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Zemmour: This is the “era of the struggle for civilization between Islam and Christianity”

The Magyar Nemzet is the main daily outlet of Hungary. Founded in 1938, the Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation) is a reference journal for the conservatives of Hungary. The conservative newspaper is close to the current Hungarian government lead by Viktor Orbán.

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This article was published online by the Magyar Nemzet on 30 September 2021.

The United States of Europe is “the illusion of Euro-maniacs who are destroying sovereign nations without at least creating a sovereign Europe in its place” – said Éric Zemmour, who visited the Hungarian capital on the occasion of the IV. Budapest Demographic Summit, in his interview with Magyar Nemzet.

The anti-immigration French writer-journalist currently boasts 11 percent in the polls with still a half year left until the French presidential elections. If the people were to vote today, he would receive millions of votes. However, Zemmour still did not disclose whether he will officially run as a candidate.

László Szőcs: At the IV. Budapest Demographic Summit, you said that the Hungarians are well aware of dangers threatening them. What did you mean by that?

Éric Zemmour: This means that Hungarians have two types of political experiences. One comes from the Islam-Ottoman occupation, and the other from the Soviet rule, which meant submission to a totalitarian regime. With these experiences under their belt, Hungarians are able to especially accurately spot the dangers lurking around us, such as the Islamic invasion, and the progressive ideology which is a totalitarian system just without the Gulag. Under the leadership of Viktor Orbán, Hungarians are resisting both and I think that is no accident. Nations are formed by their history and how they react is also due to their history. French intellectual René Girard, writes in one of his last books, Achever Clausewitz, that today we are entering a spirit of the age where we are closer to Charles Martell and the Crusaders than to the French Revolution and the consequences of the Second Empire’s industrialization. Today we are living through the same struggles between Islam and Christianity, East and West. This struggle never came to an end. One of the basic elements is demography.

László Szőcs: To what extent?

Éric Zemmour: To the extent that the West – including you since the fall of the Berlin wall – is living under another phenomenon: its deconstruction. Since the 1960s, our intellectuals, our elites, our universities have adopted, based on the American model, the concept that Allan Bloom has described so acutely: an attitude of deconstruction and rejection. They have convinced us that we are sinners. We are guilty of slavery, World War II, the holocaust, colonization and the oppression of women, children, blacks, and Muslims. Just about everything. And in order to be absolved of these sins, we are capable of doing anything – including destroying our own civilization. But Eastern European countries are exempt from this as they were victims of Communist and Soviet oppression. And this is what arms them – what a historical paradox! –from having to be absolved of these sins. History sometimes entertains us with stories like these, that have both tragic and strange twists. But what kind of deconstruction are we referring to, the deconstruction of what? First the nation, then the family, then the role of the father, then man himself, and then the biological sexes. I wrote about this seven years ago in my book, Suicide français (French Suicide): deconstruction is followed by ridicule, and then destruction. Islam is also an ally in the destruction of the nation, family and individual, which, taking advantage of our weakening state, is forcing their own norms on us. Take for example the Muslim women’s headscarf: what does this symbolize? That they are Islamizing our streets and our public spheres.

László Szőcs: You met with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest. What did you discuss?

Éric Zemmour: These same things. And I believe he understands it perfectly: the struggle of civilization between West and East, North and South. He protects his people, built a border fence, and provided a defensive strategy against deconstruction, and George Soros and the LGBTQ lobby. He is fighting on two of the most important borders of our times. The experiences he shared with me are valuable.

László Szőcs: A relationship with the French right is visibly important for Hungary’s leaders. Marion Maréchal, former member of the National Assembly and Marine Le Pen’s niece, was also a guest of honor.

Éric Zemmour: Just that the French right is not actually right-wing – at least as far as The Republicans and their leadership are concerned. The French right succumbed to the left, and at best could be called centrist. They could even fit in next to Emmanuel Macron as they profess the same things.

László Szőcs: You will return to France now. Will you finally announce your candidacy for president?

Éric Zemmour: We will see.

László Szőcs: Based on your new book and media appearances, you are clearly preparing for something.

Éric Zemmour: This preparation gives me an opportunity to share my ideas with the French people. Though I am not an official candidate, I am the only one whose position is improving. Everyone else is stagnating or deteriorating. Marine Le Pen’s popularity plummeted ten percent in six months from 28 to 18 percent. Macron’s opponents are not doing much better: Xavier Bertrand is at 14-15 percent and Valérie Pécresse is stagnating. They have no dynamics – only I do. Of course, time is putting pressure on me too, so I will announce my decision soon.

László Szőcs: You have around 11 percent popularity. What do you think, could you win?

Éric Zemmour: Politics is not about mathematics, it’s about dynamics. I started at three percent, then I went to five, six, eight, ten and then eleven. And quite quickly may I add. We will see.

László Szőcs: The other day you debated with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a radical left-wing candidate. What would you say to Macron if you were sitting across from him in the second or final rounds of elections next spring? Where do you think the president messed up?

Éric Zemmour: I don’t think he understands the challenges of the threats to our country. Though he is young, his mind is old – as if he was living in the 70s as Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Michel Rocard’s contemporary. He thinks that the economy is the biggest breaking points today. But no, it’s civilization, identity and the fate of our country. He did not understand what René Girard said. He is focused on where to spend two percent of the GDP. I’m not saying this isn’t important, but on the other end of the scale is France’s decline and demise. These aren’t comparable – the latter is a question of life or death.

László Szőcs: As I noticed before, you have quite a friendly relationship with Marion Maréchal. Could you say the same of her aunt, Marine Le Pen, who is your rival on the right?

Éric Zemmour: I really like Marion. I don’t have such a close relationship with her aunt.

László Szőcs: What’s the main difference between the two women’s politics?

Éric Zemmour: Le Pen chose to align herself with the political center, which I think was a tactical and strategic mistake. After all, 70 percent of French people agree with what I have to say about Islam. Many still mention the 2017 televised debate between Le Pen and Macron. As a publicist, you live off debates. Do you consider yourself a better debater? This is her other problem. She humiliated her own voters in the debate. I like to debate, but not for the sake of debate. I defend my beliefs.

László Szőcs: And you could beat Macron?

Éric Zemmour: Everything’s possible.

László Szőcs: What is at stake in the French presidential election for a divided European Union suffering from a crisis of values?

Éric Zemmour: We discussed this with Viktor Orbán and we completely agree. We must force the European Commission to return to its original competence: the management of the common market. And at the same time, they should stop trying to force the ideas of a progressive minority on the Member States, especially with the complicity of the big powers like Germany and France. We have to abandon the view shared by our elites, including Macron, that our future is the United States of Europe. We aren’t Texas and Wyoming. This is the illusion of the Euro-maniacs who are destroying sovereign nations without at least creating a sovereign Europe in its place. This is a myth, a utopia. The Germans and the Polish don’t want independent European defense politics, they always end up aligned with the United States. And Macron will not be able to achieve what Charles de Gaulle failed to achieve. In other words, the common market should be left to the European Commission, but everything else – including immigration policy and border control – should be left to the sovereign nation state, the people.

László Szőcs: But this is not possible without action from the big Member States…

Éric Zemmour: Exactly. They must push the European Commission towards this. As Jacques Chirac said: Brussels alone cannot even declare war. Stalin also asked once: how many divisions has the Pope?