the burqua’, and
     “A survey last year from the European Jewish Congress and Tel Aviv University found that France had more violent anti-semitic incidents in 2013 than any other country in the world. Jews were the target of 40 per cent of all racist crimes in France in 2013 – even though they comprise less than 1 per cent of the population. Attacks on Jews have risen sevenfold since the 1990s. ” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11335980/Antisemitism-in-France-the-exodus-has-begun.html
In 2012, a Tolouse school shooting left 4 people dead, shot by a French born Jihadist.
By being less tolerant, has France inadvertently increased the threat to it from terrorist and extremist groups, or is the Charlie Hebdo/ Jewish supermarket attack simply the culmination of a global racial conflict issue?
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One response to “Discussion : Current Racial Tensions In France

  1. This is an interesting approach to it – I would agree that Islam has been turned into an international scapegoat when it is actually a very peaceful religion with a few extremists that are getting it bad press, not unlike the KKK or the IRA. Loving all your posts so far, keep it up!

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