.@jacobinism So, you challenged me to explain why I think your post is racist. Here it is, though it will do nothing but reinforce our mutual hatred (which, of course, delights me because, although this is the first I’ve ever heard of you, I already find you loathsome).
The symptom here is that your article turns on a claim which you do not justify, viz. the claim that Bouteldja "evidently shares" in Dieudonne's Jew-hatred, and that her main problem with him is that he articulates his Jew-hatred in the wrong way. I will come back to this, but for now I simply take it as the point of departure. The thing to be explained, therefore, is not Bouteldja's statement but, as I said before, the racist hermeneutics which led to your preposterous misrepresentation, and led you to interpret it as indicative of an 'integrist' threat. It the dense mesh of racist assumptions leading to this position which I am going to assay.
The problems begin when one simply parses your opening sentence. You begin by saying that "Western critics of regressive values within minority communities" are accused of either misunderstanding or of intolerance. That is, you start by framing the argument by way of an opposition between white 'critics' of Muslims, who are 'Western', and Muslim 'minority' citizens who implicitly are not. The implication is already that they do not belong here, are foreign, 'non-Western' interlopers. Generally speaking, the type of people for whom a brown-skinned person isn't really 'from here' despite being born here, tend to be members of, or voters for, the far right. The basic concept that you are depending on is a cousin to the BNP's idea of 'racial foreigners'.
More than that, though, in your straw-manning about 'intolerance', you actually miss a very significant criticism that anti-racists make of 'Western critics'. Which is that your obsessive focus on prosecuting 'minority communities’ (typically Muslims) - with all the grotesque distortions and fabulations and bombast that typically comes with it, and with all the homogenising, essentialising about said 'minority communities' (the way you talk as if they are integrated collective actors) - has the effect of externalising problems that are in fact ubiquitous, and indeed have a profound connection to the forms of power exercised by those states and ruling classes which are described as 'the West'. (This being one of the most important points in Bouteldja's talk, it's hard to see how you missed it.) In fact, this can hardly be separated from the way in which you construct these 'minority communities' as the Other of the West at the beginning of the discussion; in order to externalise a problem, you have to construct an interior and exterior: the West and the Orient.
Soon, you set up another opposition. "Integration has failed; prepare for integrism”. This is actually foreshadowed in the title of the piece: “Prepare for integrism!” With its lurid exclamation point, it signals the main thrust of the overall argument. (Just to show how serious this is, you link it to the problem of a ‘decolonial shakedown’, where ‘shakedown' means extortion by threats or blackmail.)
Let’s look at this opposition. The debate over the language of 'integration' is neither new nor susceptible to a resolution in this idiom. I think at least this much can be said of it: The demand for 'integration', which is always imposed on racially oppressed groups, depends at the very least on a grounding assumption that there is a coherent majority (white) culture into which minorities, also assumed to represent coherent homogenous cultural entities, could 'integrate’. This involves an untenably essentialist, monolithic view of ‘cultures' as discrete objects or processes. Often, this is accompanied by a corollary assumption that it the dominant culture is axiomatically superior to anything that said minorities would be abandoning by adopting it as their own. This is unacceptable as a basis for egalitarian politics, since it is at a ground level committed to supremacism. This is simply to hint at why the language of integration has always been rejected or at least problematised by radical anti-racists. There is absolutely nothing particularly new in Bouteldja rejecting the language of assimilation, and your scandalised reaction to it betrays your ignorance of decades of anti-racist and anti-colonial writing.
However, that's not the most interesting part of the binary. You assume that a repudiation of integration must mean 'integrism'. In the French context which we're discussing, the term 'integrism' means something akin to 'fundamentalism' - the advocacy of strict adherence to 'fundamental' religious truths. But when used in connection with Islam, this 'fundamentalism' is usually seen as being part of a project of 'Islamising' society, permeating its civil society and political institutions with specifically religious trappings. Thus, your charge is that Houria Bouteldja, and the party she is a member of, advocate the religious fundamentalist take over of French society. You make this claim the centrepiece of your argument, from the title and its lurid exclamation mark onward. Now, this is just pig-ignorant, head-banging nonsense on your part. The PIR is a small party which exists specifically to challenge the racist oppression of Muslims in France, using an anticolonial framework.
In a similar vein, you refer to "the Swiss Ikhwanist Tariq Ramadan". What you mean by 'Ikhwanist' is that he is a member of (or at a stretch, occult supporter of) the Muslim Brothers. Of course, he is not: he is a Muslim philosopher with a theological bent, who tends to ground what is in its totality a pretty unremarkable liberal politics in his scholastic readings of the religious texts. You go on to rehearse the old fable about Ramadan's alleged refusal to condemn stoning, albeit in a strangely occluded, indirect fashion - you don't quote Ramadan himself. But you do say, nonetheless, that he was "found out" and that his views allowed people to detect the "integrist" agenda in his writings (which you claim are particularly obscure, presumably genuflecting to Caroline Fourest's conspiracy theory according to which Ramadan's writings are deliberately . Ramadan's stated position on the issue of murdering women by stoning them to death in predominantly Muslim countries is the same as Amnesty International's position on the issue of murdering black and poor people by poisoning them to death in the United States: he's opposed to it, but he wants a moratorium 'so that there can be a debate'. This is exactly what he has always said, and there has never been anything to be 'found out'. The position is, of course, a cop out in both cases; a *liberal* cop out. But it's hardly evidence of an 'integrist' agenda. Even supposing he *had* simply refused to condemn stoning - no, suppose he had actually taken an even worse position and actually offered a theological defence of stoning - this would not *in itself* constitute evidence of 'integrism', or of his having any affiliation to the Ikhwan. Further, even if he was directly affiliated to the Muslim Brothers, Bouteldja’s defending him or asking that the Left defend him would not by itself entail any commitment to ’integrism’ on her part.
The PIR are not 'integrist', and Ramadan is not an 'Ikhwanist'. Insofar as there are simple matters of fact in this world, these are them. Only in the universe of spittle-lathered Islamophobic conspiracy theorists are your claims anything but laughable.
So, this brings me back to the issue of antisemitism. Your approach is very familiar. You quote statements, and then proceed as if they said what you want them to say, and then apply the most malign possible interpretation to the invented statement.
For example, you quote Bouteldja describing Soral’s “political offer” to French Muslims, mistakenly claiming that she is both describing and endorsing Dieudonne’s appeal to Muslims. In fact, you forget that earlier in her talk, she has already insisted on a stark difference in her approach to the two. "Dieudonné is not Soral, because he is a social indigène. I cannot treat him as I treat Soral.” It is Dieudonne about whom she expresses some ambivalence, not Soral. In describing Soral’s “political offer”, she is describing *the means by which an enemy succeeds*, exploiting a space created by the abdication of the Left. You treat this as an endorsement of antisemitism, however, because you are both too lazy to read the text properly, and too immersed in your own racist conspiracy theories about looming ‘integrism’ to read it in any other way.
You also straightforwardly fabricate her positions. You attribute to Bouteldja the sentiment that Dieudonne’s "association with Soral and Le Pen's Front National has tarnished a more noble kind of racism.” She has nowhere argued for or defended such a racism. You go on to attribute to her the sentiment that "indigène hatred of the Jew cannot be considered racism”, though she says nothing of the kind. Parenthetically, you also falsely imputed to me the position that antisemitism is justified in opposition to “conspiratorial power”, whatever that means. I’m just recording once again that, challenged to cite an example of this, you evaded. You have a way of making shit up, is my point.
There is more but, when you rhetorically demand: "What does Seymour imagine would become of France's Jews were Bouteldja ever to be given the whip hand?" My answer is to ask if you know where the language in your question comes from? Of course, the term ‘whip hand’ comes from the historical experience of slavery, but that’s not what I mean. The usage in this context derives from Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech, and his prophesy that “In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.” Did you know that’s what you were doing? Did you realise that, leaving aside the fact that your query is a paranoid non-sequitur, you were dog-whistling in a time-honoured fashion? What will happen when they get the whip hand? Rivers of blood, apparently.
You see, this is really about you and your identity politics, as a white European male. It is your decision to construct this in terms of your right as a ‘Western critic’ to belabour those foreign minorities. It is your decision to interpret any disinclination on their part to ‘integrate’ as an expression of an ‘integrist’ threat. It is your decision to fabulate the scenarios in which foreign interlopers get the ‘whip hand’ over whitey, etc.
In general, your post - racist, Orientalist, paranoid, complacently ignorant, openly contemptuous of any claim that might be made by the oppressed viz. their oppression - is a pungent demonstration of why people such as Houria Bouteldja are necessary. The more they wind you up, the more they sicken you, the more they frighten you, the happier I will be.