The French president wants the parliament to accept a contested bill aiming to protect police officers and monitor Islamist groups more efficiently in the country. Some papers already wrote that he would like to introduce an illiberal regime like the one, according to their view, PM Orbán runs in Hungary.
According to Reuters, French President Emmanuel Macron rejected accusations that his government had taken an illiberal turn with a contested bill to protect police officers and a crackdown on Islamist groups. Mr Macron would have liked to protect police officers by banning to share any identifiable images of them. However, the initiative caused outrage among journalists who said that the President’s goal is only to
court right-wing voters by being tougher on law and order.
Marcon gave an interview on Friday to Brut website and talked about the issue presented by the international media as a step forward to an illiberal state. He said that “today, the situation is not satisfactory but, forgive me, that does not make us an authoritarian state.” Later, he emphasised that “we are not Hungary, Turkey or somesuch. I cannot let it be said we are reducing liberties in our country.”
Interestingly, protests over the President’s plan escalated after a video started to spread showing how three police officers beat a black man inside his music studio in December. Macron highlighted that what they did was unacceptable. However, he added that what individuals do cannot be generalised to a collective, so what happened cannot mean that the police are violent and racist as a whole.
He stated that French society has become more violent, for example, many police officers were injured in clashes even in Paris.
“A policewoman was beaten up by protesters there. If you do not look at society in its entirety, you are not being fair,” he concluded.
“France was attacked because it defended freedom of speech. We were very lonely,” Macron said about the tragic murder of the French teacher, Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an 18-year-old Muslim only because he showed some cartoons about Prophet Muhammad in class. Afterwards, he promised to take up the fight against all assaults on French values, so he launched investigations into mosques suspected of fomenting Islamist ideology. That
triggered anti-French protests in some Muslim countries and liberal criticism in the West.
As we reported before, PM Orbán stated what illiberalism means in Transylvania, in 2019. Orbán then said that the liberal system consisted of a cluster of individuals competing against one another without the existence of a nation. “At best, there’s a political nation,” he said. In contrast to this, he said that the “illiberal or national point of view” sees the nation as “a historically and culturally defined community whose members must be protected and made capable of fending for themselves in the world as a group”. This approach recognises individual performance that also serves the good of the community, he said.
Orbán said that
in an illiberal or national system, achievements such as self-care, work, self-sufficiency, paying taxes, starting a family, and raising a child were not private matters but were a reflection of participating in the nation.
Hungary has established itself as an “illiberal state”, Orbán said, adding that the country had been reorganised into a “unique Christian democratic state”.
Orbán argued against the assumption that “all democracies are by nature liberal and Christian democracy must also be liberal”. He said the idea of liberal democracy had only been viable for as long as it had “a positive effect on humanity” by safeguarding personal freedoms and private ownership. “But once it started breaking the ties that bind man to reality and life, started questioning gender identity, devaluing religious identity, and deemed national affiliation to be redundant, its contents radically changed,” the prime minister said. “This is the zeitgeist of the past 20-30 years in Europe.”
“According to the liberal concept of freedom, you can only be free if you are free from everything that makes you belong; from borders, from the past, from language, from religion and tradition,” Orbán said.
Illiberal thinking maintains that the individual’s adherence to freedom must trump the interests of the community,