by Belen Fernandez (AlJazeera English)
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera in which she expounds on the alleged threat France faces from radical Islam, Marine Le Pen – president of the far-right National Front party and member of the European Parliament – seeks international validation for her anti-immigrant views:
No country in the world… would accept to go through the fast and sizeable immigration of people who, without a doubt, have a different religion and culture.
It would seem, of course, that many places in the world have already gone through this very process – including, for example, certain former French colonial possessions, which were also treated to military invasions, widespread killing, torture and expropriation of resources.
Now the tables have turned, however, prompting right-wing hallucinations of an Islamic empire under construction in Europe.
According to prominent neo-conservative propaganda, the imperialist strategy rests on a number of subtle subversive manoeuvers such as “the demonisation of courageous opponents of Islamic imperialism”.
Though Le Pen refrains from referencing the empire, she does hint in her interview at possible additional tactics such as the surreptitious force-feeding of halal meat to non-Muslims:
[M]illions of French people eat halal food every day without realising it… [I]t’s a problem because it breaks our law on secularism. This is because making people who are not religious consume halal food is contributing, due to this consumption which lacks transparency, to financing a cult… If in a Muslim country[,] Muslims were made to eat consecrated bread, they would scream.
That the majority of the French population has not been screaming about the threat of unwitting ingestion of halalmeat was suggested in a March 2012 article in the British Guardian, which reported “surveys showing that [French] voters were less concerned about halal meat than they were about the weather and football”.
Undeterred, Le Pen reiterates France’s unique torment: “[T]here is no reason to ask the French to accept things that no other people in the world would accept.”
When in doubt, bring up the Nazis
As if the halal plot weren’t bad enough, Muslims have also engaged in more visible assertions of control over French territory, prompting Le Pen’s December 2010 comparison of Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation of France.