Retired French military officers warn of country 'disintegrating'
Far-right leaders celebrate as former French military figures speak of a country in decline.
The open letter in the far-right French magazine Valeurs Actuelles warns of "suburban hordes" overrunning the country.
"France is in danger. Several mortal dangers threaten it. We who, even in retirement, remain soldiers of France, cannot, in the current circumstances, remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country," the letter by the retired French military officers warns.
Amongst the dangers the authors see is the threat of "Islamism", which is often understood to mean Islam in the French political context.
In the letter initially published on April 21, the signatories attacked supporters of a "certain anti-racism" which follows, amongst other things "decolonial theories."
The purpose of those campaigning against racism and reevaluating France's colonial past is to foster "unease, even hatred between communities", the military men warned.
"They attack military and civilian glories by analyzing words that are centuries old," the authors lamented.
France today's hosts more than 5.4 million Muslims, many of whom are Algerians, a former French colony where forces loyal to Paris committed mass atrocities during its 132-year occupation.
The letter comes on the back of another interview on the same right-wing political platform calling for an insurrection in the country to protect against the 'wars of races' and 'cancel culture.'
Following the letter by the former military leaders and soldiers, the French minister of the armed forces, Florence Parly, called their public comments an "irresponsible" politicisation of the army.
As presidential elections loom closer in France, the statement by the military officers is a pointed effort to grab headlines and force politicians to adopt policies that potentially clamp down on the religious freedoms of Muslims.
"We are ready to support policies which will take into consideration the safeguard of the nation", said the military men before ending with a veiled threat to intervene in politics.
"If nothing is done, laxity will continue to spread inexorably in society, ultimately causing an explosion and the intervention of our active comrades in a perilous mission of protecting our civilizational values and safeguarding of our compatriots on the national territory."
One politician heard their calls and has urged them to join her party.
The far-right leader Marine Le Pen, currently ahead in the 2022 presidential polls, responded to the generals by urging them to join in the "battle for France.
"Your initiative, rare in the military institution, testifies to the degree of concern which is yours vis-a-vis the worrying deterioration of the situation of our country. The uncompromising but fair observation that you make as the strength of the terms you use constitute a public challenge that, given your status as a signatory, no one can ignore," said Le Pen.
French President Emmanuel Macron is trailing Le Pen are in the polls. Macron's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in 60 percent of French people disapproving of the work he's doing.