France's Islamic future?

Michel Houellebecq, the novelist who has found himself at the center of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, envisions the Islamization of France in his new book

Charlie Hebdo
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber))

On Wednesday, armed men, apparently Islamist terrorists, slaughtered a dozen editors and cartoonists in the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. It was the nightmare of secular liberals throughout the West, but especially in France, where anxiety about Muslim immigrants has been rising steadily in recent years, producing an ominous spike in support for the far-right Front National in last year's EU parliamentary elections.

In an uncanny twist, a new novel by the controversial and award-winning French author Michel Houellebecq was published the very next day (a caricature of Houellebecq himself was splashed on this week's cover of Charlie Hebdo).

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