Anti-separatism a challenge to governments worldwide

By Ai Jun Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/27 22:18:40

Photo: VCG

Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese edition reported on Sunday that France will unveil an anti-separatist legislation as early as September.

In terms of specific separatist activities the law aims at, RFI noted certain so-called religious behaviors, such as female circumcision, will be treated as anti-nation moves, and ethnic groups which hype hatred toward one another will not be tolerated. RFI quoted the French interior minister as expressing concerns that the country's political life and labor unions are infiltrated by radical religious forces, and a small group has already been radicalized, who want to destroy French national values.

As it turns out, even Western countries show no mercy to separatism.

Reports show the new legislation is mainly aimed at cracking down on Islamist separatism. As French President Emmanuel Macron hinted, separatism has been associated with radical Islam, which meddles in France's domestic affairs. French Prime Minister Jean Castex also suggested the country was being "shaken" by "the coalition of its enemies - terrorists, conspiracy theorists, separatists and communitarians."

France is one of the victims of religious extremist forces and has become a target for extremists' attacks in recent years, including the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in January 2015.

Against this backdrop, Paris has embraced a series of tough anti-terror laws and regulations. Mosques have long been monitored by the French intelligence service. It is also the first European country to have imposed a ban on full-face veils in public areas to promote secularism.

The new legislation is not just anti-terrorism, but anti-separatism. In the face of separatist forces, whether they collude with radical religious groups or not, Paris' stance has been clear.

Separatism is a puzzle which concerns not only France, but many other Western countries, including the UK, Spain and Canada. 

In any country, separatism usually leads to internal friction, poverty, and sometimes even civil war.  In many least developed countries, separatist forces are rampant. Due to the fact their central governments can hardly take separatists under control, their domestic affairs are often interfered in, while foreign forces seize their resources. That is why all countries worldwide are exploring ways to crack down on separatism.

Some netizens doubt that France might have learned something from China's governance in Xinjiang, especially the Chinese way of de-extremism, and is now trying to apply similar and stricter methods. 

Western countries may take more time to think about showing more understanding and goodwill toward cooperation with China when it comes to dealing with radical religious forces and separatism, instead of making demonized distortions and arrogant accusations about China's approaches. After all, they are not about different ideologies, but a worldwide problem.

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