The brutal massacre today of at least 10 staff members at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris has horrified the people of France. They are particularly shocked that the act of terror occurred on their capital’s streets. World leaders have come out in strong condemnation of the incident, while the gunmen remain at large.
Interestingly, according to a report from the BBC’s Hugh Schofield, published today, a new book by one of France’s most prolific and famous authors, Michel Houellebecq, is causing not a small amount of controversy, not least due to its timing.
The book, entitled Soumission (Submission), which went on sale today, depicts Paris in 2022 as a Muslim party is voted in to run the country by the then majority Muslim vote.
In the book, which may turn out to be more a case of fact than fiction, universities are compelled to teach the Koran, women are made to wear the veil and polygamy is lawful.
On top of that, women are encouraged to leave their jobs, resulting in a drop in unemployment, crime evaporates in the banlieues due to Sharia law — which becomes part of French law — while veils become the norm in the streets of Paris.
The background to the new book is the success of right-wing journalist Eric Zemmour’s book, Le Suicide Francais, which also discusses the moral collapse of France to the new “face” of Islam.
Obviously, the new book is controversial and many left-wingers in France are against its ideas. Laurent Joffrin, from the Liberation newspaper, claims Houellebecq is “warming Marine Le Pen’s seat at the Cafe Flore.”
Joffrin added the following.
“Whether or not it is the intention, the novel has a clear political resonance. Once the media furore has died down, the book will go down as a key moment in the history of ideas — when the theses of the far right made their entry — or re-entry — into great literature.”
Obviously, a number of Muslims are upset about the new book, although it is interesting to note that it was coincidentally published on a day that suspected French-born Muslims carried out a bloodbath in Paris against democracy and against free speech.
Television presenter Ali Baddou, for example, said that “this book makes me sick… I felt insulted.”
“The year kicks off with Islamophobia disseminated in the work of a great French novelist.”
Baddou made those comments before today’s events.
At the same time, Houellebecq is no stranger to controversy as he is quoted as once describing Islam as the “stupidest of religions.”