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(55,894 posts)
Fri Jan 9, 2015, 10:46 AM Jan 2015

CONUNDRUM: After Charlie Hebdo, Should French ‘Unity’ Include The Far Right?

NeoNazis are mainstreaming themselves in European countries. It is almost never talked about on DU.

The NeoNazis in Europe have politicians in office and accomplices in the police and security structures. IMO, it seems a tipping point is being approached where people worldwide will necessarily have to reject this rightward push. The molasses will finally be falling of the spoon.

Summarizing the article- Presiden Hollande invited his rival Sarkozy to a rally in support of Charlie Hebdo/national unity. He accepted but Far Right pols (Marine Le Pen) were not invited. Does unity mean associating and legitimizing Far Right/NeoNazis who are fanning the flames of hatred?

The gruesome attack on Charlie Hebdo has rallied the French political class, including the magazine’s former critics, behind the banner of “national unity”. But the leader of France’s National Front says she has been left out.

‘Sacred union’

In the spirit of unity, President François Hollande invited his arch-rival to the Elysée Palace…. (he) accepted Hollande’s invitation to attend a rally in support of Charlie Hebdo and national unity on Sunday……. the French press have described the rare showing of bipartisanism as a return to the “union sacrée” (“sacred union”) – an ironic wording in a country known for its staunch secularism and strict separation between politics and faith.

By Thursday afternoon, most other parties had followed suit, with the notable exception of the National Front (FN). Its leader, Marine Le Pen, said she had not received an invitation. She denounced the FN’s “exclusion” from the rally and proclaimed “the end of national unity”.

Earlier, Le Pen had told reporters that she trusted the government would have the wisdom to invite “the representatives of a party that polled 25% of the vote in the last election”, referring to last year’s European polls, in which the FN came first amid record-low turnout.

The question of whether to invite France’s far right presents a dilemma for Hollande’s Socialist government, which is traditionally averse to any dealings with a party it deems “un-republican”.

By failing to invite Le Pen’s party, the government exposes itself to claims it undermined its own call for unity. If it chooses otherwise, it will incur the wrath of the FN’s many foes.

The boundaries of the Republic

“There can be no exclusion from national unity,” said Prime Minister Valls on Thursday, though adding that this unity must be built around certain values “that are profoundly republican – of tolerance, of a refusal to associate [Islam with extremism]”.

The latter remark was widely interpreted as a suggestion that the FN did not meet these requirements.

François Lamy, a former Socialist minister, said “only republican parties, which refuse to stigmatise and stoke fear”, should take part in Sunday’s rally, implying that the National Front was not welcome.

On Thursday, police said two mosques were hit by gunfire and grenades in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. No injuries were reported.

The National Front has been accused of fanning tensions with its repeated rants against immigration and Islamic fundamentalism. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, a large part of which is made up of first- and second-generation immigrants.


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