Multicultural France Warns of ‘Very High’ Terror Threat as Rosh Hashanah Nears

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 25: Armed police secure the area of around the former Charlie Hebdo headquarters, and scene of a previous terrorist attack in 2015, after two people were stabbed on September 25, 2020 in Paris, France. French National Anti-terrorist Prosecutor's office have opened an investigation into the attempted …
Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

With a number of Jewish holidays set to take place over the coming weeks, officials in multicultural France are now warning of a “very high” terror threat level in the country.

With Rosh Hashanah fast approaching, law enforcement agencies in France have been ordered to keep an eye out for suspicious individuals and activity during the Jewish holiday period over the next number of weeks, with officials warning that the country now faces  “very high” terror threat level.

With the last decade in the country being marred by repeated episodes of Islamic terrorism, the otherwise-progressive Macron administration has been recently clamping down hard on militant Islamism in the country, shutting down mosques suspected of preaching extremist ideology and effectively forcing Muslim associations to sign a pledge denouncing political Islam.

According to a report by Le Figaro, officials in the country now feel that the upcoming Jewish holidays could become a target for further extremist attacks, with the French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, saying that there now exists a “very high level of the terrorist threat” within the state.

The politician has now reportedly requested that police forces in the country implement “preventive security” measures, including limiting the numbers allowed access to places of worship, oversight of those entering such locations for the purpose of “detecting suspicious individuals”, while also posting guards at event centres “during working hours,” as well as during the “arrival and departure of the faithful during gatherings”.

Darmanin also requested that forces across themselves make themselves visible to the public over the coming weeks, which will see the Jewish festivals of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah take place.

While authorities under French President Emmanuel Macron have remained vocally supportive of their multicultural society in the face of rising right-wing populists, including Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party, in practice, ministers have in many ways abandoned their pluralistic intentions in favour of implementing hardline crackdowns on radical Islam.

For example, Darmanin’s ministry has made a habit out of shutting down mosques in the country suspected of spreading extremist ideology that targets the likes of homosexuals, Christians and Jews.

National authorities have also seemingly bullied various major Muslim associations in the country into signing the controversial “Charter of Principles of Islam of France“, which forces signatories to eschew political Islam and to call for the end of interference from foreign entities in the lives of French Muslims.

The document has been heavily criticised by some Muslims in the country as containing terminology that is extremely vague and far-reaching, with some worrying that the document would effectively criminalise “religious practices that are part of the common foundation of Islam and which are guaranteed by the Constitution”.

However, the French government has reacted extremely badly to organisations that refuse to sign the charter, declaring one association — the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) — as being “dead” after it refused to sign up for the government initiative.

“Today the CFCM, that is to say, the representation of consular Islam – Moroccans, Algerians – is dead,” Minister Darmanin previously declared regarding the organisation. “The CFCM, for the public authorities, for the French Republic, no longer exists, is no longer the interlocutor of the Republic.”

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