As news broke that a French soldier had been attacked by a “bearded man [of] North African origin…wearing a light colored hijab,” the tensions between the French government and those who claim Islamist affiliation above all else were brought to the forefront once more.
This struggle has been evident–and even magnified–since the French intervened in Mali in January, but it has been going on long before a French intervention took place.
As Dr. Daniel Pipes details, between 2006 and now the French government has created a list of more than 750 “no-go zones.” These are zones of France which the French government does not control, and which it warns Westerners to avoid.
One of the early lists of “no go zones” can be viewed here.
Pipes says a more accurate name for these zones would be “Dar al-Islam”–or, roughly, “the place where Muslims rule.”
In August 2012, the French Interior Ministry launched a new effort to recover “no-go zones” for the French people. The areas targeted for recovery were in “Muslim-majority regions” in and around major cities like Lille, Strasbourg, Lyons, Marseilles, and Paris.
When the May 25 attack took place, the French soldier was taking part in a “national protection program” in a district just outside of Paris. His assailant attacked from behind, said nothing, then escaped on foot.