Jihad Watch : [Editor’s note: Hugh Fitzgerald first published this essay here at
Jihad Watch in 2004. Now, in light of the landslide election of Emmanuel
Macron as President, it is more germane than ever, and hence eminently
worthy of republishing. The names of the politicians have changed; the
overall situation is the same.]
Imagine that you are a cosseted member of the French elite. One child
is doing the khâgne, aiming for rue d’Ulm. Another is now a
politechnicien. You are very comfortable, working for the state. You and
your spouse are journalists, or writers, or one of that vast tribe of
people conducting “recherches,” and life is comfortable, good, the way
it should be. Yes, you do notice more and more Muslims about you as you
walk, no longer in the banlieues, but in the center of Paris, or
Toulouse, or Lyon. And you remember how uneasy you felt, four years ago,
when you happened to be walking on the Canebière in Marseille. You
decided, then and there, that you would not return.
And you have friends who live in the south. And they tell you that
the beurs — some call them maghrébins — make life hell for everyone.
They attack French children on the way to school. They vandalize cars.
They threaten, and do more than threaten, anyone who is still foolish
enough to walk out wearing a kippah or a cross.
Whole areas of cities in
the south, as in the north, and east, and west, have become off-limits
to non-Muslims. In the schools, the teachers have lost authority. They
cannot even cover the subjects of World War II, the Resistance, and the
murders of the Jews as the state prescribes; they fear, with reason, the
violent reaction of the Muslim students.
And as the schools become more and more dangerous for non-Muslim
students and teachers, with more time and resources devoted to
discipline rather than to learning, French parents and would-be parents
are now silently factoring into their childbearing plans the present
value of the future cost of what, they see, will now have to be added:
private school tuition. And that means, of course, that those French
people will plan on smaller families.
And they will also be factoring in
the growing cost, paid by them, those French taxpayers, for the whole
expanding edifice of security, the guards in the schools, the guards at
the train stations and métro stations and airports and at government
buildings everywhere, the costs of keeping the gravestones from being
vandalized, the costs of protecting the synagogues and the churches, the
costs for all those tapped phones and agents in mosques, and subsidies
to lawyers and judges to hear charges and try cases against Muslims, and
the costs of monitoring da’wa in the prisons (more than 50% Muslim).
But the Muslims are indifferent to expenses incurred by the French
state. France is part of the world; the world belongs to Allah, and to
his Believers. That doctrine has remained immutable for 1400 years. Imam
Bouziane, the one they keep trying to deport, had 16 children by two
wives, all living on the French state: a representative Muslim man. Over
time, the difference between average family size of Muslims and
non-Muslims steadily increases. And, over time, the education system
continues to disintegrate.
Right now, perhaps, you cannot see it. Your
children go to the best schools, followed by the best lycées. You
vacation in Normandy, or Brittany, or the Île de Ré. And you do not take
the metro often enough, or walk in the right districts, or work in the
right factories or offices, to understand what tens of millions of your
fellow Frenchmen now have to endure. You, for the moment, are still
immune, still willfully unaware. You have spent the last few decades
learning about the Muslim world from Eric Rouleau, and his epigones
(after they silenced Peroncel-Hugoz, the one journalist who reported the
truth) in Le Monde.
You are deeply-versed in the constantly
reported-upon, endlessly dilated-upon, perfidy of the mighty empire of
Israel. You know what we have all had dinned into us: that the Arab
Muslims are reasonable people, with clearly-justified grievances,
grievances so reasonable and so limited in scope, that justice demands
they be satisfied. Everyone agrees on the “solution.” It is called a
“two-state solution” and of course it is a “solution” for otherwise, of
course, it would not have been called a “solution.”
And everything looks the way it always has looked: the linden trees,
the river, the bridges, the réverbères, the étalage in the neighborhood
boulangerie. Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance. At the end of the
school day, chic mothers still congregate in little towns, or small
cities, outside the school — this or that Ecole Jules Ferry — waiting to
pick up their children. Here come the littlest ones, from Maternelle,
running up now — just look at how small they are. And here are the CE1
group, with those huge cartables on their tiny backs.
Run, run, run, to
Mommy. Oop-la. And then the years of study, study, study marked by
ever-larger cahiers — “cahier” and “cartable” are the words that
identify French DNA better than Piaf or gauloises, isn’t that true? And
now we will read the books, and study the subjects, set down so
completely and precisely by the Ministry of Education. And now we are up
to the final year, preparing for the Bac, with copies of blue-backed
BALISES, guides to Les Châtiments and La Peau de Chagrin. And just look
at the results listed in the newspaper: Claire-Alix has a mention très
bien. Fantastic. Everything is fine, everything will always stay the
same, whole countries cannot change. It’s not possible.
But it is changing, coming apart, quietly, slowly – let’s not look
too closely, we mustn’t pay too much attention — the streets, the
schools, the hospitals, the ability to speak the truth about things,
about life as it is lived, la vita vissuta, as they like to say in a
neighboring country. Dominique de Villepin always knew there was nothing
to worry about; he was born, after all, in Salé, next to Rabat, even
spent a few years of his infancy there; of course he knows his Arabs,
his Muslims. And surely Eric Rouleau, who for decades in Le Monde was
the resident expert on the Middle East (he was so knowledgeable that he
never had to so much as mention the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunna),
surely he knew everything, didn’t he?
And those French translations of
Edward Said that denounced with such passion the Islamophobia, and those
vicious cliches with which the blind and rotting West has always
caricatured the Arab Muslim world. Oh, we have been so terrible to the
Arabs, we colonialists, we French, we Westerners. And then there is the
never-ending outrage of Israel, that running colonial sore. Of course,
they have every right, those Muslims, to come here to France. We went to
their countries once, now they come to ours. And they have every right
to hate us, don’t they?
So now we have decided not to understand, and to cut all ties of
sympathy to, Israel — and how did we ever have any sympathy for it in
the first place, the way some of our parents did back in 1948 or 1956 or
1967? How could they not have seen what the “Palestinian people” had to
endure? Hanan, Yasser, Said, Saeb, Aziz, Walid, Rashid, Mohammed — you
have won our hearts and minds. Take us, do with us what you will.
No one will mention what is happening or what kinds of things we must
begin to think about doing to save ourselves. No one of any decency.
And whatever Le Pen and Megret say, we must say the opposite (except, of
course, when they show their hostility to “the Jews”). Do not say those
things, do not think them. Free thought is all very well in theory, but
really — consider the consequences. Don’t dare to think outside that
box brimming with idées reçues. Défense de penser au dehors du box. No, everything will be all right as you stroll down the Avenue
Paule-Anne. Those Muslims will never be a match for us.
Why, just look
at those legionnaires marching à pas lent down the Champs-Elysées, think
of that string of desert victories. Inside our heads, it is 1930 and
over here is the Exposition coloniale. You remember, tu t’en souviens,
that painting by le Douanier Rousseau, don’t you, with the burnoosed
Arab standing next to the black Senegalese? I have it right, don’t I?
France will always be France. Nothing will ever change.
At a certain point, and despite everything that causes you not to see
what is staring you in the face, you realize that something has gone
irreparably wrong with your country, and you, and your children, are in
danger of losing that country, down to every village and house, qui
m’est une province et beaucoup davantage. And you do not know what to
do, or how to explain this feeling to others, or in whom to confide your
secret fears, or what can be done. It is so confusing, and so
upsetting. You cannot vote for Le Pen. You cannot endorse “cowboy” Bush
or those ridiculous Americans. You have no place to go.
And then you learn what Jacques Chirac — who now has a Muslim
grandchild himself — and Dominique de Villepin, do not wish you to
learn. For if you did, you might be very angry. You discover that 1 out
of every 3 babies born in France today is a Muslim baby. And that means,
in 20 years, one of every three 20-year-olds in France will be a Muslim
twenty-year-old. And that means, twenty years after that, at present
rates of reproduction, France will have a majority Muslim population.
Where shall we hide the statues from Marly-le-roi? And the Venus de
Milo? And what about all those paintings of animated life — all those
portraits in the Louvre, and the Grand Palais, and the Musée Guimet down
there in linden-lined Aix, and everywhere else in art-filled artful
France, mère des arts, des armes, et des loix — that are absolutely
forbidden according to the immutable strictures of the Qur’an. Should
they be sent for safekeeping to those Americans across the seas?
most of the Jews in France will have left, gone across the oceans for
their own safekeeping, to Israel or to English-speaking Canada (they
were worried about the Muslim population of Quebec, you see, which had
been allowed to grow under the Province of Quebec’s policy of
encouraging francophone immigrants, preferring North Africans to
potential immigrants from Italy, Greece, Spain), and above all, to
America. What luck those Americans have had. No more bequests to France
by the likes of the Rothschilds, or Nissim Camondo. No more Donations
from another Pierre Lévy. Enjoy the Kufic calligraphy; some find it
For the moment, you allow yourself to believe that something will
come up. Most likely, all those Muslims will simply convert. I mean,
they do that, don’t they, quite easily I’m told. Of course, why didn’t I
think of it, that is exactly what will happen. The situation is always
saved in time. Just like during the war. Nothing to worry about.