Le Figaro is one of France’s leading daily newspapers, on the center-right of the political spectrum.
It recently reported that Zineb El Rhazoui gave her support to Macron.
This might seem to be inconsequential for the readers outside France, but in fact it says a lot about French dynamics with regards to Islam and, in fact, on how liberalism as a whole interacts with our religion.
Zineb El Rhazaoui, The Model Ex-Muslim
El Rhazaoui is a Moroccan-born French journalist, initially trained as a sociologist and having served as teacher of languages in Egypt as well.
As a journalist, she worked for the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, but during the 2015 massacre, she was enjoying holidays.
She quit it in 2017 because she believed the magazine was too complaisant with Islamists.
What more, she’s one of the most open Islamophobes in the country.
She has a whole book titled Détruire le fascisme islamique (tr. Destroy Islamic Fascism), released in 2016, and she regularly uses feminist points against the hijab.
In fact, she began to fight Islam in her native country of Morocco way before the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shootings, like eating in public during the month of Ramadan in 2009 in order to fight the Moroccan penal code (article 222) which criminalizes those who do this.
But since 2015, she has been omnipresent in a complicit French media which weaponizes her as the token “ex-Muslim female” so she can bash Islam whenever she wants.
Islamophobia Is Widespread in French Politics
So, with that profile, you’d expect her to support Éric Zemmour, another prominent presidential candidate, who is as openly anti-Islam as her.
Well, that’s the interesting part. Politics in France are so Islamophobic that basically one of the most openly anti-Islam activists in the West can afford to support, not even a “far-right” figure, but someone who is in the so-called “center.”
Because Islamophobia is inherent to the liberalism of Macron, someone like El Rhazaoui rallies behind him.
After all, in her words of support, El Rhazaoui does say that it’s mainly secularism which justifies her position on Macron.
Also, in the Le Figaro article, she says that she doesn’t get behind “nationalists” such as Zemmour or even Marine Le Pen because the fight against Islam is not national but global, and Macron apparently represents the latter tendency.
We then see that even someone who isn’t as “theoretically” Islamophobic as Zemmour or El Rhazaoui, such as Macron, is practically an Islamophobe through his mere liberalism, and nothing else.