Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on the government to be “ruthless” following the brutal murder of a priest in Normandy by jihadists, stating that France is “at war”, and that there is no choice but for the nation to “lead and win”. However, François Hollande has ruled out any new measures for dealing with terrorism.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy demanded the government implement a series of proposed security measures which his party, Les Républicains (the Republicans), have been urging President François Hollande’s Socialist government to ratify for months.
The chairman of the Republicans stated: “Our enemy has no taboo, no limits, no morality, has no borders…We must be ruthless.”
“We are at war,” Mr. Sarkozy said, and that “there is no choice but to lead and win”.
The Republican politician made the call to arms came following the beheading of a Catholic priest by Islamic militants during morning Mass in Normandy.
But Socialist party members President Holland, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and Minister for the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve have resisted calls from the right wing party to adopt the recommended measures during this state of emergency. The measures would see greater rights for French authorities to detain, question, and eject from French soil those suspected or convicted of extremism or terrorism.
“Legal quibbles, precautions – pretexts for incomplete action – are no longer eligible,” affirmed Mr. Sarkozy, who had previously stated that the French government has not done enough in the past eighteen months to protect the French people from Islamic terrorism.
Such measures would include: holding in detention centres or electronically tagging individuals suspected of being a risk to national security; barring foreigners from entering the country who may pose a risk to national security, and the immediate expulsion of all radicalised foreigners; closing Islamist mosques; no reduction for sentences of criminals convicted of terrorism; and the interruption of migration from at-risk areas of the world.
If adopted, these procedures may prove not only a comfort but life-saving to a distressed and besieged French people, he said. Last week the results of a survey revealed that two-thirds of the French do not trust their government to protect them from terrorism.
However, these measures were already rejected when the government voted on the 20th of July to extend the state of emergency a further six months. Despite the extension coming days after the Nice Bastille Day terror attack, the Socialists hold that introducing any measures which could protect the lives of French men and women from Islamic terrorism would “undermine the rule of law”.
Following the beheading of the French priest, President Hollande has stated that his government would exercise an “absolute determination” in the fight against terrorism. However, he deemed a “restrict[ion of] freedoms” as “demean[ing] constitutional rules” which would in fact “bring no effectiveness in the fight against terrorism”.
Believing that if France’s “democracy is the target,” then “it will be [their] shield”, the Socialist ruled out any emergency amendments to strengthen the nation’s security apparatus.
Reacting to the murder in Normandy, Front National’s Marion Le Pen urged Christians to stand up to Islam, the 26 year old leading as an example for the young people of France by joining the military reserves.