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    Default France Secular Extremism & Islamophobia

    Nicolas Sarkozy to target Muslim prayers

    Matthew Campbell - December 20, 2010

    NICOLAS Sarkozy will take another lurch to the Right with a speech on New Year's Eve calling Muslim prayers in the street "unacceptable".

    After his expulsions of gypsies and a crackdown on immigrant crime, the French President will warn that the overflow of Muslim faithful on to the streets at prayer time when mosques are packed to capacity risks undermining the French secular tradition separating state and religion.

    He will doubtless be accused of pandering to the far Right: the issue of Muslim prayers in the street has been brought to the fore by Marine Le Pen, the charismatic new figurehead of the National Front, who compared it to the wartime occupation of France.

    Her words provoked uproar on the Left, whose commentators took them as evidence that far from being the gentler face of the far Right, Ms Le Pen, 42, is no different from Jean-Marie, 82, her father, who has been accused of racism and Holocaust denial.

    According to his aide, Mr Sarkozy agrees with the junior Le Pen that the street cannot be allowed to become "an extension of the mosque" as it does in some parts of Paris, which are closed to traffic because of the overflow of the faithful. Local authorities have declined to intervene, despite public complaints, because they are afraid of sparking riots.

    "People overreacted to Marine Le Pen's comments," said the aide, referring to the furore in which she was accused of rabble-rousing racism. "She is right: this phenomenon is unacceptable."

    The tall, blonde Ms Le Pen is expected to succeed her father as head of the National Front at a party congress next month.

    Her advance in the opinion polls reflects a trend all over Europe, where far-Right parties are benefiting from anti-immigrant sentiment and economic fears. As a more moderate voice than her father, Ms Le Pen is widely considered to be more effective and the nightmare scenario for Mr Sarkozy is that he might be knocked out of the race during the first round of the presidential election in 2012. The run-off would then be staged between the two first-round winners: Ms Le Pen and a Socialist candidate.

    Something similar happened in 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen took advantage of a fractured Left to beat Lionel Jospin, the Socialist candidate, in the first round and ended up losing in the run-off against Jacques Chirac.

    Marine Le Pen's approval rating has risen to 33 per cent in recent weeks, according to one poll, only three points behind Mr Sarkozy's, as she has criss-crossed the country articulating what a lot of older people believe: that France has been invaded by Muslims and betrayed by its elite.

    Mr Sarkozy's top lieutenants have been holding meetings to decide how to counter the threat. Some say the ruling centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) should reach out to Ms Le Pen as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has shared power with the anti-immigrant Northern League.

    Others have suggested relaunching a "national identity debate" that collapsed this year after degenerating into a forum for immigrant-bashing. Mr Sarkozy may also come under pressure to make more overtures to the Right with another law-and-order crackdown. Street prayers could be banned.

    Yet after banning the wearing of the burka in public, Mr Sarkozy will have to tread carefully if he wants to avoid alienating Europe's largest Muslim community and turning it into an electoral goldmine for his Socialist rivals in 2012.

    One presidential contender from the Centre-Right, Dominique de Villepin, could further splinter the conservative vote.

    Ms Le Pen wants to end her party's isolation and appeal to the mainstream. To the horror of some in the party, she has spoken inclusively about gays and described herself as a feminist.


    comment:

    These are the extremists in their countries and these kuffar invade Muslim lands to prevent "extremists" from taking power. If he really doesn't want the prayer lines to extend into streets then he can build a bigger masjid there!

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    Citizen's de-veiling outlawed as countdown to French burka ban continues

    By Peter Allen - 4th March 2011


    Members of the public will be barred from performing ‘citizen’s de-veilings’ when a burka ban begins in France next month.



    Instead they will have to call the police, who will consider whether the offender should be fined, the Interior Ministry said.

    However, the police have complained that they will have to waste time on ‘burka-chasing’.

    Last year a woman in Paris was fined for ripping off a Muslim’s veil in a busy department store in the country’s first known case of ‘burka rage’.

    The attacker said she had been hugely irritated by seeing a fellow customer shopping with her features hidden.

    The Interior Ministry made its warning after announcing that the ban on full-face coverings will come into effect on April 11.

    It will make France the second country in Europe, after Belgium, to introduce a ban on a garment which immigration minister Eric Besson called a ‘walking coffin’.

    While women face fines of £130 and ‘civic duty’ guidance if they break the law, men who force wives or daughters to wear burkas could be jailed for up to a year or fined £25,000.

    An Interior Ministry source said: ‘Women cannot be subjected to a citizen’s de-veiling. Anybody caught trying to pull a veil off will face criminal action.

    ‘The aim of this law is not to cause humiliation, or even persecution. It is to make sure that people do not cover their faces.’

    Posters have already gone up in town halls across France reading: ‘The Republic lives with its face uncovered.’

    Belgium introduced a full ban last year, while Holland, Spain and Switzerland are also likely to follow suit.

    There are no plans to introduce a similar ban in Britain, although politicians from the UK Independence Party and some Tory backbenchers have suggested one.


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    After burqa, France bans street prayers

    Sep 17, 2011


    A ban on praying in French streets came into effect on Friday, with thousands of the nation's Muslim faithful being moved to temporary alternative spaces for their day of prayer.

    From Paris to Marseille, Friday's midday prayers will be led from disused barracks or other temporary buildings,
    after the question of Islam's visibility became a political issue under right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy.

    France, home to Europe's largest Muslim population, this year banned the burqa and earlier this week interior minister Claude Gueant warned that "from September 16 there will be no more prayers in the street".

    "If anyone happens to be recalcitrant we will put an end to it," Gueant said, suggesting police could be brought in. "Prayers in the street are unacceptable, a direct attack on the principle of secularism," Gueant said, citing the government's defence of the republic's secular values as reason for the new policies.


    In Paris, a former barracks just north of the city limits has been designated the new prayer area for those living in the multi-ethnic Goutte d'Or neighbourhood.


    The praying faithful at the Goutte d'Or's two mosques have overflowed into the streets since a nearby mosque where 4,000 people could pray closed years ago, sparking the ire of French right-wing and anti-immigration parties. The neighbourhood's mosques are to be closed for at least the coming three Fridays in order to encourage those wanting to pray to go to the renovated barracks, one of the mosques' preachers, Sheikh Mohammed Hamza, said.


    "Most of the organisations running mosques managed to find solutions allowing them to avoid this kind of practice (praying in the street)," Marseille police said.





    ------------------------------

    France bans street prayers

    A French ban on praying in the street came into force on Friday, driving thousands of Muslim worshippers in northern Paris into a makeshift prayer site in a disused fire brigade barracks, angering a small but vocal minority.

    The street-prayer ban has highlighted France's problems assimilating its 5-million-strong Muslim community, which lacks prayer space, and follows a long-running controversy, fanned by far-right leader Marine Le Pen, over Muslims forced to lay their prayer mats on the streets in big cities.


    Interior Minister Claude Gueant directed Muslims in Paris to temporary spaces made available pending the building of a huge new prayer space and
    warned that force would be used if necessary as police end their tolerance of street prayers.

    Seven months before a presidential election, the
    ban has struck some in France as an attempt to rally far-right sympathizers to President Nicolas Sarkozy's center-right camp.

    At the barracks, Cheik Mohammed Salah Hamza oversaw prayers for Muslims who had migrated from around the city. Worshippers streamed in, spreading their woven prayer mats over the floor of the hangar-like building and out into the courtyard.


    Le Pen has described the growing phenomenon of praying on the streets and sidewalks as an "invasion."


    "It's Marine Le Pen who started all this," a woman who gave her name as Assya said on her way into the former barracks on the outskirts of Paris. "Now
    the government has banned street prayers and sent us here so they can gather votes from the (far-right) National Front (party) -- that's all."

    "NO SYSTEM CAN CONTROL US"


    In France, where a strict separation of church and state has been in force for a century, public displays of religious activity are frowned upon.


    Yet efforts by Sarkozy's conservative government to restrict religious displays, such as a
    ban on full-face veils, have drawn criticism as empty measures that unfairly single out Muslims.

    France counts the largest Muslim minority of any European country. But only a portion -- about 10 percent, or the same proportion as among Catholics -- are practicing, according to Muslim associations.


    As a rule, radical Muslim voices in France are rare, but Friday's prayers in northern Paris
    drew a small but angry protest from a minority more often seen in online posts.

    An hour before the first prayer young men with beards, green headbands and banners gathered on rue Myrha to discourage worshippers from moving to the new site.


    "No system in the universe can control us aside from Allah," shouted one young man. "
    There is more dignity in praying in the grass than in their false mosque," said another.

    As the prayers began, dozens of young men belonging to a group called Forsane Alizza disrupted the service with shouts of "Allahu akbar" -- "God is greatest" -- and jostled with security.


    --------------------------------------

    Muslims defy outdoor prayer ban in France



    Hundreds of Muslims defied a French ban on outdoor prayer -- which came into force Friday --and took to the streets and sidewalks of Paris to pray.

    The French government announced Thursday it was banning praying outside, with officials pledging to enforce the ban from Friday.


    But 200 Muslims ignored the ban and prayed on the streets in the neighborhood of La Goutte d'Or, Le Parisien newspaper reported.


    French interior minister Claude Gueant said he had nothing against Islam but wanted it out of the public eye because France was a secular state.


    He added, "Street prayers must stop because they hurt the feelings of many of our compatriots who are shocked by the occupation of the public space for a religious practice."


    Although officials would persuade people to pray in mosques,
    Muslims who continued to pray in the street would be arrested, Gueant warned.

    The ban angered French Muslim leaders who said Muslims only prayed outdoors because of a lack of space in mosques in France.

    The
    outdoor prayer ban is the latest move by the French government to remove Islam from the public sphere. Laws prohibiting students wearing headscarves in schools and banning women from wearing the full Muslim veil -- the niqab --in public came into force in April.

    comment:

    During the time of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) the kuffar were also afraid of Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu)'s praying and reciting the Quran where everyone could see and hear him. The truth is that the followers of shaytaan cannot bear to see anything relating to obedience and worship of Allah.


    ---

    Narrated by Aisha Bint Abu Bakr (the wife of the Prophet):

    ...When the Muslims were put to test (troubled by the pagans), Abu Bakr set out migrating to the land of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), and when he reached Bark-al-Ghimad, Ibn Ad-Daghina, the chief of the tribe of Qara, met him and said, 'O Abu Bakr! Where are you going?' Abu Bakr replied: 'My people have turned me out (of my country), so I want to wander on the earth and worship my Lord.' Ibn Ad-Dhagina said: 'O Abu Bakr! A man like you should not leave his homeland, nor should he be driven out, because you help the destitute, earn their living, and you keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the weak and the poor, entertain guests generously, and help the calamity-stricken persons. Therefore, I am your protector. Go back and worship your Lord in your town.'

    "So Abu Bakr returned and Ibn Ad-Daghina accompanied him. In the evening Ibn Ad-Dhagina visited the nobles of Quraish and said to them. 'A man like Abu Bakr should not leave his homeland, nor should he be driven out. Do you (Quraish) drive out a man who helps the destitute, earns their living, keeps good relations with his kith and kin, helps the weak and poor, entertain guests generously and helps the calamity-stricken persons?' So the people of Quraish could not refuse Ibn Ad-Dhagina's protection, and they said to Ibn Ad-Daghina: 'Let Abu Bakr worship his Lord in his house. He can pray and recite there whatever he likes, but he should not hurt us with it, and should not do it publicly, because we are afraid that he may affect our women and children."...

    Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 245

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    France imposes first niqab fines

    22 September 2011

    Two French Muslim women who continue to wear the full-face veil in defiance of a new law banning it in France have been issued fines by a court.

    Hind Ahmas and Najate Nait Ali were caught wearing the niqab in public outside Meaux town hall, eastern Paris, soon after the law came in in May.

    The women say they will appeal against their punishment all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

    Meanwhile another woman said she would stand for president in her niqab.

    Thursday's sentencing in Meaux was closely followed not just in France but right across Europe, says the BBC's Christian Fraser in Paris.

    Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland all have - or are planning - similar legislation.

    Assault claims

    Divorced mother Hind Ahmas, 32, a mother-of-three, was fined 120 euros (£104) by the court.

    Before the hearing she said she was hoping a fine would be imposed, to enable her to challenge it.

    "Without a condemnation I can't move forward. There has to be this sanction with a fine so that I can take this to the European Court of Human Rights. It's imperative that there's a sanction," she said.

    Najate Nait Ali was fined 80 euros.

    They become the first of 91 women stopped by French police to be handed a fine.

    Ahmas's parents were not strict Muslims. She told the BBC she put on the niqab for the first time six years ago as an educated single woman.

    She claims she once wore mini-skirts and liked to party before she rediscovered her faith.

    Some Muslim groups say since the ban was introduced in April a number of women have been assaulted both verbally and physically by members of the public.

    These two women would most likely have to exhaust the appeals process in France - which can take considerable time - before they can hope to test the legislation in the European court in Strasbourg, our correspondent says.

    Another high-profile niqab-wearer, Kenza Drider, has said she will stand for president in the 2012 election.

    She has become a champion for several hundred women in France who insist wearing the niqab is a personal choice and a right enshrined by European law.

    She said: "The reality is, there is a lot of unemployment in France and a lot of problems in France so let's not focus on what I wear, let's deal with the real problems. So my candidacy is really being done for that. To say don't stop at what I'm wearing, but go much deeper."

    Exceptions to ban on public face covering

    • Motorcycle helmets
    • Face-masks for health reasons
    • Face-covering for sporting or professional activities
    • Sunglasses, hats etc which do not completely hide the face
    • Masks used in "traditional activities", such as carnivals or religious processions

    Source: Radio France International


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    French court cancels permit for Marseille mega-mosque

    A French court Thursday cancelled a construction permit for a mega-mosque in the southern city of Marseille
    that had been touted as a potential symbol of Islam's growing place in France.

    The city's administrative tribunal ruled the project, which had already been under suspension for 18 months, would have to be cancelled because of failures to meet urban-planning requirements.


    It raised particular concerns over the project's failure to finalise a deal for a 450-place parking lot and to reassure planners that the mosque would fit with the urban environment.


    The tribunal noted "a lack of graphical material permitting the evaluation of the project's integration with neighbouring buildings, its visual impact and the treatment of access points and land."

    The project was granted a permit in September 2009 but construction was suspended following complaints from local residents and businesses.

    The 22-million-euro ($31-million) project would have seen the Grand Mosque, boasting a minaret soaring 25-metres (82-feet) high and room for up to 7,000 worshippers, built in the city's northern Saint-Louis area.


    Originally scheduled to open next year, it would have also hosted a Koranic school, library, restaurant and tea room.


    Muslim leaders in the Mediterranean city had hailed the approval of the project as a key step in recognising the importance of Marseille's large Muslim community.


    France's second
    city is home to an estimated 250,000 Muslims, many of whom flock to makeshift prayer houses in basements, rented rooms and dingy garages to worship.

    Home to Europe's biggest Muslim minority, estimated at between five and six million, France has for years been debating how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam, now the country's second religion.


    France in April became the first country in Europe to apply a ban on the wearing of full-face coverings, including the Islamic niqab and the burqa.


    The decision triggered a political storm, with rights activists accusing President Nicolas Sarkozy of targeting of one of France's most vulnerable groups to win back votes from the resurgent far right.


    A French court in September slapped the first fines on two women for violating the ban.


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    No reprisals for Frenchman who burned Koran

    25 Oct 2011


    An appeals court on Tuesday confirmed the acquittal of a Frenchman accused of inciting racial hatred after posting an internet video of himself burning a Koran and then urinating on it.

    Ernesto Rojas Abbate was arrested in October 2010 after posting footage of himself wearing a devil mask and tearing pages from the Islamic holy book before setting it on fire and later urinating on it to extinguish the flames.

    Prosecutors, who had been seeking a three-month suspended sentence and €1,000 ($1,400) fine, appealed after a court acquitted him in May on charges of inciting racial hatred.

    In the footage Rojas Abbate, a 31-year-old resident of a suburb of the eastern city of Strasbourg, used pages of the Koran as a prop in a simulation of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York.

    He made paper airplanes from pages of the Koran, threw them at glasses meant to represent the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, then burned the pages and the book before urinating on them.

    The appeals court ruled that, while the video was "wilfully outrageous and deliberately provocative", there was no evidence Rojas Abbate had intended "to arouse feelings of hostility... aimed at provoking discrimination, hate, or violence towards Muslims."

    His lawyer, Renaud Bettcher, hailed the ruling, saying: "In a secular and republican society, it is incomprehensible that my client was prosecuted. Blasphemy does not exist in France."

    Police arrested Rojas Abbate after local Muslim leaders in Strasbourg reacted with outrage at the video.



    They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse.
    (Quran 3:118)

    O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya' (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but Auliya' (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.) to one another. (Quran 5:51)

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    Extremist French storm and occupy Mosque


    In the latest assault on Muslim worship places, a group of French far-rightists have stormed and occupied a mosque building site in France’s historic city of Poitiers, to the shock of the Muslim community.

    "We are thunderstruck,” local Muslim imam Boubaker El Hadi Amor told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

    “These are people who are stuck in the year 732, and who don't see that the world has changed.”

    Scores of far-right extremists stormed the site of a mosque in Poitiers on Saturday, October 20, in protest at building the Muslim worship place.

    Travelling from all over the country, the rightists gathered in front of the building to protest the mosque construction.

    They climbed on the mosque’s roof and unfurled two banners, one identifying their organization while the other proclaiming “Charles Martel beat the Arabs at Poitiers in 732.”

    That battle is remembered by French for halting the advance of Islam into Western Europe.

    After negotiations, the far-rightist attackers agreed to end their occupation of the mosque and leave the site.

    “We were planning to stay longer but as we had no intention whatsoever of a physical confrontation we are leaving with the police in a good mood without an unhappy ending,” a spokesman for the demonstrators, Damien Rieu, said as the occupation of the mosque ended.

    Four far-rightists were held for questioning over storming the mosque’s site, while the rest of demonstrators underwent identity checks.

    “Poitiers is in shock,” Alain Claeys, the mayor of the town of 90,000 inhabitants, told AFP.

    Police said it has opened an inquiry into “an unauthorized demonstration, incitement to racial hatred, participation in a gathering with a view to carrying out joint damage.”

    There could be charges of theft as about 10 carpets were removed from the mosque and taken to the roof where they were badly damaged by rain.

    Provocation

    The far-right attack on the mosque invited a storm of condemnations in France.

    French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is in the Philippines, said he “firmly” condemns a “provocation that reveals an unacceptable religious hatred.”

    Interior Minister Manuel Valls also condemned “hateful and inadmissible provocation” and the “questionable confusion” of the group.

    The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism ((Licra) described the mosque’s occupation as a “demonstration of hate.”

    Leftwing groups called for the far-right group responsible for the occupation of the mosque to be dissolved.

    The umbrella French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM), spoke of its “strong indignation” and “its deep concern in the face of this new form of anti-Muslim violence.”

    The occupation, it said, had been “serious, savage and illegal, accompanied by slogans hostile to Islam and without precedent in the history” of France.

    France is home to a Muslim minority of six million, the largest in Europe.

    Saturday’s attack is the latest of a series of attacks on mosques in France.

    In August, two pig heads were hung on two pillars outside a mosque in the southwestern town of Montauban.

    In January, vandals attacked a French mosque in the Glonnières district of Le Mans, covering its walls with graffiti reading “Islam out of Europe”, “No Islam” and “France for the French.”

    Three days earlier, another mosque in Miramas was daubed with Islamophobic slogans along with the name of Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

    Fascist graffiti was also painted on the wall of a mosque that is under construction in Montigny-en-Ostrevent reading “President Adolf” or “Hei” in reference to the Nazi salute. “Heil Hitler”.

    Two pig heads were also left at the site a mosque is being built in Nanterre.

    http://islamstory.com/en/node/37804

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    Islamophobia, anti-Muslim acts on the rise in France: report



    By Louise Riondel
    Morocco World News
    Rennes, France, March 21, 2013

    The French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, the organization in charge of control the respect of human rights in the country, has issued its annual report. According to its results, intolerance, mainly towards Muslims, rose once again in 2012.

    The phenomenon, dubbed by the report as « worrying », was reported to Prime Minister Ayrault. In 2012, the Commission has registered 53 actions and 148 threats against Muslims reported by the Interior, Education and Justice Ministries.

    The population’s perception of the religion is also mainly negative. Indeed, according to a study conducted at the end of last year, only 22% of people interrogated stated they have a positive vision of Islam. 55% see Muslims as “an isolated group in society”.

    Another new trend is that higher classes now also criticize practices that are specific to Islam, such as wearing a veil, observing the month of Ramadan, the daily prayers and the sacrifice of the sheep for the Eid. While 34% of people with a university diploma had a negative image of Muslims 3 years ago, they are 58% today. For women, it went from 42% in 2009 to 59% today.

    Several explanations can be given: these numbers were particularly high after the “Merah case” and the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the newspaper “Charlie Hebdo”. However, the phenomenon has to be considered within the context of general violence present in France. In general, acts and threats of a racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim nature have increased by 23% in 2012. 69% of respondents declared that “there are too many immigrants in France”. Once again, a new phenomenon is appearing: 51% of respondents living in France but with a foreign citizenship share this feeling.

    The Commission is particularly worried by the fact that 65% of people consider that “some behaviors can justify racist reactions”, and blames the Internet and political leaders for the instrumentation of those fears.


    http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2013...france-report/

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    Terrorism of Muslims by France Islamophobe cowards:

    Pregnant Muslim woman attacked in Paris loses baby


    18 June 2013 /FERHAN KÖSEOĞLU, PARIS



    Despite all medical efforts, a pregnant Muslim woman who was attacked by two Islamophobic men in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil on Thursday suffered a miscarriage and lost her baby, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

    The 21-year-old Muslim woman, who was four months pregnant, was physically attacked by two men. The attackers first tried taking her headscarf off and later cut off her hair and tore part of her clothing. After she screamed out that she was pregnant, one of the attackers started kicking her in the stomach.

    She was taken to Argenteuil hospital where she underwent treatment for injuries.

    Daily Mail reported that the police said that the men had shouted racist insults at the woman, saying that the veil was no longer acceptable in France.

    “Her husband called me this this afternoon. She lost the baby,” the lawyer told AFP news agency. He added that the family were devastated by the tragedy and would not be making any further comment.

    French police officer involved in the investigation confirmed to AFP that she lost her baby.

    The prosecutor for Pointoise, Yves Jannier, also said the woman had been kicked in the hip before she managed to flee.

    In a related incident, another Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was also attacked three weeks ago in the same region of Paris.


    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-3185...oses-baby.html

    Comments

    And yet, you will see Muslims running to Europe for vacations and honeymoons, especially the Arabs. They hate your guts and want to kill you and yet you will support their economy with your wealth? Is the desire to be among the whites that strong for the majority who suffer from inferiority complex?


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    France needs to start facing up to Islamophobia

    The Paris riots over the arrest of a veiled Muslim woman reveal the ongoing tension between the police and minority populations

    Valérie Amiraux and Marwan Mohammed - 27 July 2013

    The trigger for the riots in the Parisian suburb of Trappes last weekend was a relatively ordinary one: the local police stopped a young woman for wearing the full veil in public. Ordinary, that is, since the inception, in April 2011, of Law 2010-1192 of 11 October 2010 prohibiting the concealment of the face in public space, according to which the wearing of this type of garment can lead to a fine of €150 (£129) and a "community rehabilitation programme" in the form of mandatory citizenship classes. Over the course of two years, the police have issued 705 citations.

    In many ways, the arrest in Trappes was routine from the point of view of both the police and the young woman concerned. But it took a bad turn: the young woman and her husband were taken to the station, the Trappes commissioner refused to register the complaint made by the young woman's mother, who was witness to the arrest, and civil unrest erupted over the course of that Friday, followed by numerous further arrests.

    The context within which this episode took place is slightly more difficult to untangle. There is an easy tendency, sustained by the media, to accentuate the extreme social precariousness in the French suburbs, the failure of national integration, the continuing problem of the suburbs, regardless of the particular political persuasion of the government in charge. Every one of these colours the context. But there is a new element in play during these incidents in Trappes: Islamophobia.

    It shows up in multiple forms: attacks on mosques, desecration of religious sites, the ban on the headscarf in public schools, making it impossible for certain veiled women to access public services, to accompany their children on school outings, the rampant insults, harassment, humiliation, physical and verbal aggression they are subject to, racial and ethnic profiling and discrimination, sometimes culminating in physical attacks, such as the recent one on a veiled woman in Argenteuil, who lost her baby as a result.

    But the principal characteristic of Islamophobia is that it remains, at least in France, very rarely denounced. It is consistently perceived as an exaggeration, the result of victimised posturing invented by troublemaking Muslims, who are incapable of integrating and bending to the requirements of French citizenship.

    In Trappes, Islamophobia has crossed another line of French political history, that of the relationship between the police and the populace, particularly the minority population. The history of the French police is inseparable from the progressive construction of the state. The police force, nationalised and centralised, emerged as a front against regional powers, and subsequently grew its power and influence against the working and anti-colonialist classes over the last century.

    The security of the power structure has always taken precedence over the security of everyday citizens: the affirmation or consolidation of the state has subsequently rested on a culture that placed great importance on the maintenance of public order and on the gathering of political intelligence. As a result, there is very little that would create a rapprochement between the police forces assigned to minority areas and the inhabitants themselves. This power structure encloses all relations between citizens and police within a rigid framework, characterised by distance and defiance. Bridging this distance between the populace and the police has been long been identified as a necessity. At the end of the 1990s, the Socialist government attempted to design a police force that would have more contact with and therefore more proximity to the population, an initiative that was quickly thwarted by the right's rise to power and the resistance on behalf of police hierarchies and unions. Add to this environmental mix the harsh identity checks and brutal police treatment reserved for minorities and the working classes, and it is no surprise that over the past 40 years, the vast majority of suburban revolts have risen out of incidents with the police. The tradition of struggle against police discrimination in France is an old one, and one of its most recent demands – for the establishment of vouchers or documentation during identity checks in order to better fight against the practice of "ethnic profiling" – was taken up by François Hollande during his candidature only for him to abandon it once elected.

    The events in Trappes are therefore not restricted to a conflict between the forces for order and Muslims. Nor is it a fight between secularism and the Islamisation of the suburbs. The tensions related to the enforcement of the ban on the wearing of the niqab straddle a much more general history of the relationship between the police and the populace.

    Given that we are only a few weeks away from the primaries of the 2014 European and French municipal electoral campaigns, it is imperative that we begin to anticipate the effect that the hardships being endured by the working classes and the continuing stigmatisation of Muslims will have on the electorate.


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...bia-veil-riots

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    Palestinian state recognition will be a ‘grave mistake’, Netanyahu warns France

    11/25/14

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has warned it would be a “grave mistake” for the French parliament to follow the suit of several other European nations in recognizing a Palestinian state in a vote scheduled early December.

    “Recognition of a Palestinian state by France would be a grave mistake," Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem. “Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheadings across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” apparently referring to Herve Gourdel executed by Algerian jihadists in September.

    Just hours before the statement, the Israeli government approved a controversial ‘Jewish state bill’, which the critics already called anti-democratic. If approved by the parliament on Wednesday, it will redefine Israel as the “national homeland of the Jewish people” instead of a “Jewish and Democratic State.”

    A symbolic vote planned in the French parliament on December 2 will call on the government to “use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict” and follows a similar motion adopted by Spain last week.

    Earlier the UK adopted a similar non-binding resolution calling for recognition of the Palestinian state as a step to securing a two-state solution.

    Meanwhile Sweden has become the first West-European EU state to officially recognize the occupied state of Palestine, infuriating Israel who recalled its ambassador in Sweden.

    A vote at the UN General Assembly in 2012 secured de facto Palestinian statehood, although a ‘yes’ vote from most EU members is still pending. While Sweden is the first EU member in Western Europe to have recognized the state, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have already done so.


    http://rt.com/news/208187-israel-france-grave-mistake/


    After Charlie Hebdo attack, fears of a ‘witch hunt’ against Muslims


    Political analysts warn that the attack could be used by far right to spur religious hatred

    1-7-15

    France’s far-right National Front party looked set to use the Paris attack on a satirical magazine to further its anti-immigrant agenda, with one member suggesting that Islam has a “tendency to create fanatics.”

    The comment comes as political analysts and Muslim community leaders predict that right-wing politicians will use the attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly that has lampooned Islam and other religions, to stoke popular fears against French Muslims.

    “Islam is a difficult religion, because it confuses civil and religious law. It doesn’t recognize the French principle of secular government,” Wallerand de Saint-Just, the National Front’s national treasurer told Al Jazeera before a press conference by the party’s leader, Marine Le Pen.

    Marine Le Pen has in recent years attempted to downplay the xenophobic rants of her father, Jean Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front and has repeatedly denied the Holocaust. But like her father, she has maintained a tough stance on immigration and what she has called the creeping influence of Islam in the French state.

    In April 2014, her party saw unprecedented gains in municipal elections, with National Front candidates elected in 11 cities.

    “Islam has a tendency to create fanatics more than any other religion. The facts on the ground prove this,” de Saint-Just said. He traveled to the site of the massacre in central Paris hours after the attack, he said, and witnesses told him “the attackers spoke perfect French like French citizens. Therefore, we know it was facilitated by the very present, real danger of terrorists in France.”

    The fact that the attackers may have had French citizenship means “it’s very difficult to get these people. If these people have French nationality, we can arrest them, but we can’t expel them. They get out and conduct another attack. This is a dangerous cycle of terrorism.”

    The Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR), which advocates for the interests of French people of color, including those from France’s predominantly Muslim former colonies in Africa and elsewhere, condemned Wednesday’s attack and comments like de Saint-Just’s.

    “We denounce the attack and the instrumentalization of the attack” by “the jackals that want to use this incident to start a witch hunt against Muslims,” said Youssef Boussoumah, a PIR organizer and Muslim community leader.

    He said the incident was an attack on French Muslims as well as French non-Muslims. “This enables people who attack Muslims,” he said.

    Analysts appeared to agree with Boussoumah that, given mounting Islamophobia and xenophobia, the French Muslim community could face a barrage of nationalist conservatives aiming to stoke animosity.

    Alain Gresh, the editor of French monthly newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique and a noted commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, told Al Jazeera that Wednesday’s attack occurred in a “climate of Islamophobia very present in France,” adding that the incident “can strengthen Islamophobia and make people see all Muslims as the same — as a threat to our civilization and values.”

    That fits squarely into the far-right political platform, he said. “The National Front is changing its general discourse, which was against Jews, [to one] in favor of Jews and Israel and against Muslims,” he said. [Just what the Zionists wanted!]

    Olivier Roy, a professor at the European University Institute in Florence focusing on security issues and Islamist armed groups, echoed Gresh and Boussoumah.

    Wednesday’s attack “reinforces the extreme right,” Roy said. Some people are calling to ban Islam in France — but not the National Front, which will avoid what are considered incendiary comments, he said, “because they have a shot at the government.”


    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/7/france-charlie-hebdo.html




    Charlie Hebdo: Norway didn’t give in to Islamophobia, nor should France


    Excerpts:

    Social media abounds with Islamophobes seizing this atrocity to advance their hatred. Islam as an entire religion is responsible, they cry: it is incompatible with “western values”. They wish to homogenise Muslims, as though Malala and Mo Farah have anything in common with the sectarian murderers of Isis.

    This is a dangerous moment. Anti-Muslim prejudice is rampant in Europe. The favoured target of Europe’s far-right – like France’s Front National, which currently leads in the opinion polls – is Muslims. France is home to around 5 million Muslims, who disproportionately live in poverty and unemployment, often in ghettoised banlieues. This incident should rightfully horrify, but it will now undoubtedly fuel an already ascendant far-right.

    The consequences? More anti-Muslim hatred, more disillusionment among already marginalised young Muslims, more potential recruits for extremist groups.

    Source: Guardian







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    Kebob shop bombed, mosques attacked in France after Charlie Hebdo killings

    1/8/15

    Several training grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in the French city of Le Mans. One of the grenades exploded, but no injuries were reported.

    Four training grenades were thrown onto the property overnight Thursday, the local French daily Ouest-France reports.Three of the unexploded grenades were discovered by police. Police have cordoned off the mosque and so far no arrests have been made.

    A gunshot was also reported overnight, with the bullet hitting the mosque.

    French police have noted several attacks against mosques since Wednesday, when gunmen opened fire on the Paris office of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

    An explosion at a kebab shop near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone on Thursday morning also left no casualties. Local prosecutors have described it as a “criminal act”.

    An assailant also opened fire near a Muslim prayer room in the Port-la-Nouvelle district near Narbonne in southern France on Wednesday night. The door to the room was damaged and a window was broken, but no injuries were reported in the attack. The local prosecutor told AFP the room was empty at the time of the attack.


    Source: Rawstory & RT




    Updated:



    comments:

    They are ignoring their own terrorists who are attacking Muslims, Mosques, and Muslim businesses. Those are terrorist attacks, not criminal acts their people are doing.

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    Apologists Muslims are changing their Facebook profiles to “I am Charlie” in support of this kuffar, in addition to posting on twitter, instragam and carrying signs in protests. Yes, he died and was killed but that does not decrease his actions and anti-Islamic publications or what he stood for. Are you that blind to it or are such Muslims just trying to “fit” in with their inferior complex?

    Here’s Charlie’s legacy:



    HOW CHARLIE HEBDO HAS BECOME A BYWORD FOR ANTI-ISLAMISM

    Charlie Hebdo has become a byword for offensive statements in France after taking several highly provocative swipes at Islam.

    The newspaper once named Prophet Mohammed as its guest editor, published cartoons of the holy figure in the nude, and once renamed itself Sharia Hebdo with the cover slogan '100 lashes if you don't die of laughter'.

    The controversy began in 2006 when the publication reprinted now-infamous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed by Danish artist Kurt Westergaard.

    When the images originally appeared they lead to days of protests across the Middle East and in Western cities. The decision to reprint the images landed the then-editor in court under anti-terror laws, though he was later acquitted.

    The Hebdo offices were burned to the ground in 2011 when attackers used Molotov cocktails to start a blaze early in the morning of November 2.

    There was nobody in the building at the time, and the target was instead thought to be the newspaper's computer system, which was completely destroyed.

    Riot police were forced to stand guard outside the building for days following the attack, as the editors took a defiant stance, choosing to reprint the cartoon images multiple times.

    In 2012 they again printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as a deliberately provocative gesture while violent protests were taking place across the Middle East.

    The following year the newspaper's office again had to be surrounded by riot officers after they published a cartoon booklet depicting the Prohpet naked as a baby and being pushed in a wheelchair.

    On the final page of the booklet there was a note from the editor, Stephane Charbonnier, saying the images were 'halal' because Muslims had worked on them, and that they were factually accurate as they had been derived from descriptions in the Koran.

    The satirical publication, widely seen as France's answer to Private Eye, prides itself on a mixture of tongue-in-cheek reporting and investigative journalism.

    Hebdo's current office building has no notices on the door to prevent a repeat of the attacks that have occurred in the past.

    In an interview with De Volkskrant in January 2013, Mr Charbonnier revealed he had been placed under constant police protection for four months after one of the cartoon issues was published.

    He shrugged off criticism that he was only publishing the images to gain notoriety for Hebdo, and insisted that he was instead defending the right to free speech.

    Mr Charbonnier pointed out that the newspaper had poked fun at feminism, nuclear energy and homeland security, but the Islam issues always attracted the most publicity.


    Source: Dailymail

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    On Charlie Hebdo, freedom of speech, terrorism, and the value of lives

    1-8-15


    First, and most notable for me, I take issue with the argument made by some that Charlie Hebdo's staff are “heroic” because of their past publishing cartoons and articles that attack and mock Islam. While it is true they also have a history of publishing material that mocks other religions and ideologies, I highly doubt Charlie Hebdo would have been as "courageous" in mocking Judaism with the same robustness they do in mocking Islam, for example. In fact, looking at its history, the magazine fired one of its cartoonists in 2008 over a satirical statement that it argued was ‘anti-semitic’.

    There is a fine line between satire and offensive material that Charlie Hebdo wilfully dances around. I think much of their material is offensive, Islamophobic (and anti-Semitic, as well as racist, sexist, and homophobic), and the argument that it is "freedom of speech" is a very crude way to allow offensive material to be published. “Freedom of speech” gets thrown around quite easily during events like yesterday's, but serious public debate about the parameters and nature of “freedom of speech” are few and far between.

    I see nothing heroic about a bunch of elite white writers and artists picking on the identities and beliefs of minorities. Satire is supposed to be an act that punches up to power, and not down to the weak. The argument for “freedom of speech” and freedom of the press should not, and must not, place aside the question and understanding of privileges and differing power dynamics that are at work. By acknowledging and understanding that, perhaps we can all work to refine and develop a notion of freedoms that is truly universal and conscious of its role and duties. What is common today is that freedom of speech and freedom of press is brought up to espouse Islamophobic sentiments, and maintain power, but is ignored when facing issues of immigrant rights at home or wars fought abroad. In other words, “freedom of speech” is already restricted in many ways.

    Muslim communities, immigrants, and "others" will pay dearly, and already are in France and elsewhere. French (and European) politics will sway more to the right. French support of repressive states and its military 'adventures' in North Africa and West Asia will continue.

    The knee-jerk romanticizing and mythologizing of victims, particularly if the perpetrators are Black, Brown, or Muslim, that occurs after such acts, allows the perpetuation of this cycle of violence. Anyone who dares to mention facts, make critical assessments, or initiate a thoughtful debate is quickly chastised, and accused of siding with “terrorists” which, in effect, silences them. Yet, it is rare for free speech advocates to come to the aid of those raising serious questions; instead, this freedom of speech is used, time and again, to vilify such individuals.

    After the launch of the American “Global War on Terror” 14 years ago, the level of the debate has stagnated as a righteous binary, and absolutist statements reign supreme. Much needed nuance, contexts, and depth are quickly swept aside.

    This leads to the second point.

    I find it interesting how there is an almost immediate expectation that Muslims apologize and take responsibility for the horrible attack on Charlie Hebdo. This is interesting because not once is there an equal expectation in regards to westerners (shall say Christian or Jewish?) to take responsibility or apologize for the killing of Al-Jazeera's staff by US forces in Iraq (as well as a number of other Arab journalists later on during that horrendous war) or the killing of tens of Palestinian journalists by the Zionist forces over the past decade. This is never expected, nor demanded, or even ever considered by the mainstream press.

    But Muslims, especially in France, have nothing to apologize for. This does not mean they shouldn't take a stance and condemn these acts of violence as individuals. Collectively, however, apologizing implies responsibility – one that is not theirs to bear.

    The only responsibility "Muslims" (whatever that means) have is to confront forces of repression, whether internal or external, and that does not mean apologizing for being a Muslim. And yes, I do think, that there is a lot that individuals within Muslim communities should and can do in combating fundamentalism and narrow-thinking, but that does not mean they should be collectively punished, harassed, mocked or immediately grovel when events like yesterday’s occur.

    I make the same argument for any group; just like we shouldn't attack or punish all Jews for the brutal crimes of Zionism, or all Christians because of the horrors of colonialism, and the same holds true for Muslims. This is an important distinction that fundamentalists, of varying stripes, do not make and we must.

    In fact, I argue that the French state has the largest share of the blame for:

    a) Not creating a system that allows certain communities to assimilate easily into society. I'm talking politically, socially, and economically;

    b) Pursuing a foreign policy that is destructive of other societies, and furthers repression;

    c) Not coming to full terms, acknowledging, and apologizing for a history of military occupation and intervention in the North African and West Asian region (as well as elsewhere in the world). This is a history that continues to shape actions, ideas, and positions today, and has yet to be adequately confronted within French society;

    d) Being supportive and part of the political support of states like Saudi Arabia (the beating heart of ferocious Islamic fundamentalist tenets) and Israel (the nation of Zionism, a racist and violent ideology, born out of ethnic cleansing and continued incremental genocide).

    We need to understand context. We need to understand history. We need to understand power dynamics and inequalities.

    Terrorism, or as I define it, political violence, and indeed most violence, does not happen in a vacuum, and without understanding the historical and contemporary strands, we will be dragged deeper into a cycle of violence, counter-violence, and destruction. We need to understand that these men who committed these acts are not “foreign entities” but most likely are a product of French society, a society that does not make integration easy for everyone.

    Much of the reaction yesterday and today calls for blood. It is a position that is reactionary.

    And even then, it's interesting how it seems that one society's call for blood is more acceptable than another's...

    And we arrive to one last point, and this is about the value of lives. I have witnessed on social media and on news agencies a flurry of articles, statements, and dismay about the lives lost in Paris. Twelve people have died, people are horrified, and rightly so.

    Yet, on the same day, a car bomb exploded in Sanaa, Yemen, killing at least 38 people. At least nine people, including two children, have died in attacks in Afghanistan, and an unknown number of dead as the violence rages in Syria and Iraq.

    What is true today, and has been true for a while, is that 'white' lives matter more. It garners more of an emotional reaction. It horrifies, and causes dismay, shock, and tears. Their faces and names will be etched in collective memory. Politicians will read eloquent, heart-felt eulogies.

    Black and Brown misery and deaths, on the other hand, have become so normalized, so accepted, so routine. They are numbers, footnotes, and statistics. There was no personalized video message by US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in the language of the victims, that offered sadness over the killing of seven pro-Syrian regime journalists after gunmen attacked their offices in June 2012. There were and are no Twitter hashtags for the dead civilians who were killed by French airstrikes during their military adventures in Mali, North Africa, and elsewhere. No one paid attention to the (terrorist?) bombing of the Colorado Springs offices of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) on January 6.

    Lives are simply not equal. We must ask ourselves why? To quote the American philosopher Judith Butler, “Who counts as human? Whose lives count as lives? And, finally, What makes for a grievable life?”

    These are key questions that are necessary and the answers can help us move on collectively, and the answers, I think, offer more solutions that simply hunting down and killing “terrorists.”


    https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-a...value-of-lives







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    As a Muslim, I'm Fed Up With the Hypocrisy of the Free Speech Fundamentalists

    1-13-15

    Dear liberal pundit,

    You and I didn't like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists"? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya's slogan: either you are with free speech... or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo... or you're a freedom-hating fanatic.

    I'm writing to you to make a simple request: please stop. You think you're defying the terrorists when, in reality, you're playing into their bloodstained hands by dividing and demonising. Us and them. The enlightened and liberal west v the backward, barbaric Muslims. The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it "a war declared on civilisation". So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a "clash of civilisations" and referred to "Europe's belief in freedom of expression".

    In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a "bid to assassinate" free speech (ITV's Mark Austin), to "desecrate" our ideas of "free thought" (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime - not an act of war - perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.

    Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech. We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.

    Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No? How about caricatures of the 9/11 victims falling from the twin towers? I didn't think so (and I am glad it hasn't). Consider also the "thought experiment" offered by the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug. Imagine, he writes, if a man had joined the "unity rally" in Paris on 11 January "wearing a badge that said 'Je suis Chérif'" - the first name of one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Suppose, Klug adds, he carried a placard with a cartoon mocking the murdered journalists. "How would the crowd have reacted?... Would they have seen this lone individual as a hero, standing up for liberty and freedom of speech? Or would they have been profoundly offended?" Do you disagree with Klug's conclusion that the man "would have been lucky to get away with his life"?

    Let's be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists. I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.

    When you say "Je suis Charlie", is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo's depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?

    Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic. Also, as the former Charlie Hebdo journalist Olivier Cyran argued in 2013, an "Islamophobic neurosis gradually took over" the magazine after 9/11, which then effectively endorsed attacks on "members of a minority religion with no influence in the corridors of power".

    It's for these reasons that I can't "be", don't want to "be", Charlie - if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine's right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, "It is possible to defend the right to obscene... speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech."

    And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark? Were you not aware that Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that published caricatures of the Prophet in 2005, reportedly rejected cartoons mocking Christ because they would "provoke an outcry" and proudly declared it would "in no circumstances... publish Holocaust cartoons"?

    Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent (have you visited Germany lately?) and the widespread discrimination against Muslims in education, employment and public life - especially in France. You ask Muslims to denounce a handful of extremists as an existential threat to free speech while turning a blind eye to the much bigger threat to it posed by our elected leaders.

    Does it not bother you to see Barack Obama - who demanded that Yemen keep the anti-drone journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye behind bars, after he was convicted on "terrorism-related charges" in a kangaroo court - jump on the free speech ban wagon? Weren't you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the "unity rally" in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent "extremists" committed to the "overthrow of democracy" from appearing on television.

    Then there are your readers. Will you have a word with them, please? According to a 2011 YouGov poll, 82% of voters backed the prosecution of protesters who set fire to poppies.

    Apparently, it isn't just Muslims who get offended.


    Yours faithfully,
    Mehdi



    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mehd...b_6462584.html




    How to handle ignorant people correctly.

    Why should I have to condemn? I wasn't involved!

    This disastrous cycle needs to stop, why do we keeping condemning stuff that has nothing to do with us in the first place?!

    This apologetic mentality is what is building inferiority complexes.

    See video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152757054793598




    Charlie Hebdo, Selective Free Speech and Muslim Minority Discrimination


    January 9, 2015

    As the world now knows, three masked men stormed Charlie Lebdo offices killing 12 employees including four cartoon artists a few days ago. As I write this, they are still at large leaving a trail of damage.

    As is the norm now, Muslim organisations have come out condemning the action. Nevertheless the discourse rapidly focussed on two key areas, which are typically only discussed in the Muslim context.

    Free Speech and Propaganda

    Reading statements from politicians and emotionally-charged papers defending “free speech”, the fact that free speech is not absolute, is continually ignored. The right to life is an absolute non-derogable right. Thus balancing the two rights in the human rights discourse would mean giving way to one when the two are in jeopardy. This is not something new.

    Balancing competing rights happens every day in the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights restrictions may be imposed on freedom of expression “for the respect of the reputations and rights of others”, and protection of national security, public order, health and morals.[1]

    As it is there needs to be some pressing questions which need to be answered. Rights, as I discussed last year, is often used as a stick to beat the Muslim minority with. The freedom of expression is an important right. After all, it is the protection measure for the people against the state and a fundamental mechanism of holding the executive to account, sharing knowledge and challenging ideas. The question is however, at what point does it become hate speech and/or propaganda to alienate a minority and normalise xenophobia? A further restriction on freedom of expression lies in the prohibition of abusive invocation of rights. Article 5(1) states,

    “Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant.”

    As such Article 20(2) requires that, “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”

    The French Muslims have been systemically discriminated against, their places of worship desecrated and attacked, their religious manifestations curbed and their faith repeatedly mocked. Freedom is binned when a Muslim woman wears a hijab on the beach. The European Court of Human Rights in its judgement upholding the French ban on the veil acknowledged that the discourse leading up to the enactment of the law banning the veil was in fact Islamophobic thus demonstrating that discrimination against Muslims is strongly institutional.



    To foment further discrimination of the Muslim minority through increasingly repugnant anti-Muslim drawings in such a politically charged environment smacks of Goebbels’s strategy to demonise the Jews. Take for instance the paper’s incredibly disgusting image depicting a caricaturised Egyptian protester being riddled with bullets by the Egyptian army. Mocking one of the worst massacres of protestors in recent history, the writing on the cover translates as “killing in Egypt – the Qur’an is s**t – it does not stop the bullets”. The propaganda image at the very least normalises the killing of Muslims and wanton attacks on the Qur’an, at a time when Muslims were being massacred by the military. It is purely Nazi-esque. In 1946, Julius Striecher, editor-in-chief of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer, was convicted by International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. According to the Tribunal,

    “Striecher’s incitement to murder and extermination at the time when Jews in the East were being killed under the most horrible conditions clearly constitutes persecution on political and racial ground in connection with war crimes… and constitutes a crime against humanity”.[2]

    Were it not for common decency, I would present an open challenge to “satirists” and papers to depict a picture of a Jew holding the Torah while being gassed in a chamber. I for one would condemn such actions. Would the defenders of free speech publish such an image? Or perhaps publish a “satirical piece” on how no one really died in the holocaust? At this point the liberals point to the fact that free speech must be exercised within the confines of the law and in French law anti-Semitism is banned, thus conceding the point that unfettered free speech in society is not possible and a blatant unreflective delusion.

    As a matter of “principle” (for free speech purists), one needs to question why the Holocaust is such a “sensitive” issue that it is off-limits for “criticism”, or, in the present context, “satire”. Why are the “freedom to offend” brigade so deafeningly silent on this topic? If satire involving a religious figure who is central to the hearts of a minority to such an extent that it evokes strong emotions globally is open game, then what is so sacrosanct about the Jewish holocaust that any criticism or expression of suspicion must be gagged through law? If a protestor holding his sacred Book is being shot in Egypt can be depicted in such a repugnant fashion, which “principle” restricts its application to Jewish sensitivities and why is this restriction not universally applied?

    Today’s freedom-defending French President François Hollande called the attack “an attack on free speech”. A year ago, celebrating the ban on comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala’s performance before France’s anti-semitism laws were breached, Hollande declared the decision a “victory”. Casting doubt over Charlie Hebdo’s claims that they satirise everyone, in 2009, when their cartoonist Maurice Sinet made a snide remark and drew cartoons about Jean Sarkozy’s marriage to a Jewish heiress, he was promptly fired when he refused to apologise on the editor’s orders.

    It is clear that some human beings are more entitled to human rights than others.

    David Cameron

    This hypocritical application of free speech couldn’t be more acute in the British context than Cameron’s statement on the French shooting. Condemning the actions as a sickening attack on press freedom, he said,

    “We stand united with the French people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism and stand squarely for free speech and democracy.”

    This is of course, rather rich coming from the leader of a government whose laws detain, harass, and monitor journalists.

    Cameron’s government is pushing forward with measures which gag dissenting voices, and ban speakers from speaking at universities. In fact, the PREVENT strategy which draws parallels with Nazi Germany and East Germany’s Stasi goes beyond free speech and seeks to discriminate and sanction based on thought, thus violating the absolute right of freedom of conscious and belief!

    Cameron couldn’t be more hypocritical even if he tried.

    Collective Amnesia and Framing the Discourse

    Interestingly, when news of a number of Swedish masaajid being attacked hit headlines, they were described by the media and state officials as “arson attacks” thus given the action a criminal framework (see here, here, and here for example). Where the perpetrator is allegedly a Muslim, the public, papers and politicians in Western nations rapidly deploy their highly politicised “terrorism” linguistic-armoury. Following this, “free speech” and “values” are used to evoke a sense of collectiveness, similar in method adopted by authoritarian demagogues of the past.

    Often the broader public, as evident on social media networks, suffer from a collective amnesia. “Only Muslims kill!” “You don’t see Jews and Christian killing when they are offended”. Except they do. The only problem is it is not as comprehensively broadcast daily as it neither serves the purposes of the right-wing and neocons in Western governments. When it is reported, it is done so from a different perspective.

    If we continue to use the human rights framework to frame the attacks, then far-right, Christian fundamentalist terrorist Anders Breivik, attacked a much weightier right: the right for immigrants, Muslims and those who support multiculturalism to exist in Norway. In other words, Breivik attacked the fundamental right to life of minorities and those he politically differed with. The same applies to Pavlo Lapshyn, who murdered an 80 year old and bombed masaajid in Britain. His intent was to create a race war and kill “non-whites”, thus denying them the right to life purely on the basis of their skin colour.

    On 7th of January of this year, a white man committed a “terrorist” attack in Colorado, US, against the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, one of the oldest civil rights groups in the US. Again, this attack, if framed in the human rights discourse can be viewed as an attack on the freedoms of “coloured” people. The provocation is the existence of “coloured” people in a given area. The same can be applied to far-right, white supremacist attacks on Jews in the US last year, and the several far-right terrorist attacks in the preceding years.

    But you will never read a report entitled “far-right, white, Christian terrorist attack on Muslims provoked by their fundamental right to exist”. Nor will you see the level of reporting, national debates, and continued Muslim-reaction baiting we are currently witnessing.

    Provocation and Backlash

    As is the norm with such events, a backlash has already begun, with #killallMuslims hashtag trending on Twitter. Masaajid and kebab shops have been subjected to French “terrorist attacks”, despite the chorus of condemnation from Muslim leaders. Of course, the Daily Mail and Western media generally won’t class these as terrorist attacks. They are but white, non-Muslims “coming to terms” with what has passed.

    And herein lies a more subtle point. When a “provocation” is made against western nations in their own countries, we witness a backlash by the white people; mosques are bombed and Muslims are terrorised, yet there seems to be an inability to comprehend or a refusal to accept Muslim backlash when western nations bomb Muslim lands, exploit their resources and destroy future generations. At its most basic level, both cases are emotional responses to provocation which continue cyclical violence. Yet one is humanised whilst the other, is dehumanised. It is this unceasing hypocrisy which undercuts the Western liberal discourses which will continue to demarcate the dire situation of the Muslim minorities and fuel resentment.

    Concluding Remarks

    Globally Muslims feel the pain that French Muslims feel when the noble Prophet peace be upon is insulted, for verily he is revered more than the human who gave birth to us. It hurts us when the French racists and xenophobes use the Muslims to pedal themselves to power, curtail their freedoms in the name of freedom, perpetuating an atmosphere of hate. We understand Muslim minority discrimination all too well.

    The discourses around such attacks certainly emphasis an important point. The Muslims do not benefit from such actions, neither do the perpetrators spiritually as they break the commands of their faith. It does however, provide a justification for further persecution of the Muslim minorities, further curtailment of freedoms and further military invasions abroad as the hot pursuit for the ever evasive “Islamist extremism” materialises exasperation. For particular policy-makers and politicians, events like these are a benefit; be it whipping up fear to manufacture consent of an uniformed public, winning the upcoming elections, justifying French military invasion of North Africa, or all three.

    Indeed the neoconservative and Zionist advisors in Western governments feed off such tragedies and direct their renewed warmongering vigour through their policies. When the September 11th attacks occurred, Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel. The neocon David Brooks wrote,
    “Sept. 11th really did leave a residue — an unconsummated desire for sacrifice and service.”

    Of course this self-sacrifice translated well in the jingoist neocon plans for global hegemony. In the Great Game, such actions play neatly into the hands of those who wish to exploit the vulnerable mood.


    References:
    [1] Art.19(3)
    [2] Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of Major War Criminals, Cmd.6964 (London: HMSO, 1946)

    https://coolnessofhind.wordpress.com...ion/#more-1411







  16. #16
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    Paris attacks: My husband Djamel Beghal is innocent

    10th January 2015

    CAGE said this isn't the first time Mr Beghal has been wrongfully accused. In 2005 an appeal court quashed an earlier conviction for his alleged involvement in a plot to bomb the US embassy in Paris as it had been reliant on a confession extracted under torture.

    Speaking to CAGE, Sylvie Beghal, wife of Djamel Beghal, said:

    "Once again my husband is punished for something he didn’t do. He has been placed in solitary confinement after all the false media coverage. He has nothing to do with the attack against Charlie Hebdo. The media is repeating false allegations which have been made against him for 14 years now.

    Our family too is suffering. We are trying to live a normal life. But now we have journalists harassing us, knocking at the door, calling us, staying all day in front of our home, taking pictures of my children. We just want to be left alone and live a peaceful life. We will consider legal actions if we can’t."

    Amandla Thomas-Johnson of CAGE, added:

    "Djamel Beghal has never encouraged or carried out any act of violence and there is absolutely nothing that can link him to the attack. The narrative that Djamel Beghal is a 'radicaliser' is an old rumour without basis, its endless repetition causing endless problems to him and his family."

    French media has widely reported that Djamel Beghal radicalized two of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks.

    And today the Daily Mail said Beghal recruited Cherif Kouachi in prison ten years ago when they were both serving sentences for terror offences, remaining close with him when they were released.

    Beghal and Cherif Kouachi were on such good terms that intelligence officers saw them playing football together in Cantal, France, in 2010 with two other terrorists, the newspaper claimed.

    The Daily Mail went on:

    "Amedy Coulibaly – the extremist who killed a woman police officer in Paris before taking hostages, of which four died, at a Jewish supermarket – and his wife Hayat Boumeddiene were also mentored by Beghal. Boumeddiene has fled to Syria and is France’s most wanted woman.

    Beghal was banned from the UK on grounds of national security in 2009, raising questions over why his wife and family are free to live in Britain. Beghal, jailed for 10 years for terrorism offences, is banned from Britain but his wife moved here so her children could grow up in a 'Islamic environment'

    Beghal was arrested at Dubai airport in 2001 for carrying a false passport, leading investigators to discover that he had organized an Al-Qaeda cell in the Midlands and was on his way back from meeting a senior terrorist leader. Beghal admitted plotting to attack the US embassy in Paris under interrogation and said he had been to mosques in Britain to recruit young jihadists."


    http://5pillarsuk.com/2015/01/10/par...al-is-innocent


    comments:

    The Daily Mail is a British anti-Islam and anti-Muslim Islamophobic tabloid newspaper. They write many stories (riddled with spelling and grammar errors) vilifying Muslims and presenting the Muslims as guilty, without any evidence.

  17. #17
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    I am NOT Charlie

    By The Saker

    January 08, 2015 "ICH" - Okay, let's be clear. I am not Muslim. I oppose terrorism. I don't even support the death penalty. I loathe Takfirism. I oppose violence as a means to make a political or ethical point. I fully support freedom of speech, including critical speech and humor.

    But this morning I am most definitely NOT Charlie.

    In fact, I am disgusted and nauseated by the sick display of collective hypocrisy about the murders in France. Here is why:

    Charlie Hebdo for the Darwin Awards

    The folks at Charlie Hebdo had it coming. Here is what I wrote about them in September 2012 when they published their famous caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed:

    Worthy of the Darwin Awards, if you ask me. Excellent, the “gene pool” of the French “caviar-Left” badly needs some cleaning".

    Today I fully stand by my words.

    Let me ask you this: what would be the point of, say, taking a nap on train tracks? You don't have to "agree" with the train which will run you over, but it still will, won't it? What about taking a nap on train tracks specifically to make a point? To prove that the train is bad? To dare it? To make fun of it? Would that not be the height of stupidity? And yet, that is *exactly* what Charlie Hebdo did. I would even argue that that his how Charlie Hebdo made it's money, daring the "Muslim train" to run them over. You think I am exaggerating? Check out the caricature which one of the folks who got murdered yesterday had just posted.



    The text reads:

    "Still no terrorist attacks in France - Wait, we have until the end of January to send you are best wishes".

    The crazy person shown in the drawing is packing a Kalashnikov and wearing an Afghan "Pakol" - the typical "crazy Muslim" in Charlie Hebdo's world. Talk about a stupid dare...

    "Spitting in people's souls"

    There is an expression in Russian: spitting in somebody's soul. It fully applies here. Muslims worldwide have be unambiguously clear about that. They take blasphemy very, very seriously, as they do the name of the Prophet and the Quran. If you want to really offend a Muslim, ridicule his Prophet or his Holy Book. That is not a secret at all. And when Charlie Hebdo published their caricatures of the Prophet and when they ridiculed him the a deliberately rude and provocative manner, they knew what they were doing: they were very deliberately deeply offending 1.6 billion Muslims world wide. Oh, and did I mention that in Islam blasphemy is a crime punishable by death? Well, it turns out that of 1.6 billion Muslims exactly three decided to take justice in their own hands and kill the very deliberately blaspheming Frenchmen. You don't have to be Muslim or to approve of the death penalty for blasphemy to realize that this was inevitable and that this has nothing to do with Islam as a religion. Offend any group as large as 1.6 billion and sooner or later you will find 1-5 folks willing to use violence to make you pay for it. This is a statistical inevitability.

    Are some victims more equal then others?

    So 12 deliberately "soul spitting blasphemers" were murdered and all of France is in deep mourning. The media worldwide does such a good job presenting it all as a planetary disaster that many thousands people worldwide say "I am Charlie", sob, light candles and take a "courageous" stance for freedom of speech.

    Crocodile tears if you ask me.

    The fact is that the AngloZionists have carefully and lovingly nurtured, organized, armed, financed, trained, equipped and even directed the Takfiri crazies for decades. From the war in Afghanistan to Syria today these murderous psychopaths have been the foot-soldiers of the AngloZionist Empire for decades. But, apparently, nobody cares about their victims in Afghanistan, in Bosnia, in Chechnia, in Kosovo, in Libya, in Kurdistan, in Iraq or elsewhere. There these liver-eating murderers are "freedom fighters" who get full support. Including from the very same media which today is in mourning over Charlie Hebdo. Apparently, in the western ethos some victims are more equal then others.

    And when is the last time somebody in Europe shed a single tear over the daily murders of innocent people in the Donbass whose murder is paid for and directly directed by the western regimes?

    How stupid do they think we are?

    And then this. Even a drooling idiot knew that Charlie Hebdo was THE prime target for that kind of attack. And I promise you that French cops are not drooling idiots. Yet, for some reason, they were nowhere to be seen that day. Only a van with two (or one?) cop was parked nearby (hardly an anti-terrorist protection detail) and one poor cop was shot and then executed with an AK shot to the head while he was begging for mercy. Is this the best the French state can do?

    Hardly.

    So what is going on here? I will tell you what - the EU 1%ers are now capitalizing on these murders to crack down on their own population. Sarkozy already met Hollande and they both agreed that new levels of firmness and vigilance need to be implemented. Does that not reek of a French 9/11?

    So no, I am most definitely NOT Charlie this morning and I am disgusted beyond words with the obscene display of doubleplusgoodthinking "solidarity" for a group of "caviar-lefties" who made their money spitting in the souls of billions of people and then dared them to do something about it. And I am under no illusion whatsoever about the fact that cui bono clearly indicates that the French regime either organized it all, or let it happen or, at the very least, makes maximal political use of it all.

    But most of all, I am disgusted with all those who play along and studiously avoid asking the right questions about all this. I guess they really are "Charlies" all of them.

    I am not.


    http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle40651.htm

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    The Pope Blames Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists For Provoking Attack

    The Pope has said anyone who insults his mother can expect a punch

    By Jessica Elgot - 15/01/2015

    Pope Francis has suggested the murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were "provocateurs" who should have expected a violent backlash, adding that there are limits to freedom of expression when it insults someone's faith.


    Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, said there was a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good, but added that there were "limits".

    Indicating his friend and assistant Alberto Gasparri, who was standing by his side, he said: "If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," as he pretended to throw a sharp hook. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

    In the wake of the attack, where 12 people were massacred by gunmen who stormed the paper's offices, the Vatican and four prominent French imams issued a joint declaration that denounced the attacks but also urged the media to treat religions with respect. Charlie Hebdo had become notorious for printing images of the Prophet Mohammed, as well as lampooning all major world religions, the far right and the French establishment.

    Pope Francis has been the target of the magazine's satirists, including a cartoon that portrayed the Argentinian as a prostitute at the Rio carnival declaring he is "soliciting clients", and the Papal conclave enjoying an enormous circle of anal sex.

    There was a furious backlash online after the comments, with many accusing the Pope of victim-blaming.

    Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence.

    But he went on:"There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit."

    Francis said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking "prudent and secure measures" against possible attacks on him. "I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness. I'm careless about these things," he said. But he admitted that in his prayers, he had asked that if something were to happen to him that "it doesn't hurt, because I'm not very courageous when it comes to pain. I'm very timid. I'm in God's hands."


    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015...n_6477928.html

  19. #19
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    Muslims in fear: Anti-Islamist sentiments rise by 110% in France

    1.20.15


    There has been a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents in France following the attacks in Paris two weeks ago. At 116 confrontations this month, it’s more than double the amount recorded for the whole of January, 2014.

    The National Observatory Against Islamophobia said over one hundred incidents have been reported to the police since the terrorist attacks of January 7-9. Three French men killed 17 people during their shooting spree. The human rights group says there have been 28 attacks on places of worship and 88 threats have been made, as reported by AFP.

    The rise in attacks over the last two weeks represents an increase of 110 percent over the whole of January 2014, the organization said on Monday.

    Observatory president, Abdullah Zekri, has condemned "acts of hatred towards French people of the Muslim faith, the immense majority of whom respect the values of the Republic and secularism."

    He added that "this situation is unacceptable and we're asking the authorities to go beyond the reassuring speeches and act to put an end to this scourge,” he said, as cited by AFP.

    There is a growing fear of reprisals amongst Muslims in France, who have an estimated 3.5-5 million followers. Mourad Ben Azizi, a French national of Tunisian origin, wondered, “how Muslims will go on living normally in a country where they are believed to be behind all the violence and attacks in France," as reported by the Xinhua news agency.

    Meanwhile on December 18, a rally was held in Paris to demonstrate against the stigmatization of Muslims in France. It was organized by The National Federation of Muslims of France, with its president, Mohamed Bechari, expressing his concern that a whole religion is being victimized.

    "Today, we feel more and more a feeling of increased Islamophobia that is taking hold and this worries us. There have been more and more places of worship being attacked. Muslim girls and women who wear the veil or those who don't are being attacked and there's silence from the politicians," Bechari said, as reported by AP.

    Abdelrahim Braihim, who is the Imam of Sevran, a suburb in the North East of Paris, said that although the Muslim community is feeling anxiety, “we have confidence in the French government which is doing everything for peace.”

    French authorities banned a planned anti-Islamist march on Sunday. They believed it could have led to an increase in public disorder if it was allowed to go ahead. A member of the right-wing Riposte Laique, Christine Tasin said in a news conference after the rally was banned that she didn't want to have "terrorists and jihadists as our neighbors.”

    On January 16, a Moroccan man was killed in his home in the south of France in a race related attack. The attacker confronted Mohamed El Makouli shouting, “I am your god, I am your Islam,” before repeatedly stabbing him, according to AFP.

    French President Francois Hollande, who has seen a surge in his approval ratings for his handling of the terrorist attacks, said in a speech last week: “Muslims are the main victims of terrorism.” He was quick to say that not all Muslims should be labeled with the same Islamist brush.

    In a bid to alleviate the fears of Muslims and Jews, 10,000 troops have been stationed across the country, with a portion assigned to protect mosques in France.

    The leader of the far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, has been critical of the French government for its failure to tackle the problem of Islamic fundamentalism.

    In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Le Pen said, “It does our Muslim compatriots no favors to fuel suspicions and leave things unspoken. Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side.” The piece was published on Sunday.

    There has been continued debate of the word ‘Islamist’ in France, with Le Pen critical of the French government for not using this term to describe the Muslim attackers. However, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who was specifically, singled out by Le Pen for criticism, said, “I don’t want to play the role of censor, but I think the word Islamist … is not the right one to use. I call them terrorists. Because as soon as you use the word Islam, you are promoting an idea of continuity between a Muslim – who practices his religion, which is a religion of peace – and something which is an interpretation of the Muslim religion,” AFP reported.


    http://rt.com/news/224395-muslim-incidents-rise-france


    comments:

    The words "Islamist" is coined by the non-Muslims who don't want to use the term "Muslim", so they use the term Islamist. These people are applying the same thinking as of their own Christian religion: Christ + followers = Christians, so Islam + followers = Islamist. In the earlier centuries these same Islamophobes used to use the word "Mohammadans" (followers/like Mohammad) same way they are Christians (followers/like Christ). They don't want to confuse their simpleton followers by using the correct terms "Islam" and "Muslims", so they have made it simple by just callings the Muslims as "Islamists". Sadly, there are many ignorant Muslims who use the same term when they should know better!!!



    "They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse." (Quran 3:118)




    116 Anti-Muslim Attacks in France Since Charlie Hebdo Events

    1.21.15


    The French National Observatory Against Islamophobia has recorded 116 anti-Muslim acts in France since the Paris attacks that targeted the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7.

    The Observatory has shown an increase of Islamophobic acts over the last twelve days after the attacks of Charlie Hebdo. In the twelve days after the attacks, there were almost as many anti-Muslim acts as there was in eight months in 2014.

    The 116 Islamophobic acts include 28 actions against places of worship and 88 threats in letters or drawings on walls.


    Abdallah Zekri, the president of the Observatory, said, “this is unacceptable”. He called upon “the government, beyond reassuring speeches, to take action to end this scourge,” he added.

    In addition to the recorded anti-Muslim acts, Zekri said, “we forget what is happening on social networks.”

    “There are calls for the assassination of the leaders of Islam in France and burning their mosque. It is a minority, but we should stop there, because we are creating a phobia and undermining the living together,” he added.

    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls posted on Twitter reassuring Muslims in France. “Mosques have been adversely affected. I want to assure our Muslim compatriots of my support. Every French person must be protected.”


    http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2015...e-hebdo-events



    Islamophobia becoming undeclared racism in France, says Alain Gresh

    #CharlieHebdo

    Alain Gresh, French journalist specialised in the Middle East and deputy director of Le Monde diplomatique, reflects on the attacks which have shaken France and puts the country's foreign policy into perspective.

    Middle East Eye (MEE): Many participants in the Paris demonstration mentioned that the atmosphere in France has been tense for years. How do you explain this impression?

    Alain Gresh: There is indeed a harmful atmosphere in France, and this is not new. There is, first, an Islamophobia which has gained in intensity for several years now, and which clearly targets the Muslim communities. I think this is some form of racism, all the more worrying that it is echoed by political forces and the media. We can even qualify it as state racism, even if, of course, it is not declared as such. For the French Jewish community, it is a bit different: there is no anti-Semitism in the political, institutional, meaning of the term. No political force, even the National Front, carries an anti-Semitic discourse as it was the case in the 1930s. All the opinion polls show a clear drop of anti-Semitism in France, below 10 percent, whereas in the aftermath of the Second World War, anti-Semitism was still mainstream. That said, it is true that French Jews are afraid and are the targets of terrorist acts, as illustrated by the attack against the kosher supermarket and that against a Jewish school by Mohamed Merah in March 2012 in Toulouse.

    MEE: Does the crystallisation of the French political debate around the notion of laïcité [secularism] contribute to this specific atmosphere?

    Gresh: The French notion of laïcité may have poisoned the debates in France, all the more that, in my opinion, this is a wrong interpretation of laïcité. When one examines history, in particular the 1905 law of the Separation of the Churches and State, one realises that this law was quite tolerant. The fact that there were religious processions in the streets, that the state and local authorities funded the upkeep of churches, had never been a problem. It was not a closed notion of laïcité. But for the past 15 years, with the emergence of Islam as a religious force in France, this French concept of laïcité has become much more exclusive, and it is used as a pretext for ostracising French Muslims. It is very significant that the concept of laïcité has been seized upon by the far-right, whereas it had traditionally been a leftist value.

    MEE: Is France becoming aware of the consequences of its foreign interventions?

    Gresh: What is certain is that in France there has been a real refusal to see the possible consequences of our foreign policy. It is clear that if France was targeted, it is also partly because of this interventionism, which is much more developed than in Germany or in Great Britain for instance. The United Kingdom is present in Iraq, but not in Africa. For that matter, France has constantly blamed these countries for not joining its intervention in Mali and in Central Africa, and believes that it should not carry alone the military effort in what it calls the fight against terrorism. Ironically, as it was the case for Afghanistan, we claim that we fight wars in order to prevent jihadism from reaching us, but paradoxically jihadism is activated by our wars.


    Full interview at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-dept...thash.HIjO4sHn


  20. #20
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    Charlie Hebdo: Publishing cartoon of prophet Mohammed was an act of provocation, says ex head of MI6

    1.20.15

    The publishing of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed was an act of provocation, showing a lack of respect of other peoples’ religion in the West and the backlash which came should have been expected, the recently departed head of MI6 has stated.

    In his first public appearance since standing down from the post of ‘C’ Sir John Sawers declared his support for Pope Francis who had spoken out against “provocateurs” on religious matters and warned that they can expect violence in return.

    Sir John wanted to stress that the 12 murders which resulted from the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine “cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever”. But he argued: “there is a requirement for some restraint on the side of those of us in the West. I rather agree with the Pope…. that respect for others peoples’ religion is an important part of this. If you show disrespect of others’ core values then you are going to provoke an angry response.”

    According to research by the PR firm Edelman in London, MI5 and MI6 scored 72 per cent and 64 per cent respectively from the public on trust. The FBI and the CIA, on the other hand, were rated around 40 per cent by the British public. Sir John held that the CIA’s involvement in targeted killings had counted against the organisation.

    “One of the problems for the CIA has been that it has become involved in lethal operations and that has muddied some of the work of the intelligence agencies,” said the former MI6 chief.

    “We have been very clear that our role was to produce intelligence. Of course we support the military. If there is any kinetic operation to be done, it is done by the military under military authorisation, not done within the intelligence world. I think people understand and respect that …”



    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...6-9991132.html


 

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