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Submission: Fate of France?

The candidates of France’s two mainstream parties have bowed out in the 1st round of the presidential race. And National Front leader Marine Le Pen has qualified for the runoff

Published: 06th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2017 02:53 AM   |  A+A-

The candidates of France’s two mainstream parties have bowed out in the 1st round of the presidential race. And National Front leader Marine Le Pen has qualified for the runoff

A prescient novel
The UMP and the Socialists have united against Le Pen. We are not talking about this year’s French presidential race, but rather eminent writer Michel Houellebecq’s seemingly prescient novel Submission set in 2022

No Macron then
Le Pen’s opponent is not Emmanuel Macron—poised to win the 2017 runoff this Sunday. In the novel, her rival in the runoff is Muhammed Ben Abbes, the fictional leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Abbes goes on to win and brings in sharia. Macron, criticised for being soft on Islamic extremism, was not thought to be a contender when the book was published

Cassandra’s curse
In the novel, ethnic clashes in France had started in 2020 and by 2022, they had become routine. The novel’s protagonist Francois, a middle-aged academic, notes that “Le Monde and other centre-left newspapers, which is to say every paper, had (earlier) denounced the ‘Cassandras’ who predicted civil war between Muslim immigrants and Europe’s indigenous populations”

Charlie Hebdo connection
Submission was released on Jan. 7, 2015. Hours later, jihadists stormed the magazine Charlie Hebdo’s office and killed 12. Among the dead was economist Bernard Maris, Houellebecq’s close pal

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