France tightens security following teacher beheading
France is increasing security at religious sites with the country’s Interior Minister saying that the country faces a ‘very high’ risk of terrorist threats.
The move follows increasing geopolitical tensions following the beheading of a teacher who showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
French diplomats are trying to appease anger in Turkey and some other Arab nations amid anti-France protests and calls for boycotts of French goods in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s firm stance against Islamism in the wake of the beheading.
So far, European allies have supported Macron, while Muslim-majority countries are angered by his defence of prophet cartoons they consider sacrilegious.
Nevertheless, France’s national police have called for increased security at religious sites around the upcoming All Saint’s holiday, particularly noting online threats from extremists against Christians and moderate French Muslims.
Speaking on France-Inter radio, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that the terrorist threat remains ‘very high, because we have a lot of enemies from within and outside the country’. Stressing that there is ‘a battle against an Islamist ideology’, he accused Turkey and Pakistan in particular of ‘meddling in France's internal business’, but reiterated that ‘the Muslim faith has all its place in the republic’.