Paris, Dec. 2, 2023. 9 p.m. A man shouting “Allahu Akbar!” stabbed a German tourist walking along the Seine near the Eiffel Tower, an area considered safe. On the way to the hospital, the victim died. The murderer, again shouting, “Allahu Akbar!,” attacked two more people, seriously wounding them, before police arrested him. A government press release quickly mentioned that the killer was a French citizen, born in France, with the exceedingly French first name of Armand.
Then reality struck. Armand was indeed born in France in 1997, but his original first name was Iman (full name: Iman Rajabpour-Miyandoab)—until 2003, when his Iranian parents, who had fled the Islamic Republic, became French citizens and changed his name to Armand. In 2015-2016, he proclaimed his allegiance to Islamic State (ISIS) and made contact on social networks with many Islamists who had perpetrated terror attacks in France in that time period, and planned a terrorist attack in Paris.
Before he could execute his plan, in 2016, he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released after four years, and placed on the state’s list of particularly dangerous individuals. On the afternoon of Dec. 2, 2023, he filmed a video in which he announced that he wanted to “avenge the Muslims” and kill infidels—exactly what he did a few hours later. Commenting on the attack, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin insisted that the murderer had been under “close monitoring” and “psychiatric treatment” and spoke of a “psychiatric failure.”
The murder was widely reported. Many journalists noted that the murder of a tourist in Paris by an Islamist ex-convict could create panic among foreign visitors, and the fact that an Islamic extremist considered dangerous by the authorities was walking about free could cause even more concern, especially with the mention of “psychiatric treatment.” Similarly, Kobili Traoré, who murdered Sarah Halimi in 2017 and was sent to a mental hospital, was recently declared not responsible for his actions and will soon be free.
What should cause concern in France, however, is the widespread rise in Islamic violence. Official statistics show that every day in France, there are on average 120 knife attacks, many of which result in death.
Although acts motivated by Islamic hatred against non-Muslims are becoming more and more numerous, most are passed over in silence. Some, however, are so disgusting that the mainstream media cannot ignore them. The murder in Marseille, for instance, of Laura Paumier and Mauranne Harel, two young students slaughtered and disemboweled with a butcher’s knife by an illegal immigrant, Ahmed Hanachi, in front of a horrified crowd in 2017, delivered a particular shock. Similarly, again in Marseille, Mohamed L., a radicalized drug dealer, in 2022 slit the throat of Alban Gervaise, a military doctor, in front of his two young children while he was picking them up from school. Butchering a father in front of his children seemed particularly shocking and barbaric. On both occasions, the murderers were proudly shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
The murder of Fabienne Broly Verhaeghe, a 68-year-old nurse, in Lille on Oct. 18, 2023, also involved a level of savagery difficult to imagine: Mohamed B., a 17-year-old illegal immigrant born in the Ivory Coast, broke into her apartment, then raped, scalped and disemboweled her, and cut off her hands.
On Oct. 16, 2020, the beheading of Samuel Paty near the high school where he taught, by Abdoullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, led President Emmanuel Macron to promise actions that would allow teachers to work in complete safety. Nothing was done. Another teacher, Dominique Bernard, had his throat slit where he taught, in Arras, on Oct. 13, 2023. The murderer, Mohammed Mogouchkov, was a 20-year-old Ingush refugee subject to an expulsion procedure.
Anti-Semitic attacks in France are also becoming ever more frequent, and have exploded since the atrocious attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 by the terrorist group Hamas. In 2022, there were 436 anti-Semitic acts officially recorded in France. In the few weeks between Oct. 7 and Dec. 1, 2023, there were 1,518 anti-Semitic acts recorded, many of them physical assaults. From an examination of the police reports by the French National Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, BNVCA, it is sadly clear that all of them were apparently carried out by Islamic antisemites. From the murder of Sébastien Sellam in 2003 to that of Mireille Knoll in 2018, all murders of Jews in France have been committed by radicalized Muslims.
Jews throughout France can no longer wear skullcaps or a Star of David on the street. They remove their names from their mailboxes. “For the first time since 1945,” said French author Elisabeth Badinter, “many French Jews are afraid to the point of hiding.”
Ethnic Muslim gangs raid shopping centers and parties in rural villages. Most of these assaults are also never mentioned in the media. One, however, recently attracted attention: at a party on Nov. 19 in the town hall of Crépol, a village of five hundred people, members of a Muslim gang armed with long butcher knives came from the neighboring town, Romans-sur-Isère. Shouting “we are coming to kill white people,” they attacked, murdering Thomas Perotto, aged 17, who had his throat slit. Seventeen other people were wounded, some seriously. Criminologist Xavier Raufer, asked about the attack, replied that raids like that take place throughout the country every week.
The government concealed the names of the attackers and clearly did everything it could to hide what had happened. A conservative journalist, Damien Rieu, obtained and disclosed them. Although the prosecutor in charge of the case received multiple testimonies that the attackers said they were “coming to kill white people,” authorities maintain that the motive for the attack is “unknown.”
On Nov. 25, a group of young “right-wing” French people who had planned to demonstrate in Romans-sur-Isère were arrested by the police upon their arrival and taken before a judge. He accused them of an “intentional racist attack” and immediately sentenced them to six-to-ten months in prison. They had not attacked anyone. The banner they brought said only: “Justice for Thomas.” The sole victim of violence on that day was one of the French demonstrators who managed to elude the police. He was chased down in the town and later found naked and unconscious, his body lacerated, in the lobby of a building.
On Nov. 29, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne proclaimed that the young people sent to prison deserved it and that they had embodied a “serious threat to democracy” in France: the “ultra-right.” The “ultra-right,” she added, cryptically, was even more dangerous than the “extreme right.” Not a word, however, about Islamic violence.
The French government is clearly aware that Islamic “no-go zones” are growing and that riots can break out at any moment. In June 2023, a police traffic stop gone wrong led to the death of Nahel Merzouk, a 17 year old Muslim criminal, and resulted in three weeks of riots and destruction that spread to many towns. Although French authorities banned pro-Hamas demonstrations planned for October and November, they took place anyway, complete with anti-Jewish and anti-French chants. The police were ordered not to intervene.
The French mainstream media has spoken extensively about the “extreme danger posed by the ultra-right.” Again, not a word about Islamic violence.
Some commentators and political leaders have spoken out all the same. Columnist Ivan Rioufol wrote:
“The racial outbreak which, in France, accompanied the satanic carnage of Hamas against Israeli civilians, revealed the state of tearing of the nation, close to rupture. Two irreconcilable Frances are already confronting each other in broad daylight: French France and Islamized France.”
Éric Zemmour, president of the Reconquest Party, wrote:
“Two peoples live in France, one of whom must constantly flee the attacks of an increasingly violent faction of the other, not only the attacks perpetrated with shouts of Allah Akbar, but this real daily jihad that the French suffer.”
Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally, said:
“[M]any French people now feel it: no one is safe anywhere anymore. A new threshold has been crossed. We are witnessing organized attacks emanating from a certain number of criminogenic suburbs in which there are armed ‘militias’ carrying out raids.”
While the influence of fundamentalist Islam is less marked among older Muslims, 74% of Muslims between the ages of 18 and 25 in France say they place Islamic Sharia law above the laws of the French Republic.
Television journalist Christian Malard, who had access to the results of confidential inquiries carried out for the French Ministry of the Interior, said they show that more than half of the imams in France proclaim the superiority of Islam over Western culture and the need to Islamize France, even if that means using force. Malard added that the main French Muslim organization, “Muslims of France,” which is the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—a movement banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Egypt—has a monopoly on training imams in France and has been infiltrating French universities, sports clubs and political parties.
“Left-wing” politicians and journalists, who try to demonize “far-right” parties by accusing them of antisemitism, are having trouble making the label stick. Zemmour is a Jew who strongly supports Israel. Le Pen’s party also supports Israel and denounces antisemitism without the slightest ambiguity. Accusing the Reconquest and the National Rally parties of “Islamophobia” no longer has any impact; Islamic violence spreading in France has convinced an increasing number of French people that it is legitimate to be afraid of Islam.
According to recent surveys, 78% of French people think that Islamism constitutes a mortal threat to France. Ninety-one percent say they are worried or very worried about the sharp rise in violence in the country. The anti-Jewish atrocities by Hamas on Oct. 7 reinforced a distrust of Islam, and for the first time in years, a majority of French people support Israel’s fight in the ongoing war.
The main antisemitic party in France now is a leftist one, Rebellious France. Its leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has accused Israel—not Hamas—of genocide, and has claimed that Hamas is a “resistance” movement. He concluded one of his recent meetings with, “Long live Gaza” and “Eternal glory to those who resist.”
If a presidential election were to take place in France today, Zemmour would receive more votes than he did in 2022, and Le Pen would top the first round of voting, receiving between 31%-33% of the votes, far more than in 2022. Whoever her opponent in the second round, she would easily win.
An election victory for Le Pen would confirm that a huge change could still take shape within Europe. In Italy, Giorgia Meloni won the Italian legislative elections on Sept. 25, 2022 by denouncing the Islamization of Europe, and became prime minister. On Nov. 22, in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ party won the most seats in legislative elections.
Security expert Éric Delbecque, whose recent book, “Permanent Insecurity,” details the growing violence plaguing France, recently stated: “The French seem to understand that their country could die. They are beginning to react.”
Originally published by The Gatestone Institute.