Saturday, July 15, 2006

Le Pen on Islam - Part 2

Recently Jean-Marie Le Pen has been talking more about Islam, now that Philippe de Villiers is talking less about it. Le Pen's views on Islam have always been ambiguous, if not mysterious, but in this interview with Claude Reichman and Jean-Christophe Mounicq he is more direct than previously. The interview took place on July 11, at Radio-Courtoisie. At his website Reichman has published these excerpts.

The first part of the interview is devoted to a long passage from The End of the Jacobin Illusion, a book by Edouard Balladur(1), who was Prime Minister of France from 1993-1995:

- Jean-Christophe Mounicq: In his book published by Fayard, The End of the Jacobin Illusion, with the sub-title The Forbidden Debate, Edouard Balladur writes this: "Islam arouses fear because it is different. It does not have a conception of politics or of religion that is identical to our own. In the troubled conscience of the West, that is the greatest cause for concern.

..."Islam wears its originality like a flag. It is not only a religion, but an approach to life and a manner of thinking that inform its behavior.

..."Is Mohammed only a religious prophet? (...) It was through the violence of wars, deceit, assassinations, combats and raids, as well as through proselytizing and speech that he succeeded in imposing his religion on the Arab peninsula.

..."There is no culture Islam opposes with as much force as the Christian culture. Nowhere is this jealousy, this desire for revenge (against the West) so pronounced as it is with the Muslims.

..."Sincere though they may be, the Muslims who say they want to reform Islam cannot see it through to the end. For many of them, learning to be a Westerner means running the risk of losing their Muslim identity.

..."For them, the West is synonymous with atheism, perversity, sterility.

..."For the Muslim who is the most open, the most willing to see his society evolve, there is one obstacle: the Koran, a sacred text, untouchable, eternal, the interpretation of which is petrified.

..."The West is undoubtedly experiencing the most profound moral and political crisis since the invasions by the Barbarians.

..."A situation potentially explosive because of a sacred text that devotes so many pages to a justification of violence."

When we see moderate social democrats like Edouard Balladur question Islam so pointedly, we would like to know your position on the subject.

- Jean-Marie Le Pen: This declaration is striking. It comes from one who has been prime minister, both minister and parliamentarian, a man who supported the policies of the Right (meaning Chirac's party) with regard to immigration. An immigration of more than 6 million Muslims to our country, who, I never cease to repeat to my countrymen, are only the avant-garde. When someone feels as he does about Islam and its dangers, to have permitted or favored the arrival to our shores of people who he himself says are practically not assimilable and who, therefore, will be tempted sooner or later to dominate us...I am one of those who believes that Islam is used - perhaps nolens volens - by the Muslim world as a vector of demographic power. This creates a spirit of conquest among Muslims with regard to the rest of the world. It is less a question of the religious dynamics strictly speaking, than it is the fact that the religion is used as the least vulnerable vector for a will to power, the will to power of a population that never ceases to develop and to grow. There are now more than a billion Muslims in the world and consequently this expansion is at once social, political and religious. It is not limited exclusively to the religious aspect, but it is true that the religion gives it a distinctive strength and that Westerners in general, and French leaders in particular, have underestimated the risk of allowing a massive influx of Muslims to our country, since people like Mr. Balladur were intelligent and lucid enough to realize it.

- Claude Reichman: But not enough to take responsibility. Since he has been associated with these policies for thirty years.

- Jean-Marie Le Pen: Absolutely. Like Mr. Sarkozy, who presents himself as a new man, a man of rupture with the system, while in truth, except for the presidency and the post of prime minister, he has held every possible office, and enjoyed all possible honors. He has been for 30 years an active supporter of the policies he condemns today, that he condemns...

- Claude Reichman: That he pretends to condemn. He is in exactly the same situation as Gorbachov, whose actions consisted not in changing things, but in "taking the castle", as Alexander Yakovlev, the agent for change, has said. And in fact, Mr. Gorbachov temporarily took the castle, but after a brief moment, the entire system collapsed. I don't know if Mr. Sarkozy will take the castle, but what is certain is that if there is a change, he will not be the one to bring it about.

The statement by Jean-Marie Le Pen is significant because he introduces a new element, i.e.the notion that the religion is being used as a means of expansion and population growth, and for the acquisition of "living space", to use Hitler's term. I'm sure this idea is not new, but Le Pen, once again, has found a way to avoid condemning the religion per se. He could be on to something more fundamental than religion in the Muslim psyche - simply the desire to reproduce and the contempt for the weakened reproductive powers of Western peoples. Although it is difficult to separate this desire to "go forth and multiply" from the dictates of a religion.

I wonder what his solution would be. To deport the millions of Muslims, or to somehow induce French women to have babies? To have babies, French women need French men, and we know the ethnic French population is decreasing. What is his answer?

(1) Edouard Balladur was born in Turkey in 1929, and is of Armenian origin. His ancestors were in Turkey as early as the 18th century. Well-versed in the ways of Islam and well-aware of what it means to live under a violent tyranny, his advocacy of the policies of immigration are, as Le Pen pointed out, all the more infuriating. There is a brief biography in English at Wikipedia.

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