In the aftermath of the killing of the French teacher Samuel Paty, the French state responded – and now, with the further killings in Nice at the hands of more extremists, there will be an even greater impetus to act. 

As scholars concerned with extremism of different types on the one hand and the upholding of civil liberties on the other, we know there are lessons from recent European history that are prescient here.  

There’s a crucial window within which the French authorities can act in a way that brings society together, upholding fundamental freedoms and rights for all. Or, they can choose a trajectory of further calamity.

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This article was originally published in the Independent.