08:15 GMT22 February 2020
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    France said it will honor Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, a gendarme who swapped places with a hostage during the deadly attack in southern France, was wounded and later died of his wounds. On Friday, a 26-year old Moroccan national, Redouane Lakdim, hijacked a car and took people hostage in a supermarket in Trebes.

    Sputnik discussed the deadly attack in southern France with Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist and author.

    Sputnik: What is your reaction to this latest terrorist attack on European soil?

    READ MORE: French Politician Arrested for Justifying Terrorism, Welcoming Policeman's Death

    Giulio Meotti: I'm not surprised at all, this is a civil war in slow motion, from the attack at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office to the to the Bataclan massacre two years ago to this latest attack and the attack against the Catholic priest in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, French people massacres are by French citizens so we are now witnessing a kind of civil war in slow motion as it has been called, and, unfortunately, President Macron in the last year did almost nothing to prevent more bloodshed and massacres by the jihadist groups since he didn't close any Salafist mosques, he didn't expel any radical Imans, he didn't promote any counter-(radical) Western program at schools and at universities, and he did not stop the foreign funding of French mosques.

    So he didn't try to defeat the software of this terrorism; he's trying to just manage and contain the hardware by debilitating it, destroying some cells, making arrests, but the whole picture is depressing I think.

    Sputnik: So you think that there's a need for a more complex set of rules and laws, what would you even call it?

    Giulio Meotti: I think we have to be strong; in our police and military measures we are doing a good job. My country (Italy) has arrested dozens of these people, but we are losing the cultural war. In fact, you cannot fight millions of people living on European soil at risk of radicalization without any kind of cultural campaign and the cultural campaign is lost at the moment because our leaders do not believe they have to fight any ideological war against political Islam, radical Islam, they are just trying to contain the damage, so my opinion is quite negative at the moment.

    READ MORE: Trump Calls for Tougher Anti-Terror Measures After Attacks in France

    Sputnik: Do you think this is a problem all over Europe or in your country particularly, or in France, as you mentioned?

    Giulio Meotti: I think the further north you go, the worse it gets. Countries like Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the UK and even Germany are in a much more negative shape than the southern countries, but just because we are late on the third generation of the Muslim citizens, and just because they have a more multicultural agenda. They are more ideological in dealing with these migrants, they are more tolerant of intolerance. While Italy is more like Spain and other southern countries…we have less of a sense of guilt in dealing with these troubles.

    Sputnik: You mentioned the sense of guilt; do you think that is one of the reasons some European countries have softer legislation regarding extremist factions?

    Giulio Meotti: Absolutely! France is the iceberg of this mentality; they believe that the Muslims are the victims of [France's] own mistakes of the past, the Algeria war, Algeria's decolonization,  even the UK has lots of trouble, and I think there are several cultural factors behind this lost war. Fertility rates are not on our side, and these birth rates are imploding all over Europe, even in France, which is the most fertile country in Europe.

    Italy is, for example, aground zero for demographic collapse; Spain too and Germany too. So-called religious 'belonging' is falling, Christian as a default culture is gone and the churches are empty, we are selling many churches for apartments, some are being converted into mosques, especially in the UK and France.

    There's a panorama of cultural devastation between relativism and a kind of cultural confusion with gender ideology. We are very, very good at experiments but we have no more confidence in our own culture, and there is a European earthquake in the political establishment: the European project is very fragile at the moment, so terrorism is like a termite in this kind of scenario.

    READ MORE: French Police Arrest Second Person Associated With Trebes Attack — Reports

    Sputnik: France is a large supplier of weapons all over the world and I think there are even French citizens who are very concerned that some of the weapons that are being sold are being used against the norms of humanitarism, norms that are established by France. Because in the war in Yemen, for instance, or other wars that are going on, when these weapons fall into the hands of those who are waging those wars it also has an effect…

    Giulio Meotti: This is true, but if you consider what happened in France in the last two years, the problem is not gun-control, like in the US. Everybody knows where the guns and the weapons are; for example, in the former Yugoslavia, you can go there, steal some weapons, return to France and have a carnage on infidels, like they call it. But you have to draw a distinction between the internal battle of these Muslim French citizens and the foreign policy of these countries. I do not think you have to be obsessed about what happens in the Middle East to go to a restaurant in the Boulevard in Paris and kill 20 people, I think you have to keep the two issues separate.

    The views and opinions expressed by Giulio Meotti are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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