We’re fighting a war, not a war against a religion, not a war of civilizations, but to defend our values, which are universal. It’s a war against terrorism and radical Islamism, against everything that aims to shatter solidarity, liberty, brotherhood. We have to defend laicity [*], without compromises — there have been too many.
Every day I experience the pride of being French, and tomorrow will be a day on which the French will be able to be proud of themselves in mobilizing [referring to Sunday’s mass demonstration]. Freedom of expression is too precious a good. If one looks to France, it’s because we carry these values. Tomorrow everyone should come to the demonstration, all those who adhere to tolerance, who do not want to amalgamate [**] and who consider that the most beautiful of responses is unity, national unity.
[*] “Laïcité” is a distinctly French concept that may not have a clear English single-word translation otherwise. Obviously the concept of laicity is much broader than religious tolerance, and includes bans on wearing the veil and religious symbols, etc.
[**] The PM refers elsewhere in the text to the jihadists’ desire to amalgamate, which seems to mean to paint Muslims as a unified bloc in a French/West vs. Muslim conflict. The PM notes that other Muslims (French and others) are victims of terrorism, says heads of state of Arab and African Muslim countries will be present at the demonstration, and says “This is perhaps the most important message: the refusal to amalgamate. Jihadism seeks to create this amalgam.”