Francois Hollande, French President, has been quoted as saying of French Muslims that “there have been too many arrivals, too much immigration” and that Islam constitutes a “problem” for France.
Leftist French presidents are not supposed to say such things.
Hollande is in damage control mode after the release of an aptly-titled book, A President Should Not Say That, taken from 61 private interviews with Hollande by two French journalists.
He was swiftly attacked for “Islamophobia.”
In the book, Hollande also says Islam “wants to assert itself as a religion within the Republic” implying that it threatens laïcite’, the French republic’s separation between church and state.
He also said Muslim women would “prefer freedom to enslavement,”adding, “She may see the veil as a protection, but tomorrow she will no longer need it to feel reassured about her role in society.”
France is home to a minimum of 7.5 million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in Europe. Some estimates put the number much higher.
Hollande also called the French court system an “institution of cowardice.” He held talks with two of the country’s highest-ranking magistrates at the Elysée Palace last week in a bid to patch things up.
He even took a shot at French soccer stars, calling them “guys from housing estates without bearings, without any values,” and suggested they need “weight training on their brains.”
Hollande is the most unpopular French president since direct presidential elections were introduced in the 1960s.
“A president shouldn’t make so many confessions,” said Claude Bartolone, the Socialist president of the National Assembly, in an interview with the newspaper La Provence, “The position requires a certain discretion.”