Emmanuel Macron recently announced that he wanted to end ‘Islamic separatism’ in France. A minority of the country’s estimated six million Muslims risk forming a ‘counter-society’, he said. It is tough talk from the President, but Macron is keen to position himself as the defender of French values, and he has form: when statues were being pulled down across the western world, Macron proclaimed that ‘the Republic won’t erase any name from its history. It will forget none of its artworks. It won’t take down statues.’
That Macron even gave an anti-Islamismspeech was itself a sign of how fast the debate is moving in France. Five years ago, when Fox News referred to ‘no-go zones’ in Paris, the city’s mayor threatened to sue.