A coalition of 36 Muslim civil society organisations and NGOs from 13 different countries have submitted two complaints to the United Nations over France’s state crackdown on its Muslim citizens.
The complaint particularly focuses on the impact of state aggression and violence on children. These include:
- The introduction of IDs for children so the government can track and crackdown on Muslim parents who choose to home-school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Illegitimate and violent raids of Muslim homes and organisations to “send a message.”
- Exploiting the murder of Professor Samuel Paty for racist and Islamophobic purposes.
- Deliberately and systematically undermining and violating fundamental civil liberties and human rights, and targeting and violating the rights of even the children.
The French government also dissolved two major French Muslim organisations – CCIF, a human rights organisation that has successfully challenged the state’s racism and Islamophobia, and the disaster relief charity, Barakah city, which delivered aid to 2 million people in 26 countries for a decade. In just one example, on October 14, 2020, the French authorities violently raided the home of Idriss Sihamedi, chairman and founder of BarakaCity, one of France’s largest Muslim charities.
And the crackdown is continuing. The French Minister of Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced that 9 mosques have been closed just this weekend.
The complaints include a timeline of anti-Muslim discrimination from 1989 until 2021, and calls upon the UN to ensure that France upholds and enforces the UN Universal Declaration/International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UDHR/ICCPR) and every directive on the prohibition of discrimination and racism.
It also calls upon France to enact or rescind legislation to prohibit any such discrimination and to take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the grounds of religion.
Imran Shah, the spokesperson for MPACUK and signatory to the complaint, stated:
“The state-sanctioned Islamophobia that Macron and his administration are enforcing on French Muslim citizens can only be described as draconian and unprecedented. This will undoubtedly embolden Islamophobes across Europe and deepen the persecution of communities that have faced the brunt of 20 years of Islamophobia.
It is for this reason that we, as a signatory to this complaint, are calling for the UN and the world to take action and demand France and Macron adhere to their human rights obligations.”
Muhammad Rabbani, the Managing Director of CAGE and signatory to the complaint, also stated:
“France has seen shocking levels of state-sanctioned Islamophobia in recent months. This has precipitated the closure of mosques, Muslim schools, Muslim-led charities, and civil society organisations. As a signatory to the UN, France cannot be allowed to infringe upon its international rights obligations so openly, and yet present itself as the land of ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’.”
The full list of organisations who are signatories of this complaint are as follows:
Muslim Lawyers Association, South Africa
Association of Muslim Professional of South Africa
Sabir’s Legal Services, The Netherlands
The Islamic Council of Victoria, Australia
Bruxelles Panthères, Belgium
Simon Fraser University Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, Canada
European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), France
The Frantz Fanon Foundation
Decolonial International Network (DIN), The Netherlands
Muslim Rights Watch, The Netherlands
Khadija Leadership Network, New Zealand
University of Sialkot, Pakistan
Nyans: Muslim, Sweden
Antirasistisk Akademi, Sweden
Islamic Central Council Switzerland
Muslim Youth Network (MYN), United Kingdom
Human Aid, UK
Norbury Muslim Centre, United Kingdom
West Norwood Muslim Community Project, United Kingdom
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK
Finsbury Park Mosque, UK
Lewisham Islamic Centre, UK
Muslim Association of Britain
The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations, UK
Friends of Al-Aqsa, UK
Muslim Engagement And Development, UK
New York for Syrian Refugees, USA
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, USA
Islamic Center of the Capital District, USA
Islamophobia Studies Center, USA
Northwestern University, USA
Islamic Cultural Centre UK
Austrian Network for Refugees
Yaqeen Institute, USA