Sunday 23 January 2022
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Election candidate in France calls on Muslims to ‘renounce practice of Islam’

When asked whether he would become president of all French people, including the country's 5 million Muslims, polemicist-journalist Eric Zemmour did say 'yes', though

After announcing his candidacy for the 2022 presidential of France on social media on Tuesday, polemicist-journalist Eric Zemmour asked Muslims in France to abandon the practice of Islam the same evening on the TF1 channel.

Invited by the channel to talk about his programme, Zemmour answered Gilles Bouleau’s questions. When asked whether he would become president of all French people, including the 5 million French people of the Muslim faith, the candidate did not hesitate to answer in the affirmative.

But afterwards, he made some points incriminating the Islamic community, which became a talking point on social media.

“Unlike others, I don’t distinguish between Islam and Islamism. It is a false distinction. But I distinguish between Islam and Muslims. I call on all Muslims to assimilate and to renounce the practice of Islam which imposes a legal and political code ”, declared the polemicist.

The candidate then said that he had held this position on Muslims as Stanislas Marie Adélaïde, Count of Clermont-Tonnerre, the French officer and politician who was a supporter of a constitutional monarchy, did. Adelaide had affirmed in 1789, “Nothing to the Jews as a nation, everything to the Jews as individuals”.

The candidate then shared this part of the talk on his widely commented Twitter account. Some users supported his statements while others sharply criticised him. A certain Glaad wrote: “What does that mean? That Muslim people do not have the right to practice their religion. Why we Catholics are not concerned. In reality, targeting one religion is targeting all religions, you have to be consistent on this.”

Some remarked that “no one asked the Jews to give up the practice of Judaism” and others told him “that a Muslim who denies Islam can no longer be a Muslim”.

This candidate had been sentenced several times

Even before he officially declared his candidacy, Zemmour sometimes rose to second or third place in several polls.

Moreover, the polemicist and columnist for the CNews channel and did not hesitate to designate the Muslim immigrants living in France “as the criminal perpetrators of the 2015 attacks” and “as a formerly colonised people who have become colonizers”.

This candidate was sentenced for this in September 2020 to a fine of 10,000 euros for “incitement to hatred”. His Islamophobic and xenophobic speeches have been condemned on numerous occasions, which has not prevented him from continuing to appear regularly in the French media landscape.

The polemicist-journalist was also fined € 3,000 in September 2019 for his statements that had allegedly stoked hatred against Muslims in a television programme.

Translated by Surajit Dasgupta from the website of Anadolu Agency

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