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7 Nov, 2020 15:33

France 'fighting relentlessly' against radical Islam 'enemy', says PM Castex

France 'fighting relentlessly' against radical Islam 'enemy', says PM Castex

France sees radical Islam as its "enemy" and will fight "relentlessly" against it, Prime Minister Jean Castex said as he paid tribute to the victims of the Nice church attack – the latest in a series of gruesome incidents.

Castex presided over the ceremony commemorating the victims of the Nice attack on Saturday.

We know the enemy. Not only has it been identified, but it has a name, it is radical Islam, a political ideology that disfigures the Muslim religion.

"[It is] an enemy that the government is fighting relentlessly by providing the necessary resources and mobilizing all of its forces every day," the prime minister added.

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The attack, which left three people dead, including one woman who was beheaded, unfolded in Nice on October 29. The suspect, a 21-year-old Tunisian national who came to France weeks before the incident, stormed the city's largest Catholic church before embarking on stabbing spree.

The attacker was shot by police and hospitalized in critical condition. He was transferred to a hospital in Paris on Friday.

The church attack came just two weeks after another gruesome killing outside Paris. On October 16, a Chechen refugee beheaded a school teacher in the middle of the street in a suburb of the French capital. The attack is believed to have been in "retaliation" for the teacher's decision to show caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech.

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The strong rhetoric from top French officials including President Emmanuel Macron following the attacks sparked backlash, mass protests and even boycotts of French goods in many Muslim countries. Protesters argued that the cartoons – including pictures by Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine – are extremely offensive, and Macron's support for "free speech" ultimately makes him an enemy of Islam.

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