France’s Electoral Abyss

June 22, 2021

Across the globe, democracy appears to be in a curious state. One of the main indicators of the health or pathology of democracy is the turnout in elections. Some might claim that the high turnout for the Biden-Trump face-off last year was a sign of health for US democracy. But the aftermath...

Macron’s Campaign to Reveal France’s Historical Sins

March 29, 2021

One of the worst humanitarian disasters of the past 30 years took place in 1994 in Rwanda. Approximately 800,000 people died in a genocidal campaign led by the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority. The rampage began after Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down. The Hutus...

Macron Enriches French Vocabulary and Impoverishes Political Thought

March 03, 2021

France appears to be living through a strange transitional period that could be described as the waning of the Fifth Republic. It contains no sense of what a sixth republic might look like or why it might even be necessary. But today’s republic, with its unique electoral system, has achieved a...

Emmanuel Macron’s Dishonorable Legion

December 15, 2020

In recent years, France and Egypt have developed a close relationship based on common interests in the Middle East. Some might suggest that it harkens back to the tradition established with Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign in Egypt at the end of the 18th century. It led to the future emperor’s...

Did Emmanuel Macron Have It Coming?

December 07, 2020

After watching the video of a street battle raging directly below the Paris apartment I once occupied at a time when François Mitterand was president, I turned to The New York Times’ editorial board’s response to President Emmanuel Macron’s accusation that The Times and other...

The Rapid Growth of Emmanuel Macron’s Authoritarianism

November 25, 2020

In early October, French President Emmanuel Macron, as a preparation for the 2022 election, made the decision to mount a campaign blaming France’s Muslims for their failure to embrace the country’s increasingly dogmatic “Republican culture.” To counter Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration...

Muslims Will Not Kill God for Marianne

November 04, 2020

Two conflicting narratives have been clashing anew in extremely heated debates amid what we may call “a new cartoon crisis.” On one side, there is a sizable portion of orthodox Muslims with a strong aniconism tradition and who perceive the representation of sacred characters as unpardonable...

Emmanuel Macron Defends His Crusade

November 02, 2020

Throughout the month of October, French President Emmanuel Macron projected himself into the global news cycle as the leader of a new crusade launched ostensibly to bring Islam into conformity with French Enlightenment ideals. In reality, his campaign is aimed at bolstering his chances of winning...

Is Peace Religious or Secular?

October 30, 2020

Reporting on yesterday’ horrendous knife attack in Nice’s cathedral, Al Jazeera defined the context: “The incident comes amid growing tensions between France and the Muslim world over French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech wherein he said Islam was in ‘crisis’, and amid...

Macron Claims Islam Is in “Crisis.” Erdogan Disagrees

October 27, 2020

In France, Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 near Paris. He was a history teacher who had shown caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to his students in a lesson on freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Paty’s killer, Abdullakh Anzorov, is an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. He arrived in...

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