Across France, millions marched in rallies of defiance and sorrow this weekend, a week after a deadly attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. As the French premier declared war on radical Islam, the country’s Muslim population, the largest in Europe, are bracing themselves for a potential anti-Islamist backlash. CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reported this story from Paris.
Muslims in France fear backlash following Charlie Hebdo attacksAcross France, millions marched in rallies of defiance and sorrow this weekend, a week after a deadly attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. As the French premier declared war on radical Islam, the country's Muslim population, the largest in Europe, are bracing themselves for a potential anti-Islamist backlash. CCTV's Kate Parkinson reported this story from Paris.
Behind the unprecedented display of unity, many Muslims in France said they are worried the attacks will increase cultural and religious tensions.
While the French motto is “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity,” the country has struggled to fully integrate its Muslim citizens. France’s strict separation of church and state has led to conflict with Islamic fundamentalists. In 2010, the French Senate banned full-face veils and praying in public.
France’s difficult relationship with its Muslim minority dates back to bloody struggles in its former North African colonies and the legacy of immigrants trapped in some of the country’s poorest districts.
The Algerian war to end French colonial rule in the mid-twentieth century, followed by a spate of Algerian terrorist attacks in France in the 1990s also created enduring mistrust.
Radical clerics have tapped into the bitterness to recruit fighters for a holy war in the Middle East.
The prospect that these fighters are bringing that war back home has become a top security concern in Europe.
The recent attacks by the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly have added to these fears.
While Muslim leaders have condemned last week’s attacks, many fear they will still be blamed for the atrocities by extremists.
In recent days, grenades and gunshots have struck several Islamic targets in France, raising fears of a backlash that could turn bloody.
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet of The Telegraph discusses new Charlie Hebdo edition
CCTV America interviewed Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, a columnist of The Telegraph newspaper, about the upcoming publication of Charlie Hebdo following last weeks terror attacks on the magazine.