It all started in Denmark, when a writer expressed his dismay that he could not find illustrators for a children's book on the story of Muhammad.

His interlocutor was Fleming Rose, Head of Culture for the

Jyllands-Posten newspaper


Alarmed by the growing self-censorship that Islamist extremism was imposing on the European cultural and journalistic arena, Rose decided to respond and published a dozen images of the prophet sent by Danish cartoonists and comedians.

Some, nice illustrations.

Others, relentless caricatures.

It was September 2005 and that exercise of freedom became a heroic gesture of rebellion, supported by the French satirical weekly

Charlie Hebdo


The fanaticism unleashed a bloody response.

The war lasts until today and confronts the western legacy of the Enlightenment with medieval obscurantism.

Freedom from submission.

In recent years, the main battles are being fought in France.

President Emmanuel Macron, like his predecessors Hollande and Sarkozy, like once Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has stood firm against threats from Muslim leaders.

He has defended the right of the satirical weekly

Charlie Hebdo

to republish the cartoons on the occasion of the trial for the massacre, in 2015, of 12 of its editors.

He has defended republican values ​​before the corpse of a beheaded high school teacher and before the bodies of the three parishioners murdered in the cathedral of Nice.

As with Denmark, not a few Muslim leaders have launched into the protests of their brutalized subjects, thus distracting them from their hardships.

Now it is the Turkish Erdogan who, along with other autocrats, twists Macron's words with flamboyant and victimizing statements to fuel anger in mosques and on the streets.

But the French president is not shy.

Just yesterday he was sending his message across, without intermediaries, in an interview with Al Jazeera television: France is not going to renounce cartoons.

He is not going to give up his freedoms or his republican principles.

It will not tolerate that "Islamist separatism" continues to undermine from within the foundations of secularism and equality, as has been the case for decades, without the authorities daring to address the problem.

Macron is displaying courageous leadership, quite the opposite of the Trudeau boy (or our Zapatero, then Bambi).

France is now the battlefield, but in this war Europe is playing the future.

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