How Europe should fight violent Islamist extremism

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Publication Date 02/12/2020
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For the last two months, a public furore about Islamist extremism has swept across Europe. First, French President Emmanuel Macron presented his five-point plan to fight “Islamic separatism”. Then, terrorist attacks hit Paris, Dresden, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Nice, and Vienna – among them a particularly brutal and horrifying one on Samuel Paty. This prompted a joint statement from EU interior ministers and officials on fighting terrorism. The public debate on terrorism is now full of risky and potentially counterproductive ideas, but shuns safe and productive ones.

Instead of making ostentatious but damaging declarations about “Islamic separatism” or state-controlled religious education, European leaders need to replicate the good practice that they have tested locally.

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