18 September 2018

Macron is quick to take on nationalism. What about Islamism?

.... Two years ago the same liberal think-tank published “A French Islam is Possible”, in which El Karoui said that despite the Islamification of many young French Muslims (half of under 25s surveyed said they would prefer Sharia Law to Republican Law), there was still time to win the ideological war.

The latest report (a copy of which is on Emmanuel Macron’s desk) suggests that the war is being lost. In 15 years, the number of Salafists has increased by 900 per cent and the estimated 50,000 is a conservative guess.

It may still represent a tiny fraction of France’s six million Muslims, but El Karoui warns that their influence grows steadily and he likens their appeal to that of communism – the dream of a utopia that will right all the wrongs of the world. “[Communism] was about activists, sympathisers and a local action group spreading an idea,” explains El Karoui. “We have these activists, we see them on social media, and we have these people who are trying to create an alternative society.”

“Separatism” is the word the French use for this strategy, the establishment of a “halal” society where everything must be cleansed of the corruptive influence of the West. “French society is perceived, by this minority of French Muslims, as illicit and impure, so they want to create in parallel a different society with its own rules, norms and behaviour,” says El Karoui. [The Spectator] Read more