Archive for anti-Immigrant

Juan Cole: Sarkozy’s Loss in Part Due to His Islamophobia

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by loonwatch

France’s Muslims may not be flexing their electoral muscle as much as they can be, but according to a recent poll 93% voted for Hollande, which would be a considerable boost for the Socialist.

Juan Cole dissects Sarkozy’s loss and how part of it was due to Islamophobia:

Sarkozy’s Loss in Part due to his Islamophobia

by Juan Cole (Informed Comment)

The bad economy in France and outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s refusal to do a stimulus program, preferring instead “austerity,” were the primary reasons he lost the election to Socialist Francois Hollande. That and Sarkozy really is an annoying, strutting peacock who wore out his political welcome among voters.

But some of the margin of his defeat came from his pandering to the discourse of the French anti-immigrant far right, which he did especially vocally after he was forced into a run-off against Hollande. Sarkozy said there are too many “foreigners” (he meant immigrants) in France, that police should have greater leeway to shoot fleeing suspects, that the far right are upstanding citizens. He even talked about “people who look Muslim.”

Many observers in France argue that Sarkozy stole so many lines from the soft-fascist National Front of Marine LePen that he mainstreamed it, and made it impossible for the Gaullists of the Union for a Popular Movement (Sarkozy’s party, French acronym UMP) to argue that LePen and her followers should be kept out of national government because they were too extreme. (The irony is that Sarkozy himself is the son of a Hungarian father and his mother was mixed French Catholic and Greek Jewish; and he postured as Ur-French!)

Sarkozy tried to depict the French Left as so woolly-headed and multi-cultural that they were coddling and even fostering the rise of a threatening French Muslim fundamentalism that menaced secular, republican values. Theinfamous daily hour set aside by the mayor at a swimming pool in Lillefor a few years for Muslim women to swim without men present was presented as emblematic of this threat. But it was all polemics. Some Gaullist mayors did the same thing, and for longer.

And, Sarkozy showed much less dedication to Third-Republic-style militant secularism than most Socialists (only 10 percent of the French go to mass regularly and almost all vote for Sarkozy’s UMP, so the Catholic religious right is his constituency). But, he did support the Swiss ban on minarets and he banned public Muslim prayer in France, and the wearing of the burqa’ full veil (popular mainly in the Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and worn by like 4 women in France aside from wealthy wives of emirs in France on shopping sprees).

Sarkozy’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and punitive laws in the end drove centristFrancois Bayrou to repudiate him. Bayrou, leader of the Democratic Movement party, had run for president on a platform of reducing the national debt and reining in public spending, and was more center-right than center. He got about 9% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election.

Late last week, Bayrou made the astonishing announcement that Sarkozy’s obsession with “frontiers” just seemed to him a betrayal of French values, and that he was throwing his support to Hollande. Sarkozy’s political platform, he thundered, “is violent” and is “in contradiction with our values, but also those of Gaullism [the mainstream French right] as well as contradicting the values of the republican and social Right.” I am not and never will be, he said, a man of the left. He said he was sure he would be upbraiding Hollande for his spendthrift ways. But on the issue of republican values, he had to back Hollande.

Although he left them free to vote for whomever they liked, Bayrou threw about a third of his centrists’ vote to Hollande, or roughly 3% of those who went to the polls in the first round. Hollande won this round by 4%.

Only about a third of France’s roughly 4.5 million persons of Muslim descent (mainly North and West Africans) identify as Muslims. Only about 10 percent of Muslims are said to vote. So French Muslims are not flexing their electoral muscles yet in a meaningful way. Probably many more secular French voted against Sarkozy because of his odious language about immigrants than did Muslim-heritage French, in absolute numbers.

Sarkozy, by embracing the noxious language of hatred of immigrants and fear-mongering about secular Socialists spreading Muslim theocracy in the villages of France, failed to convince the hard right to vote for him but managed to alienate the center. Even MPs in his own party began speaking out against his having gone too far.

Of course, the kind of violent, anti-immigrant, and Muslim-hating language Sarkozy used is par for the course in the GOP in the US today. But aside from some Libertarians such as Ron Paul, where are the mainstream centrist Republicans who will openly denounce it? Who among Republicans recognizes that the sorts of things Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney say about a monolithic Muslim Caliphate menace are violent and contradictory to the values of the American Republic. Not to mention the things many of them say about Latino immigrants. Where is our Francois Bayrou?

Mr. Shirk Cannot Stand by His Own Words, Too Cowardly to Name Loonwatch

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Originally posted at Spencerwatch

Recently, we published a devastating exposé of the typical anti-freedom hate speech being pumped out everyday at Jihadwatch. I called out Mr. Roland Shirk for suggesting that all Muslims (without exception) should be forced into “enclaves” and endure various forms of religious discrimination. In case you think I twisted his words, he ended his piece with this Islamophobic call to arms:

Islam is a religion of fear and force, and its adherents can only be at your feet or at your throat.

Now, Mr. Shirk has responded to us (albeit indirectly) at Jihadwatch. Mr. Shirk gloats about how his writings have been picked up by various media outlets, including Loonwatch, who he refuses to name except with ad-hominem attacks (such as calling us “Islamic supremacists” or “stealth jihadists”). This follows a regular pattern of desperation at Jihadwatch, as Loonwatch has published numerous devastating rebuttals of Spencer’s hateful anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

In this very weak response to Loonwatch, Mr. Shirk cites my offending passage:

Lately, Spencer has posted articles by the mysterious Roland Shirk, someone we know nothing about, probably because he is another one of Spencer’s pen-names (like Hugh Fitzgerald). Apparently, Mr. Shirk is a mouthpiece for JihadWatch’s more belligerent attacks on the constitutional freedoms of indigenous law-abiding Muslims.

Mr. Shirk has a problem not with my accusation that he wants to force Muslims into segregated, ghettoized communities or that he incites direct calls for violence against Muslims on the site. No, rather, Mr. Shirk is upset that I suggested he might just be another one of Spencer’s pseudonyms. His entire article ignores my central point: his “belligerent attacks on the constitutional freedoms of indigenous law-abiding Muslims.”

Mr. Shirk, I don’t care if you are Robert Spencer or not. That one line was not the point of my article. What I care about is that you write to dehumanize Muslims and deny their fundamental human rights based solely on Spencer’s deliberate self-servingdistortions of Islamic religious beliefs. Only in the comments section, after someone else repeatedly called you out, do you attempt to address my point:

I never said anywhere the Muslims should be confined by the state to ghettos. I proposed that they should be politically neutralized, prevented from migrating into Europe, and prevented from using the European welfare state to breed at the expense of native residents. To do that, I proposed dismantling that state for everyone. At no point did I suggest that Muslims receive unequal treatment at the hands of the law.

This comment smacks of disingenuous insincerity. You never said anything about dismantling the welfare state for everyone. Your original piece argues clearly that MUSLIM immigration should be stopped, not all immigration. Your article decries the “demographic treason committed by Western leaders who admitted so many Muslims.” You never said anything about limiting Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, or other immigrants; only Muslims. Are you having a hard time swallowing what you wrote?

Second, no, you didn’t outright say Muslims should be confined to ghettos. You just strongly implied it by saying, “Islam is a religion of fear and force, and its adherents can only be at your feet or at your throat.” How you plan to make Muslims live “at your feet” without supporting unequal legal treatment is impossible. You want to force law-abiding people out of your country, take away their political rights, and impose austerity on them? Perhaps you do not understand that preventing lawful migration, forcing people to be “politically neutralized,” and denying welfare are three factors that form ghettoes.

Third, if you are going to write a hateful article against all Muslims, then at least stand by what you wrote instead of dishonestly pretending you were against immigration as a whole. We called you out and you have not responded meaningfully to any of our points.

Next time you want to respond to us, have the courage to address the substance of our points rather than veering off into the nether realm of obfuscation and semi-coherent apologia.