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[Published: Friday November 26 2021]

 France: Why Eric Zemmour's rhetoric should worry us all

By Malia Bouattia, The Middle East Eye, 24 November 2021
PARIS, 26 Nov. - (ANA) - Zemmour’s political views and track record place him squarely in the same political camp as Trump, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, Italy's Matteo Salvini and many of the other right-wing populists currently in positions of power around the world. In fact, Zemmour’s admiration for Trump is a matter of public record. He expressed it directly during a TV interview earlier this month, when he said: “He succeeded in bringing together the working classes and the patriotic bourgeoisie.
That's what I've been dreaming about… for 20 years." A supporter of the great replacement theory, Zemmour spends his time as a commentator and author spreading the ethno-nationalist false notion that white people "native" to western lands are being “replaced” by a never-ending flood of non-white immigrants He has described the racially diverse Parisian area of Seine-Saint-Denis, for example, as “no longer France”, adding that it has become “another continent” because of the Arab and African population living there.
He has even said that should he ever be elected as president, he would implement a ban on Mohammed as a first name as it is "it is not a French name". Furthermore, his racist and xenophobic views are so considerable that he has faced several convictions over inciting racial and religious hatred, including after his statement on TV that "jihadists were considered to be good Muslims by all Muslims."
Ultimately, it is the impact that Zemmour’s rhetoric could have on the political debates both during the campaign and in the future that should worry us all. This is where he represents the most immediate danger to the communities he is attacking. He has pushed the debate even further to the right, despite Le Pen and her National Rally party’s already remarkable achievements on that front.
Attacks on migrants, Muslims and minorities, as well as the rolling back of civil liberties, have defined this election already, with barely any challenge coming from the political centre. These issues will continue to be the focus of debate in the years to come.   - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/26 November 2021 - - -

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