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France is curbing freedom in the name of freedom 

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France under President Emmanuel Macron has been making more than a few international waves over the past few months. It has involved itself in the dispute between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, for example, and given tacit support to the rogue Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar against the government backed by the UN and, among others, Turkey. No surprise, therefore, that Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan was moved to suggest that Macron should get his head examined — I’m paraphrasing — after his French counterpart’s response to the murder of a teacher in France by a lone Chechen Muslim.

The connection between all of these incidents is Macron’s attempt to take the far-right electoral ground with a strong stance against political Islam. The rising Muslim-majority power that Turkey and its devout but pragmatic leader Erdogan represent are unacceptable to the French leader.

Other European and Western leaders over almost two decades of the global war on terror have always managed to target politically Islamic individuals, entities and ideologies without mentioning the religion itself. Macron has broken that trend. “Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today,” he said last month, “we are not just seeing this in our country.” In doing so, he opted to target the faith of roughly a fifth of the global population.

READ: Macron’s ‘red lines’ against Turkey reveals France’s neo-Napoleonic mission

This has led him to crack down on France’s six million Muslim citizens. A draft law has been issued restricting home-schooling due to “indoctrination”, while mosque imams will have to be state-approved and not come from abroad. Dozens of mosques have been closed along with private Islamic schools and even Muslim-owned businesses and cafes.

One of the Muslim organisations that have been targeted is........

© Middle East Monitor

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