December 26, 2015

Francois Hollande

Francois Hollande

Source: Shutterstock

Behind the high-minded arguments of the opponents of the law one espies rather narrower and more genuine electoral considerations. The opponents of the law are not philosophers, they are politicians, and the fact is that 80 percent of Muslims in France vote for the president’s Socialist Party. The opponents no doubt fear that if they support the law they in turn will lose the support of a significant number of voters, possibly a decisive number. Those voters will either abstain or find another political formation more sympathetic to their views.

This, I surmise, is how the parliamentary opponents of the proposed law think. But if I am right, it shows that they are the true Islamophobes, to turn on them their own term of abuse of opponents: For why should Muslims in France object to the law unless they were sympathetic to the terrorists who risked having their nationality withdrawn?

In other words, the parliamentary opponents of the law are implicitly admitting, perhaps without realizing it themselves, that they believe exactly what supporters of the Front National believe, namely that the majority of Muslims in France are sympathetic to Islamic terrorism and therefore constitute a national danger. The difference between the supporters of the Front National and the socialist opponents of the law is that the latter believe that the best way to eliminate the danger is to appease those who constitute it, whereas the former believe in a direct confrontation.

I do not pretend myself to have the answer to the problem. I suspect that it will require long attrition rather than a final showdown; I am optimistic about the long run because of the extreme intellectual weakness of Islam in the modern world (far greater than that of Marxism, which at least produced some interesting historians), but pessimistic about the short.


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