On 24 September 2021, the successor of the controversial French Islamophobia watch group Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF) published a statement reporting the final decision by the French authorities to dissolve the group following a 3 September 2021 hearing before the country’s highest administrative court. According to the statement:
September 24, 2021 The Council of State has just confirmed the French Interior Ministry’s decision of 19 November 2020 to dissolve administratively the CCIF, (the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France, a human rights organization that provided legal support to thousands of people targeted because of their muslim faith in France every year.)
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CCIF and another group, Islamic charity BarakaCity, were dissolved on the grounds they fell under Article L. 212–1 of the Internal Security Code, which makes it possible to dissolve groups that provoke discrimination, hatred, or violence towards people because of their ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion. At its 3 September 2021 hearing, the court largely upheld the assessment of the French Interior Ministry, which affirmed that CCIF maintained “close links with supporters of radical Islamism inviting the evasion of certain laws of the Republic.” The court, however, dismissed the accusation that CCIF directly legitimized or encouraged acts of terrorism.
In its statement, the CCIF’s successor Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en Europe (CCIE) said the decision constituted a “major turning point” in the institutionalization of harsh repressive politics in France and called on European authorities to “show lucidity and political courage” by denouncing the “many violations” committed by France on its Muslim citizens. On 11 October 2021, the CCIE published a documentary series about the dissolution, which is available to stream for paying members. Days before, a coalition of 18 French and European human rights NGOs supporting CCIF published a joint press release accusing the Council of State of deviating from the French legal code in order to attack human rights associations.
The CCIF had been the subject of a media storm since the French government accused it of taking part in a social media campaign against a French history teacher who was beheaded after showing his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a class on free speech. In mid-October 2020, the Global Influence Operations Report (GOIR) concluded that CCIF was an Islamist influence operation, analyzing in detail its campaigning efforts against secularism and its ties to organizations part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
In November 2020, the GIOR reported that the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had dissolved the association, designating it as an “enemy of the republic” and accusing it of associating with Islamism and minimizing terrorism. GIOR also reported CCIF subsequently protested its dissolution, alleging the French President Macron had used “fake news” from the far right to attack it. In late January 2021, CCIF filed an appeal with the French Council of State, challenging the government decree. In early February 2021, CCIE published a Facebook post via their existing CCIF page, saying they had transferred their assets and a large portion of the organization’s intellectual property and means of communication to other associations, including the CCIE.
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