During the Islamic month of Ramadan, France has experienced multiple examples of violence against people who don't respect Koranic laws, even though they are not established legally in any parliament. The cases are making national headlines. For example, a woman from Tunisia was threatened and attacked in Nice (in the south of France) because she dared to serve alcohol in a bar during Ramadan. In the same town, a baker was attacked for serving a pork sandwich. In the Gennevilliers suburb of Paris, a 16-year-old girl was beaten because she wore a skirt that was considered too short.
Additionally, growing anti-Semitism has caused many Jews to gather on the west of Paris, where the Muslim population is the smallest. Some are leaving France altogether to go to Israel or elsewhere. The most courageous man confronting this violence is Xavier Lemoine, the mayor of Montfermeil, a north suburb of Paris. He was elected with 70 percent of the votes. He says that non-Muslim woman are choosing to wear a head veil just to be left alone or out of fear of violence. The extent of social pressure today is nearly inconceivable for those know and love the culture of Paris.
France greatly needs free-market ideas, especially considering its high unemployment rate (more than 10 percent), the vast public debt, and the emigration of brilliant entrepreneurs and wealth-creators leaving the country. There is hope in the growing numbers and strength of France's free-market organizations, which are bringing ideas of liberty into debate in the media and in the 2017 presidential election. While the reality in France is currently higher taxes, greater debt, and more unemployment, Pesey and his colleagues see this mindset clearly changing among the leadership. Come to hear about their work as freedom champions to spread the ideas of liberty!
Alexandre Pesey is the founder and executive director of the Institut de Formation Politique (IFP) which trains students from throughout France in effective promotion of individual freedom and personal responsibility in the public sphere. Pesey graduated from Paris-Assas Law School and EM Lyon Business School in France. He has taught law at the University of Assas (Paris II) and economics in a private boarding school in Western France. He is the founder of the Tocqueville Fellowship, a yearly trip for French students to travel to Washington, D.C., to learn about the American conservative movement. He recently launched Le Coquetier, the first political incubator to build a network of entrepreneurs dedicated to freedom, prosperity, and culture. He is on the Board of Contribuables Associés, the equivalent of Taxpayers Union of France, the biggest privately funded civil society organization with 350,000 members. And he is on the Board of la Fondation pour l'École, which encourages the creation and development of free schools and spreads school choice in France. Pesey lives in the western suburbs of Paris with his wife Kate and their five children.