By Tiffany Walker
Front National or FN, a French far-right political party has gained substantial grounds in regional elections following the Paris terror attacks. The political party has capitalized on the emotional response. The attacks and the migrant crisis have fueled support for Front National’s anti-immigration policies. The xenophobic attitude of the party comes at a crucial time for Paris. Further isolation of the Muslim population within France, specifically Paris, will create more animosity. The discriminatory treatment of Muslims within France will only fuel radicalization.
The Front National came in third following the legislative elections in 2012, which earned the party two seats in the National Assembly. The party’s success last year shocked the nation when the party gained 25.41 percent of the vote, which translated into 23 seats in the European Parliament. The Socialist and the Republican Party have banded together in an attempt to block support for Front National. The Socialists have agreed to withdraw candidates from two regions, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Nord-Pas-de-Calais/Picardie. The two parties are attempting to allow all anti-Front National voters to concentrate votes in those two regions. However, Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is refusing to make any arrangements with the Socialists, despite his refusal the parties are still working together to hinder FN’s chances of success.
The success of Front National comes from its ability to capitalize on French fears of terrorism, immigrants, and social change. The waves of immigrants fleeing from Muslim countries such as Iraq and Syria are causing the French people to listen to their fears. The Front National party is the voice of fear in a time when the French people need to rise above the fear and hate. Marine Le-Pen, the leader of FN, has used her charm and strength to soothe French fears by proposing to close France’s borders, searching for terrorist suspects, and closing mosques. Is this the future of France?