Who on earth does Nicolas Sarkozy think he is? The answer, of course, is President of the French Republic. And from that position — and propelled by the Toulouse shootings and doubtless by the imminent election — he has chosen to expel a number of people from the Republic whose views, actions and teachings are deemed inimical to the State. Sarkozy gave the order yesterday and a couple of hours later the men were on planes back to their countries of origin.
As the Times reports, the Algerian Islamist Ali Belhadad was flown back to Algiers and Almany Baradji, an imam, was sent back to Mali. The French Interior Ministry explains that Baradji ‘preached anti-Semitism and the rejection of the West’. Neither man was given any time to appeal.
At the same time a Saudi imam, Saad Nasser Alshatry, was banned from returning to France and expulsion orders were issued against two other men — one Tunisian, one Turkish — who have ‘promoted hatred of the West and of Jews’. All this comes a week after the rounding up of an extremist group last week and the banning from France of Ken Livingstone’s pro-genocide-for-Jews friend Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
What a fine contrast this presents with our own country, where Abu Qatada — among many others — looks set to reside in subsidised bliss until such a time as he dies of natural causes. It is true that under this government — and in particular since the implementing of the Munich agenda — we have been heading in a better direction than we were previously. But we are crawling in that direction. Not least because, as I have noted here before, this government remains under the misapprehension that following every letter of recently invented, and unenforceable, European law should take priority over the basic security requirements of the people of this country. France has just corrected the balance of rights when it comes to extremists and rest of the population. But it took the horrors of Toulouse to remind them to do this. Tragically it will probably take a similar nightmare before things change here.
Meanwhile, at a rally last night President Sarkozy said:
‘I am giving a warning which is very clear and which must be heard. Anyone who makes comments contrary to the values of the French Republic will be instantly removed from French territory. There will be no exceptions, there will be no indulgence.’