A second letter attributed to the French army was published on Sunday evening (9), warning of the possibility of a civil war in the country due to “concessions to Islam” under the government of Emmanuel Macron.
The authors of the new text describe themselves with representatives of the new generation of military personnel. “We are men and women, active soldiers, of all forces and of all classes, of all sensibilities. (…) And if we cannot, by law, express ourselves with our face uncovered, it is also impossible to remain silent, ”they write.
The text was published by the right-wing magazine Valeurs Actuelles, the same in which appeared a first letter of similar content, signed by retired generals and active soldiers, who threatened to intervene.
At the time, the Minister in charge of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, declared that its authors would be punished for having broken a law prohibiting reservists or soldiers in the service from making public their opinions on politics and religion.
Prime Minister Jean Castex also criticized the first threat as “contrary to Republican principles” and accused far-right leader Marine Le Pen and her party, Reunion Nacional, of politically exploiting the case.
There was no official demonstration on the second letter until Monday afternoon. According to the publication’s website, as of 12 p.m. (7 a.m. in Brazil) on Monday (10), more than 1.5 million people had read the letter and signatures of support exceeded 100,000.
“Soldiers gave their lives to destroy Islam to which you are making concessions on our soil,” wrote the authors of the second letter, who say they served in counterterrorism operations in France and abroad, such as the Afghanistan, Mali and the Central African Republic.
They also criticized the Macron government for having condemned the initiative of the first group of soldiers, saying that French ministers “trample on” the honor of veterans and “tarnish” their reputation “, when their only flaw is love their country and mourn their visible. decline. “
“Cowardice, deception, perversion: this is not our vision of the hierarchy. (…) Yes, the civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly “, they write, addressing the French president and his ministers. The introduction of the letter specifies that its objective” is not not to undermine institutions, but to alert people to the gravity of the situation ”.
The new attack on Macron – and the Islamic community, activists say – comes at a time when Marine Le Pen’s voting intentions are rising for next year’s presidential election, and the majority of the population frowns on the country’s performance. government in the fight against violence.
In a survey released in December, 74% said it left something to be desired when it came to security and policing – an assessment made worse by last year’s terrorist attacks, which left at least four people dead, including Professor Samuel Paty, beheaded in Paris, and the Brazilian. Simone Barreto, beheaded in Nice.
After the 2020 attacks, Macron responded with a bill initially described as “fighting Islamic separatism” – a goal that was later changed to “protecting Republican principles”.
According to James Shields, professor of French politics at the University of Warwick (United Kingdom), the French president has advanced on the right on this issue since his election in 2017, but wants to avoid being accused of attacking Islam for electoral reasons.