EU leaders have urged different nations to cease inciting hatred after a Tunisian migrant murdered three individuals in France on Thursday (29 October).
“We condemn within the strongest potential phrases these assaults, which signify assaults on our shared values,” they mentioned in a press release following a video-summit the identical day, which had meant to give attention to the pandemic.
“We name on leaders around the globe to work in direction of dialogue and understanding amongst communities and religions quite than division,” they added.
Talking exterior a Roman Catholic church in Good, southern France, the place the killings happened, French president Emmanuel Macron additionally denounced the “Islamist terrorist assault”.
“Folks can imagine or not imagine, all religions could be practised, however as we speak the nation is beside our Catholic compatriots”, he mentioned.
“If we’ve got been attacked as soon as once more, it’s due to our values, our style for freedom; the liberty to imagine freely and never give in to any terror”, he added.
“I say it with nice readability once more as we speak: We won’t give any floor,” Macron mentioned.
“We’ll defend all our residents … my message is one among absolute firmness and unity. There is just one group in France, the nationwide group,” he mentioned.
The attacker, a 21-year outdated Tunisian man known as Brahim Aouissaoui, had come to Italy one month in the past, crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat.
He then travelled to France by practice on Thursday morning, walked to the Notre-Dame basilica, and killed three individuals with a knife whereas shouting “Allahu Akbar!”, which means “God is the best”, earlier than police shot him useless.
The EU attraction to “leaders around the globe”, got here after some Muslim statesmen, led by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his state media machine, had spent the previous week demonising France.
They did it after Macron had defended the suitable of French media and lecturers to indicate cartoons of Mohammed, deemed blasphemous by Muslims.
And Macron had achieved so, on grounds of free speech, after a Muslim immigrant of Chechen origin lately beheaded a trainer for displaying the photographs to his class.
The French Council for the Muslim Religion denounced the Good killing and known as for worshippers to cancel a non secular vacation, known as Mawlid, in mourning.
Unequivocal condemnations of the murders additionally rolled in from around the globe, together with the US and India, as an illustration.
For his half, Erdoğan mentioned nothing.
However his spokesman, Fahrettin Altun, appeared responsible Macron for what occurred.
“We name on the French management to keep away from additional inflammatory rhetoric in opposition to Muslims and focus, as an alternative, on discovering the perpetrators of this and different acts of violence,” Altun mentioned.
The overseas ministry of Saudi Arabia, the place a person stabbed a guard exterior the French consulate on Thursday, condemned the Good killing.
However the Saudi assertion, urging “the significance of avoiding all practices which generate hatred, violence, and extremism”, additionally alluded to Macron’s earlier defence of the Mohammed cartoons.
In the meantime, the previous Malaysian prime minister, 95-year outdated Mahathir Mohamad, mentioned on Twitter that “Muslims have a proper to punish the French”.
“Muslims have a proper to be indignant and to kill tens of millions of French individuals for the massacres of the previous,” he additionally mentioned, earlier than the US social media agency took down his feedback.
The Good assault dangers additional polarising French politics and society.
It’s grist to the mill of French far-right social gathering, the Rassemblement Nationwide, which has harangued in opposition to Muslim migrants for years.
However even the centre-right mayor of Good, Christian Estrosi, mentioned on Thursday: “Sufficient is sufficient … We’ve to take away this Islamo-fascism from our territory”.
And simply two hours after the Good incident, French police within the city of Avignon shot useless a far-right extremist, Philippe Guemas, after he had attacked a person of north African descent whereas armed with a gun.
France has raised its safety alert standing to its highest stage and greater than doubled the variety of troopers despatched to protect faculties and temples from 3,000 to 7,000 in anticipation of additional violence.
And the safety scare compounded pressure, coming shortly after Macron had introduced a nationwide lockdown resulting from a second wave of coronavirus.
The assaults in Paris and Good have stirred recollections of Islamist massacres in each cities in 2015 and 2016.
There have been 21 jihadist plots within the EU final 12 months, of which 4 failed, 14 had been stopped, and three had been carried out, in line with the joint EU police company in The Hague, Europol.
However Europe had recorded its lowest variety of terrorist incidents of every type final 12 months since 2012.