France has made drastic reforms since the recent beheading of a school teacher, over showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed to a classroom, grabbed international attention.
Since the decapitation of school teacher, Samuel Paty, about a dozen arrests have been made in connection with religious extremism and another mosque has been closed down as a result.
Last month, the Western European country has closed down over 70 mosques and Islamic schools due to fears of radicalization in an effort to combat extremism. Additionally, France has signaled its intent to expel 231 identified radical Islamists from the country over security concerns.
“We must expel 231 foreigners from French territory, who are residing there illegally, and are being pursued on charges of extremism, including 180 in prison,” France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced in a recent press conference.
In a separate tweet, Darmanin wrote: “The fight against radical Islam: In the month of September, 12 places of radicalization have been shut (businesses, schools, culture centers…). That is 73 places closed down since the start of the year.”
Lutte contre l’islamisme radical :
Au mois de septembre, 12 lieux de radicalisation ont été fermés (commerces, écoles hors contrats, lieux de culte…)
Soit 73 lieux fermés depuis le début de l’année. pic.twitter.com/AV96VcduWs
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) October 13, 2020
A few weeks ago, French President Emmanuel Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” on a global level.
The statement made by Macron rippled through the Islamic world, drawing furious condemnation.
According to the New Arab:
Scholars at Egypt’s prestigious Sunni Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, denounced the remarks as “racist” and accused the French leader of spreading “hate speech”.
“He made false accusations against Islam, that have nothing to do with the true essence of this religion,” Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy said in statement.
“Such racist statements will inflame the feelings of two billion Muslim followers” around the world, and block the path to constructive dialogue, the statement added.
Al-Azhar said making “false accusations about Islam or other religions, such separatism and isolationism” went against the actual “reality of what these religions call for”.
It also condemned those who exploit or employ “religious texts to achieve unsavoury purposes”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Macron’s remarks, saying: “Macron’s statement that ‘Islam is in a crisis’ is an open provocation beyond disrespect.”
Later, Macron described the shocking decapitation an “Islamist terrorist attack” as global audiences were shocked by the action.