A paper in Die Zeit on the recent events in France and the 'laicité' debate
Confronted with hideous crimes, the first temptation is to portray the perpetrators as archaic bloodthirsty fanatics who have no place in our midst and that should be uprooted and forever eliminated. It’s especially tempting to say that we are at war with them, since they themselves claim to be at war with us. However, we begin to have second thoughts when we learn that they have been educated in the same schools as our children and that until the moment when they started to be, as it is said, “radicalized”, they were fully “assimilated” to our “secular culture”. The more we learn about them, the more we realize that they are just as French as the London bombers of 2005 were British.