Marine Le Pen, in another of her faux pas has stated that “a multicultural society is a multi-conflict society. I want every French person… to maintain their liberty and their rights that Islamic fundamentalists want to deny them. Multiculturalism is the soft weapon of Islamic fundamentalists, which is allowed by useful idiots under the guides of tolerance”. She prefaced this by saying that violent Islam is a “very small minority” within the religion1, failing to see the contradiction with her comments on multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is one of the best weapons we have against these idiot jihadis, that is why they hate it so much. What they are trying to do is to turn society on itself, to make everyone suspicious of people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds and, most of all, to turn everyone else against Muslims. Marine Le Pen betrays her motives when bad-mouthing multiculturalism. She sees an opportunity to frighten people, and if that falls in with what jihadis wish, then so be it. Multiculturalism shows that a society can function with such a diverse populace. To see how this is possible you only have to look at the current French National football squad, selected for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers2.
Less than half the team comprises what the bigots would call ‘white’. Of these, some have, at least in part, Polish, German, Basque, Italian, Portuguese and Romany backgrounds. Others of varying skin tones have backgrounds from the Philippines, Reunion, Algeria, Tunisia, Congo, Cameroun, Mali, Zaire, Senegal, Guinea, Central African Republic, Guadeloupe, Benin. While it is difficult to be certain of the players’ religious persuasions, it is likely that a goodly handful are Muslim2. This is the nature of the modern world, with travel being relatively easier and cheaper than it has ever been, and with footballers so well remunerated, it is not surprising players come from all over the world to play in the wealthiest leagues. The surprising thing about these players is that almost all were born in France; from Paris, Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Orleans, Caen, Cognac, etc.; they lived their formative years in France alone. They are French and I expect most, if not all of them, are overjoyed and proud to be in the national squad.
Bigots will simply say that all these players from different backgrounds have to keep quiet and toe the line or be ‘deported’ from the team. How common is it that retired footballers go back to their various communities and become agitators or terrorists? Did Zizou? Did Thierry Henry? Did Bixente Lizarazu? Did Lilian Thuram? Did Patrick Vieira? Of course not. Once you live in a country long enough you become a native of that country, no matter where your roots lie.
That is what makes Marine Le Pen’s statement so mind-numbingly idiotic. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, this sort of idiotic statement is almost de rigueur for the ultra-right in many countries. All it does is demonstrate their complete lack of understanding of people, except perhaps for the gullible, whom they wish to attract, by pandering to their bigotry.