Five years have passed since the devastating terrorist attacks in France. In January 2015, deadly violent incidents took place in Paris inside both the Charlie Hebdo offices and at a kosher supermarket. In the same year, in November, Paris again faced attacks at the Stade de France and the Bataclan theatre. On Bastille Day, July 14, 2016, there was a further attack in the city of Nice, on the French Cote d’Azur.
Yet again the French public have been shaken in recent weeks by a series of horrific terrorists’ knife attacks. On 26 September 2020, two people were stabbed and seriously hurt in Paris by a Pakistani immigrant who had entered the country fraudulently and illegally. The attack happened near the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, where the Islamist militants had carried out the attack of 2015.
On 16 October, an Islamic fundamentalist beheaded a secondary school teacher Samuel Paty who used controversial cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo in his classes. On the morning of 30 October, another extremist attack occurred when a man stabbed three people to death and wounded several others in a church in Nice.
On 2 November, an Islamist gunman went on a deadly rampage in Vienna shooting dead four people and injuring more than 20 others in the city centre before he was killed by police.
Ongoing tragedy and terrorism continues on European soil and Europe struggles to find a common solution to the constant killings of innocent victims at the hand of the terrorists and extremists.
At the same time, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Turkish citizens against buying French goods, amid growing calls across the Muslim world for a boycott stating “I call on my people here. Never give credit to French-labelled goods, don’t buy them”.
In light of this, on 28 October 2020, French Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Jordan Bardella posed a parliamentary question to the European Commission. Following his own statement “over and beyond feeble statements concerning the Turkish President’s ‘unacceptable’ comments”, MEP Bardella requested to know if the Commission is “planning to adopt any real financial or trade sanctions against countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, Kuwait and Qatar, in order to reassert our common values and make European solidarity tangible?”
Over recent months and weeks European parliamentarians have raised increasing concerns regarding terrorism and extremism emanating from countries like Turkey and Pakistan. The European Commission is expected to answer the questions of MEP Bardella in the coming weeks.
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