French Election: Religion & Politics?
France goes to the polls in 10 days to elect a new president. Will the National Front’s Marine Le Pen pull off a Brexit-style victory?
French Ambassador in Dhaka Sophie Aubert was delivering a lecture on France’s foreign policy and its challenges at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies or BIISS in Dhaka.
Aubert said religion is a “complex issue”. “We must be very careful before the misuse and manipulation of religion at the political level.”
France is at war with this jihadist movement outside the country: Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. In the Middle East, in Iraq and Syria. Despite the fact that the French are not “really” living these wars, they’ve already been labelled as War of Religion or the “Invisible WW3”.
In fact, most of Le Pen’s voters are rejecting Islam and its conviction, still shaken by the attacks which happened in Nice or Paris and also more recently in London and really concerned by the national security.
The three biggest concerns of the French are:
1 – immigration (coming first for 38% of the population)
2 – Security (coming first for 30% of the population)
3 – unemployment rate (coming first for 12% of the population)
Having these numbers in mind, the French population also feel like they are facing a cultural and ideological threat with Islam first being the most practised religion in France feeling like the country is losing its identity. In fact, a lot defended her when she mentioned back three years that Muslims holding prayer services in the streets of Paris (Chateau Rouge) felt “like an occupation.”
On April 23, the French will go to the polls to cast their ballot for one of eleven candidates, four of whom are polling at or near 20 percent. Two weeks later, they will choose between the top two vote-getters. Any of the top four could conceivably make it to the second round.
The population is sick of the traditional politics: left wing, right wing… Bye! They ready to give a chance to “newest” parties such as Le Front National and Le Parti Communiste! Of Mélanchon. The latter had a dramatic seven-point surge recently, unexpectedly turning France’s roller-coaster presidential race into a possible four-way contest where anybody could be elected really. And 32% of the French population still doesn’t know who they are voting for…. Scary…
Well, religion doesn’t govern our politics nowadays but certainly dictates the community’s choices regarding candidates. Hence Le Pen’s rise these last couple of years.
À vous de juger!