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Terror in France

October 30, 2020

Episode Notes:

France has suffered a series of gruesome terrorist attacks in the past few weeks. On Oct. 16, a man beheaded schoolteacher Samuel Paty in the Paris suburbs after Paty showed a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in class. Yesterday, a man killed three people in a knife attack at a church in Nice in what French President Emmanuel Macron called an “Islamist terrorist attack.” The attacks strike at core French values — free speech and secularism — and has led to an outpouring of emotion. Paty was given an official funeral at the Sorbonne university in Paris, where Macron delivered a eulogy.

Michael Shurkin — senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an expert on French defense policy and French history — joins the Warcast to discuss the attacks, what the government’s response reveals about French identity, and how the country’s views on secularism will continue to shape its approach to religious extremism and terrorism.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelShurkin


[ 01:18 ] What we know about the terrorist attacks

[ 04:10 ] Why the Samuel Paty murder provoked such a strong national response in France

[ 07:29 ] French secularism

[ 12:30 ] French counter-terrorism approach

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