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French Human Rights Group Protests Planned Dissolution- CCIF Claims Action Based On “Fake News”

November 4th, 2020 09:58

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.

Read the rest here.

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.