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A Discursive War on Terror: The Case of France

When looking at terrorist groups’ narratives, one can notice that they define themselves in opposition to another group, usually the West and its values, that is declared to be the enemy. Likewise, the Western group perceives itself as diametrically opposed to “the terrorists,” which represent all that is rejected in Western values. This opposition between us and them might be encouraged in Western countries, such as France, in the media and in public discourses, just like it is in the terrorists’ discourse. Terrorism then creates this ideological confrontation, this war of symbols, where each side wants to show that it holds the one Truth. This can dehumanize the “enemy” and make it bigger than it is. In France specifically, the danger lies in a general suspicion towards Muslims, that constitute almost 10% of the population.