by Hugh Fitzgerald
The noted French writer, essayist, and broadcast journalist Eric Zemmour, the most famous public intellectual in France, was invited in late September to a meeting in Paris organized by supporters of Marion Marechal, the daughter of Marine Le Pen, and herself a former deputy in the French Assembly, routinely – and inaccurately – described as of the “far right.” Zemmour was invited to give the opening address, for he is the most important French figure among intellectual islamocritics. He is articulate, detailed, humorful, and relentless; his book The Suicide of France, has had an enormous and salutary impact on French public opinion.
Zemmour has the unsettling habit of saying what he believes to be true, and of being unfazed by those who, constantly yapping at his heels, try, through lawsuits and libel, to bring him down. He has for years been warning about the islamization of Europe, and his forthright islamocriticism has led to an endless series of attempts to punish and censor him; he’s been fined, lost jobs in journalism, and even been convicted in the past for “racism,” and more recently, for preaching “hate” (against Muslims). He was last year banned from television; fortunately, that ban was only temporary and he will soon be reappearing regularly on a news program.
What follows are rough translations, preserving the meaning without being literal, of excerpts from his address in French, including the unfriendly remarks of the writer of the article at Le Point.
“All our problems, that are made worse by immigration, are made worse still by Islam,” the polemicist Eric Zemmour claimed in his appearance on Saturday [September 28], in an impassioned speech against “colonizing” immigrants and the “Islamization of the street,” thereby espousing the conspiratorial and controversial theory of the “great replacement” of populations.
“In France, as in all of Europe, all of our problems are made worse by immigration: our [failing] schools, our [lack of] housing, our [rising] unemployment, the deficits in social spending, [the breakdown in] public order, prisons…and all of these problems are made much worse still by Islam. France is being punshed twice” insisted the essayist, who introduced the meeting organized in Paris by followers of the former deputy of the ‘extreme right’ Marion Marechal.
He [Zemmour] who was recently found guilty of provoking religious hatred castigated the “universalism of the marketplace,” as well as “Islamic universalism” which crushes our [European] nations…our ways of life, our cultures.”
The French state has become, according to Eric Zemmour, “the weapon that is destroying our nation and bringing about the subjugation of its people, the replacement of its [French] people by another people, another civilization.”
Between true living – and “living together in imposed and endlessly celebrated diversity”– a choice must be made,” he stated, citing the writer Renaud Camus, the theoretician of the “great replacement” of the white, mainly Christian population in France by Muslim immigrants.
“The question for us is the following: will young French people accept living as a minority in the land of their ancestors?” he insisted, making a plea for the notion of national identity, “the most unifying of subjects because it affects both the working and the middle class.”
“Our brilliant ‘progressives’ have led us to the brink of war among the races and war among religions,” he added.
Zemmour has been condemned for “racism” though he has never uttered a “racist” remark; he has been similarly condemned for “hate” though he has never promoted “hatred” of Muslims. His is simply a clear-eyed view of what is happening in France, where there are ever more Muslims, the result both of immigration, legal and illegal, and of the much higher birth rates of Muslims compared to that for the indigenous French. He cryptically lists the various aspects of French life that have been affected, for the worse, by the increasing Muslim presence. We can flesh them out below.
First, he mentions l’ecole, thereby alluding to the effect of Muslim immigrants on French schools, where classes are disrupted by Muslim students ill-inclined to obey Infidel teachers and rules, or to be well-disposed toward non-Muslim classmates. Muslims have also objected to parts of the required curriculum, such as the study of French history. Why should Muslims, after all, care about the kings of France, or the Crusades, or the Enlightenment, or the Resistance? And study of the Holocaust is unacceptable because it leads to sympathy for Jews, and that would never do. Why should they study Proust or Montaigne, both half-Jews? Or why should Muslims, many of them ask, study French literature at all, which has nothing to do with Islam, and indeed offends Muslims with its decadent themes? Why should Muslims have to learn about Western philosophy, art, music?
The tremendous pressures on teachers in French schools, at all levels, where the duties of instructors have increased, the demands on their time ever greater, and government financing has not kept pace with the needs of immigrant children, was recently brought home by the suicide of Christine Renon, the head of a school in the Muslim area of Seine Saint-Denis, who left a long letter describing her inability any longer to cope with an ever-more-difficult task and, she lamented, ever-less support from the government.
Logement is Zemmour’s allusion to the housing crisis in France. The government believes it has a duty – but why? — to provide public housing for Muslim immigrants, with their large families (requiring larger apartments). The heads of these families, the supposed breadwinner, are often unemployed, in no hurry to find employment, and happy to have French taxpayers provide such low-cost or practically free housing and other benefits. These H.L.M., or Low-Cost Housing (Habitation a loyer modere) projects, cannot accommodate all who are in need of such housing. The more that such low-cost housing is assigned to Muslim tenants, the less will be available for the indigenous poor.
Chômage refers to the high rates of unemployment in France. Many Muslim migrants arrive with no employable skills. Many of them are not too concerned; they are happy to accept unemployment benefits offered by the generous French state, and are in no hurry to be gainfully employed. Others who do take jobs at the lowest level thereby increase unemployment among those least able to afford it, the indigenous French poor.
Deficits sociaux is a broad term that subsumes the just-discussed categories and more besides. It refers to the failure of the French state to provide adequately for all the needs – decent schools and housing, family allowances, medical care, and so on — of the indigenous poor. Even the left-leaning Le Monde has written a scathing report on the amounts being spent by the French state on refugees, including single men who pose as children, who arrive from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and other Muslim lands, with no skills, not a word of French, most often illiterate in their own language, who have to be provided at once with lodging, medical care, language training, the most basic needs of existence. It all adds up to colossal sums.
Another nightmare for French taxpayers are the large Muslim families that arrive, legally or illegally, wave after wave, in France and at once are provided with low-cost or free housing. Then the husband simply goes off somewhere, possibly to fight for ISIS or some other group, or perhaps he simply decides to return to his country of origin, having dumped his family in the lap of the French state. The wife, with five or six children in tow, has no idea how to cope, and a small army of French social workers now attends to her family’s every need. Unsurprisingly, social spending in 2019 in France has so far left a deficit of more than five billion euros. And there are no signs of budgetary relief.
The ordre public refers to the consequences of the Muslim presence in disrupting life, as when Muslims take over city streets to engage in their five daily prayers, halting traffic and making noise. It includes those who engage in street crime, attacking and robbing Unbelievers at will, or in larger demonstrations, such as those of the “Yellow Jackets” (Gilets Jaunes), taking the occasion of general unrest to smash shop windows and grab whatever they can. There is a general air of fear and lawlessness in the Muslim-populated neighborhoods of France, as in Seine Saint-Denis, where cars of non-Muslims are routinely set on fire, and even the police do not dare to enter except in groups. Muslim rates of criminality, especially for violent crimes such as rape and murder, are six or seven times as high as those for non-Muslims.
Prisons refers to the ever-increasing numbers of Muslim prisoners, whom some have claimed make up 70% of the prisoners, though Muslims are only 8-10% of the total population. Others claim the Muslim percentage of prisoners is “only” 50%. All prisoners cost a lot to house; Muslim prisoners, who must be supplied with halal meals and places for prayer, cost even more. And while in prison, Muslims have been able both to radicalize other Muslims, that is, make them even more dangerous, and to convert non-Muslims who are eager, for personal safety, to join the “largest gang,” that is, the Muslim gang. Once these converts, and these radicalized Muslims, get out of prison, they are high the list of those who need to be constantly monitored, at great cost, by the French security services.
Zemmour is a dangerous enemy of the apologists for Islam not only because he happens to believe what he says about Islam and Muslims is true, but because what he says about Islam and Muslims happens to be true. And that is why he is never answered point by point, because he cannot be; instead, his arguments are ignored and he is subject to endless personal attacks as a “racist” and a sower of “hate” whom we need not bother to refute. And so the Comédie Française continues. But as with the furious testimony against Islam and Muslims by the late Oriana Fallaci in Italy, Zemmour has become ever more impassioned about the palpable threat of Muslims colonizing France, and impossible, thank god, for anyone to ignore.
First published in Jihad Watch,