All the ingredients were there. A suburb where the industrial crisis left behind many families of foreign origin; unemployed young people, radicalized by an imported Islam; a small empty church, with an old priest and a few nuns, struggling to keep the flame of Christianity alive… The assassination of Father Hamel could have vindicated all those who endlessly feed the theory of the great replacement, of the clash of civilizations , the end of Christianity and decline. Guided by the propagandists of Daesh, this is precisely what this young man from Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray who was not yet 20 years old, Adel Kermiche, wanted to provoke by killing the old priest: that the whole country is set ablaze .

→ STORY. Trial of the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray attack: the martyrdom of Father Hamel in court

Except that the “little” church turned out to be more solid than it seemed, supported by a Catholic institution capable of holding a soothing message. That public opinion has recognized in this old priest, the son of a railwayman, a part of itself. That the communist mayor was at the side of the bishop. That the socialist president François Hollande concerned with secularism did not hesitate a minute to signify that the assassination of the priest touched on the sacredness of the Republic. And that many Muslims showed their solidarity with the Catholics who knew how to welcome them.

Some today like to stir up the fractures of a weakened society. In this funny electoral campaign, they do not hesitate to rehash hate speech opposing the French to each other, and to take advantage of the feeling of insecurity to caricature the Muslim community. The trial of the assassins of Father Hamel, which begins this Monday, is an opportunity to send them another image of France. That of a resilient country, of a people capable of finding their values. That of a Republic that holds firm. And who still knows how to cultivate hope.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *