France: The Parliamentary “Left” Fails to Oppose Macron’s Anti-Muslim “Separatism Law”



Another example of social-chauvinist capitulation to Islamophobia and Police State policy by the Stalinist PCF and Mélenchon’s LFI


By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14 February 2021,




Since the 1 February, the French parliament debates Macron’s notorious Anti-Muslim “Separatism Law” (officially called bill on “Respect for the Principles of the Republic”). This law is a far-reaching attack against the freedom of association and religious freedoms. It is particularly aimed against the France’s 5.7 million-strong Muslim migrant community.


As is well known, Macron has waged a ferocious hate campaign against so-called “Islamic separatism” in the past months. His government is outdoing with the conservative opposition (“Les Républicains”) and Le Pen’s extreme right-wing party (“Rassemblement National”) in calling for repression against Muslims and their associations and for expanding the police and surveillance state. The bill aims at criminalizing all forms of so-called “online hate speech”, tighter controls on homeschooling, limits on donations to religious groups from abroad, and a requirement for all associations in France receiving public funding to sign a contract pledging to “respect Republican values”. [1]


Article 4 of this bill, for example, sanctions the use of threats, violence or “intimidation” aimed at obtaining “total or partial exemption from, or different application of” the rules governing a public service. Those convicted face five years’ imprisonment and a €75,000 fine.




Macron’s political calculations behind his crusade against Muslims




As we reported in several statements and articles Macron has launched a massive campaign against Muslims last year. He promoted the exhibition of the disgraceful Anti-Muslim cartoons of Charlie Hebdo in public places. [2] He also praised the Islamophobic teacher Samuel Paty (who was killed in revenge by an 18-year old Chechen youth) as a “quiet hero” who “incarnated the Republic. He was killed because the Islamists want our future.” In short, Macron started a political crusade against Muslims – an imperialist campaign which provoked global outrage and an international boycott campaign against France. [3]


There are several reasons for Macron’s Anti-Muslim campaign. His bourgeois government faces a severe domestic crisis as it has visible failed in combating the pandemic as well as the economic crisis. It needs to deflect attention from its highly unpopular plans for the police law and plans for social cuts. [4] Furthermore, Macron hopes to rally public support for France’s imperialist foreign policy against Muslim peoples (e.g. military intervention in West Africa [5], interference in Libya [6] and Lebanon [7], foreign policy manoeuvres against Turkey [8]). As this all takes place a bit more than one year before the next Presidential election, Macron is desperate to ensure support among different sectors of the ruling class and the reactionary middle class.


While Macron’s Anti-Muslim “Separatism Law” has been triggered by certain national factors, its subjacent cause lies in more fundamental global developments. The imperialist crusade against the Muslim world did already start long ago – at least since 9/11 in 2001 and the subsequent occupation wars by various imperialist Great Powers (U.S., EU, Russia) against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries. [9] Chauvinist repression against Muslim minorities have taken place in many countries – from Trump’s USA to Austria [10], India [11], and China. [12]


In addition, we have seen in the last years – and in particular since spring 2020 – a dramatic shift from parliamentary democracy towards Chauvinist State Bonapartism. Under the pretext of various “threats” – most importantly the COVID-19 pandemic – the ruling class all over the world has launched massive attacks on democratic rights and advances the creation (or expansion of) a police and surveillance state. [13]




Actions speak louder than words




In such a situation it is the political duty for socialists and consistent democrats to fundamentally oppose this reactionary campaign against Muslim people. However, as we have pointed out on several occasions, the vast majority of the French left has totally failed to stand up consistently for the Muslim brothers and sisters. Most left-wing forces publicly stated their support for Samuel Paty, Charlie Hebdo and “our republic” – in other words, their solidarity with the French imperialist state. [14]


The debates and the vote in the French parliament in the last days have demonstrated this sorry state of the reformist parties once again. As the comprehensive “anti-separatism” bill contains numerous articles and amendments, the articles are voted individually.


Jean-Luc Mélenchon – the dominating leader of the left-populist La France Insoumise (LFI) – has expressed criticism against Macron and the “anti-separatism” bill in public speeches. Likewise does the Stalinist PCF mutter a few critical words against Islamophobia.


However, their actions in parliament speak a very different language. When the assembly voted on the above-mentioned Article 4 of the bill, not a single deputy voted against it! Despite all their talk against Islamophobia, the LFI deputies abstained and those of the PCF even voted in favor of the article! All in all, the LFI supported nearly 40% of the articles which have been voted on until now and the PCF supported even more! [15]








Such sharp contrast between words and actions of the French parliamentary left is not surprising. It is the political DNA of reformism – in France and globally. Their mantra has always been: talk progressive – in order to get votes; act reactionary – in order to get positions and privileges! We repeat that it is urgent for revolutionaries in France and elsewhere to break decisively with such reformist traitors!


We call revolutionaries all over the world to join forces based on unity on the most important political faultlines of international class struggle. Among these issues are the imperialist aggression against oppressed people (including Islamophobia and, in general, chauvinism against migrants), the rivalry between imperialist Great Powers (U.S., China, EU, Russia and Japan) as well as the COVID-19 Revolution. The RCIT is committed to build a World Party of Socialist Revolution in close collaboration with other revolutionary organizations and activists on the basis of consistent anti-imperialism and Marxist internationalism!




[1] See on this e.g. Peter Yeung: ‘French Muslims will suffer’ under separatism rules, critics say, Al Jazeera, 11 February 2021,; AFP: French Muslim groups deal blow to Macron's anti-extremism charter, 20/01/2021,; Jacques Valentin: French Communist Party and Unsubmissive France back Macron government’s far-right “anti-separatist” law, 2021-02-12,  

[2] See on this e.g. RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015,; Michael Pröbsting: The Racist Character of Charlie Hebdo and the pro-imperialist campaign “Je Suis Charlie”. Solidarity with Muslim People! NOT Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! 17.1.2015,

[3] See on this RCIT: Boycott Imperialist and Islamophobic France! Solidarity with the Muslim migrants! Drive out the French occupiers from Mali and other countries!, 26.10.2020,

[4] See on this RCIT: France: Bring Down Macron and his ‘Police State’ Law! Workers and Oppressed: Unite against Police Violence, Racism and Imperialism! 30.10.2020,

[5] See on this e.g. RCIT: Expel French Imperialism from West Africa! Macron and his G5 Lackeys plan to intensify their colonialist “Operation Barkhane”, 15 January 2020,

[6] See on this e.g. RCIT: Egypt’s Dictator Sisi Threatens to Invade Libya. Defeat the counterrevolutionary bandit Haftar and the powers behind him! 24 June 2020,;

[7] See on this e.g. RCIT: Popular Uprising in Lebanon: “Resign or Hang!”, 9 August 2020,

[8] See on this RCIT: War Clouds in Eastern Mediterranean. Down with the imperialist aggression of the EU, Israel and Arab tyrants against Turkey! Support the ongoing Arab Revolution! 14 September 2020,; RCIT: Turkey and the Growing Tensions in Eastern Mediterranean. Theses on the complex contradictions between imperialist and regional powers, the Arab Revolution and the consequential tactics of Marxists, 28 August 2020,

[9] On the Marxist assessment and tactics in such imperialist wars against oppressed nations see e.g. chapter XXI in our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019,; see also chapter 12 and 13 in another book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013,; on the Syrian Revolution see our numerous booklets, statements, and articles on this issue which are compiled at a sub-page on the RCIT website:

[10] See on this e.g. RKO LIBERATION: Austria: Hands Off Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas! The Austrian government aids the state terrorist regimes in Israel and Egypt! 9. November 2020,; RKO LIBERATION: Austria: Scandalous Bann of a Rally against Islamophobe Racism! Minister for Interior suppresses freedom of speech … in the name of freedom of speech, 9. November 2020,; RKO LIBERATION: Austria: Daesh is the Bullet but Macron is the Political Assassin! The terrorist attack is the inevitable result of imperialist wars and racist oppression, 3 November 2020,

[11] See on this e.g. RCIT: India: Down with CAB! Solidarity with the uprising of the Assamese people! 14 December 2019,; see also numerous documents of the RCIT on Kashmir which have been compiled on a special section on our website:

[12] Muslim countries, sent to the United Nations defending China's treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, 16 July 2019,; Michael Pröbsting: China: Defend the Muslim Uyghurs against Oppression! 18.10.2018,

[13] The RCIT has analyzed the COVID-19 counterrevolution extensively since its beginning. Starting from 2 February 2020 we have published nearly 80 pamphlets, essays, articles and statements plus a book which are all compiled at a special sub-page on our website: In particular we refer readers to the RCIT Manifesto: COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive. We are at a turning point in the world situation as the ruling classes provoke a war-like atmosphere in order to legitimize the build-up of chauvinist state-bonapartist regimes, 21 March 2020, In addition, we draw attention to our book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It. A Marxist analysis and strategy for the revolutionary struggle, RCIT Books, April 2020, See also our very first article on this issue by Almedina Gunić: Coronavirus: "I am not a Virus"... but WE will be the Cure! The chauvinist campaign behind the “Wuhan Coronavirus” hysteria and the revolutionary answer, 2 February 2020,; Michael Pröbsting: The Second Wave of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. On the ruling class strategy in the current conjuncture, its inner contradictions and the perspectives of the workers and popular resistance, 20 July 2020,; by the same author: The Police and Surveillance State in the Post-Lockdown Phase. A global review of the ruling class’s plans of expanding the bonapartist state machinery amidst the COVID-19 crisis, 21 May 2020,; COVID-19: The Great Barrington Declaration is indeed Great! Numerous medical scientists protest against the reactionary lockdown policy, 11 October 2020,; Michael Pröbsting: COVID-19: The Current and Historical Roots of Bourgeois Lockdown “Socialism”. Police State and Universal Basic Income are key elements of the new version of reformist “War Socialism” of 1914, 19 December 2020,

[14] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: France: “Our Republic”? Social-Chauvinism and Capitulation to Islamophobia by the Left, 2 November 2020,; see also by the same author: French Stalinists Join the Bandwagon of Anti-Migrant Demagoguery, 24.09.2019,  

[15] See on this, in addition to the above-mentioned WSWS article, Paul Morao: Loi séparatisme. Dénoncer le texte mais voter 40% des articles: à quoi jouent les Insoumis? 12 February 2021,