Politicians React to Eric Zemmour’s Remarks

In the wake of Eric Zemmour’s controversial remarks concerning French Muslims published in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, several public figures have actively denounced his suggestions.

In a recent press release, French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve affirmed his support for French Muslims and called for all of France to “take action and show its solidarity.” Cazeneuve stated that “The secular Republic guarantees freedom of belief and religious freedom. The French nation is characterized by living together in harmony, and French Muslims, like Christians, Jews, believers and nonbelievers, are all its children.”

Cazeneuve also stated: “In making the fight against racism and anti-Semitism a national cause, the president of the Republic François Hollande believes that no Frenchman should be attacked or threatened because of their origins or religious beliefs.”

In a similar press release, Pascal Popelin, a politician in Seine-Saint-Denis, stated that “French Muslims have once again been hatefully attacked.” Peopelin argued that the government must address the “unacceptable amount of anti-Semitic acts, which are part of the sad account of all the deadly hateful, racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic acts. ‘I forcefully denounce these remarks and express my solidarity with French Muslims.’”
He added, “Determined to preserve the Republican pact, I will do all I can in the necessary effort to make sure that places of worship are protected and that not anti-religious hate act will go unpunished.”

The Parti Radical de Gauche (Radical Left Party) of Seine-Saint-Denis additionally condemned Zemmour’s remarks and said “stop Islamophobia!” The party’s president Ahmed Laouedj states that the group “firmly denounces the Islamophobic remarks of Mr. Eric Zemmour. He demonstrated several times that he is not in accord with republican values of freedom of belief and religious freedom. Yet again, the Muslim community is the target of Eric Zemmour’s racist and xenophobic remarks. We express our support for the Muslim community and we support the recent complaints that have been filed against Mr. Zemmour.”

Lastly, the Union of Muslim Associations of Seine-Saint-Denis “deplores the complicity of [Zemmour’s] employers who refuse to control the diffusion of his hateful remarks and who benefit handsomely from maintaining a fascistic reputation. L’UAM-93 specifically asks the CSA to fulfill its role in regulating media diffusion and those who are associated with this issue, in addition to all the legal filings [against Zemmour] for inciting racial discrimination. L’UAM-93 has continuously warned that these types of remarks are not in line with freedom of expression and that they have given this individual authorization for a form of media misconduct whose only objective is to incite hatred and violence regarding communities that have been targeted for several years. L’UAM-93 congratulates the dignified behavior of the Muslim Community for not falling into the trap set by the individual who has built his reputation on the humiliation of others.”

‘Deport 5 million Muslims’: Bernard Cazeneuve denounces Eric Zemmour’s remarks

“I know, it’s unrealistic, but history is surprising. Who would have said in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs, twenty years later, would leave Algeria to come to France?” - French Author Eric Zemmour's stirs controversy with remarks about France's Muslim community.
“I know, it’s unrealistic, but history is surprising. Who would have said in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs, twenty years later, would leave Algeria to come to France?” – French Author Eric Zemmour’s stirs controversy with remarks about France’s Muslim community.

Eric Zemmour has previously been referred to as racist, sexist and xenophobic and his October interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra has again created controversy.

The interview was published October 30 in the Italian newspaper and was brought to the French public’s attention by Jean-Luc Mélenchon who stated that Muslims “live together in the banlieues,” that “the French were forced to leave [the area] because of them,” and that “this situation of a people in a people, Muslims within the French people, will lead to chaos and war.” When asked: “Well what do you suggest: deport 5 million French Muslims?,” Zemmour responded: “I know, it’s unrealistic, but history is surprising. Who would have said in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs, twenty years later, would leave Algeria to come to France?”

On his blog, Mélenchon wrote: “Zemmour confuses foreigners and immigrants. This mix-up contains a logic that it could lead to civil war, and it’s why his suggestion is so dangerous.” Mélenchon also notes that Zemmour’s immigration statistics combine foreigners and naturalized citizens. “For him, those are ‘Français de papier,’ an expression used by the far-right said before the war and in current discourse. For him, one cannot ‘become French.’ When the time comes, it will be necessary to pick out and take away ID cards. Which is what Philippe Pétain’s government did.”

Prominent French commentator Eric Zemmour charged for inciting racial bias

New York Times – February 18, 2011

A French court convicted the prominent commentator Eric Zemmour on charges of “provocation to racial discrimination” for televised comments in which he suggested that a majority of criminals in France were “black and Arab,” and said that employers “have the right” to deny employment to those ethnic groups. Mr. Zemmour was ordered to pay over $14,000 in legal fees and damages to the five rights groups that were the plaintiffs in the case, and also received suspended fines totaling $2,700. The commentator had “gone beyond the permitted bounds of the right to freedom of speech,” the court wrote in its decision, adding that Mr. Zemmour had a particular responsibility to respect those limits as a “professional of the media and of expression.” Mr. Zemmour’s lawyer, Olivier Pardo, said his client had not yet decided if he would appeal the decision.