search

French chief rabbi lauds government’s crackdown on radical Islam

Haim Korsia writes in op-ed that Paris changing policy ‘belatedly, but all the same,’ after beheading of history teacher who showed students cartoons of prophet Mohammed

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (C), Consistoire central israélite de France president Joel Mergui (L) and France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia (R) attend a ceremony at the Nazareth synagogue in Paris as part of the French government's greetings to the Jewish community ahead of the Jewish New Year, on September 8, 2015. (AFP Photo/Bertrand Guay)
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (C), Consistoire central israélite de France president Joel Mergui (L) and France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia (R) attend a ceremony at the Nazareth synagogue in Paris as part of the French government's greetings to the Jewish community ahead of the Jewish New Year, on September 8, 2015. (AFP Photo/Bertrand Guay)

JTA — French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia praised his government’s crackdown on radical Islamists, writing in an op-ed that it makes clear that “things are changing — belatedly, but all the same.”

Korsia’s op-ed Wednesday in Le Figaro followed news that the French Interior Ministry has dissolved a Hamas-inspired group as part of a slew of actions prompted by the October 16 beheading of a history teacher near Paris.

The teacher, Samuel Paty, had been killed by a Muslim refugee from Chechenya after showing his students the same caricatures of the prophet Mohammed that had prompted a deadly assault on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in 2015.

“There are no lone wolves … [and] there is no auto-indoctrination,” Korsia wrote. “On the contrary: The spirit of those made-in-France terrorists is part of an elevation of heroes, an affinity for horror, a glorification guaranteed by a multinational of fanatics. That is what’s being targeted.”

The group, the Cheikh Yassine Collective, was named for one of the founders of Hamas who was killed in an Israeli strike in 2004. Several suspected Islamists have also been arrested by French authorities and at least one mosque was temporarily shuttered. Hamas has distanced itself from the French group though

A demonstrator displays on his back a portrait of slain teacher Samuel Paty during a demonstration Sunday Oct. 18, 2020 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Even before Paty’s murder, French President Emmanuel Macron had announced a plan that he called an “attack on Islamist separatism,” and which aimed to ban underground Muslim schools among other venues of Islamist indoctrination that Macron said endanger the integrity of the republic.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

read more:
comments