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13 Jan, 2015

The false debate between freedom of expression and religious extremism | rabble.ca

Without giving any reason or excuse for the use of violence against journalists — which is not acceptable under any circumstances — one should remember that France is at war in many Islamic countries: in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Mali… Even if the human costs of these wars are not always clear to the French masses, as civilian casualties are not always reported in the headlines, there is a lot of resentment within the local population with regard to these policies. This resentment travels very well within the French Muslim community.

Moreover, France has a heavy colonial, racist and violent past with Muslim countries like Algeria, for instance (one can only state here the assassination and torture campaign against Algerian dissidents). The large wounds of the Algerian war of liberation — a struggle that ended costing Algerians a million lives — never healed, even more than half a century later.

Furthermore, the relationship between France and its Muslim population, estimated today to be close to 10 per cent, has never been an easy one. The ghettos surrounding Paris and other big cities, the violent riots between police and unemployed youth from marginalized North African communities, speak for themselves.

Read the rest: The false debate between freedom of expression and religious extremism | rabble.ca.