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French politicians cash in votes with Islamophobia

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Politicians such as Marine Le Pen are threatening tough anti-Islamic, anti immigration measures to gain support.

As elections draw near in France, the far right is using anti-Islamic hysteria to whip up support. Recently confronted with terrorism, the French people are rallying behind the rhetoric. 

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
4/9/2012 (9 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Marine Le Pen, France, Islam, xenophobia, fear, terrorism

PARIS, FRANCE (Catholic Online) - Far right candidate, Marine Le Pen told a roaring crowd that the recent bloodshed in Toulouse was proof of what her party had been saying for years. Both Le Pen and Sarkozy have refocused their election platforms on security.
 
The public has become increasingly xenophobic in the face of what has been perceived as the spread of radical Islam in France.
 
In March, Le Pen gave an aggressive speech in which she asked, "How many Mohamed Merahs arrive in France every day, in the boats and planes full of immigrants?"

The anti-immigration talk is popular as many French citizens worry about the transformation of the French national identity. In recent decades, immigration into France has swelled and religious and ethnic concerns have grown.
 
Le Pen asked about Mohamed Merah, "How did he manage to get French nationality?" (Merah was born and raised in France.)

Le Pen pledged that she would take strong steps to protect France from the threat of radical Islam. She pledged to use the French secret services to spy on "radical" mosques, and she promised to deport those who travel to Afghanistan. In the cases of French  citizens she even proposed forcing them to wear ankle bracelets.
 
"We will act with zero tolerance" she pledged.
 
These comments have drawn worry from French Muslims. The full number of French Muslims are being bundled with the crimes of the individuals who have chosen to set themselves apart by acting out as terrorists. It is wrong to judge by the group, especially on the basis of a few bad actors.
 
However wrong it may be, it seems to be good politics. Le Pen's remarks drew stomping feet and applause as the crowd cheered her remarks.

Francois Bayrou, the opposition candidate belonging to the Democratic Movement pegged Le Pen and others correctly when he explained they are "pointing fingers at people because of their ancestry to incite passions, and they are doing it because in the fire, there are votes to be had." Bayrou is calling for national debate and discussion rather than demonization of a segment of the population.

French national elections will be held on April 22 and May 6. At that time, it will be seen how the French people feel about this divisive and serious issue.

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