Hitchens told France, long ago, how your country gets to a place where its teachers of free speech are beheaded in school courtyards, in front of crowds of children.

What happens to children who watch a man film their headless civics teacher, in order to delight Islamists and terrify secular France with it?

In time, the French Rate My Teacher app will feature, alongside “hotness,” a beheaded body emoji.

This much we know: It is always too late to take seriously the statements that religious fundamentalists make. They tell you until they’re blue in the face that they will kill people who act on their belief in the freedom of speech. Y’all just think they’re joshing.

“We’ve been sounding the alarm for years,” Iannis Roder, a historian and teacher, told French radio. “I hope this is a turning point in recognising the reality of what happens on the ground.”

I fear it’s too late for any turning point.

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