From schools in the banlieues, or suburbs, came reports of classrooms refusing to join a minute of silence to honour the dead and disturbing accounts of teenagers voicing support for the killers.
Seldom has France’s de facto apartheid seemed as evident as in the failure of appeals for national unity to penetrate the heavily immigrant hinterland, where a sense of social and economic marginalisation is blamed for pushing young people into extremism.
The killers had their origins in similar crime-plagued housing estates, and some in Vitry-sur-Seine last week said they worried about being tarred by the same brush. They are afraid of a backlash against Muslims.
There was no rush to rally to the defence of the republic. “We didn’t go to the republican march,” said a girl sitting in a fast food restaurant. “That was a thing for the whites, not us.”
Her friends giggled. One piped up: “We’re not Charlie here.”