In an interview with The New York Times this week, French President Emanuel Macron criticized the U.S. media for covering recent Islamic terrorism in France in such a way that France is being blamed for its own victimhood. After a month in which Islamic terrorists beheaded a teacher and killed others for whatever imagined slights the French people have done to their people, the mainstream media in the United States has been all too willing to point the finger at Macron for failing to welcome Muslims properly into the country.
“When France was attacked five years ago, every nation in the world supported us,” Macron said. “So when I see, in that context, several newspapers which I believe are from countries that share our values — journalists who write in a country that is the heir to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution — when I see them legitimizing this violence, and saying that the heart of the problem is that France is racist and Islamophobic, then I say the founding principles have been lost.”
In the feature story, the Times reported that 250 people have been killed in France by Islamic terrorists since 2015, a number far exceeding other Western nations.
After a teacher was recently beheaded for showing cartoons of Mohammad in class, the Times reported, “Macron responded with a crackdown on Muslims accused of extremism, carrying out dozens of raids and vowing to shut down aid groups. He also made a vocal recommitment to secularism. Muslim leaders around the world criticized Mr. Macron’s and his aides’ aggressive response, which they said focused on peaceful Muslim groups. The president of Turkey called for boycotts of French products, as varied as cheese and cosmetics. The next month saw a new wave of attacks, including three murders in a Nice church and an explosion at a French ceremony in Saudi Arabia.”
This is a small example of exactly what Macron was getting at, of course: The Times is barely attempting to hide its efforts to blame Macron for, essentially, “bringing it on himself.” Muslims must be allowed to commit all of the atrocities they like, and France should respond by opening the door to more Muslim migrants, making further concessions for their faith, and changing French culture to accommodate a religion of intolerance and militant theocracy.
Macron is far from a perfect leader, but his efforts to keep France the way that it is – unburdened by the need to balance every facet of secularism and freedom against the feelings of Muslims – should be commended by every country that believes in the core values of Western democracy. That is isn’t – especially in the U.S. – gives us a dark glimpse of what we have in our own future.