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Muslims calls on EU commissioner for action against French Islamophobia

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Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, London

A cry for help for France’s more than three million Muslims. A letter of complaint signed by a global coalition of 25 civil society organizations and NGOs spanning 11 countries to the President of the European Commission, urging immediate action against France for what they call its state-sponsored Islamophobia, and against a new framework for Muslim faith leaders to transform Islam in France into an “Islam of France’’.

Renamed the Charter of Principles, the Imam Charter’s ten articles set out the so-called republican values to which all imams in France should subscribe. The French president has warned those who may not sign the document of consequences. Either you’re with the Republic, he warned, or you’re not with the Republic.

The new letter of complaint follows a similar one in January by a coalition of Muslim NGOs who submitted a joint complaint to the UN human rights council. calling for action against increasingly hostile policies towards Muslims by the French state. 

The already existing problem of French Islamophobia took a turn for the worse in the wake of the beheading of school teacher Samuel Paty by a Takfiri extremist outside his school in November last year for showing offensive cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during his class. For the French president, that provided a valuable opportunity. He defended the profane caricatures and introduced legislation targeting so-called Islamic extremism.

The deeply offensive caricatures set off angry protests worldwide. Inside France, a crackdown on the Muslim community: Multiple mosques were forced to close, the country’s biggest Muslim charity and an anti-Islamophobia organization were banned, dozens of people were arrest and hundreds faced plans for deportation. 

Critics say the recent moves by the French state targets Muslims and alienates them. And the French government’s attempt at aligning French Islam with ‘republican values’ and to combat ‘’separatism’’ raises more questions than answers.

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