France has been split down the middle by the sacking of the nation’s favourite – and at the same time most detested – hard-right, Islamophobe misogynist.

Eric Zemmour was dismissed by the 24-hour news channel i-Télé after telling – or seeming to tell – an Italian journalist that France’s estimated five million Muslims should be “deported” to avoid “chaos and civil war”.

The channel’s decision was approved by anti-racist groups and some left-wing politicians. It was lambasted by senior figures on the right of French politics – who adore Zemmour – but also by some on the left – who detest him – on the basis of his right to free speech.

With the radio station RTL also under pressure to dismiss Zemmour from his twice-weekly commentary slot, the fate of the provocative journalist and author has become the hottest issue in French politics. Zemmour, 56, a Jew of Algerian origin, could therefore be said to have disproved his own pet theory.

His book Le Suicide Français has sold 250,000 copies in the past three months. It claims that France’s core identity has been destroyed by immigration, feminism, homosexuality, Europe, free trade and excessive, unnecessary guilt about the persecution of Jews in the Second World War.

The controversy surrounding the scrapping of Zemmour’s programme on i-Télé suggests that, au contraire, France remains France.

In few other countries would the sacking of a political commentator arouse such passions. In few countries, would politicians on both sides of the left-right divide have defended Zemmour’s right to freedom of speech… see more

source: Independent UK