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France's New “Ministry of Nationalism and Expulsion”

Francophone blogger Et Si Nous Parlions has no love for French president Nicolas Sarkozy's new Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity, and Co-Development. He prefers to call it the “Ministry of Nationalism and Expulsion” (Fr).

The ministry's title suggests its broad-reaching ambitions. French human rights groups have criticized the ministry's xenophobic potential and eight historians of immigration said that it “it is not the role of a democratic state to define identity.”

The French press should be more critical of the new immigration ministry

Et Si Nous Parlions criticizes the French press coverage of Sarkozy's new government and the new immigration ministry, its attitude of “wait and see, give [Sarkozy] his chance,” when for him, the purpose of and the potential for abuse by this ministry are clear.

Ce ministère est unique en Europe. Même les pays qui ont osé l'extrême droite au pouvoir n'ont pas créé un ministère de ce genre. D'un point de vue politique, voyez vous la nécéssité de créer un ministère entier pour 8% de la population? (+0,4% de sans papiers?). A quand le ministère des gays ? des femmes battues (10%?), des bimbos, des handicapés?…Symboliquement, ce ministère s'occupera donc de suivre les étrangers de A à Z, certes , mais surtout il sépare les étrangers et même les naturalisés des autres français.

…[La presse] nous demande de fermer les yeux et d'attendre. Attendre quoi ?le pire ?…

This ministry is unique in Europe. Even countries that dared put the far right into power have never created a ministry of this kind. From a political point of view, what necessity do you see for creating a ministry for 8% of the population? (+0,4% undocument immigrants). Why not a ministry of gays? Of battered women (10%?), bimbos, the handicapped?…symbolically, this ministry will follow foreigners from A to Z, to b sure, but above all it will separate foreigners and even naturalized citizens from the other French….[The press] asks us to close our eyes and wait. Wait for what? The worst?…

Many of Et Si Nous Parlions‘s readers share the blogger's apprehensions about how the climate for immigrants in France under Sarkozy's new government.

Immigration as scapegoat & the French double standard

Citizenofutopiatownships:

l'immigré a toujours été le bouc émissaire des politiques en france, les politiques francais n'ayant jamais voulu reconnaitre qu'ils ont eu tort d'avoir pensé à l'union européenne car le peuple n'y était pas préparé. le francais à du mal à travailler? la faute à l'immigré non! l…sarkozy ne m'étonnera pas car je connais ses idées. le peuple français finira déçu car à la bétise, il faut savoir opposer la sauvagerie. idi amin avait expulsé les indo pakistanais de l'ouganda il y a eu des représailles contre la souveraineté de son pays. et il serait peut être temps que notre ultranationalisme reémerge. la france se juge libre d'accepter et de refouler les migrants. mais qu'elle oublie pas qu'il y a également des émmigrés français dans les pays d'origines des réfoulés. si on veut vraiment éviter le developpement de la haine entre les peuples je pense que les occidentaux devraient vraiment pencher sur le problème du co-développement car c'est tout de même grâce à ces petits africains que ces pays européens sont si grands.

Immigration has always been the scapegoat in French politics, French politics never wanting to recognize that they were wrong to have thought of the European Union becaus the people were not ready. French have a hard time finding work? Not the fault of immigrants!…Sarkozy does not surprise me because I know how he thinks. The French people will be disappointed in the end because of this stupidity, we must know how to fight against savagery. Idi Amin kicked out the Indians and Pakistanis in Uganda and there were reprisals against the souvreignty of his country. And maybe now it should be timethat our ultra-nationlism reemerges. France believes itself free to accept and reject migrants. But don't let France forget that there are also French migrants in the countries of those who are sent back. If we really want to avoid developing hatred between people I think that the Westerners should really lean on the problem of co-development because it's really thanks to the little Africans that these European countries are so big.


Sarkozy has an immigrant background, too

Citizenofutopiatownships thinks the new president's tough attitudes toward immigration come from insecurities about his own immigrant background.

en fait je pense seuls ceux qui ont souffert de leur condition “d'immigré” comme l'avoue le nouveau président de la France peuvent éprouver autant de haine vis à vis de tout ce qui est étranger.

nicolas sarkozy je l'ai touours dit c'est tout simplement un Lepeniste en version atténuée les français ne pouvant se resoudre à élire LE PEN ont choisi son modèle réduit qui reste tout aussi nocif. et croyez moi il me rappelle bien un certain Hitler qui finalement on l'a tous compris détestaient plus les juifs de par ses origines à lui même.

In fact, I think only those who have suffered as a result of their “immigrant” status as the new president of France attests can feel so much hatred toward those who are foreign.I have always said Nicolas Sarkozy is simply a mild version of Le Pen. The French, unable to settle on electing Le Pen, chose a lesser version that is still just as toxic. And believe me, he reminds me of a certain Hitler who as we all know in the end hated the Jews because of his own [Jewish] origins.

And in a similar vein, Mangosutou compare Sarkozy's psychology to Adolph Hitler and some other famous leaders with foreign origins and dicatorial tendencies:

Sarkozy est un juif hogrois( de mère grecque) né en france; aucune attache véritable avec la france, si ce n'est le droit du sol dont dispose bon nbre d'étrangers; Hitler était autrichien,né à Brunnau-sur-Inn,à la frontière allemande-Pinochet était français, né au chili et autre Fuji-Mori qui s'est réfugié depuis ds son Japon natal après les crimes commis ds son pays d'adoption.

Sarkozy is a Hungarian Jew (of a Greek mother) born in France; he has no real attachment to France, if not for the jus soli many foreigners have made us of; Hitler was Austrian, born in Brunnau-sur-Inn at the German border-Pinocht was French, born in Chili and then there's Fuji-Mori who sought refuge in his native Japan after the crimes he committed in his adopted country.


African leaders are unwilling to stand up to France

fab:

Tantpislaissons Sarkozy et la France faire ce qu'il leur plait!!!Moi ce qui m'indigne c'est l'absence de réactions des Etats africains qui continuent de traiter comme leur maitres les ressortissants de ce même pays.Je pense que si il y avait réciprocité les choses seraient rentrées dans l'ordre.

Oh well. Let Sarkozy and France do whatever they want. Me, what really gets to me is the absence of reaction from African countries that continue to treat the citizens of [France] as their masters. I think that if there was reciprocity things would go back to normal.

Mangosutou:

…regardez seulement la dignité des chefs d'Etats de l'Afrique anglophone et vs pourrez, là aussi, comprendre l'écart abyssal qui existe entre des Sassou ,Biya, Bongo d'une part et Obansanjo,Mbeki et Mugabe d'autre part.

…just look at the dignity of the heads of state in Anglophone Africa and you will see the great chasm between Sassou [Congo-Brazzaville], Biya, Bongo [Gabon] on the one hand and Obasanjo [Nigeria], Mbeki [South Africa] and Mugabe [Zimbabwe] on the other.


Bewildering acts of tokenism

Et Si Nous Parlions describes the Sarkozy government's attempts to counter accusations of xenophobia or racism with what he thinks are token gestures, cosmetic treatments that obscure the real problems:

Il a déja commencé ce gouvernement et il est enteriné quand Fillon va visiter un foyer de femmes battues. On nous montre que des femmes noires et leurs gamins au bras. Dans un pays ou une femme meurre tous les 4 jours des coups de son compagnon, on peut aisement comprendre que la violence faite aux femmes touchent toutes les populations. Dans un pays ou 10% des femmes se declarent battues (Versus 4,2 % des femmes issues de l'immigration), on peut comprendre qu'il ne s'agit pas que de femmes de l'immigration. Même si elles étaient toutes battues, elles n'attendraient pas les 10%.

Voici la France d'aujourd'hui, celle de Rachida Dati. Fille d'une famille de 12 enfants et parents analphabètes. Si nous avions eu le ministère du nationalisme , il y a 50 ans. Rachida Dati serait elle ministre de la justice ? Ces parents ne sachant pas vraiment parler français auraient ils eu une carte de séjour ?. Mais aujourd'hui, elle cautionne d'être l'arabe qui cache la forêt

He has already begun his government and he is when [Prime Minister Francois Fillon] is going to visit a battered women's shelter. He shows us black women with children in their arms. In a country where a woman dies every four days from the blows of her partner, we can easily understand that violence against women affects all groups. In a country where 10% of women have been battered (compared the 4.2% of the population that are immigrant women), [domestic violence] is not about immigrant women. Even if [all immigrant women] were battered, that would not account for 10%.This is the France of today, the France of Rachida Dati. One of twelve children and the daughter of illterate parents. If we had a ministry of nationalism 50 years ago, would Rachida Dati be the Minister of Justice? Would her parents, not really knowing how to speak French, have been given a residence permit? But today, she becomes the token Arab hiding the larger problem.

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