Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Muslims for Le Pen?

It may be difficult to imagine, but some French Muslims will be voting for National Front candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen this season, so long as he is on the ballot.

For some it is fear of unchecked immigration; for others Le Pen's France-first economic policies. Some like his traditional stand on moral issues like abortion and the family; others favor his anti-Americanism and identification with the people of Iraq.

Some 'beurs' - non-pejorative slang for people of north African descent - will vote for him because of their visceral hatred for the mainstream right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy; others out of a nihilistic urge to "smash the system."

(...) "Le Pen has a moral conception of politics. He wants to restore the importance of the family, and give parents their proper role. He wants to bang the table and say stop to the licentiousness. France is in a dire state. Look at the porn on television, look at the drugs," he said.

Many Muslims will be voting for Segolene Royal in at least the second round of this election, for Nicolas Sarkozy has earned an infamous reputation for his reaction to the riots in the suburbs last year. The Socialist rationalization of this odd choice by some Muslims can be described as harshly cynical.

"It is the poor taking it out on the even poorer," regretted Sophia Chikirou, a member of the Socialist Party's National Council, who confirmed that in her neighborhood of the 20th arrondissement of Paris several Muslim business owners have come out for Le Pen.

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