In this second in the series of reports from France on the war between Islam and the West (the first, put out immediately after the January attacks, here), François d’Orcival, member of the Institut de France and president of the editorial board of the newsweekly Valeurs Actuelles, discusses a recent speech by Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France, comparable to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations). The CRIF this week appealed to Americans to find a way to prevent social media from being used as a jihadist recruitment platform and spewer of anti-Semitic hate. — Roger Kaplan
“At last France calls it like it is, admitting that it is at war with jihadism, synonym of Islamism.” Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF, had been through a long, emotional day before pronouncing these words at the annual dinner of his organization, attended by the President of the Republic and half the government, plus a large section of the political class, from left to right.
He had been assailed on social media since the morning, when on a Europe-1 radio broadcast he pronounced politically forbidden phrases: he said that Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front, was “irreproachable” with regard to the Jews, legally irreproachable he then specified; and, simultaneously, the National Front itself remained “unacceptable” [as a political ally]. But most significantly, he declared that the surge of anti-Semitic violence [in France] is due to “young Muslims.”
Saying this, evidently, is forbidden. Yet he repeated it, firmly, during his remarks at the dinner, standing next to President François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “Facts have names,” he stated plainly. “Anti-Semitic violence [in France] overwhelmingly is due to young people who come out of present-day immigration, young Muslims, who themselves are potential victims of racism.”
“Yes, state things, but unite people…” answered the president. You sense the nuance. Beware of “things.” The president of the Republic prefers to avoid the word “war,” and avoids “jihadism” and “jihad,” which refer to the Koran. He prefers “Daesch” to “Islamic State,” the French transliteration of the caliphate’s acronym serving as a sort of cover to the word that dare not speak its name. He fights “terrorism,” “fanaticism,” “hate,” without saying whence they come. “Muslims are the first victims,” adds he. Of what? “Of evil.”
However, if our army is deployed in Africa, if our air force is bombarding northern Iraq, if the carrier Charles-de-Gaulle cruises the Gulf to reinforce our strikes, it must mean we have an enemy. If, moreover, the French army is mobilized at home to reinforce the police and gendarmerie, it must mean the foreign enemy is also domestic. Who, asks Cukierman, can distinguish between “the Islam we resist here,” because it commits aggressions, and, over there, “the Islam we understand” because it fires rockets at Israel?
There must be a reason for giving journalists armed bodyguards, for assigning troops to guard Jewish schools, synagogues, mosques. Such a deployment cannot be due to a lone-wolf, drive-by criminal. “By protecting you,” President Hollande tells French Jews, “we protect France.” The security measures, he adds, “will be maintained at the present levels as long as they are needed.” Well then, things will have to be named.
“What father, what mother,” asks Cukierman, “wants to drop his child off at a school resembling a fortified camp?” That armed, uniformed soldiers are on patrol in school halls says a lot about what has happened. The president avows that the teacher no longer must be contradicted by [Islamist social media on] Facebook, that his authority must not be undercut by parents, that civics will be taught at all class levels, and history as well, all of it. But what civics? What history? Who subverted these subjects in the first place? This represents an extraordinary admission of the failure of a public education system controlled by unions, teachers, and community organizations that, now, are in a state of shock.
It should be recommended to them they read excerpts from Michel Houellebecq’s new novel: “For them [Muslims], it boils down to demography and education. The minority that has the highest reproductive rate and that is most able to transmit its values, triumphs. For them, that’s all there is to it. Economics, even geopolitics, are only so much dust; those who control the children control the future.”
Last year, before this novel was published, Roger Cukierman met with about a hundred graduates of a Jewish high school. He talked with them. What did they tell him? That when they are his age, France will be under sharia. And of these kids, some will be in self-defense militias, they said, the others will have left France. It is by saying it as it is that we can protect ourselves from evil.