Polygamy, Islamic state schools, and a Muslim president – this is the vision of France in 2022 laid out by the country’s most notorious author Michel Houellebecq in his new novel. The Local is the first to bring you details of a book set to cause a storm when it’s published next month.
The Saudis fund the Sorbonne Islamic University in Paris, French primary and secondary teachers have to convert to Islam, and education stops at 11 for girls, who are destined for domestic chores, marriage, and child-bearing.
The state funds only the primary sector, and all education after that is private, with the Gulf monarchies pumping money into Islamic schools, while secular schools slowly wither for lack of funds.
Polygamy is legal, and the removal of women from the workplace means that the country’s stubbornly high unemployment finally plummets.
Mohammed Ben Abbes of the Muslim Fraternity party has beaten Front National leader Marine Le Pen to the presidency with the help of the Socialists, the centrists, and even Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP.
And the most astonishing aspect of this radically new political landscape is that France – suffering from nervous exhaustion after a decade of Socialist rule under François Hollande, severe economic decline, and the terrifying rise of the far-right – rediscovers optimism and economic growth under the rule of the moderate Islamist president.
Welcome to the fictional future of France as imagined by Michel Houellebecq, who cannot be accused of being a fan of Islam, the religion he once famously described as “cretinous.”