Muslim Terrorism in Paris, Michel Houellebecq's Cowardice, and the Islamization of France: An Interview with Russian writer Elena Choudinova, author of The Notre Dame de Paris Mosque.
Translated from Russian by Eugene Girin
Eugene Girin: Elena, you are the author of the sensational, politically-incorrect bestseller, The Notre Dame de Paris Mosque, published in 2005, which I wrote about in the pages of Chronicles ("Elena Choudinova: Telling the Truth," June 2014 issue). How did you become interested in the topic of the Islamization of France?
Elena Chudinova: This topic became very acute and relevant in Russia during the collapse of the USSR. When the Russian population of Chechnya began to be butchered, our society was not ready to become aware of the Islamic threat. In Russia, too little was known about Islamic radicalism. Even during the first military campaign in Chechnya, Russian society still did not understand much and the leftist mass media (and it was totally leftist under Yeltsin) took a totally treasonous position. Then there was the Islamist invasion of Dagestan, the terrorist outrages of "Nord Ost" and Beslan . . .
EG: But why did France become the place of your novel's plot? Where did you get your avid interest and sincere love for the country of Joan of Arc and Charlotte Corday?
EC: I did not chose France. She, herself, decided that I needed to write about her. I am a mystic not a realist. I believe that a country can say "do so" and a person will hear her will. Honestly, I had no other choice . . . Why did La Belle France need me, a Russian, is not for me to decide. I had the obligation to write.
EG: Was the Islamization of France in your novel accompanied by bloody terrorist attacks, like we recently witnessed in Paris?
EC: I do not describe the process of turning France into a sharia-ruled state in great detail. In my book, France is already ruled by sharia. But in the text of the novel, I constantly provide references to real-life terrorist attacks, like Beslan.
EG: During the last couple of days you repeatedly expressed your reaction to the recent tragedies in Paris. Could you share your thoughts with our readers?
EC: First of all, it is a tragedy. I do not respect and share the positions of that publication, that is not even up for debate. That magazine was always vulgar (like French political caricature in general) and its anti-Christian attacks, its mocking of Russian tragedies, like the Moscow metro bombings, was worthy of contempt. But let us, Europeans, decide in our own European home what is acceptable and what is not. The vulgarity of a magazine is not a reason to allow savages to dictate to us.
It pains me to see in the mass media, the assertion that Muslims "must not be provoked". That is extremely naive. All the actions of Muslim anger are in no way spontaneous, even if they look as such. From hundreds of reasons (like the death of Afro-European teenagers, a quite ordinary occurrence, since those youths are always a group of high social risk), one is chosen ("three youths climbed into a transformer vault and burned to death") and is raised to the crest of the media wave through riots or terrorist attacks. Terror cannot be "provoked", it provokes itself. How sad that people do not understand this. There were and always will be victims and a soft approach will only increase their number.
EG: According to the European press, the scandalous liberal French author Michel Houellebecq, who wrote the anti-Muslim novel Submission stopped promoting the novel after the terrorist attacks in Paris and fled the city in an unknown direction. What do you think of Houellebecq and his novel?
EC: I always said that the liberal protest against Islam is spineless. An unbeliever cannot fight against a believer. If France has a future, it lies in the renaissance of Catholicism. If the terrorist attacks took place after the presentation of my novel in Paris in 2009, I would not flee. A Christian fights till the end like my comrade-in-arms, Fr. Daniel Sysoev, who was martyred by the Muslims in Moscow. Anti-Islamic activism does not consist of stealing the idea of someone else's book, and Houellebecq undoubtedly took the idea of my book—many people noticed this, by the way. Anti-Islamic activism is the readiness to fight till the end. He is not a warrior, not a soldier.
EG: Elena, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Houellebecq's new novel is plagiarized from your The Notre Dame de Paris Mosque?
EC: This is a complicated question. There is no copyright for ideas, unlike a copyright for the plot and text of a novel. But in both novels, a dystopia that takes place in the first half of the 21st century where France becomes ruled by sharia law is present . . .
EG: You are friends with Marine Le Pen, can you tell us about this and your ties with the French traditionalist right?
EC: I met Marine Le Pen only once in person during her visit to Moscow. But she, like her father Jean-Marie, is one of my readers and fans. I was very pleased when Jean-Marie Le Pen praised my book on French television. Rightwing websites and newspapers gave a lot of support in promoting my book in France. I also have to mention the website of Philippe De Villiers' party. My book was also very well-received by traditionalist Catholics.
EG: Do you think that Marine Le Pen will be the next President of France?
EC: At the close of my conversation with her in Moscow, I said: "I believe that today I met the President of France". I did not say the word "future".
EG: How was your book received in Russia and other countries where it was published (Poland, Bulgaria, and Serbia)?
EC: It was met with the understanding I hoped for. You cannot forget - these are all countries with many Christians, the most "unsecular" countries of Europe.
EG: Were you criticized in Russia for being "Islamophobic" and "intolerant"?
EC: Yes, very much so! I still hear these accusations. The accusation of "fascism" is especially vile, since my ancestors were World War II heroes. But our "tolerant" friends know full well the recommendations of Goebbels: what is important is not the essence of the accusation, but the noise around it.
EG: In which country was your book the most popular?
EC: Of course, it was most popular at home, in Russia. In France, the liberal censorship is too powerful. The book is mentioned on our, Russian, national television channels, but not on French ones.
EG: Do you think that the same extent of Islamization as in Western Europe is possible in Russia? Could there ever be a Saint Basil's Mosque in the Red Square?
EC: The mechanisms of Islamization are different, but yes, I am convinced that the same threat exists in every European country.
EG: Let us imagine that tomorrow, Francois Hollande resigns and Marine Le Pen wins the next presidential elections. She appoints you her advisor in charge of fighting Islamization. What measures would you take?
EC: I cannot imagine such a situation, even as a Christmas fairy tale. I am a Russian and the French should decide their own fate. I can only express my love of their country by writing my books.