London – An elite force usually sent to quash prison riots and hostage situations have raided the home of Idriss Sihamedi, president of the popular Muslim charity BarkaCity.

Sihamedi was violently beaten, his wife was not allowed to wear her hijab, was forcefully handcuffed and insulted. Their children were threatened and told to keep their hands in the air. 

The raid is one of many that took place across France following Macron’s Islamophobic speech in which he accused Muslims of ‘separatism’ – a far right trope. Raids took place against Muslim schools, funeral services and homes.

It also follows attempts by Sihamedi to organise a united Muslim response to Macron’s attempts to control Muslim public life and private beliefs. Sihamedi has also been threatened by the Interior Minister due to his vocal opposition to a known Islamophobe.

Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE said:

“The targeting of one of the country’s biggest Muslim charities, BarakaCity and its president Idriss Sihamedi, who is a vocal advocate for Muslim rights, sends a clear message that the state is on an open witch hunt of Islam and Muslims. In the absence of any meaningful charges we demand his immediate release.”

“Baraka City and Sihamedi enjoy wide spectrum of support from the Muslim community in France. Macron’s popularity is ailing and he is now pandering to the far-right to demonstrate his Islamohobic credentials for the upcoming presidential elections. Macron wants to surpass Marine Le Pen in his anti-muslim rhetoric and policies. As a result Muslims are the prime targets at the altar of his political ambitions.”

 

(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.)