Charles Moore

To beat Islamist terror, France must close the gulf between church and state

To beat Islamist terror, France must close the gulf between church and state
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At the beginning of his war memoirs, Charles de Gaulle famously wrote, ‘All my life I have had a certain idea of France’ and its ‘eminent and exceptional destiny’. It was not only an abstract concept: the picture in his mind was of ‘the Madonna in mural frescoes’.

Douglas Murray and Haras Rafiq discuss Europe's summer of terror:

What is President Hollande’s certain idea of France? Presumably it cannot be the Madonna, since Hollande is the child of French laïcité, which creates an unbridgeable gulf between religion and the republic. But what happens when, in the name of one religion, men in France enter the temple of another and slit the throat of a priest, as happened this week near Rouen? The historical justification for laïcité has been that it is necessary to ensure peace and liberty for believers and unbelievers alike. It does not seem to work in modern France, where the political resistance to the discussion of religion is such that a policy against Islamism cannot be formulated.

It is actually illegal, for example, for the government to collect religious data on citizens, so no official statistics exist about crimes committed by Muslims. Mainstream politicians in France cling to the republic’s god of non-religion, leaving the field open to wars of religion declared by Muslim extremists and exploited by the Front National. It is time for latter-day de Gaulles to arise prepared to defend their country as part of European, Christian civilisation.

This is an extract from Charles Moore's Notes. The full article can be found here