In a televised debate opposing the left-wing French politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, right-wing political figure Eric Zemmour made some highly controversial statements under what he has been calling “the Lebanization of France.”
“If we continue like this, France in 2050 will be a big Lebanon, a country where there will be communities.. that used to work side by side but will then be confronting each other.”
This is how French-born Eric Zemmour, son of Algerian immigrants himself, expressed his strong opinion against immigration in France and the alleged threat of multiculturalism that could bring his birth country to ruin.
“We can see how ends a multiculturalist country, in the decadence, in ruins, and in the confrontation like in 1975-1990,” the polemic French figure and potential candidate runner for France‘s presidency claimed, pointing at Lebanon.
While Zemmour failed to have his facts straight in regards to Lebanon and the causes of both the civil war and the current collapse, his strong opinion about the “threat of immigration” has been a hot topic in France.
There is a current strong idea in the far-right-wing political sphere that the French population would be “replaced little by little by another population” of different communities, which would lead to conflicts between each other.
This idea has grown in intensity these past two years in the French political sphere and, although he denies having political ambitions, Zemmour has been using it to rise in politics.
He somehow believes that the illustration of Lebanon concurs with that idea and suits his vision of France in the future.
He had even publicly criticized President Emmanuel Macron for doing “too much” for Lebanon, in one of his televised appearances last year.
In his opinion, France will be split like Lebanon into different communities, forming a threat to national unity. Based on that assumption, he perceives immigration as the main problem of France.
However, comparing Lebanon’s current situation with France‘s issue with immigration denotes a total lack of understanding of both separate issues.
Unlike Lebanon, which “communities” are all Lebanese with just different religions, France has always had multiple ethnic communities formed by immigrants since 1850, including from Zemmour’s country of origin as the result of the Algerian War (1945-1975).
France officially recorded its first wave of immigrants during the industrial revolution (1850-1914) then a second wave (1914-1939) triggered by France‘s needs for manpower. That was followed by a third wave after World War II. Other “smaller” waves followed.
Lebanon is not a country with a significant number of immigrants and/or descendants of immigrants, nor it is home to multiple ethnic communities but to Lebanese nationals of different religious sects.
These communities do have their own religious traditions like in all countries in the world where different religions exist, including France.
That doesn’t make Lebanon a multiculturalist country by definition.
Zemmour appears to know little about Lebanon, especially in stating the existence of its communities as the cause for Lebanon’s crises or what he called “decadence and ruins.”
It is the political sectarian system that constitutes Lebanon’s main problem today, as was in the past when it caused the civil war.
As for its current collapse that has defined Lebanon currently as a Failed State, it is certainly not its communities that have caused it but the corruption and the misgovernance of the ruling politicians.