I was impressed that Macron even acknowledged Islamic separatism. But other leaders need to follow his lead. France is not the only country with a parallel society subverting it from within. Nor is Islamism the only ideology that is the sworn antagonist of free speech.
Across the Western world, freedom of expression is under increasing pressure. In addition to the Islamists, we are seeing an Orwellian campaign against freedom of expression by self-styled “woke” proponents of critical race theory, radical feminism, and transgender rights. Increasingly, government officials, cultural and political institutions, and leading corporations feel obliged to yield to their pressure. All of this is done in the name of “inclusion” and “sensitivity,” but the results are no less harmful. In a powerful column this week, former New York Times writer Bari Weiss sounded the alarm about this assault on the foundations of liberalism. It is not only the Jewish community that it threatens.
The murder of Paty rings another alarm bell. Peaceful coexistence in diverse societies becomes impossible if more and more forms of expression are classified as blasphemy or “hate speech,” the secular equivalent. In the absence of more effective measures to uphold the principles of individual liberty, militant minorities who seek to enforce conformity nearly always resort to violence, barbarism, and beheadings.