Because its always a good time to analyse french politics. (Ps french peeps, feel free to debate my analysis here i might miss some points)
The reason why islamophobia IS a huge problem in France, and why there have been islamophobic attacks as a response to the charlie hebdo massacre, is partly (if not mainly) due to the fact that the discourse on Islam and immigration is ALMOST ENTIRELY HELD BY EXTREME RIGHT WING PARTIES such as the FN (Front National - National Front) (the name of the party pretty much tells you what you need to know about it.)
The issue is that they hold a monopoly on these questions because the leftist government in power at the moment in France never took a clear stance on the rise of extremism/radicalism, islamophobia and immigration in France. Instead, what they do, along most of the other political parties in France, is point fingers and denounce the discourse of opposing parties, such as the FN.
Which has several consequences:
1. Leftist parties never took a stance on these questions because they were afraid of being called racist and islamophobic, because it is always extremely delicate to talk about the rise of extremism as mistakes (amalgames)can be easily made and muslim people can get offended over semantics and vocabulary. So instead of taking the chance, theyd rather remain silent all the while condemning the stinking discourse of the Le Pen (leaders of the FN party) family.
2. This lack of clear stance on the part of the government caused these issues to be dominated by racist, islamophobic arguments since only the FN expressed clearly their views on it.
3. Part of the french citizens that were annoyed by the lack of action of the leftist government turned to the Fn and their atrocious discourse because thats literally all we hear
4. Enormous amalgames and mistakes are being made because of that dominating discourse which results in islamophobic attacks and the FN and other racist shits being like “we told you so” and part of the population actually thinking “well… They actually did tell us so” except what the FN said was that the rise of extremism was due to France accepting too many arab immigrants in the country, thus mistaking arabs for muslim people and extremists for muslim people, creating an unacceptable discourse
5. Our government SHOULD and HAVE TO adress these issues now in light of recent events and my only fear is they wont because the government can be extremely passive on certain questions
SO REMEMBER: THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN FRANCE ARE NOT ISLAMOPHOBIC. BUT IT IS A PREVALENT ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE ADRESSED BY PARTIES OTHER THAN EXTREME RIGHT WING PARTIES.