Whoever it was who selected Brigitte Bardot as the physical representation of Marianne chose better than they knew.
The former screen siren is in trouble again for “inciting racial hatred”. This will be the fifth time she has been up before a judge for the same crime. This time she merely repeated her view that Islam is “destroying our country and imposing its acts”. Maybe it sounds more Wagnerian and scary in the original French.
Prosecutor of the case Anne de Fonette for one is not in the mood for leniency. “I am a little tired of prosecuting Mrs. Bardot” she testily informed the court and has signalled that she will be seeking a tougher sentence than before. Last time it was a 5,000 euro fine; this time round she aiming for €15,000 and a two month suspended sentence.
Fair enough you may think. After all isn’t Bardot’s general slur on all Muslims the exact moral equivalent of racial hatred of blacks or Jews? Surely it’s wrong denounce all Muslims because of the crimes of just some of their number.
But then again, what if she’s right? What if sometimes it is right to tar all the members of a group with the same brush?
First, to point out the obvious, she’s charged with “inciting racial hatred” but Islam is not a race; it’s a religion. And more to the point it’s not a religion like Christianity that renders unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Islam is a whole prescription for a perfect society. Or in other words for those of us not impressed by Islam’s religious claims, in its evident purpose to impose its prejudices and commandments on the rest of us it’s effectively just another aggressive ideology.
And to the rest of us if it is just another all encompassing ideology, shouldn’t we have the same rights to criticise Islam and all Muslims as we have to point out the problems of other all encompassing prescriptions for a perfect society such as communism, fascism or Nazism?
Perhaps you think I’m being unfair in grouping Islam with such company. But that’s exactly where it belongs. Those Muslims who demonstrate with signs saying “Fuck Freedom, We Want Islam” are not just trying to be offensive. They are simply stating the obvious Muslim position vis-à-vis people being free to speak or vote against Islam. It’s no accident that there are so few democracies in the Muslim world. Islam just like communism and fascism doesn’t accept your right to criticise or to opt out. That’s why all the main centres of Muslim teaching call for apostates to be killed. The only reason Muslims don’t call for that in western countries is that they are not yet numerous enough to impose full Islam on the rest of us.
So when the French state suppresses criticism of Islam it is promoting the ideology of Islam against freedom. It is doing Islam’s dirty work for it. It’s volunteering for dhimmitude.
Second, let’s look at contemporary France from Bardot’s viewpoint. What if you had been young at the time of the confident, surging post-war France of the 50s and 60s and remember being part of an intangible but very real and very special French national community?
Now after 50 years of mass immigration and state imposed multiculturalism you live in a place where large gangs of aggressive unemployable Muslim youth dominate the streets of every large town. In today’s France amazingly the Muslim tenth of the population accounts for around 70% of inmates of prisons. Across the length and breadth of France, soldiers are deployed at Jewish sites in an attempt to forestall more Muslim murders of Jews targeted simply because the Koran mandates Jew hatred. After a few years of keeping intentionally quiet about the numbers of car burnings to deprive the Muslim street gangs of the oxygen of publicity the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls cracked and revealed in 2013 that around 40,000 cars a year are torched by Muslims. And as on the West Bank or in those apartheid townships of yesteryear police cars are routinely stoned if they dare enter Muslim territory. In fact, the police have abandoned many of the 718 so called sensitive urban zones and only enter if they absolutely must and then with elaborate preparation and as an invasion force of dozens of officers. In utter exasperation French police leaders have even described the situation in those zones as something akin to a low level war. Imagine what the consequences would be if France ever decided to reimpose its sovereignty to these parts of France.
In the context of all that “destroying our country and imposing its acts” seems a bit of an understatement.
But even more important than those grim facts of modern France to native French is the loss of their country. Fully two-thirds of French in a recent Ipsos poll said that France no longer felt like home. Not the sort of thing that’s reported on the front pages. But it should be. To most of our forebears apart from their own homes and families there were few things more valuable to them than their native land. That’s why millions of them were willing to suffer and even die to serve and protect it. To many that is still the case.
And how much more acute must that sense of loss be to those of Bardot’s generation who remember that former France?
Love of country is much derided among leftists and in popular culture. How ridiculous to imagine your own culture superior to all others? How ignorant. And also how suspect because it implies a prejudice against “the other”.
But in reality love of country is wholly positive. It is no less than a love of home, of the familiar. And like home it provides a sense of belonging beyond price. And just like love of home and family its value is most apparent only after you’ve lost it.
That’s what Bardot clearly feels.
And when she speaks the plain truth of what is happening, she inspires as if she actually were Marianne the Goddess of Liberty and symbol of the French Republic.
Marianne yet lives. She’s a bit dotty and raddled I know. But for an age where speaking the truth has been criminalised by a guilty elite, her courage qualifies her to be a heroine once again.
But this time the only award she’s likely to get for her performance is socialist disdain and a fine.
How about that as an example of speaking truth to power?