The headline says it all today. As part of the counterterrorism response after the recent attacks in Paris, France has used its emergency powers to shut down three mosques that are accused of preaching a radical version of Islam. RT has the details on this story:
French officials are describing the imams at these mosques as preachers of hate. And they added that several other mosques are also be investigating on suspicion of being radicalized.
It’s technically possible that every single worshipper at these mosques really was radicalized and preparing an attack. It’s also possible that all these “hate-preachers” really were trying to recruit terrorists. But it is not likely.
What is far more probable is that France identified a few people that appeared to be legitimate terrorists and then proceeded crack down on all the people and mosques they were associated with as a cautious measure. The speed with which all of the arrests and now mosque closures are happening in France ensures that no meaningful due process is taking place. And this in turn means that entirely innocent people are almost certainly being swept up as well. That is a tragedy. It’s also counterproductive.
Recall that ISIS’s goal this whole time has been to frame the West’s War on Terror as a War on Islam in general. Obviously, nothing could be more beneficial to that narrative than Western countries beginning to close down mosques. Now as always, France and the West are their own worst enemy. And what was once just an outrageous idea from a Republican candidate playing to his base, closing down has become official policy in the Republic of Liberté.