BRUSSELS — Since a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class, France has conducted dozens of raids against suspected Islamic extremists, closed a major mosque and shut down some Muslim aid groups.
In France, a nation still traumatized by some 36 Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks in the last eight years, including two that together killed more than 200 people, those broad measures have found widespread support. President Emmanuel Macron, a fierce defender of French secularism and the right to free speech, went as far as to suggest that Islam was in need of an Enlightenment, and his interior minister spoke of a “civil war.”
In the Muslim world, these actions, and the tone coming from top French officials, have opened France to criticism that the nation’s complicated, post-colonial relationship with its six million Muslim citizens has taken an ugly turn.
Leading the condemnation has been President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who called Mr. Macron mentally damaged in a speech over the weekend. “Macron needs mental treatment,” he said. “What is the problem of this person Macron with Muslims and Islam?”