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Posts Tagged ‘Marine Le Pen’

National Front Mayor Evicts Dreyfus-Inspired Anti-Racism Group

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A French mayor from the far-right National Front party evicted from city-owned offices an anti-racism group inspired by the Dreyfus trial.

Steeve Briois, who was elected last month to run the town of Henin-Beaumont, ordered the Human Rights League, or LDH, to clear out of its workspace last week, LDH President Pierre Tartakowsky told JTA.

The LDH, which was established in 1898 to protest the wrongful and racially motivated conviction for espionage of the French Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus, for years had occupied office space provided free to it and other civil society groups by the municipality, Tartakowsky said.

“We have made no secret of our opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, the extreme right and National Front itself,” he said. “The party knows that targeting us as a human rights group is a symbol; they want to make people afraid.”

In a statement sent Tuesday, Briois wrote, “Municipalities are not allowed to fund organizations that are politicized and partisan.”

The municipality had provided $414 in funding to LDH per year, according to Le Figaro.

National Front, whose honorary president, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and incitement to hatred against Jews and other minorities, has mayors in 11 municipalities following its showing in the March 30 local elections.

Le Pen Recruits Pigs to Fight Islam

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen said last Friday that she would stop schools from offering pork-free alternatives to Muslim students in the 11 towns where her party has won local elections. She said this was consistent with France’s “secular values,” or, as she put it, to “save secularism.”

I have a feeling secularism is as threatened in France as Christmas is in the U.S. Meaning, on both sides of the Atlantic these are made up issues designed to stir up political strife where none actually exists.

“We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,” Le Pen declared on French radio. “There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that’s the law.”

It’s true that France has the largest Muslim minority in Europe – roughly 5 million. There are also an estimated half a million Jews there.

But I suspect that those Jewish families who would not serve pork to their children already send them to private Jewish schools. This is, then, not an antisemitic but an anti-Muslim move. For sure, today’s French people don’t feel overwhelmed by a Jewish invasion, while a walk through some parts of Paris would definitely bring to mind the year 699, when the Arab hordes came rushing out of the peninsula to fill up the vacuum left by the dead Roman Empire.

So the National Front is taking advantage of the French resentment of this Asiatic occupation army in their midst, with varying results. Le Pen did not get elected president with her anti-Muslim politics, but doubled its wins in municipal elections.

On occasion, the National Front seems to be having fun with their xenophobic politics: in the town of Hayanges, FN mayor Fabien Engelmann has proposed a Pork Fest, celebrating the many attributes of pigs. And, of course, he insists the festival is not meant to offend Muslims.

Oink.

France: the Looming Battle over Muslim Integration

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

A panel appointed by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to review France’s integration policies has urged the government to implement a “new form of secularism” that would raise the profile of Islam in public life—in order to improve the integration of Muslim immigrants.

Among a long list of recommendations aimed at “recognizing the richness of multiple identities,” the panel says that public schools in France should begin allowing Muslim pupils to wear headscarves in class (clothing that has been outlawed since 2004), and that courses should be taught in Arabic and African languages rather than in French.

The panel also recommends a number of other multicultural changes that would provide greater recognition to the “Arab-oriental dimension” of France’s national identity. These include changing street and place names, overhauling the history curriculum taught in schools and creating a special day to honor the contribution of immigrant cultures.

More notably, the panel says that authorities and the media should be prohibited from referring to people’s nationality, religion or ethnicity in public, and that the government should create a new law that would make “racial harassment” a punishable offense.

The controversial recommendations are contained in a series of five documents that were discretely posted on the prime minister’s official website in November, but only came to public attention on December 12, after an exposé by the French daily newspaper, Le Figaro.

Not surprisingly, the proposals to develop an “inclusive secularism” in France have sparked a firestorm of criticism.

Jean-François Copé, the leader of France’s main opposition party, the conservative UMP, said in a statement that the proposals are “explosive and irresponsible” because they replace “the one and indivisible French Republic with a motley assembly of communities, ethnicities and groups of all kinds.” According to Copé:

“This report is an attempt to make multiculturalism the new model for France. It would no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture, but for France to abandon its own culture, language, history and identity to adapt to other people’s cultures…I cannot accept that we build a society where ‘responsibilities’ are completely replaced by ‘rights.’ French voters should know that in this report the word ‘responsibility’ appears only 13 times, while the word ‘right’ is repeated 440 times.”

Copé also accused the government of using the report to deliberately drive voters towards the anti-immigration National Front (FN) party in order to weaken the UMP.

The leader of the FN, Marine Le Pen—who has attained record-breaking popularity due to her criticism of runaway immigration—said the report’s recommendations are “a very grave provocation” and implementing them would be tantamount to “a declaration of war on the French people.”

The negative reaction to the report has put the ruling Socialists on the defensive.

French President François Hollande—the most unpopular French president on record, with approval ratings well below 30%—has distanced himself from some of the more explosive recommendations contained in the report, which he says do “not at all represent the government’s position.” Hollande also denies that the ban on Islamic veils in schools will be reversed.

Ayrault, who originally commissioned the report in July 2013 to recommend ways to “get the republican model of integration working again because it has broken down,” said there are no plans to drop the headscarf ban. “Just because I receive a report does not make it government policy,” he said.

Nevertheless, the report’s recommendations are supposed to form the basis of future reforms ostensibly aimed at better integrating Muslim immigrants. These reforms will eventually be put to a vote in the French Parliament sometime during 2014.

In the face of public outcry, however, Ayrault cancelled a public seminar that had been planned to discuss the report’s recommendations, which will now be debated in a closed-door meeting tentatively set for January 9, 2014.

Other key Socialists have also distanced themselves from the recommendations, including Thierry Mandon, the spokesman for the Socialist group in the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament.

“I do not envision that we will return to the law on the veil,” said Mandon, who compared Hollande and Ayrault to over-eager students who go too far and end up with “extremist” formulas that will lead to the “de-Republicanization” of France.

In any event, the report has opened yet another chapter in the long-running debate over multiculturalism in France, which has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.

The debate pits the Socialist supporters of multiculturalism in France against the Conservative republican camp, which is concerned about the steady disintegration of French society due to mass immigration, and which is calling for the return to the traditional values ​​of the French Republic.

Opinion polls show that a majority of people in France believe that multiculturalism has gone too far.

According to a poll published by Le Figaro in October 2012, 60% of French people believe that Islam has become “too visible and influential” in France and 43% consider the presence of Muslim immigrants to be a threat to French national identity, compared to just 17% who say it enriches society.

In addition, 68% of people in France blame the problems associated with Muslim integration on immigrants who refuse to integrate, and 52% blame it on cultural differences. The poll also shows a growing resistance to the symbols of Islam. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of French people say they are opposed to Muslim women wearing the veil or Islamic headscarves in public, and only 18% say they support the building of new mosques in France.

France has a long tradition of secularism in public institutions, especially in public schools where the absence of religion has long been considered essential to the country’s ideals of equality and freedom of conscience.

In September 2013, the government introduced a “secularism charter” for schools. The document—which is to appear in a prominent location in all of the 55,000 public schools in France—would serve to remind students and teachers of a list of secular principles underpinning the separation of mosque and state.

Although the initiative has enjoyed a generally positive reception, many observers say they doubt Hollande has the political will actually to enforce secular principles in French schools, with or without a charter.

This skepticism stems from the circumstance that Muslim children constitute an increasingly large proportion of the 10 million students in the French public school system—and because Muslim parents make up an increasingly important voting bloc in French politics. Muslims, in fact, cast the deciding vote that thrust Hollande into the Elysée Palace in May 2012.

With major municipal elections in France coming up in March 2014 and European parliamentary ballots in May, speculation is rife that the flailing Hollande is seeking to leverage the debate over multiculturalism to further endear himself to Muslim voters.

But the French philosopher and essayist Alain Finkielkraut says multiculturalism and runway Muslim immigration are responsible for the destruction of French national identity.

In a politically incorrect interview with the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel on December 6 to discuss his latest book, “L’identité malheureuse” [The Unhappy Identity], Finkielkraut says European elites have consistently misrepresented multiculturalism as the model for the future. Instead, he says, “mistrust prevails, communitarianism is rampant—parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.”

According to Finkielkraut:

“Immigration used to go hand-in-hand with integration into French culture. That was the rule of the game. Many of the new arrivals no longer want to play by that rule. If the immigrants are in the majority in their neighborhoods, how can we integrate them? … Many Muslims in Europe are re-Islamizing themselves. … The left does not want to accept that there is a clash of civilizations.”

Finkielkraut sums it up: “I am of the opinion that our generation’s task is not to recreate the world, but to prevent its decline. … I become sad and feel a growing sense of anxiety. Optimism would seem a bit ridiculous these days. I wish the politicians were able to speak the truth and look reality in the face. Then, I believe, France would be capable of a true awakening—of contemplating a policy of civilization.”

Marine Le Pen: Wearing Yarmulkes Should Be Banned

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen said she supports a ban on wearing yarmulkes in public in addition to a ban on Muslim headscarves.

“Obviously, if the veil is banned, the yarmulke [should be] banned in public as well,” the French daily Le Monde quoted Le Pen, leader of the National Front, as saying in an interview published on Friday.

Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-Islamist party has long supported a ban on Muslim headscarves, veils and burkas. France’s minister of education, Vincent Peillon, said Le Pen “was fanning the flames of fundamentalism” with her statements. “She is the main fundamentalist,” he said.

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, said Le Pen has “once again exposed herself as being unworthy of the mainstream French political space.”

“Her suggestion of a ban on wearing a kipah in public takes us straight back to the times of state-sponsored anti-Semitism under the Vichy regime,” he said. “Any sane politician will disqualify these comments as total madness and profoundly insulting to the French ideals of freedom of expression.”

Founded in the 1970s by Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen’s father, the National Front has established itself as France’s third-largest political party. In 2002, it made it to the second round in the presidential elections, clinching 17 percent of the vote.

Marine Le Pen to Sue Jewish-French Philosopher for Libel

Monday, June 11th, 2012

A lawyer for Marine Le Pen said the leader of the French far right will sue French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy for libel.

Wallerand de Saint-Just said he would submit a libel suit on behalf of Le Pen, president of the National Front party, to the Paris Magistrate’s Court next week.

In an article originally published on the website La Regle du Jeu, Levy suggested that Le Pen may bear some responsibility for attacks against Jews because of her alleged penchant for habitually mocking Jewish-sounding names in meetings.

Referring to a recent attack at Villeurbanne in which three young Jewish men wearing yarmulkes were attacked by at least 10 assailants, Levy asked, “Is it really a coincidence that this aggression follows a campaign in which one candidate, Ms. Le Pen, has systematically lampooned Jewish-sounding names in meetings?”

De Saint-Just told JTA that “There is no basis to the claim that Ms. Le Pen jeeringly uses names of Jewish people in meetings and speeches or any other forums. Mr. Levy is simply inventing it.” He added, “Suggesting Ms. Le Pen bears responsibility for the attacks in Villeurbanne is particularly ignoble.”

The article by Levy, which promises to offer “the key to understanding the new anti-Semitism,” was disseminated by CRIF, the umbrella organization of France’s Jewish communities.

French PM: Jews, Muslims Should Reconsider ‘Ancestral Traditions’ of Kashrut, Halal

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon recently called on Jews and Muslims to rethink their kosher and halal ritual slaughter laws, a clear indication that French politicians are in campaign mode.

“Religions should think about keeping traditions that don’t have much in common with today’s state of science, technology and health problems,” said the Prime minister in a radio interview on Monday, “we live in a modern society.”

Fillon’s comments come as President Nicolas Sarkozy and his party, Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) seek to court conservative voters ahead of the presidential election in May.

The issue of ritual slaughter is part of larger narrative in French society concerning French identity and immigration. But the prime minister’s comments are more reminiscent of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s far-right National Front party than the center-right party that the UMP purports to be.

Indeed, it was Le Pen’s daughter – current National Front and Presidential candidate – Marine Le Pen that brought the issue to the fore in mid-February, by claiming that “all the abattoirs in the Paris region sell halal meat without exception.” It turned out that her statement wasn’t entirely accurate. Still, Sarkozy and his allies did not want to be outbid in a contest for prized constituents, so they have raised the rhetoric, focusing more on the themes of ‘Secularism’ and ‘French culture’ as the campaign proceeds. This includes Sarkozy himself, who over the weekend urged butchers to label distinctly meat slaughtered in accordance with religious laws.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/french-pm-jews-muslims-should-reconsider-ancestral-traditions-of-kashrut-halal/2012/03/08/

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