A recent panic over ‘Islamo-leftism’ has exposed a culture war that is sweeping France’s politics and academia
Amid the crises of the last year, certain members of Emmanuel Macron’s government have managed to identify a new threat to French society: “Islamo-leftism”. During a recent interview, the French minister of higher education, Frédérique Vidal, declared that “Islamo-leftism corrupts all of society, and universities are not impervious”. She criticised “radical” academics for always “looking at everything through the prism of their will to divide”, and announced that she would be requesting an investigation into university research on these subjects. While the meaning of the term is elusive, the political intent behind Vidal’s statement was clear. “Islamo-leftism”, which Vidal has associated with research on race, gender and social class, is indicative of a broader culture war that is sweeping both the political and academic establishment in France.
Vidal is not the only politician in Macron’s government to have recently used the term. In a radio interview about the tragic beheading of a high-school teacher who had shown his class the Charlie Hebdo cartoons ridiculing the Prophet, Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister of education, declared that “Islamo-leftism wreaks havoc in universities”, and blamed France’s oldest national student union for being “the intellectual perpetrator of the assassination”.Continue reading...
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