Editor’s note: The following is a translation by Ibn Warraq and Robert Kerr of Michel Onfray’s L’Art d’Etre Francais (The Art of Being French, Bouquins, 2021), published here for the first time. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here.
Virginie Despentes also confesses that she doesn’t know how to “make the connection between what happened and Islam”… Should we cry or laugh? It is thus easy to see why so much nonsense can be uttered: the attacks of September 11? No connection with Islam. The Bataclan massacre? No connection with Islam… The murder of Jewish children by Mohamed Merah? No connection with Islam… The twelve dead and eleven wounded members of the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo? No connection with Islam… The murders of Jews in the kosher supermarket by the Kouachi brothers? No connection with Islam…
She added: “I just saw the absurd irony of the whole thing: these Charlie guys [sic] turned into martyrs, and the extreme right-wing UMP-FN alliance pissing on their graves. Yes, it was weird for us Judeo-Christians – me, a blond white girl with pale eyes in the lead – to see that not all civilizations are going to collapse at the same time, and especially Muslim culture seems to be on the first note while we’re playing the last notes of the score. After having despised them, humiliated them, and having been born convinced of our superiority – even if it meant feeling a bit guilty, but so superior –, yes, it felt strange to understand that we won’t be part of the forces that count tomorrow. It’s not uninteresting, but it’s strange to experience the twilight of a civilization.”
Once she understands, Virginie Despentes gives her explanation of the reasons for hatred: “What we shoot at is the proof that we are responsible for our own failures.” So the criminal is a victim and the victim a criminal.
An example for those who do not understand this subtle theory: when Mohamed Merah put the barrel of a gun to the head of a Jewish child and killed him, the guilty party was not Mohamed Merah but the person who made his act possible – most of the time a middle-aged white male, Judeo-Christian… When Merah shoots, it is a white man who should be hung.
Virginie Despentes’ lesson is that these attacks are really reprehensible for one reason only: they have generated an image of terrorism being linked with Islam (remember that the rebellious, award-winning author who was then a member of the Goncourt jury didn’t see the connection…) and of Islam being linked with all Muslims, which is very damaging for the corner grocer where the author of Baise moi (Rape me) does her shopping.
Let us add that, perhaps, a second reason could be found that would make this terror a bad thing: these attacks have indeed generated authoritarian police legislation that is more serious, in the end, than the death of the journalists of the satirical weekly. The idea that a police patrol could stop Virginie Despentes’ car and ask her to open her trunk was indeed a sign that we were now living in a far more dangerous State than the threat posed by those who, shouting “Allah Akbar!”, cold-bloodedly killed Jewish children in a school, Jewish customers in a kosher store, journalists in a newsroom.
In the end, the real issue, as the Saint-Germain-des-Prés intellectual discovers, is “masculinity”! “I believe that this regime of weapons and the right to kill will forever be what defines masculinity,” she writes.
Killers are men? This proves indisputably that men, all men, are killers: “Since they don’t give birth, they kill,” she asserts in an aphorism that sounds like it came out of some Sunday School where ladies sermonize about good and evil.
She concludes, this time as the Mother Superior who chaperoned the catechetical meeting, “When and how do we close the arms factories?” Indeed. How could I not have thought of this earlier: if only the arms factories were closed, there would be no more murders! For it was at arms factories that the Kouachi brothers bought their weapons with their credit cards. What was I thinking?
The left-wing intellectuals therefore walked on eggshells to explain that, in the end, the guilty parties were poor victims and the victims were miserable culprits!
Thus, in Who is Charlie? subtitled Sociology of a Religious Crisis (2015), the French academic Emmanuel Todd, attached to the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) in Paris, explained that the millions of people who took to the streets to condemn the terrorism that had just spilled blood were… Islamophobes! It takes a certain skill, if not a certain talent, to produce this kind of paradox, but in Paris, this sleight of hand is common enough.
While Todd claims to follow the sociology of Max Weber, he takes the statistics published by Libération seriously. The analyses seem judicious, but they are not scientific, contrary to what the maps, tables and statistics might lead one to believe. This book is a political and militant work, we wouldn’t want to hold that against him, but it is by no means a scientific production. Therefore, we can question the claim that he is a researcher who objectively interprets the facts as he claims.
The thesis of this book is simple: the dechristianization of France has left the country without bearings. The middle class then looked for an enemy. He writes: “Xenophobia, yesterday reserved for the working classes, is migrating up the social ladder. The middle and upper classes sought a scapegoat” – and they have found one in the Muslims.
 A controversial French novel published by Virginie Despentes in 1994, the English edition entitled Baise moi (Rape me) appeared in 2003.
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.