Marine Le Pen is of course the Front National’s candidate in the 2012 French presidential elections and is riding high the country’s opinion polls, which suggest that she is likely to be one of the three most popular candidates. Unfortunately, if she does manage to make it through to the second round of voting, it is probable that as in the 2002 presidential election when her father went head-to-head with incumbent President Jacques Chirac that the other parties will unite to call for their supporters to vote for whoever is left standing against her. The likelihood of a Front National victory is thus slim, but nonetheless should not be discounted altogether.
Back in 1998, Guillaume Faye made a number of observations re political opposition to the Front National, noting that it arose from a fear of the party’s genuinely radical alternative. As in the UK, where nationalists of all stripes are routinely and unjustly tarred with the ‘Nazi’ brush, Faye notes that this tactic has been repeatedly used in an effort to baselessly stigmatise the Front. In his opinion, its opponents have sought to:
‘gag and undermine the Front because it seeks to re-establish the moral contract between the people and its leaders. Hence, it is accused of being immoral. But facts will speak for themselves – the politicians and the media will not be able to twist them. So the only path open to the system is not to ban the Front National but abolish the people. It is already trying to do so. Immigration is one of its weapons, but it is a double-edged sword, for the system – and I will stress this once more – is forgetting about an essential player: Islam.’ (Faye, Guillaume (2010/1998), Archeofuturism, Arktos, United Kingdom, p. 142).
Faye’s concern with Islamisation – which he sees as being Europe’s primary existential threat, rooted in the de facto colonisation of the continent – is something that separates him from a number of figures in the Nouvelle Droite - such as Alain de Benoist - from which he sprang. More generally however, Islamisation has emerged as a contentious political problem in France, for doctrinaire Islam’s inability to allow a separation between the secular and the ‘spiritual’ strikes at the very heart of French republican identity with its strict tradition of secularism – laïcité.
As elsewhere across the world and in other European countries in particular, Muslims are becoming emboldened with respect to public displays of religiosity, a symptom of this being their willingness to break the law by holding Friday prayers and blocking streets in cities such as Paris, Nice and Marseilles. This sense of boldness and willingness to disregard the law has been bolstered by the fact that Muslims are now estimated to comprise somewhere in the region of 5-10% of the population; a proportion that has grown rapidly through mass immigration and a birth rate which greatly exceeds that of the native French population. Moreover, the authorities have generally turned a blind eye to this phenomenon, thereby allowing it to become entrenched and grow.
Given the reluctance of the French political establishment to acknowledge let alone deal with the Islamisation problem, Marine Le Pen has decided to take a symbolic stand on Muslim street prayers which she roundly condemns in her video address below. This is sure to strike a chord with a significant section of the native French electorate, but you can be sure that there will be a media storm in which Madame Le Pen is accused of the non-existent phenomenon of ‘Islamophobia’ as well as ‘racism’, and that her opponents will attempt to avoid rational debate because there is no rational debate to be had: Muslims who block the streets with their prayers are breaking the law. Can you imagine a contender for high office voicing such sentiments in the UK? Me neither, which is a pity.
The text below preceding the video is translated from the Bivouac-ID blog as it provides an interesting insight into a French secularist perspective on Le Pen’s speech:
Marine Le Pen’s Speech on Street Prayers
A speech which should certainly be viewed against the backdrop of the forthcoming electoral contest, but where real questions are clearly and courageously posed without evasive political language. Why aren’t the nominees of the other parties able or willing to do as much?
The problem posed by Islam is posed to the whole French nation, and must naturally transcend political rivalries.