This is probably just pre-presidential electioneering, recognizing the serious threat posed by the leading anti-Islamization candidate, Marine Le Pen. In explosive revelations made by investigative journalists, the Socialist Mr Hollande emerges as every bit as right wing as his hated opponents from the National Front and Republican parties.
The words were all part of a more general attack on people from Muslim backgrounds whom the Socialist Mr Hollande views as a major difficulty for his campaign. Hollande also branded ethnic Muslim minority football stars as ‘guys from the estates, without references, without values, who leave France too early’, it emerged today.
But it is his obvious disdain for outstanding sportsmen – many of whom move to Britain – that is currently causing the most controversy.In a private conversation contained in a new book called ‘A President Should Not Say That…’ Mr Hollande says footballers are all part of a serious identity crisis.He said all were poorly educated and not ‘psychologically prepared to know the difference between good and evil.’
During his election campaign, Mr Holland was regularly on the Muslim-dominant housing projects, claiming he was at one with poor communities. But his hypocrisy has now been exposed by authors Gerard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, Le Monde journalists who base their book on 61 interviews carried out with Mr Hollande over the last four years.
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He reveals that he no longer supports mass immigration, saying ‘I think there are too many arrivals,’ and says: ‘It’s true there’s a problem with Islam, it’s true. It’s not in doubt.’ Mr Hollande says of Marianne, the mythical female symbol of the French Republic: ‘The veiled woman of today will be the Marianne tomorrow.’
However, the president quickly backpedaled and said his comments were taken out of context and suggested he meant Muslim women would free themselves from the veil: “If we manage to provide the right conditions for her to flourish, she will free herself from her veil and become French, while still remaining a believer if she wants to be, capable of carrying forth an ideal.”