Jean-François Copé, whose position in the UMP party is equivalent to our House majority leader, has openly advocated the teaching of Arabic in French schools for the benefit of immigrant families, whose children (he seems to believe) do not speak Arabic. While the idea itself may not be new, in this television interview, posted at François Desouche among other sites, Copé goes further and accuses those who object to such an idea of being responsible for "marginalizing" the Maghrebin population of France. Copé, it must be noted, is one of a plethora of Frenchmen of North African heritage (and in this case Jewish as well), who cannot live in North Africa because they would either be killed or dispossessed, but who insist on bringing North Africa to France. They preach for unity and integration, but in fact they foster ethnic communitarianism and violence. More importantly they become advocates of the multi-culturalization of France. In the eyes of any patriotic Frenchman, such policy makers are enemies of the French people. Here is a slightly reduced version of what he said in his interview: - Moderator: English and Arabic, Jean-François Copé, why? - Copé: Because my experience as mayor of Meaux led me and some of my friends from Generation France (Copé's own political "club") to reflect upon this idea. And the reason is simple: we have in France a sizable population of recent immigrants, notably from North Africa. And it is these people, our fellow citizens, who have Arabic in their blood, in their soul and who have now been in France often for one or two generations, and who have abilities that cannot be exploited because there is no way for them to learn Arabic easily in our middle and high schools since it isn't always offered. I say that if I were in this position, I would find it to be a great idea for my children to learn Arabic, considering their cultural heritage, so that they could have a professional future in the fields of business or economics, in all those regions of the world where there is economic activity - the Arab world, the Near East for example.At this point the moderator interrupts him to question the advisability of teaching Arabic, reminding him that there has been a huge controversy over this issue since the '80's and '90's. The two men engage in a brief verbal scuffle, and Copé reproaches the moderator for his objection:- Copé: Your question is terrible. Because it is precisely because of reactions like that that a whole segment of our population finds itself on the margins of everything, when they practice their faith, the Muslim faith (...) From the cultural standpoint they would have the opportunity to preserve a part of their roots and at the same time to learn a second or a third language, no doubt a third language after English, a language that is familiar to them which is the Arabic language. - Question from another guest: Do you have children who are learning Arabic?- Copé: But I'm not of the Arabic culture. - Guest: I ask because you're pleading the case for Arabic. - Copé: No, I'm only saying that today a family that is of Maghrebin origin, that is French, a family that would like to integrate itself into France, would have in addition the chance , if they so chose, to learn Arabic as a third language. It would be their choice, just as if they were learning Spanish or... - Guest (a bit ironically): or Chinese? - Copé: Or Chinese, of course. And it's with this type of idea that we'll have a nation that comes together instead of one that is compartmentalized. One of my challenges is to reflect upon French identity. From this perspective, a nation that comes together can reconcile diversity and unity.Note: Copé did not seem bothered by the fact that this hypothetical Maghrebin family would be more likely to integrate itself if it learned French rather than Arabic. Nor did he consider the possibility that these families of the first and second generation may already speak Arabic. Furthermore, even if they don't, to teach them Arabic would remind them of their roots and would perhaps ignite a desire on their part for revenge directed at the French population. Teaching Arabic IS different from teaching Spanish or Italian or German, because everyone knows, though no one can say it openly, that the Arabs are bringing with them an ideology hostile to French civilization. This is why Arabic/Muslim immigration is different from European immigration.Le Conservateur shares his thoughts on Copé, and on the leftward preferences of the UMP party:This is all very populist and profoundly incoherent, because a "nation that comes together", founded on an exacerbation of communitarianism is an absurd idea. It seems to me rather that the issue at hand is to lead all young "Frenchmen" to a level of mastery of the French language that would permit them to communicate and to work, something that is far from being a fact... But of course that does not win votes or trips to Dubai, all expenses paid.Where will the slide of the UMP party into left-wingism and imbecilic ideas stop? The intellectual failure of this party is glaring. By renouncing the ideas of the Right, such as the affirmation of a French identity and its corollary - assimilation, the party of business interests finds itself like a dachshund that is too short running behind the most ridiculous ideas without knowing where to stick its head. Perhaps one day we'll experience the paradoxical situation of finding only within the ranks of the Left the last partisans of "republican integration." At that moment, the only argument that has permitted the Right to win elections, the argument according to which "it would be worse with the Left", would collapse, and the UMP party would be reduced to its true electoral figures: 20% of the votes.Note: This is what happened in the recent European elections. Even though Sarkozy's party won the election in France, it won a plurality not a majority, since about 60% of the voters stayed home.I don't know if Monsieur Copé is an imbecile, but I would imagine that since he puts forth such ideas, it is because he hopes to reap some benefit without taking too many risks. He knows that it can bring him some Maghrebin votes, while the citizens of French origin don't even react, reduced to an emasculated state by intellectual terrorism, ready to abandon their rich heritage without the lightest resistance.Well said.
Note: There is another issue here, that several readers from different message boards brought up. That is that Copé is assimilating Maghrebin culture with Arabic culture - two entirely different cultures. Even the languages are different, with many pointing out that North African Arabic is not "pure" or "standard" Arabic, as Egyptian Arabic is. To teach Kabyles Arabic is a thorny issue in itself. First, the Kabyles may be hostile to Arabic/Muslim culture, second, the Kabyles may already know Arabic, or may prefer to learn Egyptian Arabic.
This sounds reminiscent of the problems we have had in America with the teaching of "black English". Do we teach children a language (a dialect really) that we do not want them to use? Or do we teach them the dominant language of the country they are living in, namely standard American English? The controversy here has not been settled, mainly because there is so much chaos in the schools, so many other problems, that no solution to anything can be found. The worst thing is that many whites pick up black English and become, ipso facto, culturally denatured. This is a major social catastrophe, but no one is free to talk about it. English teachers face this dilemma on a daily basis.
H/T: Le Salon Beige
Labels: Culture, Education, Immigration, Intellectual Terrorism, Jean-François Copé