compiled by Cem Ertür
9 November 2008
excerpt from ‘French immigrants must learn La Marseillaise says Nicolas Sarkozy ally‘
by Kim Wilsher, Daily Telegraph, 3 November 2008
Foreigners should be forced to study the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, if they want to stay in the country, a close ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared
Brice Hortefeux, the minister for immigration and national identity, says foreigners should be taught the history and “values” of the national anthem – which includes calls for the shedding of “impure blood” and the defeat of “foreign cohorts”.
The proposal comes less than a month after Mr Sarkozy threatened to call off football matches if fans jeered, whistled or booed during the playing of La Marseillaise.
Mr Hortefeux, 50, who is one of the president’s closest friends and has his full backing, made the suggestion during a European conference on immigration at Vichy.
“The Marseillaise is too often heard as a song, but not as a lesson,” he said. “We are failing to explain well enough to immigrants who want to live in France where the song comes from, what it means and what values it conveys.”