Muslims cast the deciding voted that thrust Hollande into the Elysée Palace. He also pledged to change French electoral laws so that Muslim residents without French citizenship would be allowed to vote in municipal elections as of 2014, enabling the Socialist Party to tighten its grip on political power.
An analysis of the voting patterns that barrelled François Hollande to victory on May 6 as the first Socialist president of France since 1995 shows that this overthrow was due in large measure to Muslims, who voted for him in overwhelming numbers.
The French vote marks the first time that Muslims have determined the outcome of a presidential election in a major western European country; it is a preview of things to come.
As the politically active Muslim population in France continues to swell, and as most Muslims vote for Socialist and leftwing parties, conservative parties will find it increasingly difficult to win future elections in France.
According to a survey of 10,000 French voters conducted by the polling firm OpinionWay for the Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro, an extaordinary 93% of French Muslims voted for Hollande on May 6. By contrast, the poll shows that only 7% of French Muslims voted for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy.
An estimated 2 million Muslims participated in the 2012 election, meaning that roughly 1.7 million Muslim votes went to Hollande rather than to Sarkozy. In the election as a whole, however, Hollande won over Sarkozy by only 1.1 million votes. This figure implies that Muslims cast the deciding votes that thrust Hollande into the Élysée Palace.
France, home to between five and six million Muslims, already has the largest Muslim population in the European Union, and those numbers are expected to increase exponentially in coming years. According to conservative estimates, the Muslim population is projected to exceed 10% of the overall French population within the next decade-and-a-half.
During the campaign, Hollande offered an amnesty to all of the estimated 400,000 illegal Muslim immigrants currently in France. He also pledged to change French electoral laws so that Muslim residents without French citizenship would be allowed to vote in municipal elections as of 2014. These measures, if implemented, would enable the Socialist Party tighten its grip on political power, both at the regional and national levels.
Muslims in France -- and across Europe as a whole -- tend to support the Socialists for a variety of demographic, socio-economic and ideological reasons.
Most Muslims in Europe live in lower-income households and experience higher levels of unemployment. As a result, Socialists and Muslims are locked into a politically advantageous power-dependence relationship, between the givers of social welfare benefits and the givers of votes. Not surprisingly, Socialists favor increased Muslim immigration, which in turn produces more voters for Socialist parties.
In the ideological sphere, Socialists and Muslims generally share a mutual antipathy for traditional Judeo-Christian values. Although many Muslims oppose the secular agenda of the Socialists, most Muslims wholeheartedly support Socialist multicultural dogma, which they are leveraging to promote the Islamization of Europe.
In foreign policymaking, Socialists and Muslims share a mutual disdain for the United States and Israel. Leftwing parties across Europe have turned anti-Zionism into a politically correct form of anti-Semitism. The increasingly hysterical anti-Israel rhetoric emanating from Socialist circles has contributed to a spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes across the continent; many of these crimes against Jews are being perpetrated by Muslims.
Although Hollande has not articulated his views on Israel -- he has said he wants to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this summer -- many observers fear that Hollande will surround himself with a coterie of leftwing advisors who will push him to distance France from the pro-Jewish, pro-Israel course established by Sarkozy.
Hollande has also said he is opposed to Israeli or American military action against Iranian nuclear facilities and many analysts believe the new French government will seek to weaken international sanctions against Iran.
The political changes in France have many Jews concerned about their future. On the day that French voters elected Hollande as their new president, more than 5,000 French Jews participated in an Aliyah (immigration of Jews to Israel) fair in Paris. The annual event, organized and run by the Jewish Agency, usually attracts about 2,000 visitors.
To be sure, France is not the only country in which Muslims are changing the political dynamic.
In Denmark, Socialist Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt won the parliamentary election in September 2011 by a margin of just 8,500 votes. According to an opinion survey, 89.1% of Muslims said they would vote for Socialist or leftwing parties. There are an estimated 200,000 Muslims in Denmark, 100,000 of whom are eligible to vote.
In Britain, a new research report entitled, "Degrees of Separation: Ethnic minority voters and the Conservative Party," shows that 47% of Muslims say they have affinity for the Labour Party, while on 5% say they identify with the Conservatives. During the 2010 elections, Muslim voters were the deciding factor in 82 constituencies.
In the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Muslim voters elected the Bangladeshi-born Lutfur Rahman as their mayor. He is linked to the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), an Islamist group dedicated to changing the "very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam." Since taking office, Rahman has stocked the public libraries in Tower Hamlets with books and DVDs containing the extremist sermons of banned Islamist preachers.
Also in Britain, Labour Party MP Jim Fitzpatrick recently warned that his party has been infiltrated by radical Muslims who want to create an "Islamic social and political order" there. Muslims, he said, are "placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it's at local government level or national level." He added: "They are completely at odds with Labour's program, with our support for secularism." one-quarter of the population of Brussels. In real terms, the number of Muslims in Brussels -- where half of all Muslims in Belgium currently live --- has reached 300,000, meaning that the self-styled "Capital of Europe" is now the most Islamic city in Europe.
In practical terms, Islam mobilizes more people in Brussels than does the Roman Catholic Church, and demographers expect that Muslims will comprise the majority of the population of Brussels by 2030.
In Belgium as a whole, new research from the Itinera Institute forecasts that by 2060, 60% of the Belgian population will be foreign born, which will have clear implications for Belgian politics.
In Norway, new statistics show that immigrants will make up almost half of Oslo's population by 2040. The study, the first ever projection of immigration trends to be published in Norway, shows that the largest cities will also see the biggest upsurge in immigrant numbers. In the country as a whole, the immigrant population is expected to jump from 12% to 24%, or from 600,000 people today to 1.5 million in 2040.
In Spain, the Socialist Party recently attempted to pass a law in parliament that would have enabled more than 500,000 Moroccans residing in Spain to vote in Spanish municipal elections. If enacted, the measure would have ensured permanent Socialist control over all Spanish towns and cities with significant Muslim minorities. The measure was derailed in November 2011, when, in the general election, the Socialists were ousted from power.
Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based
Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him
on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Soeren.Kern).
This article appeared May 17, 2012 on the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council website and is archived at