by Hugh Fitzgerald
Before the devastating fire at Notre-Dame broke out, there had been two months of attacks on French churches all around France, very few of which were reported on in the media outside France, and some of which hardly received sufficient coverage inside the country. There was a fire set at St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, which sits in the Muslim-majority neighborhood of Seine Saint-Denis, surrounded by mosques and Muslim shops. At the church of Villeneuve de Berg in Ardèche, Muslim teenagers urinated into the holy water font to express their contempt for Christianity. In another church, Muslims fashioned a cross of human excrement smeared on a church wall, with stolen Communion hosts stuck at the four corners. Some may be reminded of Oriana Fallaci’s enraged report on Muslim immigrants in Florence who, to express their dissatisfaction at not being given the treatment they felt was their due, urinated (and some defecated) on the bronze doors of the Baptistery, both the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti, and the south doors by Andrea Pisano; these doors are one of the supreme works of Renaissance art. On seeing Ghiberti’s doors, Michelangelo called them the “Gates of Paradise.” These were the doors streaming with urine, and smeared with feces, by Muslim migrants showing their contempt for the Unbelievers who, after all, had given them refuge but apparently, that was not enough.
In 2018, there were 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) in France, a 17% rise over the year before. All over France, acts of vandalism of churches have been registered in ever-increasing numbers. In recent months, crucifixes have been pulled off church walls and broken into pieces. Statues of Jesus, Mary, and various saints have been smashed; many have been decapitated. The monastery of Saint Jean des Blames in Aveyron was sacked by Muslims. The Paris daily Le Figaro, in reporting on some of these incidents, asked “Who has heard of the sacking of the monastery of Saint Jean des Balmes in Aveyron? Of those teenagers who urinated into the holy water font of the church at Villeneuve de Berg in Ardèche?” RT states that “the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris, where the Da Vinci Code movie was filmed, was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday, Le Parisien reports. Firefighters and police said the blaze was an arson attack. In February, a 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary was smashed at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles. The statue was ‘completely pulverized,’ Father Francois-Laurent Heart said. “It is irreparable.” The church reported three incidents in 10 days, with a cross also thrown on the floor by vandals. At Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, statues and crosses were smashed and an altar cloth was burned in February. A statue of Christ on a cross was also interfered with, as vandals twisted one of the arms to make it appear that Jesus was dabbing, La Depeche reports….Meanwhile, the Notre-Dame des Enfants church in Nimes was looted and vandals used human excrement to draw a cross on the wall in February. Consecrated hosts of unleavened bread, which Catholics believe is the body of Jesus Christ, were found scattered outside with rubbish.” These and numerous other attacks on French churches receive minimal, if any, media coverage.
The alacrity with which the country has rallied to the repair of Notre-Dame is admirable, but what should and could be done about of the other, deliberate destruction — about three attacks every day — on churches all over France? None of these churches are world-famous like Notre-Dame, but many are venerable works of art and architecture, with statues, crucifixes, baptismal fonts, altars, elaborately carved pews, some with organs or stained-glass windows; none, of course, deserve to be assaulted, vandalized, destroyed. What would it take to prevent or hinder such Muslim attacks? CCTV cameras inside and outside the churches, alarms connected from the churches to the local police stations, and armed security guards would certainly help protect such sites. As the sums pledged to restore Notre-Dame have gone far beyond $1 billion, surely the French government can contribute a few tens of millions of dollars to protect that part of the artistic patrimony of the nation that is to be found in its churches.
The massive fire that destroyed much of the internal wooden structure of Notre-Dame de Paris appears to have been the result of an accident, not Muslim malevolence. But the reaction of a disturbing number of French Muslims needs to be recorded. It was to be expected that the Islamic State — which called the fire Allah’s revenge for the mocking words about Mecca that apparently appeared in the French press a week before the Notre-Dame fire — would express its pleasure. But the anti-French, anti-white, anti-Christian sentiments expressed by many Muslims, their indifference to, or even hatred of, the history of France — still startles.
An email sent to me from France deserves to be shared:
The horrible responses of many French [& Muslims]
The case of UNEF (the National Union of Students in France)
Unfortunately many people have not been concerned about what has been happening at the National Union of Students. This student union, of the extreme left, has for several years taken an even more extreme turn toward “indigenism” [une dérive indigéniste, see the discussion of this term below]. The tweets of some of its officers are most instructive.
Here we have to stop for a moment to consider what is meant by “une dérive indigéniste,” which has a very particular meaning in French political life. The “parti des indigènes de la république”– the “Party of the indigenous peoples of the Republic,” or PIR, was founded in 2005. The party is the farthest of the far-left groups; its founders were two Muslim Arabs, and its membership consists primarily of Arabs and African blacks. The word “indigenes” is meant to indicate that just as in its colonies the “colonialist” French supposedly mistreated the indigenous peoples, so in France (“la Republique”) itself, French whites continue to mistreat Arabs and blacks, who are now described as “the new indigenes,” even though, of course, they, or their parents or grandparents, arrived from outside France, and the true indigenes in France are the French themselves. But because these Muslims and blacks in the group PIR claim to be the victims of “racism” and “internal colonialism” by the French state, it is they, and not the French themselves, who they insist should be considered the “indigenous people” of France, oppressed by the “whites.” The party’s militants see everything in terms of “racism’” promoted by the French state; they seek to sensitize Arab and black teachers to the “racist” messages conveyed in the schools, where the history of France is “forced” on non-French people, who are expected to celebrate a past that they have no part of, and should take no interest in. Arab and black teachers are encouraged to recognize the “internal colonialism” of France, and to identify areas in the school curriculum that reveal endemic racism. They are encouraged by the party to be anti-French, antisemitic, and anti-white, and to reject French identity even as they are pushed to embrace their Arab, Muslim, or black identities.
Here are a few instructive tweets from members of the French Student Union:
The first is from Hafsa Askar, vice-president of the Lille branch of the National Union of Students, who in December 2017 had tweeted “all the whites ought to be gassed, this subhuman race.” Nothing happened to her for expressing this genocidal wish; just imagine the national uproar if a French woman had tweeted a similar sentiment about Muslims or blacks. The very day of the Notre-Dame fire, Askar tweeted “I don’t give a damn [“je m’en fiche”] about Notre-Dame. I don’t give a damn about the history of France. Go right ahead, use my name.” Later, having received many angry responses from French people, she shut down her Twitter account.
The second is from Majdi Chaarana, former president of the Lyon branch of the Union of French Students, and now a member of its National Committee.
He tweeted “Quelqu’un a des nouvelles de Quasimodo? Sa maison crame.”
“Any news from Quasimodo? His house is on fire.”
These displays of nastiness, written while Notre-Dame was still engulfed in flames, did not go over well among the French.
My informant, an ex-Muslim now in Paris, reported:
Thousands of Muslims have demonstrated their joy [at the burning of Notre-Dame].
Numerous French Muslims have taken to social media to express, in a half-Arab half-French patois, their joy at this tragic event. I will let you see for yourself.
Rokhaya Diallo is a French citizen, both Muslim and black, who describes herself as a “writer, journalist, film-maker, television host” and “militant.” She’s a stout Defender of the Faith of Islam; when the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed in 2011 for mocking Muhammad (just as the paper always did with Jesus and Moses), Diallo refused to denounce the attackers and instead criticized Charlie Hebdo, demonstrating her indifference to freedom of speech. In her own television appearances and in her writings, her every third word is “racism,” and her every fourth word is “islamophobia.” She believes that the French are inherently racist, that there is a “racism sanctioned and spread by the state,” and it is her duty to endlessly discuss race, racism, racists. Her mind is neither wide nor deep. Her spoken and written pieces usually begin in one of two ways: “As a black woman…” or “As a woman who is both black and Muslim….” She has been interviewed by Al Jazeera on “Race,Religion, and Feminism in France.” She has written a few books. You can guess their titles. That’s right: “Racism. A Guide.” She has also published “Afro,” which consists entirely of photographs of black Parisians who are described as “unafraid” to wear Afros, as if they were in any danger; “France Belongs to Us,” (“Us” being non-whites, that is, blacks and Arabs, staking their claim to the country), “France: One and Multicultural,” and “How To Talk To Kids About Racism.” You can see Diallo on television debate shows, constantly interrupting her interlocutors, and speaking a mile a minute, never answering but merely drowning her critics in a torrent of verbiage, here and here. She now appears regularly at the Washington Post, writing about Racism and Islamophobia. Did those at the Post who thought she would be a fresh new voice worth hearing not realize that she has only these two topics — racism and islamophobia — and has nothing new to say about either? Recent pieces for the Washington Post have been “French Islamophobia Goes Global,” and ”Don’t Let France’s World Cup Victory Erase The Issues of Black French People.”
After the Notre-Dame conflagration, Diallo, who is always so free with her comments, tweeting away like nobody’s business, and appearing on all sorts of talk shows, never listening to her interlocutors, always cutting them off to make some inane claim, had no comment to offer about the fire. Her last tweet about the country which has given her so much, and which she so clearly despises for its supposed “racism,” was “Nique la France” (“Fuck France”). That sums up Diallo’s appeal to all the malcontents, both Muslims and anti-white racists, who take whatever they can from the French government and French people, and who, in return, offer only resentment, contempt, and hatred. No comment from someone who always has a comment is itself telling: Notre-Dame is not her concern. It’s not part of her France. Its destruction doesn’t move her. Days later, Rhokaya Diallo still has yet to express a syllable of sympathy.
So that’s how many French Muslims have reacted to the partial destruction of Notre-Dame. Some of them have been cheering the news, in tweets using the smiling emoji to express their happiness. Some Muslims who are leaders in local chapters of the Union of French Students have expressed not solidarity with, but contempt for, both the French, and for France. “I don’t give a damn about France,” tweeted Hafsa Askar, Vice-President of the Lille branch of the Union of French Students. “I don’t give a damn about French history.” Yet she complains about being made to feel that she is not part of France. And she added in another tweet that “jusqu’a les gens ils vont pleurer pour des bouts de bois vs. aimez trop l’identite français aloes qu’on s’en balek objectivement c’est votre desire de petits blancs.” Roughly translated: “[I don’t give a damn about France] and that includes the people who cry over sticks of wood you love your French identity while we don’t give a shit objectively it’s just your lower-class-white delirium.”
The Notre-Dame fire, which touched so many in the Western world, offered a perfect opportunity for Muslims in France to express sympathy for, and solidarity with, the French people, to show that they could identify with the supreme symbol of French civilization, and to mourn the damage caused by the fire. Instead, many Muslims chose to celebrate online the destruction, with thousands tweeting their pleasure, along with smiling emojis to emphasize the point. Some even suggested the fire was retribution for jokes having been made about Mecca. Then there were the Muslim officers of the SNEF, the Union of French Students, who went beyond mere expressions of pleasure, and made jokes about the church in flames, calling it Quasimodo’s place. and loudly proclaming that they didn’t care about the church, or France, or the French, whose sorrow was mocked as the hysteria of lower-class whites (“petits blancs”). This could have been a moment for Muslims, beyond a handful, to demonstrate fellow feeling; instead, it was a display of Muslim resentment and hostility and Schadenfreude that will not, in France, be forgotten.
The generosity of France to the migrant hordes in itself contributes to their obnoxious attitudes toward French people, customs, history, and the country itself. That is an unattractive aspect of human nature. Only if people work and integrate into the culture in which they find themselves, will they be normal and decent, and perhaps, happy.
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