This past March, Marine Le Pen was charged with circulating “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity.” Her crime was tweeting the photographs of atrocities committed by fanatical Muslims, members of the Islamic State, that they themselves had released as propaganda. A few weeks after the attacks in Paris in which 130 people were killed, Marine Le Pen wanted to inform the French public of just what these members of Daesh were capable of. Her tweet was, of course, meant not to incite, but to denounce. One of the photographs was of the decapitated body of the journalist James Foley. When his family requested that photograph be removed, Marine Le Pen promptly complied, explaining she had not known the identify of the victim.
For her brave act, undertaken to deepen the public’s understanding of just how gruesomely murderous these fanatical Muslims in the Islamic State have been, she has been treated by the French state as a criminal. It now appears that magistrates in Nanterre have ordered Le Pen to visit a psychiatrist for an expert assessment. But there is nothing crazy about Marine Le Pen’s alarm about the behavior of the most fanatical Muslims, and what they regard as deeds of derring-do, nor about her worries over the demographic inroads made by Muslims in France. The crazy people are those who don’t want to hear what she has to say, want to punish her for saying it, don’t want to recognize, much less deal with, the problem of Islam, or who issue grand-sounding but futile plans, as Macron has done, for a putative “Islam of France.”
She is, of course, furious at this absurdity. “I thought I had been through it all: well, no! For denouncing the horrors of Daesh (Isis) by tweets the “justice system” has referred me for a psychiatric assessment. How far will they go?!” she said on September 19.
How should she deal with this demand?
She should not fight it, but turn it to her advantage.