The French human rights group Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) has issued a statement condemning a plan by the French government to dissolve the group. The CCIF statement claims that unidentified individuals close to French President Macron have used “fake news” from the far right to attack the CCIF and that the group plans to “extend our activities internationally“:
(…) For the past 7 days, since the French government has announced it wants to dissolve the CCIF, we have been targeted by tens of thousands of messages on social networks, mainly insults and death threats from the far right, without any intervention of the State to protect us. (…) As there is no factual or legal ground to accuse CCIF, this is a political attempt to destabilize us and intimidate us, until we give up our work. Using fake news from the far right, some political figures in the entourage of president Macron have even tried to pin last Friday’s attack on organizations who denounce Islamophobia, as if it was conceptually impossible to address both terrorism and contemporary forms of racism, including Islamophobia. We have made a formal complaint with the UN Human Rights council and have received, over the last seven days, massive support from our partner organizations internationally, as well as grassroots organizations and tens of thousands of sympathizers. (…) As an organization, we no longer feel we can conduct our work in a safe environment, as our lives are threatened, and the government designates us as an enemy. For these reasons, whatever the outcome of the government’s attempt to dissolve CCIF, we have decided to extend our activities internationally, to ensure continuity of our operations and protect our teams.
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The Collective Against Islamophobia in France has been at the center of a media storm since the French government indicated it plans to dissolve the organization, accusing it of taking part in a social media campaign against a French history teacher who was beheaded after he had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class. After the attack, France ordered a crackdown on groups accused of radicalism, carrying out dozens of raids and temporarily shutting down mosques. According to the French interior ministry, the dissolution of CCIF will be carried out on the grounds of defending terrorism and inciting religious hatred.
In mid-October, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) concluded that CCIF is 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, a transnational Islamist network covered by the GIOR.