Hundreds of French soldiers warned the French government in a letter that France may descend into civil war unless the spread of radical Islam is stopped.
The letter, signed by 2,000 active-duty military members, comes after hundreds of retired generals and officers signed a similar open letter last month. The latest letter was published in the right-wing magazine Valeurs Actuelles on Sunday, according to Politico Europe.
The active-duty soldiers say that France has “surrendered” to radical Islam through lax policies and a misguided embrace of tolerance. The soldiers signed the letter anonymously to avoid repercussions from the French government.
“Many of us have suffered enemy fire,” the soldiers, who claim to be veterans of operations in Africa and Afghanistan, wrote, according to a translation of the letter by the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti. “Many have offered their lives to destroy the Islamism to which you are making concessions on our soil. We have seen the abandoned suburbs with our own eyes. We have endured attempts to exploit religious communities, for which France means nothing, is nothing but the object of sarcasm, contempt, and hatred. We marched on July 14th. We see communitarianism taking hold in the public space, in the public debate. We see the hatred of France and her story becoming the norm.”
The soldiers compared the government’s approach to radical Islam today to the government’s approach to the Nazis in 1940 during World War II when France abandoned, “without reacting, entire neighborhoods of our country to the law of the strongest.”
“No one can wish for such a terrible situation, but the civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well. Act, ladies and gentlemen. This time it’s not about ready-made formulas or media coverage. It is about the survival of our country, of your country,” the letter says.
Last month, 1,000 former military members, including 20 retired generals, wrote a letter to Macron and the French Parliament warning of the “disintegration and Islamization” of the country, according to Meotti. The ex-military members said the government’s lack of appropriate action and the spread of “a certain anti-racism” was fracturing France, according to BBC. The BBC summarizes the April letter:
It warns French President Emmanuel Macron, his government, and MPs of “several deadly dangers” threatening France, including “Islamism and the hordes of the banlieue” – the impoverished immigrant suburbs that surround French cities.
The signatories go on to blame “a certain anti-racism” for splitting up communities, and seeking to create “racial war” by attacking statues and other aspects of French history.
They also accuse the government of seeking to use the police “as proxy agents and scapegoats” by brutally repressing the popular “gilets jaunes”, or yellow vest protests of recent years.
“It is no longer the time to procrastinate, otherwise tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos and deaths – for which you will be responsible – with numbers in the thousands,” the letter concludes.
France has been rocked by terror attacks in recent years, with some of the latest attacks targeting police officers and police employees, according to Politico. In October, a suspected radical killed three people in a knife attack in the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, France.
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