Remember when the Democrat ‘Islamo-Leftist media’ in the United States was hailing President Macron as the leader of the free world and warning of authoritarianism and populism everywhere else?
Things are looking a little different now.
The French minister for higher education has sparked a backlash from university heads after warning about the spread of “Islamo-leftism” in the country’s academic institutions.
The term “Islamo-leftism” is usually used in France by far-right politicians to discredit left-wing opponents they accuse of being blind to the dangers of Islamist extremism and overly worried about racism and identity.
“I think that Islamo-leftism is eating away at our society as a whole, and universities are not immune and are part of our society,” Minister for Higher Education Frederique Vidal told the C-News channel on Sunday.
The comments came amid a highly divisive debate in France about what President Emmanuel Macron has termed “Islamist separatism,” in which Islamists are said to be flouting French laws and fuelling terror attacks in closed-off Muslim communities.
The lower house of parliament approved a tough draft law on Tuesday that will extend the state’s powers to shut down religious groups judged to be extremist.
Macron has recently been accused by critics of pandering to the far right ahead of presidential elections next year, which polls show could be a re-run of his 2017 duel with anti-immigration National Rally leader Marine Le Pen.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin caused unease inside the governing centrist party last Thursday afer accusing Le Pen of “softness” on Islam during a televised debate.
It’s not unusual for French politicians to suddenly pivot rightward on Islam when elections are in sight. But there are some basic differences here.
Frédérique Vidal is a respected scientist. She’s held governmental positions, but it’s not like she’s positioning herself for Macron’s job. And her distaste for not just Islamism, but identity politics is widely shared.
Frédérique Vidal, the minister of higher education, said in Parliament on Tuesday that the state-run National Center for Scientific Research would oversee an investigation into the “totality of research underway in our country,’’ singling out post-colonialism.
Referring also to scholars of race and gender, Ms. Vidal accused them of “always looking at everything through the prism of their will to divide, to fracture, to pinpoint the enemy.’’
In a major speech on Islamism last fall, Mr. Macron talked of children or grandchildren of Arab and African immigrants “revisiting their identity through a post-colonial or anticolonial discourse’’ — falling into a trap set by people who use this discourse as a form of “self-hatred’’ nurtured against France
All of this is an accurate diagnosis. And it has widespread support.
According to an exclusive Ifop-Fiducial poll for CNEWS and Sud Radio unveiled this Friday, February 19, 6 out of 10 French people believe that Islamo-leftism is a current of thought widespread in France.
In detail, the survey reveals that 79% of respondents claiming to be close to the Republicans and 71% of supporters of the National Rally think so, and among the Republic in March and the Socialist Party, respectively 54% and 53%. Finally, 45% of supporters of Europe Ecology the Greens and 40% of those of France
In this Ifop-Fiducial poll, each person questioned was also asked if, “personally, she felt that the Minister of Higher Education was right to request an investigation into Islamo-leftism at the university”. And more than two thirds of French people (69%) answered yes to this question. And it is the sympathizers of the Republicans and of the Republic in March who approve the idea of the minister the most, respectively 87% and 81%. At the National Gathering, 78% believe that Frédérique Vidal is right to request this study. Finally, overall, 57% of supporters of the left consider this survey relevant.
These numbers are really, really bad.
Not only do 7 out of 10 French people agree that universities are extreme because they engage in Islamo-leftist indoctrination, but even a majority of leftists believe this.
So you can see why Macron is starting to swerve in that direction.
The New York Times and the ‘Islamo-Leftist media’ are bashing Macron over this, but he’s reflecting a widespread view among French people. Maybe the New York Times could take a brief break from lying to its readers and purging its staff for political incorrectness to actually perform such basic acts of journalism.