A French National Front (FN) Assemblée Nationale member has made it clear that she believes Europe is at war with Islamists, warning that the time is coming for people to choose a side. Her comments come just days after 84 people were killed in Nice while celebrating Bastille Day.
Speaking shortly after the Nice attack, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, niece to Marine Le Pen and one of the FN’s two National Assembly members, told her supporters: “Either we kill Islamism or it will kill us again and again. You are with us and against Islamism, or you are against us and for Islamism… Those who choose the status quo become complicit with our enemies.”
Expanding on the comments in an interview with The Telegraph, she says that radical Islam is implacably opposed to the French secular way of life. “We have a heritage of faith linked to secularity, and I would always defend that. It’s quite opposite to the radical Islamic faith, which seeks to impose itself more and more on public life.”
Challenged over her views on the grounds that they would appall many, she responds: “I have exposed reality.”
She continued: “The attacks that took place in France at the Bataclan [in Paris last November] were carried out by terrorists who infiltrated their way into the flood of immigrants arriving from Greece.
“Free movement of goods and people is a way of feeding terrorism. France’s migration policy has contributed to the explosion of radical Islam here and to the genesis of those terrorists who are born in France.”
A devoted Catholic, she defends comments made some time ago in which she said that “Islam should not have the same public space as Catholicism.
“We have traditions, cultural influences that are Christian. France is not an Islamic country, and Islam should not have the same place in public life.”
But she draws a distinction between the secular world of French politics and personal religion, insisting: “I make a big distinction between my political combat and my faith. I never mix the two.”
Stressing that he did not want to be “disrespectful” of Islam or “generate hostility,” he criticised Catholic leaders for their tendency “to simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith.”
He said that is not the case. Unlike Jews or Christians, “when they [Muslims] become the majority in any country they have the duty to submit the whole population to Sharia [Islamic law].”
He continued: “I think the appropriate response is to be firm about the Christian origin of our own nation [America], and certainly in Europe, and the Christian foundations of the government, and to fortify those.”
As for Maréchal-Le Pen, as well as reasserting France’s traditional Christian values she believes that an answer can be found in part by France leaving the European Union. She agrees with Nigel Farage that staying in the EU paves the way for more attacks on French women by migrants.
“These people arrive with a different language and culture and without being educated in the same way about women’s rights,” she says.
“Brexit opens an avenue for us. While France and the UK are not entirely comparable, it [will demonstrate] that it’s possible to leave without the cataclysm of which opponents warned. The UK will reap the benefits, and France will be reassured that the route is open.”
Asked whether ‘Frexit’ could happen, she says: “Yes, if Marine Le Pen is elected.”
The wide-ranging interview also took in Maréchal-Le Pen’s views on gay marriage and gay adoption. Unsurprisingly, as a practicing Catholic, she is against both.
“Once you break away from the natural framework of a man and a woman, you could have other minorities who want their form of love recognised by the state. If you endorse homosexuality [in marriage], why not polygamy?” she asks.
And explaining her stance on gay adoption, she says: “I believe that it’s very important for a child to have a father and a mother, and that parents aren’t interchangeable. I am very attached to the idea that my husband spends time with our daughter and that he fulfils his role.”
And defending herself from assertions that her views are bigoted and racist, she counters that she is merely upholding traditional French values with the family at the heart of society.
“Invective allows people to claim the moral high ground,” she says. “I defend the French culture. I want France to remain true to the adage, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ I don’t want a culture imported from elsewhere. That’s not a racialist vision. It has nothing to do with skin colour.
“I feel I have two patriotic duties. One is to defend the independence and sovereignty of my country, and the other is to produce children to transmit that message.”