Le Sursaut

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Democratic Values as the Bulwark against Islamic Extremism and the Populist Backlash

On 4 April 2016, Le Sursaut was held at le Théâtre Déjazet before almost 1000 people, next to Place de la République.

Islamism is to Islam what populism is to the people: two forms of lying, manipulation and radicalization that represent – differently and with varying degrees – a serious threat to us all. The time has come for us to face it head-on and to refuse to cede even the smallest bit of our democratic values. We have mourned together over victims of the recent tragic attacks. Today, we mourn those of the Brussels attacks who fell victim to perfidy and barbarism. Now, it is our task to defend the foundations of human progress. This is the only way to achieve pluralism, equality and freedom of expression. We declare our unbreakable bond to these values and our strong will to keep them alive for the coming generations. They constitute the basis for a democratic and prosperous Europe, and are our only bulwark against ignorance.

AJC Europe, Fondation pour l’innovation politique, Fondation Jean Jaurès, Wilfried Martens Center, Association French Victims of the terrorism and Lab’AFEV wanted this European conference to be exceptional. Together, the organizers worked to bring together the largest possible number of citizens to meet and exchange ideas with representatives of civil society, political decision makers from France and all across Europe, opinion leaders, academics and cultural figures. Among the speakers were French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Member of Parliament and former Minister Bruno Le Maire, writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, philosopher Monique Canto-Sperber, Interministerial Delegate for the fight against racism and anti-Semitism Gilles Clavreul, Deputy Mayor of Avignon Amine El Khatmi, President of the Rhône-Alpes Diversité Club Ali Kismoune, philosopher Raphaël Glucksmann, writer Delphine Horvilleur, political scientist Gilles Kepel, historian and essayist Alexandra Lagnel-Lavastine, lawyer of Charlie Hebdo Richard Malka, author Irshad Manji, co-founder of Quilliam Foundation Maajid Nawaz, sociologist Dominique Schnapper, President of the football club La Duchère and many other specialists.

Thanks to you this event was a huge success and elucidates the need for constant mobilization against Islamism and populism as they threaten Europe.