The majority had emerged united, even strengthened, from the examination of the bill confirming respect for the principles of the Republic in the Assembly. Only one LREM deputy voted against on February 16. But at the same time, the Minister of Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal, launched her assault on “Islamo-leftism”, which exposes since the Walkers to display their heartbreaks. Finding a true “Mess” according to the word which, a week later, echoed in their ranks.
“We can discuss the problem of racialism, but not with this term of Islamo-leftism which has no meaning”, deplores Sacha Houlié, one of the rapporteurs of the bill against separatism on the left wing of LREM. While several tenors of the majority castigate an ideological concept that sows confusion, others assume the formula, foremost among them the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin. “It would really not be looking the truth in the face not to see that the university, the public services, associations are affected by Islamism sometimes helped by the leftists”, assaulted the minister on Sunday on Radio J.
The controversy brings to light the differences between the supporters of a firm secularism in the face of Islamist entryism embodied, in addition to Gérald Darmanin, Jean-Michel Blanquer (education) or Marlène Schiappa (citizenship). And those who insist on the social causes of community withdrawal, like Gabriel Attal (spokesperson) or Roxana Maracineanu (sports). The majority was all the more destabilized as the charge came from a minister who had distanced himself from Jean-Michel Blanquer on this same subject in October.
What is the logic of a sudden turnaround? In the meantime, during the debates on the law against separatism, the minister was very attacked by the right which attributes to her a form of denial. Co-author with Éric Poulliat (LREM) of an information report on radicalization in the public service in June 2019, Éric Diard (LR) affirms that Frédérique Vidal never opened his door to them, unlike his government colleagues.
“Twenty-five universities still do not have ‘secularism referents’ as planned, and the monitoring system is not being piloted”, denounces the elected official whose amendments on the university were all rejected. Higher education is “A blind spot” of the bill according to the right. “Vidal had to respond to these attacks”, today analyzes an LREM deputy.
The minister would thus have decided to launch an audit, announced on CNews. But why come back to it a week later, in an interview with JDD which headlines on its February 21: “Islamo-leftism: the minister persists” ? The interviews being reread and validated by Matignon, this second slide increased the discomfort.
To the point that some observers are wondering about a strategy thought out from the top of the state: while the nationalist organization Generation Identity will be dissolved, the offensive against Islamo-leftism would be a pledge given to the right-wing electorate . Sacha Houlié does not believe such a scenario. “Emmanuel Macron is in the appeasement of society and not in the fracture, judge the deputy. He has no interest in this controversy. “
Guest of RTL, this February 22, Frédérique Vidal once again insisted on the absolute priority given to the effects of the health crisis, but the explosion of his remarks makes the counter-speech hardly audible. Above all, she put back in the saddle the right which will take the majority at its word to ask for a parliamentary mission and reintroduce the academic subject in the separatism bill, at the end of March, in the Senate where it has a majority.
“LREM will not be able to reject our amendments as it did in the Assembly”, warns Éric Diard. So we are not done with “Islamo-leftism”. And the hypothesis, admittedly thin, of a political consensus on the separatism law has just taken a big step backwards.