Every 5 years, in the French presidential election season, a strange creature comes out of its lair and starts haunting the pulpits of the mosques. Obsessed with political news, this hominid hijacks the microphones and meddles in the conferences and Friday khutbas.
“Don’t forget to vote!” he repeats tirelessly, never learning from his past mistakes.
This is the French Imam, who aspires once again to save Muslims from electoral disaster.
In 2012 they had encouraged Muslims to vote for Hollande; in 2017, they had called all Muslims to vote Macron.
When the poor lambda Muslim has the misfortune to answer them with an innocent, “I don’t vote,” the pro-vote imam takes offense and says breathlessly, “Aren’t you ashamed? For us, it is mandatory to vote! We must save the Muslims of France!”
What are we to think of these fancy speeches about the importance of voting?
Not surprisingly, it is a sham.
And yet, many Muslims still fall for it.
The argument of these charlatans in three lines:
1) “There is this candidate X who has a very hostile policy towards Islam in France.”
2) “This other candidate Y is not perfect, but he sees Islam in a good light (i.e., he tries to seduce the Muslim electorate).”
3) “We must vote for candidate Y to save Islam in France because he is the lesser of two evils.”
Every election, the same pattern is repeated.
One can answer this from a shar`i angle or a purely practical and political angle. I am not a mufti, and I would not allow myself to opine on the hukm of voting here. I will only speak about the pragmatic and logical aspects of this argument.
These charlatans claim to know which candidate will favor the prosperity of Islam in France. But on what criterion do they allow themselves to claim that? Should we judge the candidate according to his social policy? His position concerning Islam? Or perhaps his opinions on geopolitics?
An awkward silence often betrays their ignorance and incompetence when these questions are asked of the pro-voting imams.
In 2012, former French President François Hollande had set his election campaign on tolerance and inclusion. He opposed the outgoing president – Nicolas Sarkozy – who had a firm policy on immigration. On paper, Hollande seemed to be a “pro-Muslim” candidate. In reality, he legalized marriage and adoption for homosexuals. He started French interventions in Mali, killing countless Muslims.
In 2017, Macron seemed to be a better candidate than Marine Le Pen, who was openly anti-Islam. And yet, Macron favored military intervention in the Middle East while Le Pen was for a non-interventionist foreign policy. Regarding the treatment of Islam in France, Macron’s government has done more to combat Islam than any of his predecessors.
Is it possible that the so-called “pro-Muslim” candidates are, in fact, the most Islamophobic?
These pro-voting Muslim hucksters randomly call on believers to vote without real expertise in order to make themselves look good in front of the political class. They have no qualms about waving Islamic symbols such as “Ummah” to make the average Muslim feel guilty for not getting to the ballot box.
What would our brothers in the Middle East say if they knew that somewhere in France an imam on his minbar is calling for the vote of a politician who wants to drop bombs on their heads?
Isn’t it the real lesser evil to have a president who may impose rigid Islamophobic and anti-immigration policies domestically, but does not bomb Muslims in Muslim countries? It seems like, whatever the choice, Muslims lose.
But let’s not be fooled. The final word in this story is that elections are a distraction and that the trajectory of France is already determined by powers that do not require electoral votes. Presidents come and go, but the deep administration of a nation stays regardless. Let’s keep our hands out of this dirty mess.