The "New Normal" in France?

(Foreign Policy) Justin Vaisse - The recent terrorist shootings in France are notable only for their gruesome details. But the shootings reveal nothing new about global terrorism nor French society. Although often targeted, France had seen no major attack materialize on its soil since 1996. Anti-Semitism in France has steadily declined in recent decades, and anti-Semitic acts, which had brutally increased in the first half of the 2000s, have subsided. The sociological profile of Mohamed Merah is a sad copy of his jihadist predecessors of decades past. These are not deeply religious men, but rather actors crazed by a desire to take destiny into their own hands and appointing themselves defenders of victimized Muslims. Merah articulated the usual jihadist justifications for his actions, but as late as 2010 he was still trying to enlist in the French armed forces, and was rejected by the Foreign Legion.

2012-03-23 00:00:00

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