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France: Anti-Muslim Elements Emerge Victorious in French Opposition Elections

France is increasingly becoming polarized, facing fractures over what it means to be French in the 21st century. Far Right elements amongst the opposition to the Hollande led government are winning ground and assuming control.

Jean-Francois Cope, who we featured several times in the past for his antagonism towards the French Muslim community has emerged victorious in the race for the top spot in France’s previous ruling party, the UMP.

Is this the future of France? (h/t: Sergil)

Anti-Islam Rightist Leads French Opposition


PARIS – A right-winger famed for his aggressive rhetoric against Muslims has been elected a new leader of France’s former ruling party after an election that saw traded accusations of fraud.

“The activists of the UMP have accorded me a majority of their votes and therefore have elected me as the president of the party,” said Jean-Francois Cope, the new leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Cope was elected to lead the opposition party after defeating former prime minister Francois Fillon by a handful of votes, taking 50.03 percent of the vote.

The razor-thin victory gave the 48-year-old firebrand leadership over Fillon by only 98 votes from the 300,000 UMP members to succeed former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Cope’s election came as a bad news for the Muslim community in France, home to six million Muslims.

He had played a leading role in the UMP campaign to ban the full-face Muslim veil in France.

Cope also championed a controversial national debate in 2009 that preceded the veil ban, which was seen by French Muslims as aiming to stigmatize them and let people air biased views about Islam.

Though he was sidelined to some degree when Sarkozy took office in 2007, Cope used his position as the head of the UMP’s parliamentary delegation to raise his profile.

In 2010, he became secretary general of the UMP and continued to gain attention as one of the party’s most fierce advocates and debaters.

Cope has been credited with swinging the party to the right in a bid to take votes from the far-right Front National and raised hackles during the leadership campaign with complaints of “anti-white racism” in French suburbs.

He followed up last month with the publication of “A Manifesto for an Uninhibited Right”, in which he lambasted a culture of discrimination against whites amongst immigrant communities in impoverished urban areas.

Cope famously told one campaign rally that a group of Muslim “thugs” snatches a pain au chocolat pastry from the hands of a young boy.


The UMP election, six months after Sarkozy lost the presidency to Socialist Francois Hollande, is seen as evidence of a deep rift in the party.

“The movement has emerged divided and thus weakened by this excessive confrontation,” when the next presidential election will be held, UMP party heavyweight Alain Juppe wrote on his blog.

With both parties citing “many irregularities” in the electoral process, he pleaded with the pair to put a stop to their supporters’ “invectives” and warned that “the very existence of the UMP is in question”.

“Throughout the campaign, it has been less a question of the future of the UMP and more about the two candidates’ obsession with 2017,” Juppe, Sarkozy’s foreign minister, added.

The debacle delighted the party socialist and far-right rivals.

“This tragicomedy is a bad vaudeville act that does no honor to French democracy,” said Bruno Le Roux, the head of the Socialists’ parliamentary faction.

Florian Philippot, deputy leader of the far-right National Front, also pointed to the difficult task in uniting the party after a bitter election battle.

“It is obvious that whoever is elected president of the UMP will have no legitimacy whatsoever given that he will be in charge of a party broken in two.”

Related articles:

Muslim-baiting right winger wins control of France conservative opposition

Jean-François Copé elected leader of UMP

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  • sir David (aged 13 3/4)

    UMP to split over Copé

    Sir David

  • sir David (aged 13 3/4)

    Having looked at the election results it might be that Mr Copé looses because of Muslim votes from french territories in the Indian ocean . Oh the ironey 🙂

    Sir David

  • sir David (aged 13 3/4)

    Update on the goings on 😉

    Sir David

  • Benjamin Taghiov

    ‘Islam is like Nazism’: top Sweden Democrat

    The Sweden Democrats’ new justice policy spokesman, unveiled on Thursday as part of a reshuffle in the wake of a racist video scandal, has already made headlines for his comparison of Islamism to Nazism.

    “We’re presenting a new team today after what happened last week,” Jimmie Åkesson said at a press conference, referring to the scandal after the publication of a video showing three party members in a drunken and racist tirade from 2010.

    Åkesson presented Richard Jomshof, a former high school teacher who was previously the editor in chief for the Sweden Democrat paper SD–Kuriren, as the replacement for former justice policy spokesman Kent Ekeroth who stepped down on Wednesday.

    Jomshof has previously likened Islamism to Nazism in the publication, a view he showed no signs of abandoning on Thursday.

    “I’ve also compared Islamism with National Socialism and Communism. I stand by that. I think it’s a completely reasonable comparison,” he told TT.

    Jomshof was then asked whether he equates Islamism to the religion Islam.

    “Islam is an ideology. That doesn’t mean there is only one direction within Islam or that all Muslims think the same. There are different directions in all ideologies.”

    Party leader Åkesson did not dismiss his colleague’s statements.

    “It depends on how you make the comparison. Now we’re seeing an example in Gaza and other conflicts where extreme Islamists are involved, sometimes using the same symbols that the Nazis used,” he said.

    “Such a comparison can in certain cases be relevant.”

    Meanwhile, the party also announced a replacement for Erik Almqvist, who stepped down last week as the party’s economic policy spokesman. Taking his place is 44-year-old Sven-Olof Sällström.

    The publication of the now-infamous video sent the party into a tailspin.

    Its youth wing leader Gustav Kasselström was discharged from his duties as parliamentary secretary on Wednesday after he defended his disgraced colleagues.

    Apart from the damage to their political careers, the three politicians implicated by the video may not be out the woods yet.

    On Tuesday, Chief Prosecutor Mats Åhlund launched a formal investigation into whether they are guilty of racial agitation (hets mot folkgrupp), a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.

  • Muhammad al-Hakeem

    Cope or Fillon, Obama or Romney, Mubarak or Morsi, it will never create a difference, as long as the western POLICY is as solid as rock. No one can ever go against that policy that treats Israel as a soulmate, Muslims and Palestinians as subhuman species, and the world as a footstool.

    Believe me. Nothing changes in politics; that’s why I despise it.


    more information about wrong doings in the UMP

    Not sure I go along with all your analysis
    But I agree with the disconnect from the so called french socialist party and the man on the street . They ,like all the political french partys ,seem to belong to the elite.
    The odd one out is Front National which seems only to have leaders with the surname ‘Le Pen ‘ , strange that 😉
    I blame compulsory philosophy lessons in schools in France.
    Not so sure about a conspiracy against the french economy I tend to think more in terms of chaos therory for what is going on .
    Its interesting that the one rating agency that has not down graded the french finantial status is owned by …………………the french. 🙂

    Sir David

  • @BuddhaShrink

    You’re Welcome, and happy Thanks Giving to you too!

  • @CriticalDragon1177
    I agree with Garibaldi and Ilisha: Be kind to yourself. Your are currently and presently earning many good credits. And now is all there is.

    “Blessed Love
    To all the folks in Gaza
    Blessed Love”
    Jimmy Cliff

    To Loonwatch and Loonwatchers, Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for all that you do! May Liberty and Justice come to all.

  • Sarkozy represented American-style politics and Reagan/Thatcher-esque neo-liberalism. French friends joke that he was secretly trained in the U.S.; his outsider “style” had a kind of momentary popularity because of its novelty, but this will give way to the full-on fascism of the far right. Most of my friends who are from the Rouen region come from families that traditionally voted Communist; this has given way to a huge shift to the far right.

    The Socialist party fails in its inability to de-“bourgeoisify” itself, both as concerns the party, but also academia, and its mushy discourse. The hope would be here that the far-left might be able to make inroads into the rural, agricultural, and working classes that have been crushed in order for some (both on the left and on the right) to rise class-wise and power-wise. But for this to happen, the economy would have to move away from its “Anglified” mode. So it’s a bit of a Catch-22. The ranking down to “AA” is, as stated, a tactic along these lines.

  • @Garibaldi

    You’re right. Perhaps I am too hard on myself sometimes.

  • sir David (aged 13 3/4)
  • Sir David (13/34)
  • sir David (aged 13 3/4)

    sarko .2 without the ‘pop star’ girl freind.
    There may be more on this with claims of vote rigging in the election . This may end up in the courts. It will be interesting to see what happens
    1 any court cases based on thiese elections and previous illegal funding of the party
    2 will Cope alienate the centerists in the party. note the party has serious finantial problems which will hamper any future election campaigns
    3 what will be their relationship with Front National who’s policies they may try to steal

    Sir David

  • Garibaldi


    Don’t be too hard on yourself. I understand you regret your past association with the “CJ” goons but remember your story is one of hope. A story that rationality can prevail over hatemongering and anxiety laden irrationality.

    I agree and also hope these guys do not represent the future of France.

  • Garibaldi


    That is a pretty disturbing development.

  • Garibaldi


    Thanks for the tip. It’s as we all expected–the copycats.

  • rookie
  • Especially in combination with the fact that the Capitalist Union is punishing the French for voting Hollande by lowering their credit rating a very dangerous development …

  • @Emperor

    I know I probably didn’t have anything to do with this, but I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for UMP’s rise to power, since I was stupid enough to support the “counter Jihad” movement for so long.

    Even through I don’t live there, I really hope these guy’s don’t represent the future of France or even worse, Europe in general.

  • @Mindy1 I agree. It is troubling.

  • mindy1

    This is troubling 🙁

  • Bob

    Where were the grandfathers of these idiots before France started creating its colonies in Northern Africa? It’s a little too late to disavow Colonialism now.

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