On 25 June 2022, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release condemning a French ban on modest swimwear, calling the ruling “discriminatory” and accusing the French government of persecuting Muslims. According to the press release:
Once again, the French government is targeting Muslims with bigoted legislation completely contrary to religious freedom. The ludicrous reason given by the court is further evidence of the lengths French authorities are willing to go to in order to prevent Muslims from practicing their faith. We condemn this discriminatory ruling and the French government’s broader campaign of persecution against the Muslim community.
Read the rest here.
In June 2022, France’s top administrative court upheld a ban on body-covering swimwear in public pools for religious reasons, arguing that it violated the principle of government neutrality toward religion. In May 2022, the southern French city of Grenoble authorized all swimwear, including body-covering swimwear, sparking a legal battle with the government.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements against religious separatism and the French government’s broad crackdown on Islamist groups have long drawn ire from organizations tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB). In November 2020, CAIR issued a statement condemning Macron, accusing him of Islamophobia and warning his nation was steering towards the colonial racism of its past. In October of the same year, 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 the crackdown on groups accused of radicalism. In December 2020, we reported that CAIR had offered office space and logistical resources to a banned French Islamophobia watchdog. In February 2021, we reported that a coalition of 36 NGOs, some tied to the GMB and including CAIR, had taken action against France at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) over its alleged systemic discrimination of Muslims.
CAIR describes itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group and as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group.” It was founded in 1994 by three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine, part of the US Hamas infrastructure at that time. Documents discovered during the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood and that CAIR itself is part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The organization is led by Nihad Awad, its longstanding Executive Director and one of the three founders. Recently, CAIR has been generally portrayed in the media as a Muslim civil rights group.
For more on CAIR, go here.