To Call This Threat by Its Name

Marine Le Pen, New York Times, January 18, 2015

“To misname things is to add to the world’s unhappiness.” Whether or not Albert Camus really did utter these words, they are an astonishingly apt description of the situation in which the French government now finds itself. Indeed, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius no longer even dares pronounce the real name of things.

Mr. Fabius will not describe as “Islamists” the terrorists who on Wednesday, Jan. 7, walked into the offices of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, right in the heart of Paris. Nor will he use “Islamic State” to describe the radical Sunni group that now controls territory in Syria and Iraq. No reference can be made to “Islamic fundamentalism,” for fear that Islam and Islamism might get conflated. The terms “Daesh” and “Daesh cutthroats” are to be favored instead, even though in Arabic “Daesh” means the very thing to be hidden: “Islamic State.”

Let us call things by their rightful names, since the French government seems reluctant to do so. France, land of human rights and freedoms, was attacked on its own soil by a totalitarian ideology: Islamic fundamentalism. It is only by refusing to be in denial, by looking the enemy in the eye, that one can avoid conflating issues. Muslims themselves need to hear this message. They need the distinction between Islamist terrorism and their faith to be made clearly.

Yet this distinction can only be made if one is willing to identify the threat. It does our Muslim compatriots no favors to fuel suspicions and leave things unspoken. Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side.

Once things are called what they are, the real work begins. Nothing has been done yet. Whether from the right or the left, one French administration after another has failed to size up the problem or the task to be accomplished. Everything must be reviewed, from the intelligence services to the police force, from the prison system to the surveillance of jihadist networks. Not that the French security services have let us down: They proved their courage and determination again during the Jan. 9 hostage crisis in a kosher grocery near the Porte de Vincennes in Paris. However their actions have been hobbled by a series of mistakes committed by the powers that be.

These mistakes must also be called by their names. I will mention only three, but they are of crucial importance.

First, the dogma of the free movement of peoples and goods is so firmly entrenched among the leaders of the European Union that the very idea of border checks is deemed to be heretical. And yet, every year tons of weapons from the Balkans enter French territory unhindered and hundreds of jihadists move freely around Europe. Small surprise then that Amedy Coulibaly’s machine gun came through Belgium, as the Walloon media have reported, or that his partner Hayat Boumeddiene fled to Syria under the nose of law enforcement.

Second, the massive waves of immigration, both legal and clandestine, our country has experienced for decades have prevented the implementation of a proper assimilation policy. As Hugues Lagrange, a sociologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research (C.N.R.S.), has argued, culture has a major influence on the way immigrants relate to French society and its values, on issues such as the status of women and the separation of state and religious authority.

Without a policy restricting immigration, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to fight against communalism and the rise of ways of life at odds with laïcité, France’s distinctive form of secularism, and other laws and values of the French Republic. An additional burden is mass unemployment, which is itself exacerbated by immigration.

Third, French foreign policy has wandered between Scylla and Charybdis in the last few years. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s intervention in Libya, President François Hollande’s support for some Syrian fundamentalists, alliances formed with rentier states that finance jihadist fighters, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia–all are mistakes that have plunged France into serious geopolitical incoherence from which it is struggling to extricate itself. {snip}


For now, one emergency measure can readily be put into action: Stripping jihadists of their French citizenship is an absolute necessity. In the longer run, most importantly, national border checks must be reinstated, and there should be zero tolerance for any behavior that undermines laïcité and French law. Without such measures, no serious policy for combating fundamentalism is possible.


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  • AmericanCitizen

    Marine Le Pen sounds like the much needed voice of the future.

    Where is our American version of Marine Le Pen? Are our “leaders” all so gutless and insipid that all they can do when they encounter a Marine Le Pen is point and cry “racist”?

    • baldowl

      In all honesty, our American Marine Le Pen might be among us here. We have many incredibly articulate and intelligent commenters here who might consider seriously taking our cause a step further.
      I do not think we have a Marine Le Pen amongst our current WDC “leaders.”

      • MekongDelta69

        How about Jared Taylor?

        Why not?

        • Cheri Rodriguez

          You need someone in their 40s (like Le Pen). Taylor at 63 is a bit old.

          • MekongDelta69

            You’ve JUST crushed the collective spirits of all guys who are older than you are!

            We’re older, not old!
            We’re also not dead – TYVM!

            (God – I hope you’re female, b/c if you’re not, I’m going to double tap myself ASAP!)

          • Cheri Rodriguez

            Nope. White male, 40s. As for leadership, Marshal Pétain and General de Gaulle were okay. But if you really want some serious victories you need younger, more energetic bodies—like Napoleon and Joan of Arc.

          • Sick of it

            Hannibal and Alexander fit the bill.

          • Cheri Rodriguez

            Well, I was trying to stick with the French theme but yeah…

          • Sick of it

            Vercingetorix and Charlemagne?

          • MekongDelta69

            *Pulls out Stoner*
            *Inserts 100 rd. drum*
            *Locks and loads*

          • Anna Tree

            63 is not old.

            Anyway, we need charisma, wisdom and intellect and Mr. Taylor has them all. And more: he is also a handsome man (lol like it or not, it’s good in politics.)
            He is perfect for the job, we are lucky as he is the best too (and not only because sadly there are no others.)

            Alas, I don’t think he likes politics and I don’t blame him: it is so dirty, Mr. Taylor is too noble.
            But if he has no choice, he will do it. For his children.
            That said, I hope a younger disciple of Mr. Taylor will be found eventually, more the merrier. We need a strong young man but in this political climate, a Joan D’Arc may have more ease to break through.

      • Henry Higgins

        One fundamental problem is the we *don’t agree* on what, or who, exactly is *the problem.*

    • anony

      Yes, they are gutless and insipid.

  • anony

    Name the real enemy. If you cannot define the real enemy, you cannot effectively fight. That’s Marine’s message.

    America needs a strong Marine.

  • The Verdict of History

    Surprisingly, the responses in the comment section of this NYT article look VERY encouraging.

    Even some liberal-cosmopolitan types are waking up to the madness which is Islam (radical or not).

    Even still, most internationalists despise Le Pen because she speaks for the patriotic white working classes in France against the corporate-backed promoters of cheap labor, the multiculturalists, and the peddlers of mass-immigration.


    • Sha of Communism

      What puzzles me is why this hardline left wing publication, New York Times, would publish an article from Marine. Are they starting to realize diversity is a disaster too?

      • B.A_2014

        They used to publish articles by a certain German (or Austrian rather) and his little club footed friend.

      • The Verdict of History

        I mean, most people who actually sits down and listens to her realizes that she is VERY agreeable.

        Its actually really astonishing. Every word out of her mouth is very clear-cut, and common sense, and she does it without being too simplistic.

        I’m loving watching her videos on youtube. She’s really something else!

      • “Are they starting to realize diversity is a disaster too?”
        I doubt the New York Times think of diversity as a disaster. Maybe they have to be careful to continue to look like a world newspaper. Things are getting so bad (for their point of view) that they have to publish something from the “far right.” Not to do so would risk their reputation as a great world newspaper of officialdom and logic and reason and elites, and without such a reputation they could not get their larger message listened to so well. That is the thought that goes through my mind.

    • B.A_2014

      I’ve noticed it’s very hard to sound stupid in a French accent.

      • Slayer88

        Funny, I’ve always thought the opposite, at least the Frechies in Montreal aren’t too bright.

    • Caucasoid88

      I don’t know. I briefly read through the Reader’s Pick’s and saw a lot of excuse-making for Islamic fundamentalism. Like this:

      Since we are going to call things ‘by their names’, let’s begin by
      calling Mme. Le Pen’s National Front by what it is: a xenophobic,
      anti-immigrant, extreme right wing party whose founder, Jean-Marie Le
      Pen, is well known as a hate monger and Holocaust denier.
      217 readers recommended…

      • Translation: We have no argument, so let’s just name-call. When that fails, let’s smear her by association with her own father. When that fails, we’ll go cry into our Tumblr account with our 217 moronic leftist friends.

  • MekongDelta69

    As A.C. just said, “Where is our American version of Marine Le Pen?

    Ironically, and coincidentally, I just asked the same question under the Geert Wilders article on AmRen.

    • Henry Higgins

      Notice, though, Mekong, that Le Pen defends the white working class – something that the American movement seems to fail utterly to do. Yet it is from them that a revolution will ignite.

  • dd121

    Have these fools even got to the point where they can agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion?

    • Alexandra1973

      Their idea of peace is “submission.”

  • NoMosqueHere

    ” Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side.”


    No, not really. Islamist terrorism is Islam. Mohammed, Islam’s founder, was a mass murdering child molesting warlord. Were he alive today, he’d be fighting with ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hamas, and he’d be working with Iran to help it obtain nuclear weapons.

    Please let us know when Marine Le Pen finally understands reality.

    • The Verdict of History

      Clearly, she’s just being diplomatic.

      She’s being charitable to the Muslims and ideological moderates in France.

      • Anglo

        She’s trying to build her support. She needs to win the next election.

    • Spaniard in LA

      Islam is no threat when compared to the 5th column that has infiltrated Western society.

  • IstvanIN

    Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam Actually it is a cancer on the West. Let the muslims do what they want in their own countries.

    • Zimriel

      It was a disease on the East, first; but I suppose it’s almost run its course there.

  • Christorchaos

    Getting in the New York Times, quoting Camus … Marine is one smart cookie. Maybe she can buy a “hall pass” from liberals. Maybe her movement has arrived.

  • De Doc

    Dang! NYT published this? That dhimmi rag has served as nothing more than an apologetics machine for Islamic terrorism.

  • Slayer88

    Borders, Language, and Common Culture are what make a cohesive society, multi-culturalism and diversity create weakness, not cohesion…

  • Cid Campeador

    We need a leader who would have the guts to round up all the Muslims living here and deport them all to the countries of their origin. It sounds like a Herculean task but once they begin their aggression against US it will be much more costly in treasure and blood.

    • RationaliseThis

      It’s been done once before, courtesy of El Cid and finally Ferdinand and Isabella. Bless them forever.

    • DAI

      Yes,and then your cities burn to the ground. Same will happen in Britain ,too. Its lots of blood first,then maybe our countries back.

  • David Ashton

    Freedom to circulate people but not ideas.