It is as a political leader, but also as a woman, that I address the French people today. It is as a free French woman, who has been able to enjoy, her whole life, the very precious freedoms fought for long and hard by our mothers and grandmothers, that I want to warn about a new form of social, human and moral regression imposed on us by the migrant crisis, a crisis that is not an inevitability, but the work of the political will, terrifying in its blindness.
The French people know that we have been denouncing massive immigration for years. Aware of its consequences on the economic situation of France, on social unity, security, laïcité, assimilation of newcomers, and more broadly on national identity, we have been sounding the alarm for a long time and explaining that France must greatly reduce immigration.
Our words only gained legitimacy and support as the so-called «migrant crisis» began to strike Europe. Agreeing to take in one million migrants in 2015, three million anticipated by the European Commission in 2016, in addition to the usual influx, became perfectly unthinkable. All the above-mentioned consequences could logically only worsen. But there are two new elements that are turning a migratory crisis into a nightmare.
The first, that I have spoken about at length, alerting the public for a long time, concerns the terrorist risk. To bring in thousands of men from countries engaged in conflict, where Daesh and other Islamist terrorist organizations are prevalent, with no serious control at their arrival point, and allowing them to move about freely throughout the Schengen space, is already a crime against the safety of the populations, and the French in particular. The terrible attacks of 2015 tragically shed light on this cruel truth: the migrants’ route is also the one taken by the terrorists, and we are nowhere near controlling this phenomenon.
The second dramatic consequence of the migratory crisis concerns the situation of women. If they are still the equal of men in rights, the reality is that they can no longer enjoy these very rights as a man can.
In truth, as tongues are just beginning to loosen, as the false restraint of the media finally gives way, we are realizing the extent of the violence that the migrants indulged in in countries that welcomed many of them, Germany especially, but not just Germany.
Merkel’s irresponsibility, Hollande’s weakness. In Cologne, hundreds of women suffered sexual attacks. Whether these men are, because they are migrants, because of the conditions in which they live in their homeland, or because of their religious dogma, subject to an exceptional sexual frustration is of no interest to me whatsoever; I have better things to do than to find some excuse for these unleashed males.
However, that they act like criminals (rape and attempted rape are crimes let’s not forget), that they transgress the essential rules of our western societies, that they openly show contempt for the rights of women, is of great concern to me.
I am also indignant, as a political leader, as a woman, to see that these hundreds of sexual assaults in different countries of Europe do not in any way move our leaders. I am horrified by the irresponsibility of Angela Merkel who allows such a situation through a policy of permissiveness, and of the weakness of François Hollande, who on the topic of migrants, as on the others, bows before Germany and the E.U.
I am revolted today by the inadmissible silence, one could even say the tacit consent, of the French left confronted with these fundamental assaults on the rights of women: Élisabeth Badinter was perfectly right to say that the left, because of its clientelism, because of an imagined fear of stigmatizing Islam or of making generalizations, abdicates when faced with a very serious inculpation of laïcité and women’s rights. The eternal moralizers are therefore silent when the most central values of our Republic are trampled on.
The right to preserve the integrity of one’s own body, whatever sex one may be, is one of the most essential rights. Today, for many women, this right is under attack. That barbarity can once again be used against women fills me with horror. I remember these words of Simone de Beauvoir: «Never forget that all it would take is a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be called into question,» and I fear that the migratory crisis signals the beginning of the end of women’s rights. An affront to physical integrity, social control, reduction of freedoms, and subjugation, we are familiar with the slippery slope. On this subject as on the others, the consequences of the migratory crisis were nonetheless predictable.
To all the reasons that demand a drastic reduction in immigration, we can now add imperatives that affect the very foundation of French civilization: security for all, and the rights of women. I do not for one minute believe in the European Union to reverse this trend. I do think, very strongly, that France, should she recover her sovereignty and her borders can completely choke off this migratory submersion and its diverse consequences. I am persuaded that it is the will of the Nation.
It is for this reason that I solemnly ask the president of the Republic, on such crucial matters, to let our people speak through a referendum. Do the French want, yes or no, to stop accepting migrants on their territory? Do they want, yes or no, to leave the Schengen space and re-establish permanent national border controls? To these two questions I answer, as a political leader, as a woman, a resounding yes!
Marine Le Pen on Cologne and women’s rights
>Note: Laïcité: refers to the 1905 law separating Church and State.