I’m afraid Thursday’s terrorist attack in Paris could lead to an increase in support for France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s first-round of elections. Her recent vow to ban all immigration to France should she become president, will resonate even more strongly now with voters who believe that France has left far too many Muslim immigrants enter the country.
Thursday’s attack has jettisoned terrorism and security issues right to the top of the election spotlight which means they are very likely to influence voters’ choice of candidates when they go to the polls on Sunday. Le Pen’s hard-line stance on Islam, terrorism and immigration is likely to appeal to those who’re sick and tired of militant attacks on their country.
Ironically, during a live presidential debate on Thursday night, Le Pen had criticised the fact that security and terrorism issues were largely absent from the campaign. Her timing could not have been more opportune. While the live debate was taking place, one policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded when a lone gun man opened fire on a police van on the Champs Elysées.
Now Le Pen has used the killing to eviscerate successive French governments for being lax and ‘naïve’ towards Islamic militants. She’s calling for the immediate expulsion of suspect foreign militants living in France who’re on the security radar. And she has called on France to engage in a war against terrorism.
This morning, Le Pen aired more of her views on her twitter account.
She said the fight against terrorism begins ‘by rediscovering our national borders, and stopping with naivete.’
Here are some of the other statements she made on her Twitter account. They have been translated from French into English.
‘Hate preachers must be expelled, Islamist mosques closed.’
‘Islamism is a monstrous hegemonic ideology that has declared war on our nation, on reason, on civilization.’
‘The war that is being waged against us is asymmetrical, revolutionary, whose objective is our submission to a totalitarian ideology.’
‘Our pretended rulers, insufficient and pusillanimous, are deprived of all authority and moral force.’
‘I appeal to the awakening of the millennial soul of our people, capable of opposing a sanguinary barbarism.’
“New restrictive regulations on immigration, asylum or citizenship must be taken.”
‘Salafist organizations like the branches of the Muslim Brotherhood must be banned.’
‘Islamist ideology must not have the right to be a city in France.’
‘To this ephemeral government, worn out by inaction, I call for the immediate restoration of our national borders.
It’s going to be a fascinating election.
More on this after Sunday’s vote.
Acknowledgements: Main image is a screenshot of Marine Le Pen’s official twitter account.