How has the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples, a French network created to save Jewish children from Nazi deportation, become the great accuser that almost got the books of Oriana Fallaci banned in France? The answer lies in the new book of Pascal Bruckner, An Imaginary Racism (Grasset). The famous French essayist writes about the “new racism” that has reached “a rampant obesity” and, as humanitarianism, “is a growing market”; it invents “new forms of discrimination to justify its existence and to receive publicity.”
Bruckner says that the debate is rapidly closing: “A sort of prohibition weighs when it comes to people from North Africa or from the Middle East.” About the sexual attacks in Cologne, he points that “the horror of rape is diluted in an epic emancipation of the wretched of the earth.” Bruckner calls it “a witch hunt led by Marxist fundamentalists and their allies” (Islamic supremacists), and he defines the term “Islamophobia” as “a weapon of mass destruction of the intellectual debate. We are seeing a new crime of opinion, similar to that in the Soviet Union against the ‘enemies of the people.’”
In this antiracist industry, the Muslim has been turned into the “surrogate Jew,” and the “theft of the Holocaust” is used to slander Israel. This anti-racist logic makes the Jews “the incarnation of colonialism” through the “suffering of the Palestinians.” Reciprocity is not permitted: “There are mosques in Rome, but there are no churches in Riyadh or Mecca.” As for the churches in Mosul, which have been destroyed by the Islamic State, these can go down as a hateful legacy of “colonialism.”
Bruckner, one of the most famous essayists of France, personally experienced this anti-racism: he has just been on trial for having spoken out against the “collaborators of Charlie Hebdo’s assassins.” Countless witnesses testified in defense of Bruckner, including Sihem Habchi, who spoke of a “green fascism” (the Islamic one).
Nobody can escape from this anti-racist dogma. The Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP) denounced for “racism” the newspaper Le Soir. Then MRAP sued the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut for “incitement to hatred.” Paris’ courts tried almost all the French critics of Islam: the novelist Michel Houellebecq, the magazine Charlie Hebdo, the columnist Ivan Rioufol, the journalist Éric Zemmour, and now a great Jewish historian of the Arab world, Georges Bensoussan, just appeared in a Paris court to answer charges of “inciting racial hatred” for having denounced the existence….of anti-Semitism in France!
These anti-racists started their campaign of intimidation with the Italian novelist Oriana Fallaci. She was turned into a dangerous “Islamophobic” writer. The anti-racists orchestrated an impressive campaign of slurs. “Oriana Fallaci, the woman who defames Islam,” wrote the leftist daily Libération. “Fallaci, the Bin Laden of writing,” wrote a lawyer of the International Federation of Human Rights, Patrick Baudouin. They tried Fallaci twice in Paris. When she died in 2007, Oriana Fallaci was still on trial in Italy, and she was sued even in Switzerland by the Islamic Center of Geneva. A Swiss judge issued a warrant arrest, and Italy’s then-Minister of Justice, Roberto Castelli, had to reject extradition.
Sometimes the charge of “racism” doesn’t even have to get into a court. The accusation alone is enough to destroy a writer. A month after the conviction of Anders Breivik, the author of the massacre at Utoya, Richard Millet, an essayist awarded by the Académie Française, published a short book saying that Breivik was “a symptom of Western decadence.” The following day, the “anti-racists” began a campaign to expel Millet from the most important French publishing house, Gallimard. Then-Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was “shocked” by Millet’s book. The largest library of Belgium, Filigranes, withdrew Millet’s book, and J.-M. Le Clézio, a Nobel laureate for literature, attacked Millet. The magazine Valeurs Actuelles ran an article about this episode entitled: “In Moscow, it was called purge.” Bruno de Cessole, editor of the magazine Revue des Deux Mondes, called it a “literary fatwa.” First, Millet was forced to continue his work for Gallimard at home. Then he was fired.
The powerful “anti-racist” lobby employs repressive methods, and it is creating a dangerous precedent: allowing freedom only to ideas or words that are deemed just and tolerable. MRAP, Licra, and SOS Racisme are the three most important “anti-racist” organizations. They started with campaigns to prevent nightclubs from discriminating against young Arab and black men. They ended up allying with Muslim supremacists who prevent young Muslims going to the same nightclubs.
At the Chamber of Commerce of Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris, the MRAP even sent a delegate to greet Salah Hamouri, a terrorist belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who planned the assassination of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef. They are the anti-racist “sympas”: progressives, advocates of human rights and compassionate anti-Semites who want the skin of Jews in the name of the recognition of man by man.
When a group is allowed to file charges of racism in court and a legal system incorporates the term “Islamophobia,” a society will probably lapse into Dadaism. Not that of the painter Tristan Tsara, but that of the dictator Idi Amin Dada.
Giulio Meotti, cultural editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author. He is the author of three books: A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism (Encounter Books); J’Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel (Mantua Books), and La fine dell’Europa, about the Christian and demographic decline in Europe. He is a columnist at Arutz Sheva and his writings have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, FrontPage, Commentary, and The Geller Report.