French Muslim politician Ali Rabeh has been re-elected as mayor of the city of Trappes on Sunday, marking a symbolic win against rising far-right and right-wing populism in France.
On Twitter, Rabeh celebrated his victory against the “Zemmourized right-wing”, referring to Eric Zemmour, a far-right polemist and likely candidate for the upcoming presidential election, Then24 reported.
“Re-election from the 1st round, with at least 57% of the votes! A partial with a participation up 6 points compared to 2020, facing a Zemmourized and clientelist right. What pride, thank you to the Trappists!” he wrote on Twitter.
In his win on Sunday, Rabeh had defeated an alliance led by Othman Nasrou, a French-Moroccan right-wing politician, seconded by the former left-wing mayor of Trappes, Guy Malandrin.
“Tonight, the Trappists have chosen to re-elect Ali Rabeh,” Nasrou said in his press release published on Twitter.
Ali Rabeh’s victory was quickly greeted this Sunday evening by Julien Bayou, the boss of environmentalists, and by Jean Luc Mélenchon, leader of France Insoumise.
Nadia Hai, the Minister Delegate for the City and originally from Trappes, congratulated the mayor, saying she “hopes that after months of tensions, (…) the inhabitants will finally find dignified political debates and the serenity they deserve.”
The city of Trappes, with a population of 32,000 residents, is located in the Yvelines department, in disenfranchised Parisian suburbs.
Trappes, which enjoys a large Muslim population, was at the heart of a nationwide controversy in February after Didier Lemaire, a philosophy teacher, published an open letter denouncing the radicalization of its youth and the “Islamization” of the city.
Then-mayor Rabeh came under national attention for speaking out against Lemaire to defend his city.
Both Lemaire and Rabeh received death threats from extremists, and were placed under police protection. “I don’t see Muslims or Catholics. I see French citizens. Here in Trappes we all live together and we love each other,” Rabeh tweeted at the height of the controversy.