She explains for us the social and political dynamics behind the recent violence.
ELAINE SCIOLINO, Former New York Times Paris Bureau Chief: France has long had a North African Muslim population.
Extremists have targeted the city a number of times in the past decade.The wounds were still fresh from this year’s assault on a satirical magazine and Jewish market when Friday’s attacks unfolded.France has stuck to its rigorous rules on color-blindness and secularism even as it has struggled to integrate the millions of Arab and African immigrants who have changed the face of France in the past five decades.By some estimates (since there are no official numbers), 6 million of France’s population of 65 million are Muslim and 3 million to 5 million are black (many of them also Muslim).I do not truly believe the things I said, my comments did not reflect what I really think.” Members of the local Muslim community gathered outside the restaurant this weekend to demand an apology for the alleged incident. The CCIF (Committee Against Islamophobia in France) has issued a statement of support to the two women and pledged to give “emotional and legal support” to them.
Tensions in France have escalated in recent weeks surrounding the so called "burkini ban".
Hidalgo has strongly criticized a black feminist festival in Paris that bans non-black people in large parts of the event, saying she might prosecute its organizers on grounds of discrimination.
(Christophe Ena/Associated Press) France has long insisted that it had found a wise approach to two volatile topics, race and religion.
France in the Middle Ages • Early Modern France • Ancien Régime • French Wars of Religion • Louis XIV of France • French Revolution • Napoleonic wars • French Third Republic • France in the 20th century France is a country where freedom of religion and freedom of thought are guaranteed by virtue of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
The Republic is based on the principle of laïcité (or "freedom of conscience") enforced by the 1880s Jules Ferry laws and the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State.
France is suffering from a horrible economic crisis. If you have got no hope, if you have got no access to equal education or jobs or housing, what are you going to do?