America has had issues with France over the years, but today, they deserve our support in the fight for free speech and tolerance. French President Emmanuel Macron has made a stand against the suppression of free speech after the brutal beheading of a French history teacher just outside of Paris. The teacher, Samuel Paty, showed his class a caricature of the Prophet Muhammmed while discussing freedom of speech, and received death threats as a result. On October 16, Paty was murdered by an 18-year old Muslim Chechen refugee who beheaded him with a kitchen knife.
Unlike many Cancel America liberals who would cow to this terrorism, President Macron has refused to censor publication of cartoons featuring Muhammed. In revenge, Muslim nations are boycotting French products and protesting in the streets, burning effigies of Macron, and threatening more terrorist acts. All this while calling Macron “the world’s biggest terrorist.”
In response, Macron tweeted, “We will not give in, ever. We respect all differences in a spirit of peace. We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate. We will always be on the side of human dignity and universal values.” This should resound with Americans because of our founding principles of tolerance and liberty.
We can’t stand aside on this issue. These Islamic terrorists want to ban freedom of speech and press in the name of their religion, but don’t hold themselves to the same standard. On the contrary, they go far beyond hate speech into violent actions, which they hope will force France and other countries which celebrate free speech to give up their rights. France deserves our support in facing this threat because both of our countries believe in all humans’ rights – not those of just one group.
If these terrorists want a war on free speech, they’ll get it — but not on their terms. We need to stand with France against the tearing down of human dignity and universal values. Demand a higher standard of tolerance from Muslim countries, and don’t give in to their violence and hypocrisy.