Future looks bleak for French Muslims as Macron predicted to win second term

France is the old colonial power in Burkina Faso. Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

French president Emmanuel Macron is predicted to win a second term in office despite a narrowing of the polls in recent weeks in favour of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

A Harris Interactive poll for business weekly Challenges said that Le Pen would get 48.5% of votes in a likely second round runoff against Emmanuel Macron.

But the poll – in line with every other survey over the last month – still shows Macron as the likely winner.

The first round of the election will take place on April 10 and the second round (which will pit the two frontrunners head to head) will take place on April 24.

Marine Le Pen. Editorial credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO

Rising prices and consumer purchasing power have become the most important topics for voters in the French presidential elections. Other issues on the campaign trail have included the efficiency of the health system, the environment, immigration, reforming the pension system and the Ukraine war.

Muslims, meanwhile, may well abstain from voting in far greater numbers compared to the wider population.

Four years ago many French Muslims viewed Macron with much hope but in the past few years he has claimed that he has been waging a battle against so-called “political/radical Islam.”

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This war has culminated in the “anti-separatism law” passed in August 2021 which effectively enables the French government to shut down any Muslim organisation at will.

France’s biggest Muslim charity and its biggest anti-Islamophobia organisation have been among the targets of this campaign against “radical Islam.”

The campaign itself has seen the extreme far-right candidate Eric Zemmour rise to prominence with an unapologetically anti-Muslim platform. He is currently running at nine percent in the polls so is unlikely to make it to the second round.

Some grassroots Muslim organisers have campaigned for left-wing candidate Jean Luc Melenchon with the rationale is that he is the “lesser evil” and that voting for him is the only way to defeat the far-right.

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