Photo: AP/Eric Cabanis, Pool
The gunman responsible for seven deaths, including that of four people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, was only finally brought down and killed by French police a few hours ago, but President Nicolas Sarkozy is already back on the campaign trail, using the shooting to make new promises to draw in voters.
Shortly after the shooter, Mohammed Merah’s death, Sarkozy announced a crackdown on Islamic extremism in the country, saying he would institute new laws to combat it after the elections (assuming he wins), The Globe and Mail reports. At a press conference, Sarkozy said:“Extreme Islam will be repressed by a law to be passed after this election. Anyone who consults a website that glorifies hate and violence will be punished under the law… anyone who travels abroad for extremist training will be punished under the law… There will be an investigation into the spread of these ideologies in our prisons – we cannot allow our prisons to be the seabeds for the spread of these hateful ideologies.”
He was backed up by Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who said terrorism continued to be a top priority, and the government “will work immediately to implement the guidelines set by his [Sarkozy’s] statement,” Le Monde reports.
In reality, a lot of these sites are hosted abroad, making prosecution difficult. Also, only those who publish content to these sites, not readers can be charged.
But these ‘technicalities’ won’t concern Sarko. He was being beaten by Hollande on the economy, and Toulouse gave him a chance to bring national security and terrorism, his strong suits, back into play in the run-up to the elections, convincing at least some that he still is the man for the job.
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