SENSATIONAL DIALOGUES OF UNPOPULAR PEOPLE

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Horse's Head London - Horse Head Sculpture

This magnificant Horse Head sculpture is placed in Marcble Arch, London, United Kingdom.
It is 10 metre (33 feet) long and created by British sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green in 2011. Isn't it amazing? If you visit London, this is a must see thing.

Horse Head London

London Horse Head Sculpture

Why is there a law for anti-Semitism but not anti-Islam in France?

There are many people on internet asking this question. Laws for Anti-Semitism but no laws for Anti-Islam in France.
But so far nobody could explain it clearly. Now I found the best answer and here it is.

Emmanuel Saadia says : It is a devilishly complicated question, so I am going to boil it down to its essential parts, and pardon me if it is somewhat inadequate.

France has a long history of anti-semitism, going back centuries. However, the Dreyfus affair, starting in 1890, split the country in two. Dreyfus, an French Army officer of Jewish origins was accused of passing along artillery secrets to the Germans. This set off a wave of profound discord among the French elites.

     -  On the one hand, the anti-Dreyfus faction, who accused the officer of high treason because he was Jewish. This faction was mostly right-wing and against the Republic (that is, against democratic rule). They were those who had lost out during the French Revolution of 1789, Catholic, Monarchist, chauvinist of all stripes. A lot of Nazi fantasies about Jews really came out of the literature and agitation from the French anti-Dreyfusards - from Drumont to Barres and Maurras. Appeals to racial stereotypes, and virulent criticism of the French Jews' role in modern France (elite bankers, intellectuals, public servants), seen as destructive of the France's mythical traditional values.

      -  On the other hand, the pro-Dreyfus faction was made of center and left-wing politicians, who defended not only the innocence of Dreyfus but also his right to a fair trial regardless of his origins. That faction refused to believe that there was anything inherent in Dreyfus' origins that made him either foreign or treasonous.

The pro-Dreyfus party ultimately won, and the Republic triumphed on that front. That was before WWI. Incidentally, Zionism was invented by Theodor Herzl during the Dreyfus Affair: he was a journalist in Paris covering the events, and saw that even in France, the most liberal and advanced country at the time, Jews were still being castigated as foreign, blood-sucking traitors. And therefore, the only hope for Jews was to have their own country. But I digress.

During the interwar period, the anti-Dreyfus party saw a resurgence. It never really left in fact. The French right wing was really keen on following in the footsteps of Italy and Germany. Add to that the fear of Bolshevism and economic crisis and you have a very potent brew. Then in 1936, the co-called Popular Front came to power in France through democratic elections. For a year, the Prime Minister of France was Leon Blum, a Jewish politician who had become famous during the Dreyfus affair. He was also the head of the Socialist Party, and led very profound reforms during his short tenure. The right wing never forgave him the 40-hr workweek and the 2-weeks paid vacations for workers.

Once France was defeated in 1940, it was the moment of the anti-Dreyfusards. Petain became their figurehead, and all the right-wing extremists and antisemites basically got all the levers of power, with the support of Nazi Germany. They took their revenge on democratic institutions and finally applied their program of aggressive rejection of French Jews. It ended in many, many deportations and mass killings.

Of course, the old anti-Dreyfus revanchists lost. And the new government that came out of the Resistance made the decision to fully expel the fascists and collaborationists from public life. The fascist antisemites were truly the traitors to the Republic and to France (and for all their proclamations of patriotism, they actually were traitors). They kind of survived through several political figures such as Jean-Marie Le Pen and his party. But they were always considered beyond the pale and anti-republican.

That is part of what is at play in these laws against antisemitism in France: historically, the French antisemitic politicians and agitators are those who sold France to the Nazis. They are the ones who lost the War. They are the traitors, those like the the Catholic Church and a large part of the officers' corps who had never reconciled themselves with modern democracy, capitalism and the French Revolution (and who blamed the Jews and the Free-Masons for all the woes of the world).

That is why French people largely support these laws punishing expressions of anti-semitism. Because it is much more than just about anti-semitism. It is about preventing the debris of the past to float back to the surface. (I personally think these laws are counter-productive, anti-liberal if not plain stupid, but that is another issue).

You see that it has very little to do with Muslims, and only a very derivative relation to Jews themselves. Most of the laws against anti-semitism were actually used against Jean-Marie Le Pen - the political and spiritual heir of the French anti-republican, pro-Nazis traitors such as Petain, Laval, Drieu La Rochelle, etc etc.

Incidentally, it was the same faction of unreconstructed racists and historical losers who led a terrifying domestic terrorism ring during the early 60s: they were violently against Algeria's independence. They attempted a coup d'etat, they tried to kill de Gaulle (the same person who had defeated them in 1945), and they killed and maimed countless Algerian civilians. But that is an aside.

This the historical context behind the laws regulating anti-semitic speech in France. There is also another legal apparatus that characterizes "incitation to racial hatred" as a felony. This is much more vague, and arguably very fungible. It is usually left to the appreciation of magistrates. So in fact there is a way for French Muslims who are the victims of verbal abuse to seek remedies. It is the fundamental problem of all these laws that try to police free speech: everybody has been insulted at least once, Jews or Muslims. It would be much more efficient and rational, and philosophically more consistent, to not have any of these laws. However, as I hope I have suggested, political history tends to get in the way of rational policy.