What is happening in France?

International Nov 06, 2020

What is happening in France?

  • With pangs of castigated protests and virulent murders coming to light in various regions and cities in France, a grotesque incident has put the country in a state of flux.
  • This started on October 16, when a school teacher was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee in France, claiming that the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, shown by the teacher, hurt religious sentiments. Such an ignominious act sparked a series of protests.
  • The cartoon used by the teacher was the one first depicted in the Charlie Hebdo magazine, due to which a terrorist attack was carried out in Paris in 2015.
  • Tensions soon escalated between the radicals and French authorities, as the French president Emmanuel Macron took a sturdy stand against the incident asserting that the country tolerates blasphemy and would not give up cartoons.
  • This instigated more virulent attacks as the situation soon spiraled out of control.

Macron’s response

  • In response, Macron passed some reforms to combat religious extremism, by curbing foreign-trained imams to preach in France. Also, all the Imams preaching religion in mosques would require a certification from the country.
  • He also stated that compact measures will be enforced to keep religion far away from the functioning of the government.
  • While blasphemy is tolerated in countries like France, Canada, and New Zealand, it is refuted in many Arab countries, where it can even lead to death sentences.
  • Macron claimed that the cartoon depiction was under the law of blasphemy, where France considers it a freedom of speech and expression and will protect these rights.
  • By the same token, to show that blasphemy is accepted in France, the French government, after the murder, projected the same cartoon on a building as well.

The response of the international countries

  • This act caused an imbroglio, where international countries were quite vocal about the recent protests in France.
  • It was spoken against in almost all the Islamic countries averring that they don’t support it, as they condemned the increasing terrorist attacks in France.
  • In many of the Arab nations like Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar, traders refused to sell french products. Whereas in countries like Syria and Libya, protests were witnessed.
  • With all these incidents taking place at a large level, all this comes down to a simple cultural difference which provoked the people to vituperate against each other.
  • The response of many leaders, as well as citizens, has been effrontery.
  • Fallacious claims have been asserted by the Muslim population and french authorities against each other, and this matter has become more crucial than merely mocking a religion.
  • In the upcoming days, the skirmishes can become even more harrowing and deter the ongoing efforts to assuage the situation.

This article has been written by Jahnavi Rathore for The Paradigm

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