News & Politics

What Do Francois Hollande and the King of Norway Have in Common?

Here are two of the most depressing news items of the week, Eurabia-division. First up, the clueless, hopeless, socialist president of France, Francois Hollande:

Islam can co-exist with secularism, President Francois Hollande said Thursday, warning in a speech seen as preparing the ground for a re-election bid that the anti-terror fight should not undermine French values. The deeply unpopular Hollande has yet to announce whether he will run for a second term next year, but is widely expected to be a candidate.

In a passionate plea for tolerance, he defended the country’s Muslim minority following a vitriolic debate on the banning of the Islamic burkini swimsuit.

‘Nothing in the idea of secularism opposes the practice of Islam in France, provided it respects the law,’ Hollande said. Secularism was not a ‘state religion’ to be used against other religions, he said in the speech in Paris, denouncing the ‘stigmatisation of Muslims’.

Well that is, as the French say, le crap pure. The French secular doctrine of Laïcité is specifically anti-clerical, a holdover from one of the animating principles of the French Revolution. It was meant to keep the visible symbols of Christianity out of the public sphere (unlike, say, in Bavaria in Germany, where they still have Catholic crucifixes in the public classrooms). Now the challenge is to keep the symbols of Islam out as well — and, of course Hollande is waffling. The sooner Marine le Pen replaces him in the Palais de l’Élysée, the better.

Meanwhile, in tiny Norway, which is being overrun with “refugees” and “immigrants,” the king delivered himself of this multi-kulti gem recently:

A 79-year-old monarch is perhaps not the most likely person to deliver a rousing speech in support of refugees, religious tolerance, diversity and LGBT rights, and a royal garden party may not be the most likely place to hear it. But an impassioned five-minute address on the need for inclusiveness and acceptance by Norway’s King Harald last week to 1,500 slightly startled – but ultimately delighted – guests in the park of the Royal Palace in Oslo has gone viral.

A spokeswoman, Marianne Hagen, said the palace had received a huge number of requests for an official English translation of the speech, which had received nearly 80,000 likes and been viewed more than 3m times on Facebook.

Explicitly backing gay rights, the king, who will be 80 in February, said Norwegians were “girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and girls and boys who love each other”. He also voiced support for religious diversity, saying Norwegians believed “in God, in Allah, in the universe – and in nothing”.

Calling on people to embrace “trust, solidarity and generosity”, he said the notion of home could not be confined within national borders. “It is not always easy to say where we are from, what nationality we are. Home is where our heart is.” Norwegians came, the king continued, in all ages, abilities, heights, family statuses and careers, just as their musical tastes varied from Edvard Grieg to DJ Kygo. “In other words,” he said. “Norway is you. Norway is us.”

The Nordic nation of 5 million is struggling to integrate an estimated 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived last year, including 5,500, most of them Syrian, who rode bikes across from Russia.

Good grief.