French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reportedly said on October 30 that the highest attack risk warning has been sent to French citizens in foreign countries “wherever they are, because the risk is everywhere.” As terror attacks continue to tighten its grip on France, the government has warned its citizens that they face a security threat “everywhere” across the world. After the gruesome stabbing inside a church in Nice that killed three people.
France has witnessed two attacks in just one month including the beheading of a history teacher after showing Prophet Muhammad’s caricatures to pupils, and the stabbing in the cathedral in Nice. Apart from the fear in France, there is an uproar in Muslim majority states against the European nation for defending the cartoons that it considers blasphemous and called to boycott French goods. On October 30, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin warned about the possibility of more such attacks in an interview with RTL radio.
“We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and outside. We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks,” Damarnin told RTL radio.
With French police discovering suspicious, unattended package in St martin Church being the latest reason of concern, Darmanin in the same interview called it a “war against Islamist ideology”. French Interior Minister’s remarks came a day after Tunisian man stabbed three people in a church. Christian Estrosi, the mayor of the French city, said that the attacker, who was later arrested, shouted “Allahu Akbar” while he was being restrained by police. The massive unrest in France and other nations are basically rooted in the caricatures appearing to ‘mock’ Islam’s religious leader Prophet Muhammad.
Prophet Muhammad caricatures and unrest
The cartoons appearing to depict Islam’s religious leader, Prophet Muhammad were first published years ago by French weekly satirical Charlie Hebdo. This was followed by one of the most horrific attacks in Paris when magazine’s editorial offices were attacked by gunmen in 2015 and killed 12. Moreover, since the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty on October 16 near Paris, the cartoons have been displayed in France to showcase solidarity but has left some Muslims reportedly angered.
What the French government and its supporters are calling protecting the freedom of speech has angered people in many Muslim majority states. In the aftermath, people flooded the streets denouncing France and its President Emmanuel Macron, he has reiterated his stance as the protector of rights. Most recently on October 26, after meeting with the Muslim community representatives in France, Macron had pledged to tackle “Islamist separatism” and added that it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in the European nation.
Amid the uproar when France was already fearing deadly attacks, an armed man with a 12-inch-long knife began stabbing people praying inside the Basilica of Notre-Dam in Nice at 8.29 AM (local time) on October 29. The Tunisian man reportedly slit the throat of a 60-year-old woman, a church worker and also left a woman severely injured. While the 60-year-old woman and the church worker reportedly died on the spot, the other 44-year-old woman managed to get out of the church.