Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an interview with France’s director of domestic intelligence, Patrick Calvar. “The confrontation is inevitable,” Mr. Calvar said. There are an estimated 15,000 Salafists among France’s seven million Muslims, “whose radical-fundamentalist creed dominates many of the predominantly Muslim housing projects at the edges of cities such as Paris, Nice or Lyon. Their preachers call for a civil war, with all Muslims tasked to wipe out the miscreants down the street.”
These Salafists openly challenge France’s way of life and do not make a secret of their willingness to overthrow the existing order in Europe through violent means, terror attacks and physical intimidation. But paradoxically, if the Islamists’ threat to Europe were confined to the Salafists, it would be easier to defeat it.