Francois Hollande Admits France has a Problem with Islam, Speaks Bitterly about Immigration

Francois Hollande

France has become one of the countries in the West where the hate for Islam or Islamophobia is getting out of hand. After the November 2015 attack in Paris, in which terrorists from ISIS killed 130 people, there has been a significant surge in scrutiny of Muslims in the country.

Many Muslims in the country have complained of harassment from security officials. Many mosques have also been reportedly closed down. Muslims are increasingly being discriminated against, and many are becoming isolated from the French society.

Not long ago, mayors of several French towns banned the Muslim swimsuit “burkini,” on the basis that the clothing overtly manifests adherence to a religion, at a time when France and places of worship are the target of terrorist attacks. The ban provoked outrage, with some non-Muslim citizens of the country admitting it was arbitrary.  The French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, described the ban as unconstitutional and ineffective. The ban was eventually suspended by France’s highest administrative court.

These events have resurrected the debate about French society and its Muslim community. It has emerged that the country’s president, Francois Hollande, told authors that France has a problem with Islam. The published book, in which Hollande made his remark, is titled ‘A President Shouldn’t Say That’. Hollande is said to have made the statement in December 2015, a month after ISIS carried out the attack in Paris.


The book was authored by two Le Monde journalists, Gerard David and Fabrice Lhomme.  The book was intended to solicit views from Holland on Islam and the French society, also allowing him to comment on his personal view on immigration.

“It’s true that there’s a problem with Islam. No one doubts it. It’s not that Islam poses a problem in the sense that it is a dangerous religion, but in as far as it wants to affirm itself as a religion of the Republic,” Hollande was quoted as saying in the book published on October 11.

On immigration, Hollande said: “I think there are too many arrivals of immigration that shouldn’t be there.”

Hollande has become unpopular in the eyes of many French citizens. His Socialist Party has failed to transform the country’s economy. As unemployment continues to rise in the country, social unrest has surged, with many people taking to the streets in September to protest against draconian labor laws.

Francois Hollande

As it stands now, Hollande is yet to declare whether he intends to stand for re-election in 2017. Already, his predecessor of the presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy, from the centre-right party, has declared his intention to seek the nomination of the party, to stage a comeback of the highest office in the country.

French political commentators predict that immigration and Islam will dominate in the presidential election campaign messages during the next year.

A French sociologist and media critic, Ali Saad told Al Jazeera in an interview, that politicians in the country will take the opportunity to use the attacks in France to make anti-Islamic statements during the election year. He said the politicians know very well that Muslims do not have any influence in the country, due to their small number.

Francois Hollande

“Politicians from across the spectrum have almost a free rein to criticise/demonise Islam and Muslims and use it as a scare tactic whenever a particular leader or political party is in a critical situation facing the public opinion – knowing that the French Muslim citizens have no real organised lobby with the capacity to exercise any influence on the parties or politicians,” Saad said.

However, some say Hollande is right to say that France has a problem with Islam. They point out that in 2004, France imposed a ban on students displaying any religious signs in school, including the wearing of veils by Muslim women and girls.

According to French intelligence officials, around 2,000 French Muslim young men have been radicalized by ISIS. However, observers believe the country should blame itself for the radicalization. France has failed to peacefully integrate Muslims into the French secular society, creating all sorts of problems between the Muslim community and the nation.

Many French Muslims, therefore see themselves as not belonging to the country, allowing the terrorists to take advantage, and therefore, turning them against their fellow French citizens.

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  1. It is mainly because Jews are more entrenched there than in any other part of Europe. And also because France is more secular and un Christian than others in Europe.

  2. Yeah, now that it is too late, now he complains. Oh well France, nobody cares now. You are no longer a safe tourist destination and you are no longer worth saving. Have fun with your muslims!

  3. i want anonymous write about fpi in indonesia. if you, okay let’s say hate, hate something, it’s not without a reason, rite? just a kids logic

  4. If you still don’t know ISLAM doesn’t intergrate then you know Eff All Abouit Islam! I hate the way White Liberals/progressives or whatever you want to be called.Bang on aboput the West failing Islam when in fact Islam & All Muslims wants A Global Caliphate.The sooner you drop the false narrative about Moderate Islam the sooner the World can rid ourselves of it.


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