French legacy of plunder, bloodshed and Islamophobia
France has a legacy of plunder, bloodshed and Islamophobia. The French invaded Algeria in 1830 and killed around 825,000 indigenous Algerians from 1830-1875 according to Ben Kiernan. The indigenous population dropped by one third from 1830 to 1873.
French Lt Col Lucien de Montagnac, an officer in French expeditionary force in Algeria, gave the true picture of “French civilization” in a letter to a friend dated March 15, 1843:
“This is how, my dear friend, we must make war against Arabs: kill all men over age of 15, take all their women and children, load them onto naval vessels, send them to the Marquesas Islands or elsewhere. In one word, annihilate all who will not crawl beneath our feet like dogs.” (“Lettres d’un soldat,” Plon, Paris, 1885; republished by Christian Destremeau, 1998)
By 1845, the French military was implementing this heinous program. General Aimable Pélissier reported the massacre of a Berber tribe of 1,500 people who had taken refuge in a cave. The French troops commanded by Pélissier burned the Berbers alive including all the children.
In 1870, France passed the Cremieux Decree in which the Jewish minority in Algeria were granted French citizenship but the majority Muslims were declared second class citizens unless they renounce their culture and religion.
Today, Muslims are portrayed as the ‘enemy within’ in France; a term originally coined by René Gontier for Jews in 1930s. It was imitated by MS Golwalkar who is Narendar Modi’s ideological father in his book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ where he termed Muslims as India’s internal threat.
Jules Ferry, who is remembered as father of France’s secular public schools, said in 1848 at the national assembly after France was declared a republic: ‘
I repeat, that the superior races have a right because they have a duty. They have the duty to civilise the inferior races.’