The recent attack by a Muslim immigrant upon police in Paris that left one officer dead has focused Sunday’s presidential election in France upon immigration and security, CNN reports:
The three main candidates canceled campaign events and instead made televised statements in which they competed to talk tough on security and vowed a crackdown on ISIS.
…The far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, demanded the closure of all Islamist mosques. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve accused her of trying to capitalize on the attack.
…Center-right candidate François Fillon, Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron canceled planned campaign events after the shooting. Under French election rules, Friday was due to be the final day of campaigning before Sunday’s first round of voting.
It was unclear whether the attack would tip the balance of the vote in favor of Le Pen, who has vowed to take a tough line on “Islamic terrorism.”
At a televised news conference Friday, Le Pen called for the closure of all “Islamist” mosques in France, the expulsion of hate preachers and the reinstatement of French borders.
People on the French security services’ watch list for radicalization should also be expelled from France and have their French citizenship revoked, she said.
Aljazeera reports that National Front leader Le Pen is deeply unpopular in the non-White suburbs of Paris, home to large numbers of Arab and Black immigrants:
Sevran, with its 50,000 residents, is one of the poorest areas in France, and suffers from high levels of youth unemployment and educational attainment.
Much of its population descends from France’s former colonies in North Africa, West Africa, and Haiti.
Many are also Muslims, perhaps explaining the unpopularity of Le Pen.
Thankfully, the article goes on to state that “voter indifference remains high in the area. We can only hope that Arab and African immigrants do not turn out in large numbers, swaying the election for the Left-wing candidates.
US President Donald Trump essentially endorsed Le Pen, saying in a recent interview that “She’s the strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France…. Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election.”
Le Pen has re-focused her campaign in the final week on immigration and security, appealing to the National Front base ahead of the first round of voting on Sunday.