“This war, which does not concern only France, will be long and we will know more attacks. But we will win it. Because France has a strategy to win this war,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told daily newspaper Le Monde. “We must, first, crush this enemy outside,” he insisted before explaining that we must not fall into populism to remain lucid and build a new relationship with “Islam of France.” Considering that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy “lost his nerve,” Valls added that we can fight against terrorism without getting rid of the rule of law nor create a French Guantanamo.
In principle Valls is right to remind that democracy necessarily goes hand in hand with the rule of law. It must however be noted that the rule of law as it currently exists in France was unable to prevent the death of 236 innocent people in just 18 months. Terrorist acts are being perpetrated with ever increasing barbarism and French law enforcement forces – despite their work and determination – are no longer able to contain the threat as it grew very quick in numbers and suddenness. By opting for a similar line to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel ie no change, the Valls government is taking the risk of a stance that completely contradicts with the express demands of French citizens.
Once again, Manuel Valls expressed qualified opinion in a context that is no longer as such. This contradiction lies at the heart of French politics like always dissociating Islam from terrorism while calling upon building an “Islam of France.” This vague idea that Muslims themselves do not understand is a far cry from the expectations of the French whom the great majority is not Muslim. This obsession about only a minority of the population regardless of the majority, however this is well the latter that’s been explicitly targeted by terrorism, amplifies the wrath of the upset people. Advocating the preservation of the rule of law is commendable but it is still necessary that the laws that delimit it be simply enforced. If that were the case, the attack in Nice would not have taken place and 84 innocent people would still be alive.