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AfricaCurrentEuropeIslamophobia

France’s Islamophobia: Reactions from Francophone African Countries

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AfricaCurrentEuropeIslamophobia

France’s Islamophobia: Reactions from Francophone African Countries

The list of Francophone countries in Africa that are condemning their colonisers is growing by the day and that might continue unless France rescinds its anti-Islam policies that put the Muslim population of both France and Europe in danger.

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The list of Francophone countries in Africa that are condemning their colonisers is growing by the day and that might continue unless France rescinds its anti-Islam policies that put the Muslim population of both France and Europe in danger.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has been in the news recently for a series of Islamophobic comments he has made. In particular, Macron has said he will not stop the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine from drawing the blasphemous cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) under the pretext of the freedom of expression.

In October, Macron tagged Islam as a problematic religion. According to him, “Islam is a religion globally in crisis” and the religion needs to be reformed. The hate speech perpetrated by the French President has put Islam and Muslims, especially those living in Europe, at the centre of the world’s problems. The provocative anti-Islam comments by the president are generating a series of reactions from all over the globe.

The murder of Samuel Paty, a high school teacher by one Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzoro, who is a Russian Muslim of Chechen descent, has also availed Macron the chance to continue his Islamophobic rhetoric – stigmatizing an already vulnerable group of French Muslims who are far removed from the extremist rhetoric of people such as the man who murdered the schoolteacher. The French president has mastered the art of using a crime being carried out by a few to make sweeping generalizations. In the past, France has suffered similar attacks, but previous leaders reacted quite differently from Macron.

But to the present president, who is young and thoughtful and whose nouvelle ideas are expected, “this is a typical Islamist terror attack”, an ill-conceived statement that has been greeted by fierce criticism of the French president by different individuals and global leaders.

Many Muslims and non-Muslims alike have joined the voices condemning Macron’s actions and diatribe against Islam and its revered Prophet. Like Muslims in other parts of the world, those from Francophone countries in Africa like Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal have joined their counterparts in Muslim-majority countries around the world to condemn the French government’s Islamophobic statements.

Late October, an Algerian group known as the Movement for the Society of Peace called on “Algeria’s public institutions, chiefly the presidency, to condemn Macron’s statements and take an appropriate stand in the diplomatic, political and economic arenas, in accordance with the pledge to respect the Muslim religion and its glory, and in a spirit of solidarity with Algerian opinion.”

In a similar development, the High Islamic Council of Mali (HCIM) during the birthday celebration of the Prophet Muhammad has called on the French leader to tender an apology to the entire Muslim population around the world. This was after a protest where more than 5,000 Malians participated in denouncing Emmanuel Macron’s decision to support blasphemy on the Prophet of Islam under the guise of freedom of speech.

In the words of the Malian-based HCIM, “France and the French have crossed the line” by touching “the untouchable”.

Moreover, in other Francophone African countries, Muslims have continued issuing statements condemning France. In Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, thousands of protesters have criticised France over its anti-Islam policies while desecrating the flag of their former colonial power as well as calling for a boycott of all its products.

“Macron wounded the whole Muslim world. If the world is at peace it’s thanks to the Muslim religion. I myself hate Macron,” Youssoupha Sow, a demonstrator in Senegal, told AFP. Other protesters have said all they are demanding from the French government is to leave Muslims to practice their religion without any fear.

Another group in the 95% Muslim country of Senegal, the Rassemblement des Sénégalais contre l’islamophobie (Rally of Senegalese Against Islamophobia), has organised a protest on November 7 to rebuke France.

The list of Francophone countries in Africa that are condemning their colonisers is growing by the day and that might continue unless France rescinds its anti-Islam policies that put the Muslim population of both France and Europe in danger.

Consequently, the cordial bilateral relationship that exists between France and other African Francophone countries, especially the Muslim-majority ones, would be affected if France’s Emmanuel Macron did not rescind his stance on Muslims and most importantly, the Prophet Muhammad. In addition, there are countries like Nigeria, Niger, Mauritania, and Morocco that are headed by many Muslims and enjoy a good age-long relationship with France, and as a result of Macron’s anti-Islam standpoint, their friendship might become sour at best.


Sources

Muslim Bodies in Africa Condemn Macron’s Remarks

Is French President Macron Islamophobic?

Macron on Islam: How Can I Keep Quiet?

France Urges Arab Countries To Stop Boycott of French Products

Muslims, Christians Unite Against Macron’s Islamophobic Hate Speech

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