"Terror in the form of satire" - this is how Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar commented on the recent caricature of Erdogan on the cover of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Early on Thursday morning, it became clear how crude jokes differed from violent terror. A terrorist killed two women in Nice who attended services at the Notre Dame Cathedral, located in the busy city center.
The perpetrator beheaded a 70-year-old woman. The second victim was a 30-year-old woman whose children were orphaned. According to eyewitnesses, before she died, she said: "Tell my children that I love them." He also cut the throat of a clergyman of the cathedral. During the arrest, the attacker repeatedly shouted the words: "Allahu Akbar", said the shocked Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi.
This murderous Islamist madness has become commonplace in Europe. Our French neighbors are especially prone to its blows. Just two weeks ago, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in a suburb of Paris.
Since 2012, Islamists have killed nearly 300 people in France. The latest attack took place in Nice, a city where a terrorist killed 86 people on a French national holiday in 2016 by driving a truck into a crowd. Another attack was averted the day before near Avignon.
Not surprisingly, in France, everyone's nerves are at their limit. It has long been not only Marine Le Pen that has called for action in the spirit of martial law. Emmanuel Macron, in a lengthy speech three weeks ago, called "Islamist separatism" the most serious threat to the republic and demanded the creation of "a democracy-compatible Franco-republican Islam." It was these words that sparked the ire of the Islamic world.
But this anger, which was fueled, among other things, by Erdogan with his irresponsible statements, proves that Macron is right. An ideology that justifies murder as a reaction to a hypothetical insult to the prophet must be fought consistently. This is the biggest challenge not only for France, but also for freedom throughout Europe.
This fight should be a priority for Europe. It would be nice if Germany understood that Islamism poses a greater threat to our free democratic order than some expanded measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus. This is where our struggle for freedom lies.