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CurrentEuropeIslamophobia

Deportation for Foreign Parents: French Minister Says New Law Will Punish Those Against Offensive Caricatures

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CurrentEuropeIslamophobia

Deportation for Foreign Parents: French Minister Says New Law Will Punish Those Against Offensive Caricatures

The Interior Minister’s latest comments on criminalizing the right to freedom of speech on what is shown in schools is not only shocking but deeply worrying – in a country that claims to uphold values of free speech when it comes to offensive caricatures, it seems that free speech when it comes to the responding to offensive caricatures will not be upheld. 

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The Interior Minister’s latest comments on criminalizing the right to freedom of speech on what is shown in schools is not only shocking but deeply worrying – in a country that claims to uphold values of free speech when it comes to offensive caricatures, it seems that free speech when it comes to the responding to offensive caricatures will not be upheld. 

In France’s latest controversy, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has now claimed that French law will soon criminalize those who speak out against offensive cartoons and caricatures shown in school. According to Darmanin, parents who are of foreign citizenry will be deported from France if tried and found guilty of this new criminal offense as well.

Speaking on French channel Europe 1, Darmain stated:

If parents go to a teacher to tell him to stop teaching caricatures in the course on free speech, tomorrow it will be a criminal offense. And a judge will be able to say, if you are foreigners and you are condemned to this offense, you will leave the national territory [of France].”

This comes only days after French President Emmanuel Macron’s latest “charter of republican values“, which worryingly outlined new controversial bills in an attempt to stem “Islamic radicalization” within France. Some of these bills include:

  • Restrictions on home-schooling for families, and harsher punishments for those who “intimidate public officials” based on religious grounds
  • Giving children an identification number that could track them and ensure that they are attending school
  • Punishing parents who break the laws around ID numbers with up to six months in jail in addition to large fines

Macron has given the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) a 15-day ultimatum to either accept or reject this new charter, despite the many shocking calls of outrage across the internet and from numerous human rights organizations.

In addition to this, France is clamping down on Muslim NGOs within France – The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), Omar Mosque, Learning & Understanding, BarakaCity, and Ummah Charity have all been targeted. Interior Minister Darmanin has already announced his plan to officially dissolve the CCIF.

Amnesty International has strongly condemned this move from France, especially in regards to the shutdown of CCIF. CCIF specifically combats Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims in France and is one of the only organizations within the country to work against the heightened attacks on those already highly vulnerable.

Nils Muižnieks, the Europe Director at Amnesty International, stated:

The proposed dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France would be a shocking move from the French government. This move could have a chilling effect on all people and organizations engaged in combating racism and discrimination in France. Amnesty International is extremely concerned about the signal that this sends to NGOs and the fight against discrimination in France. We call on the French authorities to immediately reverse this decision.”

CCIF was reportedly sent a letter informing them of the dissolution of their organization on the 19th of November and were given eight days to reply before the dissolution will be decided by the French government. Interior Minister Darmanin also claimed that certain aspects of CCIF have caused French officials to consider it “an enemy of the republic“.

As France continues to shock those on either side of the controversy around freedom of speech, Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed, and the values of secularism (lacite), the Interior Minister’s latest comments on criminalizing the right to freedom of speech on what is shown in schools is not only shocking but deeply worrying – in a country that claims to uphold values of free speech when it comes to offensive caricatures, it seems that free speech when it comes to the responding to offensive caricatures will not be upheld.

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