The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a statement condemning French President Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of Islamophobia and warning his nation was steering towards the colonial racism of its past. According to the statement by CAIR executive director Nihad Awad:
The French government has no right to tell Muslims or any other religious minority how to interpret their own faith. President Macron must reverse course before his nation returns to the colonial racism and religious bigotry that haunted so many European nations for centuries. President Macron is turning ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ into ‘repression, inequality and division.’ “Although France claims to uphold religious freedom, the truth is that French Muslims do not have the First Amendment protections enjoyed by people of faith in America. It is therefore our duty to speak out in defense of their religious rights and freedoms.
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The statement comes as Macron has presented the main French Islamic umbrella French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) an ultimatum to draw up a charter of “republican values” that must include a declaration saying Islam in France is not a political movement and also forbids foreign interference in Muslim groups.
In late October, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that CAIR had warned Muslims against traveling to France, saying they may face danger and discrimination due to a broad crackdown on groups accused of radicalism.
Other recent GIOR reporting on CAIR has included:
- A mid-November report that CAIR called on President-elect Joe Biden to implement several civil rights reforms, including ending “discriminatory” immigration and vetting policies and defunding anti-radicalization initiatives.
- An early November report that a board member of CAIR-Oklahoma was elected to the Oklahoma state legislature in the 2020 general election.
- A late October report that California Democratic Party officials working for CAIR had authored an election voting guide positively rating votes by Democrat lawmakers, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who earlier had sent letters of support to CAIR.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamist network covered by the GIOR. It describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group” and “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” It was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure at that time.
For more on CAIR, go here.