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French terrorist attack: 3 people who died in Nice may disrupt the debate on freedom of speech and Islam



The killing of three people in southern France on Thursday was regarded as a terrorist attack by French officials, which seems to be related to the country’s public display of cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the government’s general attitude towards Islam.

At around 9 am local time on Thursday morning in Nice, an assailant killed three people, two women and one man in Notre-Dame de Paris with a knife. According to reports, one of the women was 70 years old and died in the church like the man. The Associated Press said that the second woman “escaped to a nearby bar but was seriously injured.”

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The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, told reporters that he believed the attack was carried out by Islamic extremists. “He cried’Alla Akbar! Esterosi said that even after he was injured, the police did it over and over again. (“Allahu akbar” (Arabic meaning “God is great”,” is a Muslim, especially Is a common expression used in prayer).)

The suspect is currently in custody and has been hospitalized.

Two other incidents occurred on Thursday. On the same day, some Muslims observed Maurid. This was a celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. In Monfavit, also in southern France, a man was shot dead after threatening police with a pistol. In Saudi Arabia, a guard outside the French consulate in Jeddah was stabbed. The French Embassy in Riyadh said in a statement that the guard has been hospitalized but is in stable condition. The suspect has been arrested.

In response to the Nice attack and other incidents, the French government raised the country’s security alert to the highest level and increased the number of troops protecting schools and religious sites from 3,000 to 7,000. French President Emmanuel Macron (Emmanuel Macron) visited the site in Nice and issued a clear message: “I made this very clear-we will not succumb to terrorism.”

Leaders of Muslim-majority countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates condemned the attacks in Nice. Egypt’s highest religious authority, Al-Azhar, said in a tweet: “In any case, these attacks are unjustified.

The Nice attack occurred during a wide-ranging debate in France about Islam and freedom of speech

Earlier this month, a suspected Islamic extremist beheaded Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old middle school teacher, when he returned home from school. A few days ago, as part of a classroom discussion on freedom of speech, Patty showed his 12 to 14-year-old students two Muhammad cartoons published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo-these images inspired the killing of jihadists in 2015. The magazine has 11 employees and Paris has 6 employees.

The police found a Twitter account suspected of belonging to Paty’s attackers. The account was characterized by a severed head and a message: “I executed a dog that dared to put down Muhammad.”

The Macron government turned Patty into a free speech hero. At the national memorial held for the death penalty teacher last week, Macron said that France “will continue to fight for freedom” and “intensify” efforts to end Islamic extremism in the country.

He also said that France will continue to support anyone who wants to show Mohammed’s cartoons, and pointed out that France has a deep secularist culture. As he described, Macron’s goal is to create a “French Islam” aimed at seamlessly integrating Muslims into French society.

Last week, French police raided many houses across the country as part of an investigation into the murder of Patty. About 15 people have been detained and 51 Islamic organizations are being investigated.

The aftermath of Paty’s killing has rekindled a French debate on how to strike a balance between freedom of speech and respect for religion. Nice offense will only increase firepower.

Charles Thépaut, a visiting researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Washington-based think tank, said: “The purpose of terrorism is to shock, incite tension and prevent this discussion.”

The Mayor of Nice, Estrosi, has called on the government to respond more severely. He said: “Enough.” “Now is the time for France to exempt the peacetime laws to permanently annihilate Islamic legalism from our territory.”


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