According to “secret polling” cited in the French daily Le Figaro, National Front leader Marine Le Pen is polling close to 34% in the April 23 first round of the upcoming French presidential election. [French presidential race: Marine LePen Far Ahead of Rivals In Secret Polling, Zero Hedge, March 21, 2017]
And Le Pen just turned in a strong showing in the first presidential debate on March 20, with a number of exchanges focusing on the National Question. [Le débat en direct : la conclusion des candidats, L’Obs, March 20, 2017]
This current Establishment favorite Emmanuel Macron and Le Pen argued about several French cities’ ban of the “burkini,” a sharia-compliant women’s bathing suit. Le Pen supports the ban, but she noted dryly that “It’s true, nonetheless, that only a few years ago there were no burkinis on our beaches. I know you’re for them, Monsieur Macron.” Macron retorted petulantly—and ludicrously—that the burkini has nothing to do with France’s official secularism (laïcité) because it is not a “religious symbol” (like the menorah!). Of course, Le Pen knows that the burkini—invented in the West, not in Araby—is a way of staking out turf for Islam, and a manifestation of a very big problem.
If Macron, a well-educated and highly credentialed young man, does not realize that, he is a high-IQ idiot. If he does realize it, and supports Islamisation of France, he is a traitor.
When the debate turned to immigration, all candidates except Le Pen were prevaricating and uncomfortable. Le Pen advocated a very specific proposal: reduce legal immigration to France from 200,000 per year to 10,000. Her opponents were horrified. Le Monde, France’s Washington Post equivalent, called it Le Pen’s “brandish[ing] her shock-image.” [Débat présidentiel : sur l’immigration, les candidats ont laissé le champ libre à Le Pen, by Maryline Baumard, March 21, 2017] A salutary shock to her hearers, one hopes.
The fecklessness of everyone except Le Pen is typical of today’s France, where the Republic is squeezed between a combination of militant Muslim hostility and government cowardice. Muslim hostility feeds on resentment of the West and its achievements, paradoxically combined with contempt for its decadent culture into which Muslims refuse to assimilate—whereas Islam provides its adherents with a solid basis for identity entirely absent in guilt-ridden, post-Christian Europe. French government cowardice amounts to a second trahison des clercs, in which the French state embraced a short-sighted policy of importing Muslim “workers” and simultaneously criminalizing truth-telling.
After postwar France retreated from empire and even abandoned Algeria, Charles de Gaulle tried to salvage France’s Gloire by steering an independent course between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He sought ties with oil-rich Arab regimes, trying with some success to keep France a power-broker in Africa and the Middle East.
However, the French government allowed Muslims, first from former French territories, later from everywhere, to enter the country as “guest workers.” The official expectation was they would neither settle nor make demands on the state.
The official expectation was wrong.
In France, as everywhere in the West, nothing is more permanent than temporary workers. Further, the new “workers” are now more dependent on government largesse than the French. De Gaulle’s attempt to salvage French pride sowed the seeds of her possible destruction.
Worse, De Gaulle’s successors possess neither his patriotism nor his devotion to French independence. France is now embroiled in the nation-eating European Union, and the influx of unassimilable immigrants has exploded, eagerly catered to by Socialist and Communist parties (c.f. U.S. Democrats). The Center-Right isn’t much better [French minorities push for equality post-Obama, by Sylvia Poggiloi, NPR, January 14, 2009]. Amazingly, an “Ellis Island” style mythology surrounding immigration has developed in the Republic.
Strikingly, rather than confronting problems, successive French governments have wished them away by criminalizing free speech about them. The story of how this happened is vital reading for an America in which “Hate Speech” laws—or judicial decrees—may be just a matter of time.
In 1990, Communist deputy Jean-Claude Gayssot introduced a bill to make Holocaust-denial a crime. The Loi Gayssot passed—but went far beyond punishing Holocaust-deniers. As its title states, it’s intended to suppress all racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic acts. Under the Gayssot Act, in France "any discrimination founded on membership or non-membership of an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a religion is prohibited."[Wikipedia’s translation]
The French government has long refused to maintain racial statistics, making it difficult to determine who in France is responsible for rapes, violent crime and even terrorism. (As Ann Coulter has pointed out, in the U.S. the federal government tries to avoid collecting these statistics too, but it’s not actually illegal). But now French observers who do notice that different groups behave in different ways and speak up about it find themselves facing prosecution.
Thus, incredibly, the iconic film start Brigitte Bardot has been put on trial for hate-speech five times because she dared condemn halal slaughter methods, criticized Muslim birth rates, and lamented living under the shadow of an intolerant minority.
Current presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has already run afoul of hate-speech laws. Her supposed crime: saying Muslim men praying en masse in French streets is a form of occupation. The usual suspects (Muslim groups, Jewish groups, the French government…) claimed she was comparing Muslims to Nazis. Hate speech! After being tied up in court for more than five years, she was acquitted in December 2015 . [Marine Le Pen not guilty of inciting religious hatred, The Guardian, December 15, 2015].
But, outrageously, the EU Establishment is again using hate speech laws to try to knock Le Pen out of the 2017 race. EU MPs have voted to strip Marine Le Pen of parliamentary immunity because she tweeted graphic images of Islamic State atrocities in 2015—thereby “inciting racial hatred”. [EU Votes To Strip French Presidential Hopeful Le Pen Of Parliamentary Immunity From Prosecution, by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, March 1, 2017]
Similarly, the French Establishment is trying to attack Marine Le Pen through her father, the controversial Jean-Marie Le Pen, the previous leader of the Front National who sensationally got into the presidential run-off in 2002. Patrick Bruel (né Benguigui, an Algerian-born singer and poker player just recently remembered something Le Pen Senior said in June 2014—that Bruel was part of a “batch (fournee) we’ll get next time.” The French word for oven is four and Bruel is Jewish. Thus, anti-Semitism! The EU parliament voted to lift his immunity from prosecution, enabling Bruel and the prosecutors to go to work. [Jean-Marie Le Pen charged over alleged anti-Semitic remarks, by Rachel Roberts, Independent, February 13, 2017].
Denouncing Jean-Marie Le Pen on Twitter, Patrick Bruel swept the National Front—the party whose leader Marine Le Pen is—into his anathema:
“Le Pen is reoffending. Did he need to remind us of his true face and that of the FN. #xenophobic #racist #anti-Semitic #nausea” [Patrick Bruel réagit à l'attaque de Jean-Marie Le Pen et y voit "le vrai visage du FN",CloserMag, June 9, 2014]Leftists love to say that Trump-times are reminiscent of the 1930s. I agree. Bruel’s insinuations, and the abuse of courts to destroy opponents, are reminiscent of the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s.
No surprise this is coming from a law introduced by a Communist.
But the recent riots in Paris may just provide the salutary shock that will retrieve France.
Immigrant riots, and car-burnings, have become dog-bites-man stories in France. In 2005, Paris was ringed by Muslim riots after two Muslim youths fleeing the police made the mistake of hiding in a transformer and were electrocuted. Other French cities were engulfed in chaos. Though the country was convulsed, the Gayssot Act’s see-no-evil thought-crime regime held, and nothing changed.
But the more recent riots are different. In February 2017, a young black man named only as Theo alleged he had been sodomized with a policeman’s nightstick. On cue, riots erupted. The difference this time: Paris itself, epicenter of the French world, was a battlefield.
In 2005, a map of riot locations shows, rioting stayed in the banlieue, a ring of suburbs:
Paris proper is compact and well-defined. What is and is not Paris is very clear in the French psyche. No Frenchman would confuse rioting in the banlieue with rioting in Paris.
But the 2017 hit the heart of Paris:
This time, major riot sites (Barbès, Ménilmontant, and the Marais) are inside Paris; the Marais a few blocks from Nôtre-Dame and the Louvre. Scores of amateur photographers have posted footage.
So, though Paris is burning, there is hope for France. The Gayssot Act regime is weakening. Brexit, Merkel’s migrant meltdown and Trump’s victory have heartened critics of mass immigration. Even liberal Holland, where Geert Wilders gained seats in the recent election, is clearly turning against mass immigration.
Of course, thanks to France’s two-step presidential election, Le Pen will have to score an upset to win. Thus French writer Guillaume Durocher predicted in a podcast at American Renaissance that the younger Le Pen will meet her father’s fate in 2002, as the other parties and the Establishment will conspire to defeat her.
But if the sight of the City of Light in flames won’t wake up France, what will?
Henry McCulloch [Email him] is a American lawyer with extensive international experience. He has lived in France, England and Mexico and is fluent in French, Spanish and Italian.