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A Very French Inquisition

May 25, 2021
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<div class="post-content"> <div class="fusion-fullwidth fullwidth-box fusion-builder-row-1 nonhundred-percent-fullwidth non-hundred-percent-height-scrolling" style="background-color: rgba(255,255,255,0);background-position: center center;background-repeat: no-repeat;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom: 0px;margin-top: 0px;border-width: 0px 0px 0px 0px;border-color:#eae9e9;border-style:solid;"><div class="fusion-builder-row fusion-row"><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-0 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-1" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><div class="fusion-text"> <h4 class="entry-title fusion-post-title fusion-responsive-typography-calculated" data-fontsize="18" data-lineheight="23.94px" style="--fontSize: 18; line-height: 1.33; --minFontSize: 18;"><i>Muhammad Jalal discusses recent legislative developments in France, and places these coercive social projects within their context of a broader social and political assault on its Muslim population and on the practice of Islam in the country.</i></h4> </div> <h5 data-fontsize="16" style="--fontSize: 16; line-height: 1.13; --minFontSize: 16;" data-lineheight="18.08px" class="fusion-responsive-typography-calculated"><em>This article is published as part of CAGE’s new series of expert essays ‘<a href="http://cage.ngo/perspectives">Perspectives on the War On Terror</a>‘.</em></h5> <h4 data-fontsize="18" style="--fontSize: 18; line-height: 1.33; --minFontSize: 18;" data-lineheight="23.94px" class="fusion-responsive-typography-calculated"></h4> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div></div></div><div class="fusion-fullwidth fullwidth-box fusion-builder-row-2 nonhundred-percent-fullwidth non-hundred-percent-height-scrolling" style="background-color: rgba(255,255,255,0);background-position: center center;background-repeat: no-repeat;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom: 0px;margin-top: 0px;border-width: 0px 0px 0px 0px;border-color:#eae9e9;border-style:solid;"><div class="fusion-builder-row fusion-row"><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-1 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-2" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p>When the French Interior minister Gérald Darmanin declared, “never at any given time, is Allāh superior to the Republic.” he was echoing an emerged consensus in French political life – Islam has to be chastened and suppressed if Muslims are to be tolerated in the country.</p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-2 fusion_builder_column_1_3 1_3 fusion-one-third fusion-column-first" style="width:33.333333333333%;width:calc(33.333333333333% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.33333333333333 ) );margin-right: 4%;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="imageframe-align-center"><span class=" fusion-imageframe imageframe-none imageframe-1 hover-type-none"></span></div><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-3" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><h5 style="text-align: center; --fontSize: 16; line-height: 1.13; --minFontSize: 16;" data-fontsize="16" data-lineheight="18.08px" class="fusion-responsive-typography-calculated">Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of the Interior and Priti Patel, British Home Secretary</h5> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-3 fusion_builder_column_2_3 2_3 fusion-two-third fusion-column-last" style="width:66.666666666667%;width:calc(66.666666666667% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.66666666666667 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-4" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p class="entry-title fusion-post-title" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42">For France’s some six million Muslims, his intemperate remarks only served to underscore an intolerance to which the sizeable yet marginalised minority community have become accustomed. The political establishment, left and right, perceives Muslims and their continued adherence to Islam as not only a danger to the republic but also an affront to French secularism known as laïcité, a fundamentalist separation of religion from the society that undergirds the republic.</p> <p class="entry-title fusion-post-title" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42">As the state turns the screw on all Muslims through the passing of new draconian legislation, its experiment will serve as a blueprint for other European countries.</p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-4 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-5" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p class="entry-title fusion-post-title" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42">At the centre of this offensive against the Muslim community is the so-called “anti-separatism” bill, given the Orwellian sounding name, the law<em> “to reinforce the principles of the Republic and the fight against separatism”</em>.</p> <p class="entry-title fusion-post-title" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42">The <a href="https://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/dyn/15/textes/l15b4078_projet-loi">draft legislation</a> has this past month <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/16/world/europe/france-law-islamist-extremism.html">passed both houses</a> of the legislature – Senate amendments are currently being considered by a joint committee.</p> <p class="entry-title fusion-post-title" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42">The provisions of the bill, crafted to incorporate all religions – lest it be challenged on discriminatory grounds – is nonetheless directly aimed at coercing French Muslims into adopting the ideological dogma of the state. Home- schooling will be banned and there will be an introduction of a child ID system for all over three years old, to track students in the educational system.</p> <p class="entry-title fusion-post-title" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42">This serves to prevent those parents that have chosen to educate their children at home, seeking to navigate around the already harsh restrictions on hijab wearing and a muscular liberalism that restricts all forms of religious observance in educational settings.</p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-5 fusion_builder_column_2_3 2_3 fusion-two-third fusion-column-first" style="width:66.666666666667%;width:calc(66.666666666667% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.66666666666667 ) );margin-right: 4%;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-6" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill increases the administrative powers of the state to shut down ‘extremist’ faith schools. </span></p> </div><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-7" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Rayan Freschi, <a href="https://www.cage.ngo/french-master-muslim-slaves">a French legal jurist argues</a>, this gives legal cover to what has already been the practice of the state for many years, the use of schools inspectorates to close Muslim schools down on minor infractions. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is what has become known as a wider unstated policy of “systematic obstruction”, employed by successive governments to undermine Muslim civil society institutions, such as mosques, schools and charities by using existing provisions to make it impossible to remain open, often setting onerous fines or temporary closures to act as a disincentive against community initiatives. </span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-6 fusion_builder_column_1_3 1_3 fusion-one-third fusion-column-last" style="width:33.333333333333%;width:calc(33.333333333333% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.33333333333333 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-8" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><h3 style="text-align: center; --fontSize: 26; line-height: 1.62;" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42.12px" class="fusion-responsive-typography-calculated"><span style="color: #999999;"><em>“This direction of travel was underscored by an incendiary letter written by some ex-generals who claimed “Islamism and the hordes of the banlieue” – the impoverished immigrant suburbs surrounding French cities – was a recipe for “civil war”.”</em></span></h3> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-7 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-9" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill helps the state to more directly control what is being said in mosques, banning sermons that stray into politics or criticise, for example, French interventions in the Sahel and the Middle East. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Religious leaders and organisations that receive public funds and tax exemptions would have to sign up to a ‘charter of principles’, explicitly declaring their allegiance to the French Republic.&nbsp;</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div></div></div><div class="fusion-fullwidth fullwidth-box fusion-builder-row-3 nonhundred-percent-fullwidth non-hundred-percent-height-scrolling" style="background-color: rgba(255,255,255,0);background-position: center center;background-repeat: no-repeat;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom: 0px;margin-top: 0px;border-width: 0px 0px 0px 0px;border-color:#eae9e9;border-style:solid;"><div class="fusion-builder-row fusion-row"><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-8 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-10" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Possibly the most egregious aspect of the bill came via an amendment in the Senate last month, proposing to </span>in effect <a href="https://choice.npr.org/index.html?origin=https://www.npr.org/2021/04/08/985475584/french-senate-voted-to-ban-the-hijab-for-minors-in-a-plea-by-the-conservative-ri">ban</a> the hijab in public for all under the age of 18.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This measure, tabled by the French right, if not rejected by the joint committee, would deny Muslim girls the right to wear the hijab anywhere in public. The wording of the clause talks of banning “signs or clothing” in public spaces that “ostensibly manifest a religious affiliation” or “that would signify the inferiority of women to men.” </span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-9 fusion_builder_column_1_3 1_3 fusion-one-third fusion-column-first" style="width:33.333333333333%;width:calc(33.333333333333% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.33333333333333 ) );margin-right: 4%;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-11" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><h3 style="text-align: center; --fontSize: 26; line-height: 1.62;" data-fontsize="26" data-lineheight="42.12px" class="fusion-responsive-typography-calculated"><span style="color: #999999;"><em>“What is going on in France is nothing short of an inquisition. Even a charitable reading of the legislation would surmise it is aimed at all Muslims who observe Islam in their lives.”</em></span></h3> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-10 fusion_builder_column_2_3 2_3 fusion-two-third fusion-column-last" style="width:66.666666666667%;width:calc(66.666666666667% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.66666666666667 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-12" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Emmanuel Macron’s <em>En Marche</em> party opposed the amendment together with much of the left in the senate, citing its unsubtle wording. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Until now, the bill has steered clear of mentioning Islam directly, instead focussing on the façade that it represents an equal treatment of religion. By including the religious symbol clause, it removes any pretence and does what everyone knows the bill is aimed at doing – further obstructing observant Muslims from practising their faith.</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-11 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-13" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The amendment would also ban hijab-wearing mothers from accompanying their children on school trips.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One left-leaning Senator Mari-Noëlle Lienemann explained her vote against the amendment by saying that she wanted to <em>“find legislation that outlaws the veil for minors,”</em> but that “<em>we cannot make a mistake in choosing which method to use”</em>. </span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-12 fusion_builder_column_1_2 1_2 fusion-one-half fusion-column-first" style="width:50%;width:calc(50% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.5 ) );margin-right: 4%;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-14" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A former Socialist Party minister, J-P. Chevènement who headed the government’s <em>Fondation de l’islam</em> declared, <em>“The veil (hijab) is for many women an identity claim. This symbol means that marriage is only possible with a Muslim. This is a manifestation of separatism.”</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like much of the political establishment in France, the progressive left subscribes to the aim of systematically obstructing Muslims, but differ on the means.&nbsp;</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-13 fusion_builder_column_1_2 1_2 fusion-one-half fusion-column-last" style="width:50%;width:calc(50% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.5 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><span class=" fusion-imageframe imageframe-none imageframe-2 hover-type-none"></span><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-14 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-15" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2004 it was the Socialist Party that banned the hijab in schools and in 2010, President Sarkozy from the centre-right The Republicans banned the niqab using terrorism laws.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Darmanin absurdly declared the amendment would harm “religious pluralism” in France, yet in the months before tabling the bill he talked of his horror of halal-only food aisles in supermarkets and in an interview in <em>La Voix du Nord</em> floated the idea that Muslim women who refused medical treatment from male doctors could face heavy fines or even jail sentences.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What is going on in France is nothing short of an inquisition. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even a charitable reading of the legislation would surmise it is aimed at all Muslims who observe Islam in their lives.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Its objective is to remove the usual organising capacities in Islamic communities that help foster a commitment to faith and at the same time forcibly convert young Muslims to embrace more stridently the commitments of the secular liberal republic. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recently, Darmanin had to reprimand two “overzealous” police officers when they asked a group of topless sunbathers to cover up on a beach, </span><a href="https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2020/08/26/french-interior-minister/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">tweeting</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> “it was wrong that the women were warned about their clothing” and “freedom is something precious”, yet the same respect is not afforded to Muslim women, who face a daily barrage of racist slurs, discrimination and suspicion.&nbsp;</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-16" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some commentators have rightly pointed out that Macron’s poor handling of the Covid crisis and the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement has harmed his prospect for re-election, citing the surge of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in the polls. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Le Pen broke through to the second round in the last presidential election, a first for the French far-right.</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-15 fusion_builder_column_1_2 1_2 fusion-one-half fusion-column-first" style="width:50%;width:calc(50% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.5 ) );margin-right: 4%;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-17" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q8Gkg4jWAmU?enablejsapi=1&amp;wmode=opaque" width="500" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="player_1"></iframe></p> </div><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-18" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><h5 style="text-align: center; --fontSize: 16; line-height: 1.13; --minFontSize: 16;" data-fontsize="16" data-lineheight="18.08px" class="fusion-responsive-typography-calculated">French interior minister calls Marine Le Pen ‘soft’ on Islam – via <em>Middle East Eye</em></h5> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-16 fusion_builder_column_1_2 1_2 fusion-one-half fusion-column-last" style="width:50%;width:calc(50% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.5 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-19" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seaOljQ-IBc"><span style="font-weight: 400;">televised</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> debate between Darmanin and Le Pen, the interior minister accused her of “going soft on Islam” because she had reservations about the separatism bill. In reality, the prospect of Le Pen winning may remain slight, but she is making ground in the </span><a href="https://brownpoliticalreview.org/2021/04/the-2022-french-presidential-election-is-a-test-of-the-first-past-the-post-system/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">polls.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A second-round runoff may be closer this time than 2017 and Macron knows that to neutralise the non-committed right in the electorate he has to outdo Le Pen and show a greater disdain towards Islam.&nbsp;</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-17 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-20" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yet to dismiss his position as merely posturing ahead of a general election would be naïve. The French state has embarked upon the systematic dismantling of the religion of Islam as practised by the majority of Muslims in the country. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is an acknowledgement that the 1905 law that explicitly removed religion from the public square has failed to diminish Muslim observance, resistant to attempts to secularise the faith. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-18 fusion_builder_column_2_3 2_3 fusion-two-third fusion-column-first" style="width:66.666666666667%;width:calc(66.666666666667% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.66666666666667 ) );margin-right: 4%;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-21" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many in French society see Islam to be a regressive religion and, like attempts in colonial Algeria, nothing short of forcibly eradicating a religious culture can be entertained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Echoing its colonial past, there is a particular obsession with ‘liberating’ the Muslim woman, yet what is apparent is Muslim women, what they think and feel, is noticeably absent from the public discourse. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This unsavoury direction of travel was underscored by an incendiary open letter in April written by a group of ex-generals who </span><a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56899765.amp"><span style="font-weight: 400;">claimed</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> “Islamism and the hordes of the </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">banlieue</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">” – the impoverished immigrant suburbs that surround French cities – was a recipe for “civil war”.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the absence of political and public pressure at home, Emmanuel Macron has a free hand to treat the Muslim community with the disdain that he has shown.</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-19 fusion_builder_column_1_3 1_3 fusion-one-third fusion-column-last" style="width:33.333333333333%;width:calc(33.333333333333% - ( ( 4% ) * 0.33333333333333 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered" style="display: flex; max-width: 550px; width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><iframe id="twitter-widget-0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true" class="" style="position: static; visibility: visible; width: 346px; height: 563px; display: block; flex-grow: 1;" title="Twitter Tweet" src="https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=UK_CAGE&amp;dnt=false&amp;embedId=twitter-widget-0&amp;features=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%3D%3D&amp;frame=false&amp;hideCard=false&amp;hideThread=false&amp;id=1335554772850647041&amp;lang=en&amp;origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cage.ngo%2Fa-very-french-inquisition&amp;sessionId=e7e974015a3381ed0e205d1f2b775afe581c162f&amp;siteScreenName=UK_CAGE&amp;theme=light&amp;widgetsVersion=aaf4084522e3a%3A1674595607486&amp;width=550px" data-tweet-id="1335554772850647041"></iframe></div> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-20 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-22" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Notwithstanding, recent protests and boycotts of French products after the cartoon controversy shows that external pressure works if it is sustained. In the absence of meaningful international condemnation of France, a collective Muslim civil society effort to put pressure on the French government can temper the fundamentalism of the French state. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Macron was rattled late last year after the boycott started, having to appear on </span><a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/31/frances-macron-cartoons-came-from-free-and-independent-news"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Al Jazeera</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to allay concerns. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He also took umbrage at an article in the Financial Times – now removed – written by a Muslim journalist about him. Instead he penned his own op-ed, replete with erroneous </span><a href="https://on.ft.com/32drFoi"><span style="font-weight: 400;">slurs</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of Muslim girls as young as three forced to wear full-face veils; c</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">laims that have yet to be </span><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/emmanuel-macron-france-muslim-islam-girls-b1621006.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">corroborated</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Only coordinated civil society action can stop what Islamic scholar Dr Yasir Qadhi </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi/videos/351347446093629/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">calls</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a template of suppression to be borrowed soon by governments across Europe.&nbsp;</span></p> </div><div class="fusion-text fusion-text-23" style="transform:translate3d(0,0,0);"><p><em>Images used courtesy of Flickr/<a href="https://flic.kr/p/2jkze6i">Number 10</a> &amp; <a href="https://flic.kr/p/UkVNhV">Lorie Shaull</a></em></p> </div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div></div></div><div class="fusion-fullwidth fullwidth-box fusion-builder-row-4 nonhundred-percent-fullwidth non-hundred-percent-height-scrolling" style="background-color: rgba(255,255,255,0);background-position: center center;background-repeat: no-repeat;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom: 0px;margin-top: 0px;border-width: 0px 0px 0px 0px;border-color:#eae9e9;border-style:solid;"><div class="fusion-builder-row fusion-row"><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-21 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; background-color: rgb(247, 247, 247); padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><div class="fusion-person person fusion-person-center fusion-person-1 fusion-person-icon-top"><style>.fusion-person-1 .imageframe-liftup:before{-webkit-border-radius:50%;-moz-border-radius:50%;border-radius:50%;</style><div class="person-desc" style="background-color:#f7f7f7;padding:40px;margin-top:0;"><div class="person-author"><div class="person-author-wrapper"><span class="person-name">Muhammad Jalal</span><span class="person-title">Host of The Thinking Muslim podcast</span></div></div><div class="person-content fusion-clearfix">Muhammad Jalal is a lecturer in politics and international relations. He is the host of The Thinking Muslim podcast and a writer on current affairs. He can be followed on Twitter @jalalayn </div></div></div><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div></div></div><div class="fusion-fullwidth fullwidth-box fusion-builder-row-5 nonhundred-percent-fullwidth non-hundred-percent-height-scrolling" style="background-color: #ffffff;background-position: center center;background-repeat: no-repeat;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;margin-bottom: 0px;margin-top: 0px;border-width: 0px 0px 0px 0px;border-color:#eae9e9;border-style:solid;"><div class="fusion-builder-row fusion-row"><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-22 fusion_builder_column_1_1 1_1 fusion-one-full fusion-column-first fusion-column-last" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position: left top; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-size: cover; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><style type="text/css"></style><div class="fusion-title title fusion-title-1 fusion-title-text fusion-title-size-one" style="margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:30px;"><h1 class="title-heading-left fusion-responsive-typography-calculated" style="margin: 0px; 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Please review the field format and try again."; window.translation = { common: { selectedList: '{quantity} list selected', selectedLists: '{quantity} lists selected' } }; var AUTOHIDE = Boolean(0); </script> <script src="https://sibforms.com/forms/end-form/build/main.js"></script> <!-- END - We recommend to place the above code in footer or bottom of your website html --> <!-- End Sendinblue Form --><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div><div class="fusion-layout-column fusion_builder_column fusion-builder-column-25 fusion_builder_column_1_5 1_5 fusion-one-fifth fusion-column-last" style="width:20%;width:calc(20% - ( ( 4% + 4% ) * 0.2 ) );margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;"><div class="fusion-column-wrapper fusion-flex-column-wrapper-legacy" style="background-position:left top;background-repeat:no-repeat;-webkit-background-size:cover;-moz-background-size:cover;-o-background-size:cover;background-size:cover;padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px;"><div class="fusion-clearfix"></div></div></div></div></div> <p style="font-size:11px; margin-bottom:0px; margin-top:100px">(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)</p> </div>

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