Terrorist knife attack in Nice, France kills three, with one decapitated

This really is breaking news: the New York Times says two people were killed, while CNN says three, with one woman decapitated. The attack took place in a Church, the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, and has all the earmarks of being a terrorist attack. It comes hard on the heels of the recent decapitation of Samuel Paty, which led the Macron government to begin cracking down on radical Islam, including instituting procedures to ensure that imams don’t preach hatred. It could be reasonably argued that that kind of incitement to violence, which leads to attacks like this one and the last, does not constitute protected free speech but France doesn’t have the First Amendment anyway.

From the NYT:

An assailant with a knife killed at least two people on Thursday morning at a church in the southern French city of Nice, according to local officials who said it appeared to be a terrorist attack.

The assault comes as the country is still shaken by the beheading of a teacher in a Paris suburb this month by a young Muslim man after the teacher showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said in a statement posted to Twitter shortly after the attack that he was on the scene with the police and that a suspect had been arrested. He later said at least two people were killed and one seriously injured.

. . . The attack took place at the Notre-Dame de L’Assomption basilica, and the local authorities did not immediately release details about the victims or the circumstances. The police warned residents to stay away from the area around the church as a “very serious” event was underway and controlled explosives were being used. They also urged residents to remain calm.

Videos posted to social media showed lines of people filing out of the area around the church as police evacuated the scene.

In 2016, Nice was also the site of one of France’s worst terrorist attacks, when a man plowed a 19-ton refrigeration truck into crowds that had gathered on the city’s main seaside promenade to watch fireworks, killing 86.

And the NYT has an unfortunate headline on its front-page leader:

Update: Among those excusing the terrorist, and blaming this on the French, is the Prime Minister of Malaysia, for crying out loud. PM Mohamed is angry and you can see that in the thread (this is #12):

33 Comments

  1. Posted October 29, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Some extremist groups like followers of ISIS or whatever, are eager to foment a sort of religious war, & the moronic inflammatory statements of Erdogan about France are I am sure a contributing factor.

  2. Posted October 29, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Off Topic, but pertinent to the last sentence: The NY Times has a habit of rather “baffling” headlines, including:

    “World Rugby Bars Transgender Women, Baffling Players”

    I’m willing to bet that not a single player anywhere is “baffled” by the ban. Some of them will be angry or appalled, yes, others supportive and pleased, but not one will be “baffled”.

  3. savage
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Of course, it has nothing to do with Islam. And don’t you dare to say anything bad about Muslims, because they have nothing to do with it, just like Nazis had nothing to do with Nazism. /s

    • Colin
      Posted October 29, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      • daniaq
        Posted October 29, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Nice video! Thanks for sharing!

      • merilee
        Posted October 29, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        +1

  4. Rawandi
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Another Islamist trying to earn his lot of magical virgins for the afterlife. Every religion is a scam, but Islam (submission to Allah) is one of the worst.

  5. pballabeni@bluewin.ch
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    It does not change much but according to the French there was no decapitation. A woman had her throat cut though.

    • Posted October 29, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      From the latest NYT report:

      “There is a woman who quite clearly was attacked with the same modus operandi as Samuel Paty,” the Nice mayor, Mr. Estrosi, told BFM TV, referring to the teacher who was killed, suggesting that the victim was also decapitated.

    • Posted October 29, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      The news referred to this attack as virtually a decapitation.

  6. pballabeni@bluewin.ch
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The French press does not speak of decapitation but of a cut throat.

    • pballabeni@bluewin.ch
      Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Sorry for the repetition. I had some problems with the connection.

    • Posted October 29, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      BBC News says beheading.

      • Rawandi
        Posted October 29, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        The problem is that this term is polysemic.

        The jihadist tried to rip off a woman’s head, but was unsuccessful. Before dying, the woman asked them to tell her children that she loved them.

        • Posted October 29, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          Yes, latest from BBC says, “One elderly victim who had come to pray was “virtually beheaded”.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 29, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      My understanding is that decapitation is accomplished by cutting a throat.

      • phoffman56
        Posted October 29, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps some of the France muslims would like to resurrect the guillotine, though apparently ‘the’ Mohammed himself wasn’t clever enough to think that one up. So it’s not kosher–oops!

  7. Filippo
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    sub

  8. Jon Gallant
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the NYT headline, which is indeed
    a classic. The term “Islamo-fascism” is coming back into use in France, for reasons which become more obvious every day. But I think the term is ill-judged. First, it is
    redundant. Second, it is insulting—to Fascism. During the worst of the rule of Fascism in Italy, nothing like these frequent random murders of civilians occurred, let alone the routine atrocities of the recent,
    short-lived “Islamic State” in Syria/Iraq.

  9. jezgrove
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is reporting several other attacks in France today, but it isn’t clear if they are part of a coordinated campaign, or even linked in any way.

  10. Max Blancke
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Daily mail reports that two were beheaded, sacristan Vincent Loques, and an unnamed elderly woman. A third woman was stabbed but escaped outside before dying.

    MSNBC reports that “We don’t know a motive yet”, which I suppose is typical of them.

    Any random French person from the 8th through the 15th century would know exactly what the motive is, as would anyone paying even casual attention to history.
    We seem to have more than one group who are at war with all of us, and the default response is to just pretend it is not happening. Ignoring them does not work with a group of people who want to behead you, and conduct a call to prayer atop a mountain of the skulls of everyone you care about.

  11. Posted October 29, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    France, our hearts are with you during these crazy, dark hours. Deepest condolences to the victims’ loved ones.

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Apparently and unfortunately it seems the IS propaganda machine is up and running again.

    A seven-minute propaganda video was recently published on the terrorist group IS channels on closed forums on the internet. The video pays tribute to the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, 47, and calls on Muslims to attack French interests both in France and abroad.

    [ https://www.expressen.se/nyheter/is-skickade-uppmaning-i-ny-propagandafilm-/ ]

    In an editorial a major newspaper ask why France and not China is targeted.

    They rage against French cartoons but do not say a word about hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs in China’s retraining camps. The double standards in the Muslim world are staggering.

    Do the thought experiment that a western country – let’s say France – had behaved like China does towards its Muslim minority population. Thousands of mosques have been demolished. It can be enough to grow a beard, wear a veil or feed too many children for Muslims to be sent to “retraining camps”. Up to one million Uighurs are believed to have been forced into slave labor and brainwashing in these brutal camps.

    The protests had rightly been huge around the Muslim world. But now it is not France that is persecuting its Muslim minority, but China. That’s why it’s quiet.

    The editorial ask for muslim action:

    According to the latest Global Terrorism Index, 15,952 people were killed in terrorist attacks in 2018, a decrease since the peak year of 2014. The main explanation for the decline is the military successes against IS and Boko Haram.

    It underlines the obvious: violent Islamism is also a deadly threat to the world’s Muslims. When will we see a wave of protests against those who really violate Islam and are the enemies of ordinary Muslims?

    [“Världens muslimer behövs i kampen mot extremismen”, Expressen]

    • Posted November 2, 2020 at 5:14 am | Permalink

      That the extremists target France instead of more “deserving” countries like China is clear. The question is, why?

  13. Posted November 2, 2020 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    France does not have the American First Amendment, but it does have the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1789, which is an integral part of the Constitution of the 5th Republic. It says:

    “The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: Any Citizen can therefore speak, write and publish freely, except for abuse of this liberty in cases determined by the law.”

    It differs by the word Citizen and by the possibility of laws to outlaw certain cases, among them the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide.


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