The year 2015 has seen the start of an explicit process in which France, as a nation-state, has become an “external” target for ISIS, Al-Qaida-Maghreb-Islamic, and other terrorist organizations intent on carrying out assassinations in France, acting on their plans, and consequently submitting the French population to constant security threats. The lethal attacks of January 7th and January 8th on Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercasher supermarket and the meticulously coordinated mass murders of November 13th that followed them have radically wounded the collective mindset of the French citizens.
Until this latest chain of terrorist attacks — which was preceded by a number isolated violent political hate crimes — the majority of French citizens have only vaguely and cursively considered the question of religious fanaticism to represent a challenge to France. Through the many painful steps from the St Germain Peace Treaty (1570); Saint-Barthelemy massacre(1572; the Nantes Edict (1598) and its revocation (1685); the series of civil wars, the Fronde of ‘the League’ of ultra-Catholics (1648-1652); the successive abolition of the Clergy revolutionary decrees (1789, 1790, 1793, 1794); the Concordat (1801), down to the zeal of anti-Dreyfus religious reactionaries (1896-1905) – France has ploughed its way towards the legal separation of State and Church (1905 loi de separation de l’église et de l’état (LSEE)).
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