The latest attacks in France and in Germany are part of IS’s strategy to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash in European countries, so as to radicalise more European Muslims. And European leaders’ warmongering rethoric is helping it.
“Our country is at war,” said French President Francois Hollande on 26 July, after a priest was murdered near Rouen in front of his congregation by two attackers who claimed to be serving Islamic State (IS). It’s the sort of thing leaders feel compelled to say at times like this, but it does send the wrong message.
French aircraft are already bombing IS forces in Syria, so you could call that a sort of war. But that was not what Hollande was talking about. He was saying France is somehow at war at home, and went on to say “Our democracy is the target, and it will be our shield. Let us stand together. We will win this war.” Continue reading
UPDATE 17:10 PM: Sister Danielle, a nun who was in the church during the attack, told BFM television that Father Jacques Hamel was forced to the ground by the terrorists, who recorded themselves conducting an arabic sermon at the alter before slitting his throat.
Sister Danielle said:
“They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that’s when the tragedy happened. They recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror,” she told BFM television.
Of her fallen colleague, she said: “He was a great priest.”