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Opinion
Pankaj Mishra

Macron’s Clash of Civilizations Is Misguided

Blaming all of Islam for the actions of a radicalized individual will only create more problems for France at home and abroad. 

Protests have broken out in Turkey and other Muslim nations. 

Protests have broken out in Turkey and other Muslim nations. 

Photographer: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The last thing the world needs amid a resurgent pandemic is a clash of civilizations. Yet this is what French President Emmanuel Macron seems intent on fomenting. And, in many Muslim leaders, he has found willing and eager partners for his venture.

From all accounts, the Chechnya-born teenager who gruesomely murdered a schoolteacher in France this month represents yet another case of online radicalization — the same force that has fueled flash lynch mobs in India and right-wing militias in the United States.