French Muslims asked interior minister Claude Gueant on Monday to clarify his recent statement that not all civilisations have equal value - words that were widely interpreted in France as targeting Islam. ...
"Clarify" means recant.
In a letter that was leaked to several French news agencies, the president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Mohamed Moussaoui, said that “many of our citizens of Muslim faith felt targeted by these statements… and let us know about it.”
Moussaoui went on to ask the interior minister, who is in charge of both the immigration and religion portfolio in Sarkozy’s government, to “reassure” Muslims that his speech was not referring to Muslim civilisation, “as was clearly portrayed by certain media.”
"Reassure" means retract, too -- or else who knows what "many of our citizens of Muslim faith" might do next?
Whatever it is, chances are France 24 and its colleagues in French media won't consider it nearly as "inflammatory" as anything Gueant says. The news organization adds in a little B-matter:
The “civilisations” remark was not the first inflammatory statement related to French identity by minister Gueant.
In March 2011, he infamously told the Le Monde daily that the French wanted their country to “remain French”.
“The French, because of out of control immigration, sometimes feel like they are no longer in their home country,” Gueant clarified a few days later.
One month later, during a visit to the western city of Nantes he said the number of Muslims in France posed a “problem”.
According to Stephane Rozes, a political consultant, Gueant’s latest statement was reminiscent of President Sarkozy’s 2010 speech in the south-eastern city of Grenoble, in which he set out a controversial policy proposal to strip foreign-born French citizens of their nationality if they committed certain crimes.
Like the Grenoble proposal, which created a stir in the pres but was never brought before parliament, the latest remarks were invoked to seduce far-right voters, Rozes said.
Given Gueant's coy attempt to decouple his remarks from Islam or any other particular culture, I doubt this was a ploy to win Front Nationale voters. My guess is he was saying what he thinks and tried to backtrack. Otherwise, wouldn't he have at least maintained the credibility of his statement -- for another 24-48 hours?
However, the consultant questioned whether it was a paying strategy for Sarkozy’s government.
Rather than weakening the Le Pen’s voting base, Rozes argued that pandering to anti-immigrant sentiments “reinforced” her National Front party. “These remarks also risk further distancing Sarkozy from some conservative voters who may be tempted to switch their votes to [centrist candidate] François Bayrou,” Rozes warned.
Behold the rococo-encrusted mind that is unable to appreciate love of country as inadequately expressed and supressed in the face of cultural extinction as anything other than a base instinct to be exploited by politicians. A country, a culture, a continent, a civilization, Western liberty itself, is being ploughed under by Islam, and those who dare to notice, let alone do anything about it, risk all.