Tomorrow’s Presidential Election will decide the fate of Muslims in France

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SHAFAQNA – Despite the boiling political environment in Pakistan, analysts have been keeping an eye on the French Presidential elections as the international political arena is expected to change its direction with the result of the polling tomorrow. On the one hand it could change the percept of global populist movement and on the other it could have significant implications for Islam and Muslims. The clash between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron is termed as “a political earthquake” for France in particular, and  Europe in general, because voters have rejected the traditional parties. A concern among pro-globalists is emerging owing to the possible win of France’s far right nationalist candidate – Le Pen.

Macron, a newcomer, has surprisingly become the favorite to become the next French President. However, The National Front member Le Pen isn’t a less favorable candidate for presidency either. Both candidates are startling in their own way. Le Pen has this agenda of removing France from European Union, along with retreating from NATO. She is against mass immigration from Islamic countries, calling it a risk to French civilization. And owing to the recent shootings on the Champs Elysees, and other terrorist activities in France, there is a possibility of Le Pen’s win owing to her hardline approach on immigration and Islamic terrorism.

The farrago of French presidential election has many implications in the box and would be revealed after the result. But for now what we can do is to take an insight into the expected fallouts that the world is going to face, owing to the election. We are in the post-truth age. Populist movements, like that of independence movement being witnessed during the whole of the 20th century, are also on a high. ‘Frexit’- a baby sister of ‘Brexit’- is expected to disintegrate the European Union – an organization that has protected Europe from another bloody war like World War 2. The Treaty of Westphalia, signed to protect the boundaries of the nation states, is expected to gain significance once again as a result of Le Pen’s victory. And Macron, favoring a globalized economy, might be less favorable among the French facing the menaces such as improbable living and working conditions owing to terrorism and mass immigration.

Moreover, the French looking to safeguard their culture and tradition also have this opportunity to ‘protect their civilization’ by electing Le Pen. We don’t know whether this slogan – like that of Trump’s ‘to make America great again’ – would be translated into reality, but another French Revolution in the form of France’s withdrawal from the European Union is expected to take place as a result of Le Pen’s victory.

The same is asserted by Le Pen:

“Either we continue to disintegrate without any borders, without any controls, unfair international competition, mass immigration and the free circulation of terrorists, or you choose France with borders”.

The Trump-Obama war also started when Macron, in a tweet, thanked Obama and accentuated his favor for progressive values. Le Pen, a hardliner, is expected to float in the election as her nationalistic campaign is what favored by the pseudo French nationals.

At the moment no one knows who would be the next president, but both Marine Le Pen and her competitor, Emanuel Macron, are against Islamisation, calling it the biggest threat to country’s salvation. And given how much Le Pen is against Islam, it is alarming for the already sidelined French Muslims. The identity of Muslims, whether it’s head covering, or other religious practices such as going to mosques, is at stake. The Charlie Hedbo and Paris attacks in 2015 and recent shootings on Champs Elysees have provided the necessary cushion to the anti-Islam election campaign.

The Muslim immigrants are also a victim to the French xenophobia. With France imposing a ban on Muslim immigrants, the already burgeoning humanitarian crisis – that has erupted owing to the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Africa – would further aggravate. The Arab states from the Gulf Cooperation Council have shut their doors firmly and have not done much to house the increasing number of refugees. It is very disturbing that these Muslim countries are silent because of the expected political and economic instability within their own borders, which could arise after accommodating refugees. The UN is inefficient because of the conflicting interests of its member states. So the surplus of the refugee crisis and a scarcity of the solution to their problems is what the expected result of the French Presidential election is.

The scarcity of tolerance and inclusion is a problem faced by both French Muslims and refugees coming to the European states. The question is why other Muslim countries refuse to accept their fellow refugees? Why is United Nations, a peace keeping organization, not taking practical steps to stop the world powers from fighting proxy wars on the soil of Muslim states?

At the moment it’s unclear that whether European markets would face an economic slowdown or an economic boom. Whether Europe will witness another ‘Brexit’ like disintegration or a pro-globalized government will break the post truth fiasco. Whatever the political and economic statistics would be, the ground reality is that condition of Muslims is not going to ameliorate unless they revitalize the lost morals like truthfulness, inclusion and representation in all spheres of life.

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