All too predictably, the Islamists have struck back in France in the only way they know how: by cutting the throats of infidels, this time in a church in Nice. Throughout the Islamic world, massed crowds will be cheering this act committed in the name of the Prophet, giving the lie to the liberal pretence that Islamism has nothing to do with Islam.
Meanwhile the Muslim world is up in arms at Macron, who has been declared ‘the demon of Paris’ (Iran), ‘Satan’ (Bangladesh), and mentally unhinged by the Turkish president for daring to insist that France will not give up the right, enshrined in the French Republic, to free expression, to satire and to caricature.
Some have been surprised at Macron’s robust response to the Islamists. At a moving national memorial ceremony to Samuel Paty held in the courtyard of the Sorbonne in Paris, at which Paty was posthumously awarded the Légion d’Honneur, Macron paid tribute to the ‘quiet hero’ who was ‘the face of the Republic’.
Smugs itself, he proclaimed that the Islamists ‘will never have our future’ and vowed to continue ‘the fight for freedom’, to ‘defend the Republic’. And as if to prove the point, the offending cartoons were projected onto government buildings in solidarity with the butchered school teacher, who had dared to show his class the cartoons in a lesson on Republican values, and paid the ultimate price.
It is as if something about the Paty atrocity has personally touched Macron and dispelled the multicultural mists, the howls of Islamophobia. He values education and reveres his teachers. He even married one of them. What actions will follow remains to be seen, though laws to tackle ‘Islamist separatism’ are already planned. Macron’s critics, and there are justifiably many, fear that his actions will fall short, but at least the words have been right, and that is a start. In Britain, Johnson would have declared the act ‘unacceptable’, reasserted the multicultural dream, and reminded us of his Turkish ancestry.
And yet the Telegraph, the voice of Britain’s conservative right, is uneasy. In Tuesday’s editorial, it suggested that Macron should not be directing his ire ‘at Islam itself’. Macron ‘risks misunderstanding what he is dealing with’ by vowing to build a variety of Islam ‘that can be compatible with the Enlightenment’. France’s tradition of secularism, or laïcité, ‘goes beyond the practices in other Western countries, like the UK, which do allow a public role for different religions.’ France, it concludes, ‘might yet need to find a halfway house’.
In other words, the French should take a leaf out of our book, censor all criticism of Islam, declare ‘Islamophobia’ a hate crime, and by progressively dismantling the dominant culture and its privileges, work toward the creation of a truly multicultural society. The Telegraph might have added that globalisation, open borders, and mass immigration are all to be welcomed, because cheap mobile labour boosts business profits, and the global elite are secure in their island tax havens.
What, one wonders, would the editorial staff of the Telegraph would make of recent editorials and opinion columns in their French counterpart, le Figaro. They might like to try some of these for size:
Like politics, religion abhors emptiness. The dechristianization of this country has paved the way for all Islamist sects. An abandoned widow, the eldest daughter of the Church was to join one of the harems. She chose the Muslim Brotherhood, a Trojan horse from Qatar and Turkey. (Mezri Haddad, writer and philosopher, 27 October)
France is not threatened by Islamist separatism but by a conquering Islamism, which thanks to mass immigration, now has a social base which it is working to radicalize. It is no longer just a question of defending the Republic, secularism, or universalism, but a historical people who have the right to preserve their customs and culture. (Mathieu Bock-Côté, professor and sociologist, 23 October)
It is now or never. Sleepwalking leaders must wake up to rampant Islam. Otherwise, the French will have to choose between submission or civil war: those who refuse to comply with the prohibitions of Islamo-fascism will have to rely on their own strength to resist. (Ivan Rioufol, journalist, 22 October)
The project of political Islam is simple: destroy the French nation, destroy its values, smear our national memory, and undermine our history. For years, political Islam has been engaged in continuous harassment of our nation … We will only win the fight against political Islam by reaffirming our national culture. (Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Finance, 22 October)
Let us be clear. Those who throw fatwas at a teacher, as against Samuel Paty, are Islamists. Those who refuse diversity in swimming pools are Islamists. Those who, in the name of their religion, refuse to shake a woman’s hand or sit where a woman once sat were Islamists. Those who refuse to let their wives be examined by a male doctor are Islamists.
Those who push for veiled women to be accompanied on school outings or for religious menus to be offered in canteens are Islamists. Those who prescribe the wearing of the burkini to women are Islamists. Those who refuse to allow Muhammad’s cartoons to be exposed, discussed and visible are Islamists. Those who condemn the attacks by systematically adding a ‘but’ to their discourse are Islamists. Those who believe that Sharia law is compatible with the laws of the Republic are Islamists. And those who march with these people as in November 2019 and constantly defend them are the ideological accomplices and collaborators of the Islamists. (David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes, 20 October)
One thing is for sure. None of these would make it into the Telegraph. Our own David Starkey used ‘the wrong word’ and he was banished by our conservative establishment into outer darkness. Haddad, Bock-Côté, Rioufol, Le Maire, Lisnard, and many more: far-right extremists – or true conservatives and patriots? And if the latter, what does that make mainstream British conservatives?