Who is Eric Zemmour? Meet the French Donald Trump.
To give a broad idea, Zemmour's campaign makes Marine Le Pen's look timid. Let this sink in.
In an increasingly islamophobe France, voters are left between a multitude of choices: Emmanuel Macron, who has very recently proposed banning the hijab, Marine Le Pen, a "moderate" racist, and Eric Zemmour, who claims to be the man who "will shake up France."
“It is no longer time to reform France, but to save it. That’s why I decided to run for president,” said Eric Zemmour, a Jewish Algerian candidate for the French presidency in 2022.
Born to Jewish parents from Algeria, Eric Zemmour is a political writer, journalist and now presidential candidate for France's 2022 elections.
He is dubbed the "Trump of France" for his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant views which hectically warns France that it is bound to its doom as he described in one of his books, The French Suicide. Zemmour raises the alarm about the "colonization" of France by immigrants, and reminisces over the 'good old days' when, according to him, Vichy France "protected French Jews" rather than what they actually did: Collaborate with Nazi Germany.
Zemmour wrote for Le Figaro and Le Quotidien de Paris, and was a commentator for numerous talk shows, being known for this hardliner, far-right stances on social issues.
Brow-raising parts of his campaign include sending immigrants back to their countries for not "assimilating" and banning names that don't sound very "French," such as Muhammad.
The extremist attributes many of France's problems to immigrants, calling their travel to France an "invasion" and "Islamic colonization." Although Zemmour did not attribute all of France's problems to immigrants, he said they "aggravate" them.
A Trump-like figure
This sort of rhetoric is what charged "emotional voting" in the United States at the time when Donald Trump was elected; the sort of strategy which required provocation to muster votes from a place of fear and doom-mongering.
Many have voiced that Zemmour's campaign makes Marine Le Pen's look timid. The candidate has repeatedly advocated for inciting racial hatred and has multiple convictions for those accounts which he has been acquitted for.
He is also a supporter of the "great replacement", something even Le Pen dodged in the diplomatic arena. The "great replacement" is a theory based on the idea that non-Europeans, essentially Arabs, sub-Sahara Africans and Turkish people, will replace the White population in Europe, particularly the French, through migration and demographic growth. The same ideology underpins shootings by white supremacists which have devastated scores of families, such as the 2018 Christchurch shooting in New Zealand.
When asked on the motives behind his campaign for presidency, he repeatedly said "so that our daughters don't have to wear headscarves and our sons don't have to be submissive."
Eric Striker, who is a US-based right-wing political propagandist, commented on Zemmour's campaign: “Zemmour is hostile to French racial and Catholic-centred nationalism, is an open Jewish supremacist, and is using throwing out some red meat about ethnic decline to mask his actual policy proposals, which are liberal, globalist, and Zionist neo-conservativism.”
Although Zemmour could be perceived as a French nationalist, rejecting Sarkozy's suggestion to teach English in French schools in 2011, his identity is multidimensional; his campaign can be capitalized on many faces. His ideas could fit into French White nationalism doctrine framework, but his Jewish background could also mobilize the French Jewish community.
However, although Zemmour could be jaw-opening racist and intimidating, he is only the true face of White colonial racism without a facade of "liberalism" to hide behind. Despite Macron seeming to appear more benevolent, there seems to be unification on French xenophobic policies towards the "foreign."