An Islamic advocacy group has reported that a coalition of 36 NGOs is taking action against France at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) over its alleged systemic discrimination of Muslims. According to the CAGE press release:
In a first of its kind, a global coalition of civil society organisations are submitting a forensic complaint to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) against France, requesting that it open a formal infringement procedure against the government for systematically entrenching Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims.The complaint highlights that the actions of the French government have tacitly supported the publication of demeaning cartoons depicting Prophet (peace be upon him), and for the enactment of an array of Islamophobic state policies and acting upon them violently. These actions violate the dignity and basic rights of Muslims. Recent policies have also forced the closure of several civil society organisations, mosques and precipitated violent, indiscriminate house raids.The complaint is signed by 36 organisations from over 13 countries including, The Islamic Council of Victoria (Australia), European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (Strasbourg), the Muslim Association of Britain (UK), and Yaqeen institute (USA). It calls upon the UNHRC to ensure that France enact or rescind legislation where necessary to prohibit further discrimination against Muslims.
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The action stems from the events of October 2020 when Samuel Paty, a French schoolteacher, was beheaded by an immigrant teenager said to be enraged over the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad shown in a class on free speech given by the teacher.
In the formal complaint, the signees criticize France’s “open support” for the publication of the Muhammed cartoons, French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements against Islamist separatism, and the government’s crackdown on Islamic organizations, including the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF). They further assert that Macron’s “hostile disproportionate repercussions are not based on empirical evidence” as “religion and ideology are not primary motivators for violent extremism.” Finally, they call upon the UNHCR to “take on the necessary measures against the governmental discriminatory anti-Islamic actions” of France. The group of signees includes a mix of mosques, Islamic organizations, and three university departments. Several signees are associated with or have ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including:
- The Muslim Association of Britain, the main organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.
- Finsbury Park Mosque, a major London mosque controlled by the MAB.
- CAGE, a UK Islamic advocacy group tied to the UK Muslim Brotherhood network.
- Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), a UK Islamic NGO close to the UK Muslim Brotherhood.
- Friends of Al-Aqsa, part of the UK Hamas support network.
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.
- The European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), a UK Muslim human rights group chaired by Lord Nazir Ahmed, close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
In November 2020, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported on the French government’s plans to dissolve the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) for its alleged involvement in a social media campaign against a French history teacher who was later beheaded. In December, the GIOR reported that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) offered DC office space to the CCIF, which had left France. The GIOR has also covered other actions by the Global Muslim Brotherhood directed against France, including:
- A statement by the Council of European Muslims (CEM) criticizing French President Macron for a speech on combating Islamist separatism.
- An open letter by a group of 28 European Islamic organizations to French President Emmanual Macron for his “unilateral assault on Muslims, Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.”
- A warning by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) against Muslims traveling to France, saying they may face danger and discrimination there.