Four years ago, Thilo Sarrazin, a renowned German central banker, who was also a long-time member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), shocked the German establishment when he published a book in which he argued that Islamic immigration is undermining German society. In the book, Deutschland schafft sich ab [Germany Abolishes Itself], Sarrazin wrote that Islamic immigrants threaten Germany's freedom and prosperity because they are unwilling to integrate and rely overwhelmingly on welfare benefits.
Although Sarrazin's party, as well as the governing Christian-Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, distanced themselves from the author -- and Islamic organizations tried to take him to court on charges of racial incitement -- the book hit a nerve with the German public. It sold over two million copies and became one of the most widely read books ever published in Germany.
Last October, Éric Zemmour, a French journalist, also published a book, which can be considered the French equivalent of Sarrazin's book. In Le Suicide français [The French Suicide], Zemmour argues that the policies of the French political elite are destroying the country. His arguments resemble Sarrazin's and the book has had the same impact. Its sales are breaking all the records. So far, in less than two months, over half a million copies have been sold, in spite of the fact that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared that the book "does not deserve to be read."