(Paris), France's Socialist President visited the Great Mosque of Paris for a visit to secure the votes of Muslim constituents for the local elections in March. All presidents in the world are participating in honoring the fallen of the wars, especially now, since the outbreak of the First World War is approaching its centennial. Only Hollande is instrumentalizing it to divide the dead according to their religious affiliation in two classes and to honor only the Muslims among them, but not Christians.
VIP visit to the Great Mosque of Paris
On Tuesday, the French President went to the Great Mosque of Paris to unveil a memorial to the 70,000 Muslim soldiers who had fallen from the colonial territories of France for the Grand Nation. The mosque was erected in the Maghreb style after the First World War as a recognition for the fallen Muslims and bestowed for the first time visibility for Islam in Paris.
"The Republic it indebted to them," said Hollande and directed attention to the present: "Islam and its message of openness are perfectly compatible with the values of the Republic in France." Here, the Socialist head of state did not forget to add that "discrimination, inequality and racism" would have to be "fought", because they would form the basis of "anti-Islamic rhetoric and reality".
The daily Le Figaro commented that the principle laudable initiative for the country to honor Fallen, in fact, is mostly indebted to the approaching municipal and European elections. More than 80 percent of the Muslim electorate in France in 2012 chose Hollande. The mood will have changed by an unfavorable economic development and the "gay marriage". Hollande's Socialist Party strategists fear the loss of what previously seemed to be sure votes.
The expression of honor for the fallen Muslims in France was a long cherished desire of the Muslim organizations in the Grande Mosque. Hollande pushed the date out again and again. The approaching elections have now encouraged him to act.
No ceremony for fallen Christians
In France, a debate has broken out about why Hollande has divided the fallen into two categories. Once to Muslims, according to their religion, and once to the French with no religious affiliation. A tribute to the Catholics who have fallen for France and surpass the number of Muslims many times, is not on the program of the presidential office. In a lively debate on various blogs, many French are asking whether only Muslims are allowed to have a religion. Muslims may be, according to Hollande French and Muslims. Catholics or Protestants, however, may only be French, but not Christians. A blogger asked, "Will Francois Hollande now also visit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to pay homage to the Catholic soldiers and for the honor of those fallen for France in World War I? We already know the answer. It is because of the aversion of the President against Christianity, of course, 'No?'"
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Avignon pour Hollande
Image: Avignon pour Hollande
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org