France's soul-searching over why it became a terror target

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Was France attacked on November 13th because of what it is – or what it does? The debate over whether the country's perceived status as a beacon for individual and social freedom or its foreign policy in the Middle East was the main factor behind the attacks by Islamic State is dominating social media and private conversations as well as public discourse. However, Joseph Confavreux argues that rather than simply trying to put itself in the minds of the terrorists, French society should focus on the wider impact for the country and the political responses that are now needed.

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Was France attacked mainly because of who it is or chiefly because of what it has done? Were we attacked because Islamic State finds our way of life unbearable, or mostly as a reprisal for French bombing raids carried out in Iraq since September 2014 and in Syria since September this year?