Macron’s Grudge against Muslims & Algeria

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - President Macron’s Grudge against Muslims & Algeria

Observing France’s domestic and foreign political position would lead us to deduce that she is an independent state. However, exactly like Turkey, she is incapable of controlling her destiny. According to a French strategist, “France wants more than anything to have sovereignty; and yet her sovereignty is inadequate to secure her national interest.” This situation is reflected in her domestic and foreign policy and pushes her to adapt to the willpower of major powers and the necessities of reality, especially when she is targeted by the world’s leading power to dwarf her, push her back to her national borders and engross her in local and regional problems. This is what is happening to Britain, France, and Russia.

Examples of American incursions into the French system and the attempts to destabilise and dismantle the mechanisms of its independence are numerous. America set about investing in the issues of “terrorism”, the environment, French identity and the Yellow Vests’ protests while dominating major French companies such as Total and Michelin through Anglo-Saxon investment portfolios to quash their effectiveness and their colonialist economic tools, and reducing their fiscal revenues through the dominance of technology giants. America has also invested in influencing France’s domestic policies by propagating secessionist and anti-immigration views through social media, infiltrating media outlets with far-right tendencies, and evoking the issue of political corruption in France since the tenure of President Francois Mitterrand.
These American styles of undermining French political life have been known since she incited the students and workers’ movements which toppled the government of France’s war hero Charles De Gaulle after he had attempted to restore the gold standard and destroy the Bretton Woods system which was designed to turn the dollar into the unrivalled world currency.

America has recently been striving to project France as an impotent state by exposing her frailties in the Libyan issue in Mali, and in the tussle with Turkey, in which her pride was dented, and through the AUKUS agreement which sabotaged France’s opportunity to have a pioneering presence in the Indo-Pacific region and deprived her of the chance to have a significant share in the region’s weapons’ market.

Meanwhile, the French government is attempting to redirect the French masses’ attention towards protecting the constitution, freedoms and the secularist identity by launching an onslaught on Islam, promoting national protectionism, and inciting public opinion against globalisation issues, the Anglo-Saxon fiscal system and immigration to tighten the grip on the communities, harness their weightiness as financial and cultural resources for their motherlands, and exert pressure on them to preserve what she has left in terms of influence and interests. Recent examples of this are France’s decision to halve the quotas of visas issued to Algerian and Moroccan nationals, reduce the quota of visas issued to Tunisian nationals to one third, and the statements French newspaper Le Monde published on 2 October attributed to President Macron, which Algeria deemed “offensive and an unacceptable interference” and “an infringement on the memory of millions of Algerians”; Le Monde quoted Macron as saying that “the official history of Algeria has been completely rewritten” and that “this history is not based on facts but on the hatred harboured by Algerian authorities towards France.” The timing and surrounding circumstances of Macron’s statement should be taken into account since it came after France had been dealt a heavy and painful blow, and she needed to restore her foreign, political and diplomatic pride, in addition to Macron’s need to win over the populist rightwing, which political rivals are desperately attempting to win over ahead of the forthcoming elections of April 2022.

Hence, the behaviour of French leaders reflects their anxieties over their domestic political future and the risk of losing the remaining French influence overseas, especially in Algeria’s political milieu on which America has gradually started to tighten her grip, weakening France’s collaborators influence over it. This is corroborated by Macron’s questioning of the existence of “an Algerian nation before the French colonialism”, meaning that we the French, were responsible for shaping the contemporary image of the Algerian state and its men loyal to the West and its culture. Moreover, the statements of Macron came within the context of precautionary measures against the calls of the countries afflicted by colonialism for an apology and compensation, especially after Germany had compensated her former colony Namibia for the genocide she perpetrated during her occupation of the southwestern African country. This is why the response of the Algerian presidency was sharp, though it somewhat included some harnessing of Macron’s statement to curry favour with the masses who are resentful towards their regime and rulers. The Algerian presidency deemed Macron’s statements as “an unacceptable infringement of the memory of 5,630,000 martyrs who sacrificed their lives in a brave resistance against French colonialism”, stressing that “France’s colonialist crimes are innumerable; they are tantamount to a genocide against the Algerian people, yet, these crimes are unrecognised, and they should not be the subject of offensive manoeuvres.”

From this perspective of the French domestic and foreign political standpoint, and against the background of the preparatory and primary phase of the elections of April 2022, which French political parties have started taking the first steps since September, we can perceive the context in which French leaders are operating, especially that no candidate is expected to win a majority in the first round. The elections are expected to move to a second round in which Macron and Le Pen, the rightwing candidate, will partake, as other parties were unable to translate their gains in the local elections at the republic level.

It is worth mentioning that throughout the era of the Fifth Republic, only Giscard d'Estaing and Nicolas Sarkozy succeeded in being re-elected to the post of President in 1981 and 2007 respectively. Nevertheless, current opinion polls indicate that Macron is in the lead after he succeeded in executing harsh policies towards Islam and immigration, the two files representing the arsenal of the candidates for the elections, amidst the worrying argument over the identity of the French people. Hence, reducing the quotas of visas issued to the Muslims of North Africa, the campaigns undertaken by the interior ministry against mosques, Islamic centres and Muslims, Macron hoisting the banner of combating “Islamism” under the theme of combating “separatism” and illegal migration plus his racist statements against Algeria, all this is linked to the decline in France’s continental and international standing, her attempts to regain it, or at least carry out a damage limitation exercise, and to Macron’s electoral campaign to polarise the rightwing and centrist French voters, as he has practically failed in his domestic and international policies.

Inasmuch as Macron’s statements serve his electoral campaign and his foreign political agenda, they also serve the Algerian ruling junta which has lost its credibility despite its attempts to gain legitimacy through bogus elections. Macron’s statements triggered a wave of anger among Algerian mainstream public opinion, accompanied by a host of measures undertaken by the Algerian government such as recalling its ambassador to Paris and closing its airspace to French military planes supporting operations in the African Sahel, which will aggravate the French failure in Mali, evoke the emotions of the masses in Algeria, who resent their regime, and deepen their hatred towards France.

The colonial powers’ audacity to wreak havoc in Muslim lands and their disregard towards the dignity of the Ummah is brought about by the state of fragmentation the Muslims are experiencing and the absence of their state and their independent willpower. They have no other way to salvage themselves from this wretched situation except through mustering their power, unity, and resoluteness from the inspiration of their Book and the sunnah of their Messenger ﷺ, elevating their thought, building their state and generating their leader whom the Messenger of Allah ﷺ described as “the shield they fight behind him and they are protected by him.”

2 Rabi’ al-Awwal 1443h
8 October 2021