Edwy Plenel, author of For the Muslims, calls for a vote against Le Pen and for Macron on May 7, not in order to endorse his programme, but for the sake of defending democracy as a space of free contestation, including in the face of the En Marche! candidate’s own policies. First published in Mediapart, which Plenel founded.
Marine and Jean-Marie Le Pen lead an FN march, 2014.
To vote against Le Pen by voting for Macron is not to vote for this latter’s programme. It is to vote to defend democracy as a conflictual space, traversed by divergent interests and competing causes. A space where its contradictions, its pluralism, its diversity, its claims and its hopes can freely express themselves — including faced with the policies of a Macron presidency.
First published in Mediapart. Translated by David Broder.
Democracy does not belong to either Left or Right. When it is besmirched by governments identifying with either of these political families, any republican worthy of the name must simply say "No." The government has put this attitude of principle on alert as it has imposed a socially regressive law on all workers in France without debate, despite having no majority in Parliament and being in the minority in the country.
In For the Muslims, Edwy Plenel (founder of Mediapart) takes on the alarming growth of Islamophobia in France in all the discourses that constitute it: from the vicious and undisguised xenophobia of the Front National to the high-minded fundamentalists of laïcité. We present an excerpt from the book below.
(The FN marching in Paris, 2015)
"There is a problem with Islam in France…" It was hearing for the nth time this refrain which, unchallenged, sets France at war against a religion, acclimatizing it to prejudice, accustoming it to indifference — in short, habituating it to the worst, that decided me to write this book. Faced with the growing acceptability of a discourse similar to that which, before the European catastrophe, maintained the existence of a "Jewish problem" in France, I wanted to respond by resolutely taking the side of our compatriots of Muslim origin, culture or faith, against those who make them into scapegoats for our disquiets and uncertainties.