Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Attack on Bayonne Mosque, Suspect was admirer of Eric Zemmour, and a former candidate for the Front National.

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Suspect  wrote (2014), “My Dear Eric,  at Ruquier, you would have been more scathing, saying simply, we were at war against the Islamists…”

An 84-year-old man who once stood as a far-right candidate in local elections has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a shooting and arson attack that injured two people outside a mosque in south-west France. Two men aged 74 and 78 are in a serious but stable condition in hospital after the incident in Bayonne on Monday afternoon.

Police said a man tried to set fire to the door of the mosque and that when he was interrupted, he opened fire. The man then set fire to a car before fleeing, police said.

The suspect was arrested close to his home in the Landes, 10 miles away. The two injured men are believed to have been worshippers at the mosque.

A police source told Reuters that the suspect was a candidate in local elections in the Landes in 2015 for Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, Front National, which has since been renamed National Rally (Rassemblement National). He took 18% of the vote in the first round.


The suspect, Claude Sinké, was not only  a candidate for the Front National. He is an admirer of Eric Zemmour, the far-right polemicist who made the headlines in France recently and has been convicted of incitement to racial hatred.

The English speaking media offers little coverage of Zemmour, who for a long-time was best known as the author of the “declinist” door-stopper,  Le Suicide français (2014). It begins with the phrase, La France est l’homme malade de  L’europe  (France is the sick man of Europe). For those unwilling to fork out for its 538 pages the message is simple, and summarised by admirers and defenders. The book’s main thesis is that nation-states have declined in power and, above all that France has lost its historic leading role. The facade of the Nation is intact, but it has become a Museum, an historic Monument, without a living heart. This “Potemkin Republic” has been hollowed out in the wake of May 68, the Marxist revolutionaries, feminists and post-Christians  who have brought about the triumph of liberal globalist capitalism. They are the harbingers of individualism and national self-loathing.

Much of the controversy around Le Suicide français  centres on its ambiguous stand on the Vichy regime and its patriotism and paternalism,  which he argued gave a degree of protection) towards French Jews.

This, important as it is, should not mean neglecting the ideological heart of the tome.

Zemmour’s loathing of May 68,  like many on the British red-brown front, extends to the individualism of human rights politics,  which he sees as a justification for humanitarian intervention. He is a critic of neoliberalism, and the European Union. Zemmour welcomed the vote for Brexit, describing it as “Une nouvelle Révolution poussée par les vents d’Ouest” (a new revolution, blown by the winds of the West).

It’s his stand on immigration, arguing for the ‘somewhere’ people against migration promoted by elites, that has kept the writer in the public eye.

Pour Éric Zemmour, l’« impuissance » à assimiler les nouveaux immigrés, participe d’un « déclin » français. Il affirme qu’au « nom des droits de l’homme », les « élites » sont aujourd’hui des « prédicateurs » qui « bénissent des millions de « barbares » étrangers […] sans se préoccuper si ceux-ci […] ont envie d’adopter les mœurs de leur nouveau pays ; et se moquent éperdument de l’avis des populations autochtones qui subissent stoïquement ces vagues infinies »

For Eric Zemmour, the “incapacity” to assimilate new immigrants is part of French decline.  He says that in “the name of human rights”, the “elites” are today “sermonisers ” who “bless millions of foreign” barbarians “without worrying […] whether they want to adopt the customs of their new country; and could not care less about the opinions of the indigenous population who stoically put up with these endless waves (of immigrants)  “

He is a fervent supporter of national populism.

Recently Zemmour has attracted a great deal of attention.

As an admiring US site covers why,

Eric Zemmour’s Blockbuster Speech

Eric Zemmour, an Algerian-born French Jew, is a best-selling author and the most popular figure on the French Right. He delivered the keynote address at Marion Maréchal’s big Convention Of The Right in Paris last weekend (TAC’s Scott McConnell reported on it here). Zemmour is an extremely controversial figure in France. A French-speaking reader writes to say that after delivering his speech on Saturday.

Zemmour is now facing multiple lawsuits from anti-racist groups, has been roundly condemned in a petition by a French journalists’ association and has had media appearances and contracts cancelled. If nothing else, [the speech] should inform you as to the mood in France, at least among a rather large faction of the right.


We live under the reign of a new Hitler-Stalin Pact. Our two totalitarianisms have allied to destroy us before tearing each other to pieces. This is their shared objective, their Holy Grail. To the liberal human-rights crowd go the cities. To Islam goes the suburbs [les banlieues]. For now, the one group provides the other with domestics: pizza delivery, taxis, nannies, restaurant kitchens and drugs. With their media and judicial power, the others protect their domestics against the muted abhorrence of the French people they both loathe – one group because they are French and not American, the other because they are Catholic by culture, not Muslim.

In recent years, many clever people have compared the European Union to the defunct Soviet Union and the monetary weaponry of the ECB to the Warsaw Pact tanks launched in service of the Brezhnev Doctrine of limited sovereignty. In Italy, in England, we presently see the unusual effectiveness with which parliaments and judges are fighting the people’s will. Law and so-called constitutional procedures against the freedom of peoples. We have fully returned to those regimes that, in their turn, also claimed to be people’s democracies.


I like Renaud Camus’ way of putting it: “one must choose between living and together” [a play on words on the slogan “vivre ensemble”]. The question today is thus that of the people. The people can remake a nation. The French people against the universalisms, whether market or Islamic. The French people against the cosmopolitan citizens of the world who feel closer to the inhabitants of New York or London than to their compatriots in Montélimar or Béziers and the French people against the Islamic universalism that is transforming Bobigny, Roubaix and Marseille into so many Islamic Republics and which waves the Algerian or Palestinian flags when its football team wins – I mean the team it loves, the team of their parents’ country, not the team of their ID or health insurance card.


This question of identity is also the most unifying for it joins the working and middle classes and even that portion of the bourgeoisie that remains attached to its country. Yes, it brings together all currents of the right and even that part of the left that continues to have ties with the French people – all of them except the internationalist left and the globalist right, which have already joined ranks with the Macronist progressives and for whom France no longer exists and for whom all that matters are the cities of the world where the banks that manage their money are located.

The Nouvel Obs (2nd of October) described this speech as an implicit appeal to civil war.

« Le discours d’Eric Zemmour est, à demi-mot, un appel à la guerre civile »

Libération followed this,

Gérard Noiriel : «Les propos d’Eric Zemmour sont une incitation à demi-mot à la guerre civile»

Editorialising on the broadcast of the conference at which it was delivered le Monde talked of Televised Hatred.

Eric Zemmour et la haine télévisée

You can watch and hear the frankly foul rant in the original here;


Now it is being reported that the man suspected of the Bayonne Mosque attack is an admirer of Zemmour.

Attaque de la mosquée de Bayonne : ex-candidat FN, le suspect était aussi fan d’Eric Zemmour


The man is far from unknown in the Basque Country. Lionel Causse, MP LREM (la République en Marche) , worked with him when he was mayor of Saint-Martin de Seignanx. ” In the past, I had banned Claude Sinké’s access to the town hall because he always came to see me and was verbally violent with me and the staff of the town hall. He was, “Xenophobic and homophobic, ”  reports  Sud-Ouest.

We find traces of this retiree on different blogs and social networks,. These paint the profile of a man tormented, whose mind seems confused, describing himself as ” whimsical “. He also supported polemicist Eric Zemmour , recently convicted for provoking racial hatred.


Many of his publications are devoted to his artistic activity. A Sud-Ouest article published in 2013 describes him as a ” Saint-Martin sculptor unclassifiable and committed “, also ” president of the association Les Amis des arts bayonnais “. On Facebook, he published a photo of himself with several sculptures, including one in  colours of the United States and another in those of the Basque Country.(See above)  ” I thought, in my early years that it was useful first to overcome the existential needs before expressing myself on the artistic level (…) I started with lamps and sculptures that you can see here. above . “


Engaged – apparently – against globalised ultra-liberalism, Claude Sinké is also interested in women’s rights: “

On the site of Zemmour, the former FN candidate  wrote a message of support addressed to Eric Zemmour, published on the group entitled “the blog of those who love Eric Zemmour”.

See also: Attaque d’une mosquée à Bayonne : «Il était vindicatif contre certaines communautés»  Libération. 

Somebody was listening to Zemmour’s appeal.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm

8 Responses

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  1. The suspect says that his attack was to avenge the destruction of Notre-Dame de Paris:

    Andrew Coates

    October 29, 2019 at 6:40 pm

  2. Notre-Dame, not destroyed by Muslims, as Islamophobes claim, but by Macron’s austerity. Just a bit more money for fire hazard monitoring might have saved it:



    October 29, 2019 at 6:51 pm

  3. People who admire somebody who thinks the world is divided between ‘elites’ and talk of this, “We live under the reign of a new Hitler-Stalin Pact.” might agree that Macron is at fault as well!

    The ideological atmosphere this comes from (and you can watch all of it on Youtube and elsewhere) is toxic:

    La «convention» de la droite de Marion Maréchal-Le Pen vire à la caricature radicale.


    Andrew Coates

    October 29, 2019 at 7:03 pm

  4. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (pro-austerity like her aunt ) is a favourite of the United States Republican party:


    I don’t know whether the Le Pen dynasty blames Macron for the Notre-Dame fire (more probably, they blame Muslims). The austerity criticism which I quoted was not by the far right, but by the French firefighters.


    October 29, 2019 at 7:14 pm

  5. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen also loves the Gilets Jaunes,

    Here she gives her ardent support to them.

    Andrew Coates

    October 29, 2019 at 7:21 pm

  6. “the far right is increasingly denouncing the “Yellow Vest” protesters as left-wing violent extremists. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of RN leader Marine Le Pen, said the movement was “full of far-left militants. We heard people saying, ‘Capitalism is dead!’ If that’s the ultra right, then it has changed considerably.””



    October 29, 2019 at 7:38 pm

  7. Anything from the World Socialist Web Site is suspect by definition.

    It is the organ of a deranged group that broke from the Workers Revolutionary Party and are commonly known as the ‘Northites’ – that is commonly amongst the tiny number of people who care who they are.

    The Northites- ICP to WSWS- an update.


    Andrew Coates

    October 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm

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