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The Fallacious Immigration Issue as The Central Theme of The French Presidential Campaigns

From left to right: Emmanuel Macron, Valérie Pécresse, Eric Zemmour, and Marine Le Pen.
From left to right: Emmanuel Macron, Valérie Pécresse, Eric Zemmour, and Marine Le Pen.

In a country plagued by an economic, political, and social crisis, France has become more divisive and fascist. An article by The New York Times titled “The Quiet Flight of Muslims from France” written by Norimitsu Onishi and Aida Alami has sparked a fiery debate and backlash from the French media and the French people.

Le Point, a right-wing media outlet responded with “Départ des musulmans : « The New York Times » torpille encore la France” (Flight of The Muslims: “The New York Times” Strikes France Again). Le Point finds the article explosive and as an intended attack against France. It also questions the veracity of the article and asks whether this “supposedly” flight of the French Muslims to Anglo-Saxon countries such as the US, UK, and Canada really happens.  

The New York Times article begins with an opening phrase: “All the talk of France’s presidential election campaign is about immigration, but it is the quiet flight of French Muslims from France that points to a deeper crisis for the country.” The article has revealed only the tip of the iceberg of the abyss of immigration, integration, racism, and France’s national identity complex problems. The denial, the hostile response, or even the cheering for the French Muslims’ flights coming from France has somehow proven right the article’s hypothesis that there is a much deeper crisis underlying France.

The article describes the different life stories of French Muslims who decided to leave France and leave abroad. Most of these French Muslims left their country France because they don’t feel safe, don’t feel accepted, and don’t see any future in France. The article mentioned the difficulty of landing a job in France for a Muslim woman wearing a veil or a person with an Arab-sounding name. 

Going Deeper into the French Psych

The problem of immigration, integration, and identity nationalism has long since troubled France. During the Vichy government in 1940-1944, France under Marshal Philippe Petain adopted a policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany. This despotic xenophobic murderous regime deported at least 76,000 Jews and murdered at least 72,500 Jews. The number could be higher as the Holocaust is still one of the most taboo subjects in France as France still never openly admit its guilt. 

This deeply ingrained xenophobia, racism, and white supremacy have forever lingered in France and when difficult times arrive they rear their ugly heads. France can’t run from its barbaric monstrous past and current crimes, it will haunt them forever for the truth to be told and justice to prevail. No matter how hard they try to bury the truth, the truth will always come out and justice will prevail at last even after a long and treacherous road. 

The ghost from the past, the French evil sins that forever haunt the country as it hasn’t fully admitted its crimes and forgiven itself has crept fast into our present daylight. It threatens once again the stability of the country and the life of its potential victims, this time not the Jews, but all of us the non-white people living in France. The threat has never been as real to this day with the rising fascism all across Europe and USA. What has happened in Ukraine helps the rise of Neo-Nazi and the flux of Ukrainian refugees all over Europe helps unleash some of those fascists right in front of our door. That is just one of the many problems added to Europe as the result of the Ukraine war. Europe is weakened and destroyed and its leaders actively making sure its destruction for their selfish gains.

History tends to repeat itself as lessons from the past have never been fully learned. In France, its dark grim history is omitted from the education system, the extent of colonialism (the pillaging and genocide) is minimised and instead somewhat glorified as France’s greatness. France as an empire is something to be proud and arrogant about, France as coloniser makes France a superior country in their minds. 

The attitude of some of the French people regarding their inhumane colonisation is embodied in Marine Le Pen’s recent statement of what she thinks of France’s colonisation in Algeria. She said colonialism helps the Algerian people in that it contributes to the development of Algeria. It’s the same despicable remarks from white colonialists as they pillage, kill, rape, and exploit people of colour and they would say “we help civilised you.” 

Emmanuel Macron in 2017 as Presidential Candidate uttered an undermining apologist whitewashing statement of the crimes against humanity committed by France in Algeria. He said: “I held a balanced statement that crimes and barbarity were committed during the colonisation and in particular in times of war but at the same time this colonisation brings modernisation.

The denial and hypocrisy run deep in French politicians and presidential candidates and they are proud to show it:

Eric Ciotti stated in his tweet that France is not guilty of crimes against humanity in Algeria and France is not ashamed of it.

Eric Ciotti lost the presidential candidacy in his party LR (The Republicans) to Valerie Pecresse. Eric Ciotti, a member of the National Assembly representing Alpes-Maritimes, a department region in the South of France, has said during the presidential campaign that he would like France to establish its own Guantanamo Bay à la francaise and the adoption of Patriot Act-like laws. 

These are only a few of the many odious words and acts that continue to deny French crimes against humanity and attack those who dare to say the truth and those who dare to criticise France. The French media push its narratives and act as French State propagandist, and the French government censors any media that dare to challenge French imperialism, wars, foreign policy, and even the treatment of its minorities inside the country.  

The alternative-left media Les Crises posted the French translated version of the New York Times’ article. The comment most recommended in its commentary section because it has garnered 116 likes (the last time I looked) is a comment that attacks the fact that it is an article coming from the mainstream American media The New York Times that should not be trusted. This remarkable comment reflects what most French people think about immigrants and it becomes irrefutable evidences of: 1) That there is a blatant denial of the existence of institutionalised racism in France 2) Ignorance of French history and the current world events related to French imperialism and foreign policy 3) Every criticism, allegation or accusation directed to France is a French-bashing. 4) Fascism, white supremacy, or even apathy that makes the person feels he/she is not responsible for the genocide, pillaging, and the suffering committed by his/her country in other countries. This one is reflected in that person’s second comment below.

The most liked comment in Les-Crises’ NY Times French version of the article titled “The Quiet Flight of Muslims from France”

Translation of the above recommended comment on the Les Crises’ site:

“The New York Times defends a model fiercely, resolutely hostile to that of the Republic and the nation-state; you have to keep it in mind when reading its columns, to better understand its purpose. As for the situation of Muslims in France, can we appreciate its relevance by only questioning individuals who have left? By definition, the proportion of the people dissatisfied with the country among those who have fled can only reach high levels. More honesty would be to compare the flux of Muslim emigrants to those of Muslims who try to come to France, and to those who stay. But of course, nothing like this in the article, which poses an insidious and false indication of the feelings of all Muslims in France, many of whom are satisfied with their lives here and willingly admit it, despite the difficulties sometimes experienced. Moreover, if the New York Times had interviewed French Christians or atheists expatriated in London or New York, it would also have harsh or bitter comments about the country of origin: it is a national sport to denigrate France once one left (after having studied almost free of charge here, financed by the community, of course). From this point of view, the French Muslim expatriates  resemble very much the French. The French bashing has become another tradition of the typical French…who throw oneself into the arms of the Anglo-Saxons always ready to castigate our Republic, especially at the New York Times.”

A very ignorant comment from a French person but whose comment is recommended and has garnered the most likes.

Translation of the above comment:

“Your comment only seems to be based on one point: my skin color, supposedly white. It doesn’t seem very honest or interesting to me. The associated insults and blames only demonstrate this. As for the number of likes received, does it matter? In short, instead of fantasizing about the “arrogance” of the whites, remember that an overwhelming majority of these whites in Europe are descended from peasants, sailors, workers, craftsmen, miners, builders, who have never put a toe outside their countries (or even their regions) nor exploited anyone, quite the contrary: why would you want them to be concerned with the guilt that people from the upper classes, very Anglo-Saxonnised, try to inculcate in them? Who themselves try to relieve their guilt by blaming the whole country? That social classes having benefited from colonization, or immigration, hold them responsible and leave others alone.”

My reply comments are censored from the Les-Crises website, I don’t know why. I guess it is not allowed to challenge and criticise the imperialist France. Does this person realize that he/she is responsible for the government he/she vote for? Does he/she understand that colonisation enriches France and helps those professions to exist? Does he/she even realize how ignorant his/her comment is?

Other comments on the YouTube video of Le Point also discredit the New York Times’ article as dangerous American propaganda, a lie, defamation of France, etc. The French have difficulty accepting the content of the article and instead attack the journalists or discredit the media institution they work for and the fact that it comes from mainstream American media only further fuels the acrimonious debate on this very sensitive subject for the French. The French don’t accept any criticism about their country.

Comment found on the Youtube video of Le Point: “Départ des musulmans : « The New York Times » torpille encore la France”

2022 French Presidential Election: The Rise of Fascism 

There has been a move towards the right in the French political spectrum. The new rising star, an author and TV presenter turned Presidential candidate and a fan of Donald Trump, Eric Zemmour has created quite a disturbance in this presidential campaign. Eric Zemmour is notoriously known for calling non-white immigrants as thieves, killers and rapists live on TV. He has said that Muslims are more dangerous than Nazis, despite professing Jewish as a religion. He has been fined numerous times for his racism and hate speech, especially towards the Arabs, the Muslims, and the Blacks. He has been referred to as the French Donald Trump. The candidacy of Zemmour disrupts the presidential campaign this time as it “steals” votes from other right-wing candidates’ voters such as those of Marine Le Pen and Valerie Pecresse.

The conservative right party, Les Républicains’ (The Republicans) candidate Valerie Pecresse advances the racist theory of “Le Grand Remplacement” (The Great Replacement of the white race with immigrants and non-white race) during one of her presidential campaign speeches. This racist theory adopted by many Neo-Nazi, Eugenics proponents, and the extreme-right wing has become more mainstream in France in recent years, promoted by the like of Eric Zemmour and his supporters, members of FN( National Rally), presenters, journalists and show guests in French Fox-like TV channel CNews. 

Valerie Pecresse is given the nickname of “Margaret Karcher” of France referring to  female political figure former English PM Margaret Thatcher whom she aspires. During one of her  interviews, she recycled the expression “Nettoyer au Karcher” (clean with Karcher, a German brand of cleaning machine) used by her predecessor of the same party LR, and former President Nicolas Sarkozy as a derogatory term to explain what he plans to do to immigrants. Valerie Pecresse said “Je vais ressortir le Kärcher de la cave” (I’m going to take out the Karcher from the cellar) as her policy in regards to immigrants if she become President. 

Her action and words display the utmost elegance and intelligence from a woman who graduated from Grandes Ecoles (Great Schools of France) of ENA (École nationale d’administration) and HEC (Haute École de Commerce) Paris. As a matter of fact, the system of education in France is not an education but an indoctrination system. As for HEC Paris, often mocked as Haute Ecole des Cons/Haute Ecole des Conneries or The Great School of Idiots, it is a scam business, not a school as I have explained in detail in one of my earliest articles. There are two books already written by alumni as criticism of HEC Paris: “J’ai fait HEC et je m’en excuse” (I did HEC and excuse me) by Florence Noiville and “Le Camp” by Tom Connan. 

Immigrants as The Easy Scapegoat for The French Political Disaster

When the economy is bad, inflation is high, constant salary with an ever-increasing living cost led to lower purchasing power, a high unemployment rate, the government has to find  a distraction or something to shift the blame from their own incompetence and corruption. Unfortunately, it’s the minority who is often mostly falsely blamed, here in this case is the immigrants especially the non-white, not only Muslim and in certain cases even the Non-French white.

The French have a strict notion of what they consider a French person. Being born in France to French parents is not enough to make a person French. As Valerie Pecresse has pointed out the difference between French national by heart (White Christian with a French name, speaks French with a perfect French accent, eat French food, adopt French culture, etc) and French national by paper (the rest of French people not fulfilling the criteria of what makes a person French: the non-white and the non-christian French).

France has become a hostile ground breeding xenophobia, racism, intolerance,  violence, ignorance, and arrogance oblivious to the ever-changing world as it tries to close itself from the rest of the world. 

Further look and analysis into the data have shown that France doesn’t have an immigration issue as a problem, and making immigration the main theme of the Presidential campaign is actually the real problem. It shows that the French politicians and presidential candidates don’t grasp the real problems of France and instead deflect the root problems and shift the blame to their minority class who are already oppressed, discriminated, exploited and disadvantaged. Lies with it the immorality of the  government, French leaders, politicians, and media in sacrificing the weaker disadvantaged part of their society for political agenda.  

The subject of immigration and security has become the hottest topic occupying most of the French media and the majority of all the political parties’ campaigns. 41% of the time during 4 LR (The Republicans) debates is used to discuss this factitious subject compares to only 10% of the time being used to discuss purchasing power

French Demography According to Birth Place and Nationality as of 2020
French Demography According to Birth Place and Nationality as of 2020. Graphic Translation by Indonesia Merdeka. Source: Elucid and Insee (French National Institute of Statistic).

Based on the graph above, the total number of immigrants is 5,1 million, as naturalised immigrants mean that they are now French and not immigrants anymore. So there is only 7.58%(5,1 million: 67,3 million) of immigrants in France. That is not high, and most immigrants are actually from other European countries as will be shown later in other graphs. 

Migratory Flux of Immigrants in France, 2006-2020. Translated Graphic by Indonesia Merdeka. Source: Elucid and Insee (French National Institute of Statistic).

The net total of migration is mostly below 200,000 per year. The immigrants coming to France mostly come from other European countries. Before 1980, the Italians, Belgians, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish make the most of the immigrants coming to France. 

Second Generation of Immigrants in France According to Their Countries of Origin in 2015. Translated Graphic by Indonesia Merdeka. Source: Elucid and Insee (French National Institute of Statistic).

For the second generation of immigrants in France, as there are many mix-marriages, 42% descended from at least one African parent, and 45% descended from at least one European parent. 

Most of the Residence Permits are given to students who are continuing their education in France and to those for family reasons such as marrying French and moving to France. Not many permits were given to foreigners with work as the reason for coming to France. 

French Residence Permits Given Based on The Admission Factors from 2016-2020. Graphic Edits by Indonesia Merdeka. Source: Elucid and the French Interior Minister.

Asylum demands are also quite low and the majority is denied by OFPRA(Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides) or French Protection Service of Refugees and Stateless Persons. 

2020 Asylum Demands in France Based on The Country of Origin. Graphic Edit by Indonesia Merdeka. Source: Elucid and Eurostat.
Contribution of The French and The Immigrants to the total increase of population in France between 2006 and 2017. Graphic Edits: Indonesia Merdeka. Source: Elucid and Insee (French National Institute of Statistic).

Finally, the problem in France is not immigration but the low birth rate of French couples as shown in the graph above. As life gets more modern and both men and women work, fewer couples want to have children. 

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