Egyptian-born French economist Jean Messiha, who serves as political advisor to Marine Le Pen, said that there was a need to stem the influx of immigrants to France, saying that "some of them even seek [cultural] independence to some extent," and that "in some areas in France, laws other than the French laws are implemented." He further said: "We are at war now. Our country is under invasion, and we are fighting this invasion." Agreeing with the Dream TV interviewer who suggested that some French neighborhoods had become like the Taliban, Messiha added that a "fundamentalist Islamist militia" had been checking people's grocery bags at the supermarkets and removing non-halal products. The interview aired on July 25, 2018.
The following are excerpts:
Political Advisor to Marine Le Pen Jean Messiha: As stated by Marine Le Pen, we are not hostile in principle to immigration. We should examine the circumstances of France, and try to adapt the rate of immigration to the country's financial, economy, and cultural capabilities. We have minority communities of previous immigrants whom we still haven't managed to integrate into the French nation. We are unable to turn them into French citizens [who identify] with French culture. Some of them even seek [cultural] independence to some extent.
In some areas in France, laws other than the French laws are implemented. People live within closed communities and implement fundamentalist laws, African laws, Islamic laws, but not French laws. We have a problem with some of the minorities that are already in France. We haven't resolved those problems yet, so how can we be expected to keep the door open and exacerbate the problem? Shouldn't we, at some point, stop the immigration, in order to try to integrate [the immigrants] and unite the nation?
Ninety percent of the immigrants who cross the Mediterranean come from Africa. These people are economic migrants and not…
Host: They are not leaving because of political catastrophes caused by you. Rather, they are fleeing economic crises…
Jean Messiha: Exactly. According to the United Nations, 500 million to 1.5 billion people on the plant don't have food to eat. Are we supposed to accept all of them because our country supports human rights?
In the Arab world, the Muslim Brotherhood has been defeated. They have been defeated in Egypt, and in Tunisia, and they are about to be defeated in Syria and Libya. What happened as a result? Many of them moved to Qatar, but most of them moved to Europe. Through this invasion, and by influencing European politics, they want to go back to the Arab world and win the battle they lost there.
They exploit the human rights, freedom, and secularism of Europe against the European countries in order to advance their own goals. We are fighting this invasion relentlessly…
Host: But if a woman chooses to wear the hijab, you shouldn't persecute her and demand that she remove it.
Jean Messiha: Fine, but we are at war now. Our country is under invasion and we are fighting this invasion. I know that most of the women who wear the hijab in France don't do it out of their own free will. Let me tell you a little story: There is a Christian family that came to France 5 or 6 months ago. This is a simple family, living in a neighborhood with a Muslim majority. Their 18-year-old daughter told me that when she goes to the train station, she wears the hijab. When I asked her why, she said that otherwise she would face curses and humiliation.
Host: In France?
Jean Messiha: Yes, in France. Look what has become of us.
Host: Some of the neighborhoods are under the control of the…
Jean Messiha: Absolutely.
Host: She cannot go out without wearing the hijab?
Jean Messiha: Right:
Host: It seems to me that some neighborhoods in France have become like the Taliban, as if they are part of Afghanistan…
Jean Messiha: You said it!
Host: No, I'm just asking…
Jean Messiha: This is what has happened. Three months ago, the newspapers exposed a fundamentalist Islamist militia that was searching the bags of people leaving the supermarkets, and removing anything that was not halal.
France's identity, culture, and history are known to all. People who wish to immigrate to France should become French. Nobody is forcing them to immigrate. When I immigrate to a country and seek its citizenship, I should become like the local people. If I wish to continue as I have been living, I could simply remain in my country. Why come from Algeria, Morocco, or Senegal to live in France, if you continue to live as an Algerian, a Moroccan, or a Senegalese, forcing Senegal, Morocco, and Algeria upon the French people?