Several people were injured in an explosives attack on a non-Muslim cemetery in the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Wednesday. The attack took place during a memorial ceremony that marked the anniversary of the end of the First World War. A guard from the French consulate in Jeddah was injured in a knife attack in late October. With the recent attack, France and other European countries have once again become targets of Islamist violence.
Four people were injured in the attack, including two nationals from Italy and Greece, the newspaper “Le Figaro” reported. According to the information, the consuls general from France, Italy, Great Britain, Greece and Lebanon attended the memorial. The Foreign Ministry in Paris condemned the “cowardly attack”.
Since the reissue of Mohammed cartoons in the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in September, there has been a series of Islamist attacks in the EU, including in Nice, Vienna and Dresden. To defuse the situation, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a detailed interview to the broadcaster “Al-Jazeera” at the end of October. The head of state had emphasized that in France there was no problem with the free practice of religion. This also applies to Islam.
Macron had shown understanding when Muhammad’s cartoons provoked outrage. But this does not justify violence, added the head of state, again defending the right to publish caricatures.
[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
Last weekend, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Cairo to show that the disagreements between France and Muslim countries have not been resolved. In the Egyptian capital, Le Drian also met Ahmad al-Tayyib, who, as Imam of the Cairo Al-Azhar Mosque, is one of the country’s foremost religious authorities. Even after meeting the French Foreign Minister, al-Tayyib stuck to his criticism of the publication of Muhammad cartoons.
Discussion of internal border controls in Schengen
Meanwhile, Macron is sharpening its course in the fight against terrorism at EU level. In a video conference attended Tuesday by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Macron raised the potential for tightening controls at the internal borders of the Schengen area. This is especially true of the stricter surveillance of the French-Italian border. Nice’s hitman from Tunisia, who killed three people in a basilica in the center of the southern French city, entered the EU via the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Gunther Krichbaum, the President of the European Commission in the Bundestag, was skeptical about a possible tightening of controls within the Schengen area. “The abolition of internal borders is one of the greatest European achievements that we absolutely must defend,” Krichbaum told Tagesspiegel. If Macron wants to strengthen protection of the Schengen area’s external borders, “he will of course open the doors with us,” he added. added. In addition, the French head of state must agree that the expansion of the joint EU border protection authority must be carried out much faster and more ambitiously than previously planned, the CDU MP said.