The controversy sparked by Higher Education Minister Frédérique Vidal’s February reference to the problem of Islamo-leftism in French universities was further heightened in the second half of March by the announcement of a €2.5 million grant from Strasbourg’s Green mayor’s office to the Turkish Islamist association Millî Görüş for the construction of Europe’s largest mosque.
To justify such a grant from the city led by Mayor Jeanne Barseghian, of the party Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV), the Alsatian Greens brandished the Concordat between the public authorities and the Catholic Church in their department, which has exixted since the Napoleonic era. In the name of secularism, the Greens believe that the city should finance the construction of mosques in the same way as the maintenance of Catholic churches, even though the Millî Görüş association, known for its links with the Turkish government, professes political Islam and refuses to sign the Charter of the Principles of Islam in France, by which several other Muslim organizations recently affirmed their commitment to the principles of the French Republic and their rejection of radical Islam.
Defending his party’s decision, an EELV city councilor said that if Millî Görüş were to be denied funding, all funding to Catholic parishes would also have to be withdrawn because of “the Vatican’s homophobic and sexist stance.”
Such an attitude is reminiscent of that of the EELV mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, who on Sept. 8, 2020, put an end to an annual tradition dating back to 1643: the Aldermen’s Vow. As it is a Catholic ceremony where the local bishop blesses the city and entrusts it to the protection of the Blessed Virgin, the Green politician did not consider it appropriate to attend. This did not prevent him from attending the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of a mosque the next day and bragging about it on social networks.
The extreme sympathy that exists on the French left for Islam, which is matched only by their antipathy to Christianity, is what is known in France as Islamo-leftism. This term was first used in 2002 by the philosopher and historian of ideas Pierre-André Taguieff in his book entitled “The New Judeophobia”. Taguieff, who is considered rather left-wing himself, defined Islamo-leftism as far-left militancy that, in the name of the “struggle against imperialism”, allies itself with Islamists who support Palestinian nationalism. Since then, this definition has been extended to cover those who refuse to denounce political and radical Islam and even favor the development of Islam in France out of sympathy for the “oppressed”, out of hostility towards Western civilization and Christianity, or simply out of political clientelism, as Muslims represent a demographically growing pool of voters for the left.
Until now, it was Jean-Luc Mélanchon’s far-left La France Insoumise party (LFI) that was most often accused of Islamo-leftism. However, since last year’s municipal elections, which saw the Greens take power in several major cities such as Lyon and Strasbourg at the helm of left-wing coalitions, the EELV party has demonstrated its own brand of Islamo-leftism. But in reality, Islamo-leftism is, like decolonialism, present beyond these two parties, including in the ranks of Emmanuel Macron’s centrist majority. Decolonialism is an ideology according to which racial discrimination in France is pervasive and structural because it is linked to the colonial past. And like other left-wing ideologies with links to Marxism, it tries to rewrite the past. It is France’s (and Britain’s) own version of America’s neo-Marxist and racialist BLM movements.
Emmanuel Macron himself gave much encouragement to the Islamo-leftists and decolonial activists by saying there is no such thing as “French culture” but there are “cultures in France”, and by calling colonization a “crime against humanity” during a trip to Algiers in February 2017. He was still only a candidate for the presidency of the Republic. More recently, in order to perform a “work of memory” and “reconciliation” on the French colonization of Algeria (which was part of the Ottoman Empire before becoming a French colony), President Macron entrusted the drafting of a report to Benjamin Stora, an ex-Trotskyite historian who has always professed a vision of history aligned with that of the Algerian leaders.
Stora was also one of the main founders of the left-wing student union UNEF, which was close to the Socialist Party for a long time and has now become an important vector of the Islamo-leftist and decolonial movement in French universities. The union regularly causes a stir by holding seminars for non-Whites, or “racialized” people, referring to today’s politically correct term for people of color. Last March 17 on Europe 1 radio, Mélanie Luce, the current president of the UNEF, admitted that her union organized meetings to talk about the racism suffered by “racialized” people and that these meetings were forbidden to Whites.
While the admission of this situation, which has been known for years — it does not only concern the UNEF — has caused an outcry, some people on the left have defended it. This was the case, for example, with Audrey Pulvar, a former left-wing journalist-propagandist for the French public media, now deputy mayor of Paris and number one on the Socialist Party’s Île-de-France list for the June regional elections. Pulvar said that the UNEF should probably let White men into these meetings, but on the condition that those White men accept to remain silent. For Pulvar, who is a woman of color from the French island of Martinique, when discussing racism, White people should “be silent”.
In another case of Islamo-leftism, in March, the UNEF relayed on social networks the public denunciation at the University of Grenoble of two professors accused of fascism and Islamophobia on banners hung in front of the university premises.
This was only five months after the beheading murder of secondary school teacher Samuel Paty.
In April 2019, two UNEF officials, Édouard Le Bert and Hafsa Askar, had made ironic comments on the devastated reactions to the burning of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, speaking of “delirium of White trash”. In a series of racist tweets published between 2014 and 2015, Hafsa Askar had gone so far as to write: “We should gas all White people, that sub-race.” This young woman of Moroccan origin, who later became vice-president of the Lille branch of the UNEF, described herself on one of her social media profiles as “super cool and super Marxist-Leninist”.
Here is another example coming not from the academic world but from the National Assembly itself: the Gabonese-born LFI deputy Danièle Obono reacted to the appointment of Jean Castex as prime minister in July 2020 with a tweet written in “inclusive language “and starting as follows: “Profile: very technocratic right-wing white male”.
Obono is close to the Indigènes de la République, a movement defining itself as anti-racist and decolonial.
What is characteristic is that the flock of anti-racist organizations in France, which are the left’s spearhead against the freedom of expression of patriots and conservatives, usually remain silent in the face of the anti-White and anti-kuffar outbursts coming from the decolonial and Islamophile left. But it should be no surprise as these organizations are all left-wing and in favor of mass immigration.
Reacting to the words of Higher Education Minister Frédérique Vidal who promised in February an investigation into the hold of Islamo-leftism in French universities, university professor Gilles Kepel, a specialist in Islam and the contemporary Arab world, confirmed on CNews television that there is a problem.
“We see a growing number of studies like what was proletarian thought in the time of Stalinism. Instead of analyzing society and describing it, they produce ideology. Then you have those seminars forbidden to Whites, the denunciation of others as kuffar, and so on.”
Conversely, Jean Chambaz, president of the Sorbonne University, claims not to know what Islamo-leftism means and believes that “we are in the process, with these successive government interventions, of finding ourselves in the camp of Hungary and Poland in Europe.”
Indeed, according to this French academic interviewed on the public radio France Info, “the Polish and Hungarian governments are beginning to intervene in the internal life of universities to limit the right to academic freedom.” In addition to the usual denial of the existence of Islamo-Leftism and, a fortiori, of anti-White racism linked to decolonial thought, what is being seen are the typical prejudices of the French left with regard to Poland and Hungary governed by conservatives hostile to mass immigration and multiculturalism.
Nevertheless, according to an IFOP February poll, 58 percent of French people consider that Islamo-leftism is a widespread current of thought in their country, versus 42% who think the opposite.