Last week, October 9th, the Assemblée nationale, the French Parliament, hosted a conference advocating the teaching of Arabic language and civilization in French schools.
The attendees, among them ambassadors from Arab countries and French academics, businessmen and politicians, listened to a message from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who called Arabic the “language of the future, of science and of modernity.” He added: “We must invest in the Arabic language because to teach it symbolizes a moment of exchange, of openness and of tolerance, and it brings with it one of the oldest and most prestigious civilizations of the world”
Sarkozy expressed the hope that “more French people share in the language that expresses great civilizational and spiritual values.” He reminded his listeners: “It is in France that we have the greatest number of persons [in Europe] of Arab and Muslim origin. Islam is the second religion of France.”
The number of Muslims in France is estimated to be between 6 and 12 million, or between 10 and 20 per cent of France’s population of 61 million. In 2003, the French Interior ministry estimated the total number of Muslims at 6 million. But French Muslim organizations claim to represent 12 to 13 million people. French Muslims are a young population and the Muslim proportion of the French population will only grow in the years to come.
In September 2005, the Institut français des relations internationales (French Institute for International Relations, IFRI) published a report stating that 10 to 20 per cent of the army is of immigrant origin, most of them North African. “Their loyalty is continuously questioned,” Christophe Bertossi of IFRI reported.
The high percentage of Muslim soldiers is said to have been the main reason why the army was not sent in to restore order during the 2005 and 2006 riots in the French Muslim neighborhoods. The authorities doubt whether Muslim soldiers would accept orders to coerce fellow Muslims into respecting the law of the French republic.
Sarkozy’s de facto acceptance of the new—Arab—face of France, as expressed by his “hope” that more and more Frenchmen learn to speak “the language of the future,” was not the worst recent example of France’s willing submission to Islam.
Last month, a (native) French police officer was punished because, while conducting an investigation into the infiltration of radical Islamists in the French civil service, he had asked the authorities in the region surrounding Lyons, France’s second biggest city: “Would you be so kind as to indicate if among your personnel, you have employees belonging to a religion other than Christianity.”
The Grand Mufti of the Lyons mosque lodged an official complaint with President Sarkozy, who had the French Interior Minister order an investigation into the matter, which resulted in an official punishment of the police officer. On September 16th, the Prefect (Governor) of Lyons apologized to the Muslims: “We must sever this link, this confusion, between Islam and radicalism. It is the second religion of France; one day perhaps it will be the first.” The prefect also announced that the officer had been punished: “He committed not an error, but a grave fault, an individual fault. He acted outside of any authorization. This functionary received two punishments that take effect today. He was reprimanded—and this will stay on his record—and he has been transferred out of his functions as of 8:00 a.m. today. It was important to act quickly. The fault is serious. The Muslim population must not feel stigmatized. It is the second religion of France.”
The French have allowed the Muslims to become so populous in France that they act as if they are being held hostage by them. They are not the only ones to act in this way. So do the authorities in Britain, who, last month, officially installed Sharia courts, and Germany, where, also last month, governing politicians congratulated themselves for “standing up to protect Muslims” by giving thugs a free rein to beat up peaceful anti-Islamization demonstrators.
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