Beyond the Paris Attacks: Unveiling the War within French Counterterror Policy

By Beydoun, Khaled A. | American University Law Review, July 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Beyond the Paris Attacks: Unveiling the War within French Counterterror Policy


Beydoun, Khaled A., American University Law Review


Introduction

"France is at war! Perhaps. But against whom or what?"

-Olivier Roy1

"And because the lights of Paris epitomize cultural secularism for the world and thus 'ignorance of divine guidance' [for ISIS], they must be extinguished . . . ."

-Scott Atran and Nafees Hamid2

Clichy-sous-Bois, known as the City of Lights, is the darker side of Paris. On the far eastern end of the city lies France's "most notorious" ghetto; the cradle of the demographic threat currently gripping the nation's imagination.3 The city offers a rugged and lurid portrait of the isolation plaguing France's Muslim citizens: a second city on the fringes, where young girls in headscarves zigzag past elderly patriarchs donning beards and kufis,4 all treading atop the very same concrete that spawned France's most explosive riots more than a decade ago.5

Clichy-sous-Bois is simultaneously inside and outside of France: although a French suburb, it is perceived as a breeding ground for homegrown radicalism and extremism. It is a liminal space where culture wars with Islam are fought, ground zero for the proliferating war against Muslim radicals. As one of many French Muslim communities that embody the State's most intimate and existential fears, Clichy-sous-Bois sourced several of the culprits involved in the Paris Attacks of November 13, 2015.6

On November 13, 2015, shortly after 9:00 PM, "[t]hree teams of Islamic State attackers acting in unison carried out the terrorist assault in Paris," ultimately killing 130 people and wounding 352 others.7 The site of the first attack was an international soccer match between the French National Team and Germany at the Stade de France, attended by President Francois Hollande.8 Subsequently, the attackers bombed multiple popular restaurants and cafes, and the conspiracy concluded with several explosions at the famed Bataclan concert venue.9 Though the 11/13 Paris Attacks came on the heels of the January 7, 2015, Charlie Hebdo Attacks, because the 11/13 Attacks produced tenfold more victims,10 some refer to it as "France's 9/11."11

The Paris Attacks were, collectively, France's deadliest terror attack and a critical existential impasse for the State. They compelled President Hollande and his administration to make policy decisions that have had, and will continue to have, deep cultural and counterterror ramifications well beyond the horror of 11/13.12 Minutes after 11/13, the State heightened its urgency to combat homegrown Muslim "radicalization" within France.13 The identity of the culprits, combined with the Republic's ongoing struggle with Islam, led the State to frame the 11/13 Attacks as a symbol of increased radicalization within the "French Muslim community."14 The heightened urgency from the immediate wake of the November Attacks moved President Hollande to declare, "To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless."15

Although France does not keep an official demographic tally of its religious groups,16 a Pew Research Center study estimated the French Muslim population was approximately 4.7 million in 2010.17 At nearly eight percent of its aggregate polity, Islam is France's second largest religion,18 and its Muslim population ranks as one of the biggest in Europe.19 Consequently, the rising demographic, coupled with France's colonial history and modern "culture war" with Islam,20 conflates fear of radicalization with Islam, manifested by and executed against its established and still growing French Muslim citizenry.21

French fear of Muslim radicalization is not only shaped by religion but also race and gender. In line with embedded "Orientalist" tropes and modern caricatures,22 fear of Muslim violence takes on a specifically masculine and "Arab" form.23 Today, the bearded and brooding recruit of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)24 occupies the primary discursive conception of the Muslim terrorist. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Beyond the Paris Attacks: Unveiling the War within French Counterterror Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.