This past March, Marine Le Pen was charged with circulating “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity.” Her crime was tweeting the photographs of atrocities committed by fanatical Muslims, members of the Islamic State, that they themselves had released as propaganda. A few weeks after the attacks in Paris in which 130 people were killed, Marine Le Pen wanted to inform the French public of just what these members of Daesh were capable of. Her tweet was, of course, meant not to incite, but to denounce. One of the photographs was of the decapitated body of the journalist James Foley. When his family requested that photograph be removed, Marine Le Pen promptly complied, explaining she had not known the identify of the victim.
For her brave act, undertaken to deepen the public’s understanding of just how gruesomely murderous these fanatical Muslims in the Islamic State have been, she has been treated by the French state as a criminal. It now appears that magistrates in Nanterre have ordered Le Pen to visit a psychiatrist for an expert assessment. But there is nothing crazy about Marine Le Pen’s alarm about the behavior of the most fanatical Muslims, and what they regard as deeds of derring-do, nor about her worries over the demographic inroads made by Muslims in France. The crazy people are those who don’t want to hear what she has to say, want to punish her for saying it, don’t want to recognize, much less deal with, the problem of Islam, or who issue grand-sounding but futile plans, as Macron has done, for a putative “Islam of France.”
She is, of course, furious at this absurdity. “I thought I had been through it all: well, no! For denouncing the horrors of Daesh (Isis) by tweets the “justice system” has referred me for a psychiatric assessment. How far will they go?!” she said on September 19.
How should she deal with this demand?
She should not fight it, but turn it to her advantage.
First, she should request that the entire interview with the psychiatrist(s) be videotaped, in order to assure herself that she is not later misquoted or misrepresented in any way. If that request is denied, she should refuse to attend. This is something the public will understand, and sympathize with. Why would the authorities not allow such videotaping? What can they offer as a plausible reason? In the end, they will either have to give in and permit the videotaping, or skip the psychiatric evaluation altogether.
Second, she should make sure, despite her justified fury, not to ever let it show, but to respond calmly, quietly, thoughtfully, to the psychiatrist’s every question. She must control her anger, which in the past she has not always done. If in such a situation she can even be humorful, or ironic, in her answers, subtly suggesting the absurdity of this forced exercise, that would be welcome.
Third, she should come with a Qur’an, well-annotated, ready to support her views, and statements, on Islam. Let her base her answers on the texts themselves. How did she arrive at thinking thus and so about Islam? By reading the Qur’an, and here she can read out the relevant verses. That will demonstrate just how sober and grounded in the texts she is in her assessment. Let her session with the psychiatrist turn into a mini-seminar on Islam.
Fourth, she should also bring, along with the Qur’an, a printed-out few pages, for easy reference, containing the most important Qur’anic verses. These should include, on the subject of Jihad and “striking terror” in the hearts of the Infidels, such verses as 2:190-194, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4. Other verses, on how Muslims are taught to regard themselves (3:110) and how they are taught to regard the Unbelievers (98:6), should be included. On the treatment of women, she should have 4:34 printed out, as well as the Islamic rules about inheritance by females, and about the value of a woman’s testimony being half that of a man. She should include, as part of the discussion of women, Muhammad’s remark reported in the hadith of Bukhari, that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man because of the “deficiency of her intelligence.”
Fifth, she should have another list prepared, of disturbing events in the life of Muhammad. These should include, at a minimum, his ordering the torture and murder of Kinana of Khaybar, the satisfaction he expressed upon learning of the killing by his followers of those who had mocked him, such as Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, his taking part in the killing of the 600-900 prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, and his consummating his marriage to Aisha when he was 54 years old and she was nine. Have all of these hadith printed out, for easy reference. She should be ready, too, with a few telling quotes from Muhammad, including his claim that “war is deceit” and his declaration that “I have been made victorious through terror.”
Armed with these texts, she will have ample material with which to support the views of Islam she has long expressed. And she will be able to demonstrate to the public, with that videotape, that if someone in that room needs to have their head examined, it isn’t Marine Le Pen.