Adam Shatz · Dynamo Current, Feet, Fists, Salt: What did you do in the war? · LRB 18 February 2021
Anxious not to be outflanked on the right by Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National, Macron has shown little desire to make conciliatory overtures to French Muslims. And since the beheading of the schoolteacher Samuel Paty by a young man of Chechen origin, he has dug in his heels, attacking anyone who dares to criticise the increasingly repressive application of laïcité as a terrorist sympathiser or ‘Islamo-gauchiste’. In a recent interview with Mediapart, Stora was asked how Macron could preside over the reconciliation process while fulminating against Muslim ‘separatism’; he carefully finessed the question. But Macron’s Algerian war initiative is losing out as he struggles to appeal to an electorate whose sympathies lie elsewhere. The latest poll puts Le Pen almost level with Macron in next year’s elections.