The virulent new brand of Islamic extremism threatening the West In November 2015, ISIS terrorists massacred scores of people in Paris with coordinated attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, cafes and restaurants, and the national sports stadium. On Bastille Day in 2016, an ISIS sympathizer drove a truck into crowds of vacationers at the beaches of Nice, and two weeks later an elderly French priest was murdered during morning Mass by two ISIS militants. Here is Gilles Kepel's explosive account of the radicalization of a segment of Muslim youth that led to those attacks--and of the failure of governments in France and across Europe to address it. It is a book everyone in the West must read. Terror in France shows how these atrocities represent a paroxysm of violence that has long been building. The turning point was in 2005, when the worst riots in modern French history erupted in the poor, largely Muslim suburbs of Paris after the accidental deaths of two boys who had been running from the police. The unrest--or "French intifada"--crystallized a new consciousness among young French Muslims.
Some have fallen prey to the allure of "war of civilizations" rhetoric in ways never imagined by their parents and grandparents. This is the highly anticipated English edition of Kepel's sensational French bestseller, first published shortly after the Paris attacks. Now fully updated to reflect the latest developments and featuring a new introduction by the author, Terror in France reveals the truth about a virulent new wave of jihadism that has Europe as its main target. Its aim is to divide European societies from within by instilling fear, provoking backlash, and achieving the ISIS dream--shared by Europe's Far Right--of separating Europe's growing Muslim minority community from the rest of its citizens.
"A surprisingly lively account of where France is at."--Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign Policy "No other book portrays in such granular detail the evolution of Islamist terror in [France], and the implications that that evolution has for the rest of the world, including and especially the United States."--Christopher Dickey, Daily Beast "The Prophet of France's Fracture... [Kepel is] the country's most famous scholar of Islam."--Robert Worth, New York Times Magazine Praise for the French edition: "[Terror in France is] the most essential book to read about France today... Gilles Kepel's important book is the best account we have of all the factors and events that helped create the current situation."--Mark Lilla, New York Review of Books Praise for the French edition: "Fascinating, detailed accounts of how small towns have become hotbeds of radical Islamism make [Terror in France] appealing to readers beyond France seeking to understand homegrown jihadism."--Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Financial Times
Gilles Kepel is professor of political science at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. His books include Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East, The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West, and Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam.
Preface to the English Edition ix Paris, Saint-Denis, Friday, November 13, 2015 xiii Prologue: From the March of the Beurs to Charlie and the Bataclan 1 PART I The Incubation Period: From Clichy to Sarkozy 9 1 2005, the Pivotal Year 11 The Double Trigger for the Riots 12 From Profanation to Blasphemy 16 The Epochal Change of French Islam 18 The Dialectic of Jihadism 22 Jihad's First Terrains 27 The Prison Incubator 29 2 From Muslims Voting to the Muslim Vote 34 The "Muslim Vote" 41 Economic Crash and Identitarian Reactions 43 Soral and Islam against "American-Zionism" 49 The Beginnings of the Muslim Vote 53 Toward an Islamic Electoral Lobby 54 Francois Hollande's Deceptive Victory 58 3 The Merah Affair in Context 64 The Retrocolonial Backlash 64 Artigat: From Hashish to Sharia 71 The Extension of Cyber-Jihad 78 Omar Omsen's Grand Narrative 83 PART II The Eruption: From Hollande to Charlie and the Bataclan and Their Aftermath, 2012-2016 93 4 French Jihad, Syrian Jihad 97 Mehdi Nemmouche, Detainee and Jailer 98 "Oh, my brothers in Allah from France!" 103 The Lunel Paradigm 109 The Eschatology of Jihad and Psychological War 124 5 The Reversals of the Muslim Vote 135 The Rise in Unemployment and Inequality 136 From Social Despair to Authoritarian Conservatism 138 The Emergence of Traditionalist Islamic Groups 139 Secularism as an Irritant 141 Manifs pour Gaza and Jihad against the Jews 145 6 #CharlieCoulibaly 151 "May Allah curse France!" 156 To Be or Not to Be Charlie 170 Epilogue Between Kalash and Martel: The Nationalist Hammer and the Jihadist Anvil 186 Acknowledgments 199 Chronology of Events 201 List of Key People and Organizations 204 Index 207