Terrorist attack in the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo: the court issued a verdict

In France, a verdict was passed in the case of the terrorist attack in the editorial office of the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” and the attack on visitors to a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015. 14 people were brought to trial on charges of these crimes. The main accused was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He has considered the right-hand man of one of the three terrorists shot dead by law enforcement forces during the anti-terrorist operation. Can we say that today, six years after those terrorist attacks, this topic is closed for France?

Reason to think

This sentence gives French society an opportunity to reflect on its identity, writes Liberation editor-in-chief Alfon Dov:

“Of course, there is a great temptation to see in the verdict the end of a very painful process, a moment of sadness and mourning — in the case of parents, children, and associates of those killed, this is true. … However, for French society as a whole, mourning is impossible, and none of the doors are closed. On the contrary, the door remains open — for the wounds that were bled again in the era after Charlie, for a split in society that will not go away on its own, and for the tormenting question: who are we now, after Charlie Hebdo? The court’s verdict does not have the task of giving an answer to this question, but in its unambiguity, it at least gives us the opportunity to stop — and think.”

remains vulnerable

As the newspaper Hospodarske news notes, there is no need to say that the Augean stables have been cleared:

“The main accused and accomplice of one of the liquidated terrorists received long sentences, but, they deny their guilt. … Looking back, we have to state a much more serious fact: yes, the shock of the terrorist attack, which became the embodiment of intolerance of political Islamism, forced its opponents to rally their ranks, as was seen in the example of the Paris march with the participation of political leaders led by the then President of Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, France remains traumatized and vulnerable.”

The puppeteers rub their hands with satisfaction

This process has provoked new vectors of schism in French society, writes the Parisian correspondent of the Aargauer Zeitung Stefan Brandle:

“And they pass not only between the right and the left. So, for example, when it comes to attitudes towards cartoons and laicism, feminists like Elizabeth Badinter find themselves in the same camp as the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen. All their disagreements ultimately boil down to the irritant word ‘Islam’ — and in the period since September, these disagreements not only have not subsided but have intensified. This is especially striking against the background of the fact that the above characters actually have a common interest, as well as a common enemy — terrorism. Yes, the performers are condemned, but the instigators and puppeteers have reason to rejoice — after all, they again managed to split the ranks of their opponents from the civilized world.”

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