French journalist Éric Zemmour sparks controversy once again.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Serra, the essayist, whose remarks are often dubbed as racist, xenophobic and sexist, talked about a potential deportation of Muslims from France.
He said that Muslims’ tendency to isolate themselves in the suburbs and only live with each other will eventually lead to “chaos and civil war.”
Asked whether he would suggest deporting 5 million French Muslims, the controversial French journalist replied: “I know it’s unrealistic, but history is surprising.
“Who would have said that in 1940 almost a million Pieds-Noirs [literally meaning Black-foot, a term referring to people of French and other European ancestry who live in French North Africa], twenty years later would leave Algeria in order to return to France?”
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve issued a statement Tuesday in order to “condemn with the utmost firmness the words of Éric Zemmour.”
“The French nation is defined by living together, and France’s Muslims, like Christians, Jews, believers and unbelievers, are all its children,” he added.
Even internet users were quick to denounce Eric Zemmour comments under the hashtag #ZemmourDeporteMoi.
The writer of Le Premier Sexe, a book about what he considers to be the feminization of society, Zemmour also said during another televised interview that Algeria does not exist, adding that Morocco’s neighbor to the east is nothing but a French invention that has always been a colonial land.
It was Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Parti de Gauche who alerted the French public to Zemmour’s disgraceful comments.
See also “Le CCIF engage des poursuites judiciaires contre Éric Zemmour”, Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France, 18 December 2014
Zemmour himself denies that he said anything about deporting French Muslims. Here is the relevant section of the Corriere Della Serra interview:
Eric Zemmour: I musulmani hanno un loro codice civile, è il Corano. Vivono tra di loro, nelle periferie. I francesi sono stati costretti ad andarsene.
Question: Lei allora che cosa suggerisce? Deportare cinque milioni di musulmani francesi?
Eric Zemmour: Lo so, è irrealista, ma la storia è sorprendente. Chi avrebbe detto nel 1940 che un milione di pieds-noirs, ventianni dopo, avrebbero lasciato l’Algeria per rientrare in Francia? O che dopo la guerra 5 o 6 milioni di tedeschi avrebbero lasciato l’Europa centro-orientale dove vivevano da secoli?
Question: Parla di esodi provocati da tragedie immense.
Eric Zemmour: Io penso che stiamo andando verso il caos. Questa situazione di popolo nel popolo, di musulmani dentro i francesi, ci porterà al caos e alla guerra civile. Milioni di persone vivono qui, in Francia, e non vogliono vivere alla francese.
Update: See “French right-wing media pundit in ‘Muslim deportation’ row”, RFI, 19 December 2014
Update 2: See “Éric Zemmour sacked over anti-Muslim comments”, Islamophobia Watch, 22 December 2014