We comment on the recent attack on Charlie Hebdo.
The attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo is something no one can justify. But, if we don’t understand the roots of these events, we risk being pulled ever further into a spiral of increasing violence.
Let’s not forget, then, that within France, racism against Muslims has escalated to horrific levels. The fascist National Front leads in presidential polls, and are mobilising for a national demonstration next week to exploit the current situation. There are bans on women wearing the hijab in schools, and the niqab, which covers the face, anywhere in public. Such measures are supposed to protect the dignity of women, but have quite the opposite effect – as seen in the summer of 2013, when a young Muslim woman, four months pregnant, was attacked for wearing a niqab in a Paris suburb, kicked in the stomach and miscarried.
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