Samuel Paty, 47, was targeted for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his students.
His killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, was shot dead by police shortly after last Friday’s attack.
But seven people, including two students and a parent of one of Mr Paty’s pupils, were detained in the days following the killing.
On Wednesday, prosecutors said six of the suspects had been charged with complicity in a terrorist murder and placed under judicial investigation.
One man is accused of having close contact with the killer and faces the lesser charge of associating with a terrorist.
All of the suspects, other than the two students who are minors at just 14 and 15, are in custody.
Mr Paty’s killing stunned France and led to an outpouring of support at memorial ceremonies and marches around the country.
On Wednesday evening, President Emmanuel Macron hailed Mr Paty as “a quiet hero” and “the face of the Republic” at an event in Paris.
He then presented the teacher’s family with the nation’s highest honour, the Légion d’honneur.
Who has been charged?
France’s chief anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard announced the charges on Wednesday, and gave fuller details of the police investigation at a press conference.
Two teenage students, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were allegedly paid around €300 (£270; $355) by the killer to identify Mr Paty outside the school.
The killer told the students he wanted to “hit” and “humiliate” Mr Paty and “make him apologise for the cartoon of the Prophet [Muhammad]”, Mr Ricard said.
The teenagers are alleged to have described the teacher to Anzorov and stayed with him for more than two hours until Mr Paty appeared.
A man named only as Brahim C, a parent of one of Mr Paty’s pupils, is also under investigation. The 48-year-old is accused of orchestrating a hate campaign against Mr Paty and exchanging text messages with the killer before the attack.
On Wednesday, Mr Ricard said there was a “direct causal link” between the online campaign and Mr Paty’s death.
Also in custody is Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a preacher and activist who was reportedly known to the French intelligence services for years.
Both he and Brahim C made videos in which they reportedly insulted Mr Paty and demanded his suspension.
Earlier, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told Europe 1 radio that the pair had “apparently launched a fatwa against the teacher”.
Three friends of Anzorov are also facing prosecution. One of them allegedly drove him to the school, while another is accused of helping him purchase a weapon.
Both men have been charged with complicity in a terrorist murder while the third was charged with the lesser offence of terrorist association.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, it emerged that Anzorov had been in contact with a Russian-speaking jihadist in Syria before he carried out the attack.
Anzorov was born in Moscow and his family is from Russia’s Muslim-majority Chechnya region in the North Caucasus. He had lived in France since 2008.
Why was Samuel Paty targeted?
The teacher had been the target of threats since he showed the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on 6 October.
Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad can cause serious offence to Muslims because Islamic tradition explicitly forbids images of Muhammad and Allah (God).
The issue is particularly sensitive in France because of the decision by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
A trial is currently under way over the killing of 12 people by Islamist extremists at the magazine’s offices in 2015 following their publication.
France’s Muslim community, which is Europe’s largest, comprises about 10% of the population.
Some French Muslims say they are frequent targets of racism and discrimination because of their faith – an issue that has long caused tension in the country.
END OF ARTICLE
GRIEF AND ANGER IN FRANCE AFTER CHURCH STABBINGS
30 OCTOBER 2020
President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday’s stabbings were an “Islamist terrorist attack”. Security is being stepped up throughout France.
The 21-year-old Tunisian suspect arrived in the city the night before the attack, his brother told the BBC.
Meanwhile, France’s interior minister said more militant attacks were likely.
“We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks,” said Gerald Darmanin. “We’re at war against an ideology, Islamist ideology.”
Security has been increased at places of worship and schools across France following two similar attacks within two weeks. Earlier this month a teacher was beheaded in a Paris suburb after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to some of his pupils.
Mr Macron’s subsequent defence of the right to publish the cartoons has stoked anger in several Muslim-majority countries.
Following the latest attack, police shot and wounded the suspected knifeman, who had only recently arrived in Europe. He is said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
President Emmanuel Macron has ordered that the number of soldiers being deployed to protect public places – such as churches and schools – rises from 3,000 to 7,000.
Meanwhile, police investigating the attack have made a second arrest.
What do we know about the victims?
The two women and a man were attacked inside the basilica in the morning before the first Mass of the day.
Two died inside the church. One of them, a 60-year-old woman who has not been named, was “virtually beheaded” close to the font, according to the French chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.
- ‘Such friendly faces’: Nice in shock after murders
- In pictures: Scene of the knife attack
- What we know about the Nice attack
French media have named one victim as 55-year-old Vincent Loquès, a devout Catholic who had reportedly worked at the basilica for more than 10 years.
Mr Loquès, a father of two loved by many of the church’s regulars, was opening the building when the attacker slit his throat, police say.
The third victim was named by the Brazilian foreign ministry as Simone Barreto Silva, a 44-year-old mother of three born in Salvador on Brazil’s north-eastern coast. She had lived in France for 30 years.
She fled to a nearby cafe with multiple stab wounds but died shortly afterwards. “Tell my children that I love them,” she told those who tried to help her, according to French media.
On Friday morning, priest Philippe Asso stood on the church steps with other mourners before walking in with a wreath to the victims.
Others gathered outside the church to pay their respects.
Nice resident Frederic Lefèvre, 50, said he knew Mr Loquès.
“This is a tragedy once again,” he said. “We’re a free country, we have demonstrated freedom to all countries of the world. Today, this freedom is closing in on us. Life needs to be lived for everyone.”
Marc Mercier, 71, called the killings a “catastrophe”.
“It’s appalling. It’s been years that we’ve been saying that fear should shift to the other side [attackers] but it is still the same.”
END OF ARTICLE
SEE NOTE 3
A gunman shot dead by police has been identified as a 20-year-old “Islamist terrorist” who was released early from jail in December.
Two men and two women died of their wounds after gunmen opened fire at six locations in the city centre on Monday evening.
Twenty-two people were wounded.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the four who died were an elderly woman, an elderly man, a young male passer-by and a waitress. Witnesses described how the gunmen had opened fire on people outside bars and chased them as they fled inside.
It was clearly an attack driven by “hatred of our way of life, our democracy”, the chancellor said. He earlier spoke of a “repulsive terror attack”.
The nation was engaged not in a battle between Christians and Muslims, he stressed, but “between civilisation and barbarism”.
Islamic State connection
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer described the dead gunman as an “Islamist terrorist”, jailed for 22 months in April 2019 after trying to get to war-torn Syria to join Islamic State (IS) jihadists. The 20-year-old had been released early last December under more lenient terms for young adults.
Mr Nehammer urged Austrians to “please stay at home if possible” during the police operation and “avoid the inner city”. Children should stay at home, not go to school on Tuesday, he said.
Austrian daily Der Standard reports that 90% of shops in the city centre are now shut.
The victims were in a city centre area busy with people in bars and restaurants, near Vienna’s central synagogue.
Police cordoned off some streets and brought in reinforcements. They are also being helped by the Austrian army.
Addressing a news conference, Mr Nehammer said police had searched the home of the dead gunman and seized video material. He had been wearing a fake explosive belt, police said.
The man was originally from North Macedonia and had a previous conviction for terrorist association, Mr Nehammer said. He had both Austrian and Macedonian citizenship.
Several arrests were made during searches of 15 nearby homes. Two suspects were also arrested in St Pölten, a town to the west of Vienna.
The Vienna shooting comes after a spate of Islamist militant attacks in France.
Last month French history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded outside a school in a suburb of Paris. Then, as the government launched new measures to tackle militant Islam, a Tunisian man fatally stabbed three people in a cathedral in Nice.
The worst IS attack in Europe in recent years was in November 2015, when gunmen killed 130 people in Paris.
Mr Nehammer said at least one “heavily armed and dangerous” attacker was believed to be still at large. Officials were quoted as saying there could have been as many as four attackers.
The attack came hours before Austria imposed new national restrictions to try to stem rising cases of coronavirus. Many people were enjoying drinks and eating out before a midnight curfew.
Police named six crime scenes in central Vienna: Seitenstettengasse and nearby Morzinplatz, Salzgries, Fleischmarkt, Bauernmarkt and Graben. The suspect was shot dead near St Rupert’s Church.
Austria’s government announced three days of national mourning, starting immediately. Flags flew at half-mast and a minute’s silence was held at midday. Schools are to hold a minute’s silence for the victims on Wednesday morning.
How did the attack unfold?
Police say the incident began at about 20:00 (19:00 GMT), near the Seitenstettengasse synagogue, when a heavily armed man opened fire on people outside cafes and restaurants.
Vienna Community Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister said he saw at least two gunmen shoot at least 100 rounds in front of the synagogue compound. “They were attacking the guests of bars and pubs. People were jumping and running, falling over the tables, running inside the bars followed by the gunmen also running inside the bars,” he told London radio station LBC.
Members of the special forces quickly arrived at the scene. One policeman was shot and critically wounded before the perpetrator, armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol and a machete, was, in the police chief’s words, “neutralised” at 20:09.
Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch said the synagogue was closed at the time.
Footage posted on social media showed scenes of chaos as people ran through the streets with gunshots ringing out in the background.
Witness Chris Zhao, who was in a nearby restaurant, told the BBC: “We heard noises that sounded like firecrackers. We heard about 20 to 30 and we thought that to be actually gunfire. Sadly, we also saw a body lying down the street next to us.”
A major anti-terrorist operation swung into action and police set up roadblocks around the city centre.
Barbara Lovett, who was in the Vienna State Opera at the time, said that when the evening performance ended the manager had told the audience of the attack and that they could not leave.
“The players came back out from the dressing rooms, in their normal clothes, sat down in the orchestra pit and played for another 20 minutes,” she told the BBC. “They played the German national anthem, which used to be the Austrian anthem – the Emperor Quartet by Haydn.”
Police in the neighbouring Czech Republic said they were carrying out random checks on the border with Austria in case the attackers fled in that direction.
What reaction has there been?
European leaders strongly condemned the shooting. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked by the terrible attacks” while Germany’s Angela Merkel said “the fight against Islamist terrorism is our common struggle”.
Austria had until now been spared the sort of attacks that have hit other European countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe must not “give up” in the face of attacks. Last week he described the murder of three people in Nice as an “Islamist terrorist attack”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK would “stand ready to support in any way we can”.
US President Donald Trump – on the campaign trail ahead of Tuesday’s election – described it as “yet another vile act of terrorism in Europe”.
His Democratic challenger Joe Biden condemned the “horrific terrorist attack”, adding: “We must all stand united against hate and violence.”
Two Austrians of Turkish descent, Recep Tayyip Gultekin and Mikail Ozen, risked their lives to rescue a police officer and two women during Monday’s terrorist attack in Austria.
Two Austrian-Turks saved the life of a police officer and two elderly women in Vienna’s terrorist attack that killed at least four people and injured 15 others.
Recep Tayyip Gultekin and Mikail Ozen were in Vienna’s city centre when the attack began. Both headed in the direction of the incident and saw the attackers shooting at civilians.
Gultekin came to the aid of an injured woman.
“After I carried the woman to a nearby restaurant, the terrorist pointed his gun at me,” he said.
Then Gultekin hid from the gunman who was carrying a long-barrel assault gun.
However, he could not avoid being wounded.
“A pellet from this gun hit the back of my right leg. However, it did not cause any major injury.”
Gultekin and Ozen went to the nearest police station to report the incident.
Gultekin stated that they immediately went to the police station to gave information, then helped an old woman who was in shock from the attack near the scene.
They were also confronted with another attack on a police officer, noting that the medical teams did not approach the scene due to the attack.
“Other police officers were looking at him (wounded police), they did nothing while I shouted at them for help.”
“I told Mikail we will do this. We reached the police… We carried the police to the ambulance me, by holding his back, and my friend by his feet.”
Gultekin said that they carried the injured officer to the ambulance with Ozen.
The officer had been injured between the abdominal cavity and calf and lost a lot of blood, Gultekin said.
The paramedics wanted to take Gultekin to the hospital but he refused because there were many people suffering injuries, he added.
Later, after making his way to the hospital, doctors told Gultekin the bullet pellet might have to stay in his leg as removing it might cause problems.
‘Terror is terror everywhere’
Saying that he lives in Austria and makes his living here, Gultekin said: “The police who were injured were my police. The people injured were my people. I give my condolences to the Austrian state and hope the injured people make a quick recovery.”
He added: “If the same thing happens tomorrow, I wouldn’t hesitate to save people. I don’t want to see discrimination between Muslims, Jews, or Christians. Terror has no place in these religions. Terror is terror everywhere.”
Ozan Ceyhun, Turkey’s ambassador in Vienna, hailed the brave young men on Twitter, linking to a Austrian press account of their deeds: “Heroes of the Vienna attack: two men rescued injured police officers.”
At least four people died and 17 more were wounded in the terror attack in Austria’s capital on Monday evening, authorities have confirmed.
The injured include a police officer, according to the Vienna Police Department.
END OF ARTICLE
TURKISH EXPATS SAVE 2 WOMEN, 1 POLICE OFFICER’S LIFE DURING VIENNA TERROR ATTACK
Two Turkish men saved two women and one police officer’s life during Monday’s terrorist attack that left at least five people dead in the Austrian capital, while barely escaping death after being shot by one of the gunmen, according to an Anadolu Agency (AA) report
Recep Tayyip Gültekin said he was with his friend Mikail Özer in Vienna’s city center when they heard gunshots. He said they headed in the direction of the commotion and saw a gunman shooting a civilian passerby. Gültekin helped the injured woman.
“After I carried the woman to a nearby restaurant, the terrorist pointed his gun at me,” he recalled. He threw himself to the ground to avoid being shot by the gunman, who was carrying a long-barrel gun, but was wounded, he said. “We got into my friend’s car and went to the nearest police station to report the incident.”
Gültekin said that later, they saw a police officer who had been wounded in the clash. Noting that medical teams could not approach the scene due to the conflict, Gültekin and his friend carried the officer to an ambulance. They also helped an elderly woman they encountered at the scene move to a safe location, he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu hailed the two men for risking their own lives to help the injured civilians and police officer, saying, “Our two brothers did what a human, a Muslim, and a Turk should do.”
Later on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also held a video phone call with Gültekin and Özer. During the call, Erdoğan wished Öztekin a speedy recovery and asked about his health condition.
Stating that Turkey is proud of them, Erdoğan said: “Keep helping Austrians. They may not understand us, but we understand them.”
END OF ARTICLE
” “If the same thing happens tomorrow, I wouldn’t hesitate to save people. I don’t want to see discrimination between Muslims, Jews, or Christians. Terror has no place in these religions. Terror is terror everywhere.”
Prototypical Fascism in Contemporary Dutch Politics Henk Bovekerk (s475630) Tilburg University the Netherlands BA Liberal Arts & Sciences (Humanities major) Under the supervision of dr. A.C.J. de Ruiter Read by prof. dr. J.M.E. Blommaert Fall Semester 2011
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a former Dutch politician and a current anti-Islam figure residing in the United States. She founded the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation in 2007.
According to the AHA Foundation’s website, the organization fights “the continued oppression of women and girls in the US committed in the name of religion and culture”. CAIR wholeheartedly condemns any disparity of equal protection of rights, wherever and whenever it occurs. However, Hirsi Ali’s path to defend women from human rights abuses falsely, and viciously, attempts to incriminate all Muslims for the atrocities.
Hirsi Ali has a reputation for anti-Muslim and anti-Constitutional rhetoric.
For example, during the course of a single 2007 interview with Reason Magazine Ali said, “I think that we are at war with Islam” and called for Islam to be “defeated.” Later in the interview, Ali suggested that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to allow for discrimination against Muslims saying, “There were no Muslim schools when the constitution was written. There were no jihadists.”
Hirsi Ali has also referenced Islam as “a nihilistic cult of death” and that it “legitimizes murder”.
In 2014, Brandeis University withdrew its invitation to Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at commencement ceremonies after being informed of her rhetoric. In its statement announcing the withdrawal of Ali’s invitation, the university said: “We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”
ARTICLE OF ASTRID ESSED [IN DUTCH]
HET GEDACHTEGOED VAN MEVROUW HIRSI ALI
[IN ENGLISH: THE POLITICAL IDEAS OF MRS HIRSI ALI]
1 APRIL 2005
In tegenstelling tot de onder de Nederlandse intelligentsia en een aantal politici heersende opinie leidt het gedachtegoed van Hirsi Ali niet tot de emancipatie van moslima’s, maar tot verdere stigmatisering en radicalisering van de in Nederland wonende moslims.
Op 25 februari 2005 kreeg het VVD Tweede Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali de prestigieuze Harriet-Freezerring uitgereikt voor haar ”inzet voor de emancipatie van moslimvrouwen”
Ik wil in onderstaand betoog nader ingaan op het gedachtegoed van mevrouw Hirsi Ali, hetgeen ik graag wil uitsplitsen in inhoudelijke kritiek en de vorm waarin deze kritiek gegoten wordt. Hierbij wil ik ter inleiding de opmerking maken, dat mijns inziens ieder kritiek op welke godsdienst ook geoorloofd is, mits met respect voor de gelovigen in kwestie.
Hoewel ik er zeker waardering voor heb, dat mevrouw Hirsi-Ali wil opkomen voor mishandelde vrouwen valt mij daarbij haar uiterst ongenuanceerde benadering op.
Zo relateert zij de mishandeling van islamitische vrouwen in Nederland veelal ten onrechte aan de Islam zonder enig oog voor de traditionele en sociaal-gebonden achtergronden in dezen, die hun wortels hebben in de diverse landen van herkomst, maar ook te wijten zijn aan heersende spanningen binnen de Nederlandse samenleving, die de afgelopen jaren zijn
toegenomen door het voortschrijdende racistische klimaat.
Daarenboven maakt zij in haar benadering van de problematiek in de islamitische landen van herkomst weinig tot geen onderscheid noch tussen de grote onderlinge verschillen in positie en behandeling van de islamitische vrouw, de verschillen in sociale klassen en de verschillen tussen stad en platteland.
1 Mishandelde vrouwen in islamitische landen van herkomst:
Hoewel in islamitische landen vrouwenmishandeling in alle lagen van de samenleving voorkomt, is dit veeleer een traditioneel-sociaal verschijnsel met somtijds fundamentalistisch-religieuze aspecten, waarbij daarenboven onderscheid gemaakt dient te worden tussen de landen onderling, het verschil in sociale klasse en het verschil tussen stad en platteland.
In de eerste plaats is er een zeer groot verschil in positie cq behandeling van de islamitische vrouw tussen bijvoorbeeld de Noordelijke Staten van Nigeria en een land als Turkije waarbij sprake is van een veel grotere vrijheid betreffende de positie van de vrouw. Ook is bekend, dat de veelgenoemde zware lijfstraffen en doodstraffen volgens de meest stringente vorm van islamitisch recht, waarvan overigens niet alleen vrouwen, maar eveneens mannen het slachtoffer kunnen worden [zie het handen afhakken van dieven in Saoedi-Arabie] in de meeste islamitische landen niet worden toegepast, maar alleen in uitzonderingsgevallen zoals de reeds genoemde Noordelijke Staten in Nigeria en een land als Saoedi-Arabie.
In de tweede plaats komen vrouwenmishandelingen weliswaar in alle lagen van deze samenlevingen voor, maar hangen de sociale consequenties hiervan sterk samen met de sociaal-maatschappelijke positie van de betreffende vrouwen. Zo is het voor hoger opgeleide vrouwen over het algemeen door hun contacten en invloed gemakkelijker, deze vernederende omstandigheden te doorbreken en de mogelijkheid een nieuw leven op te bouwen dan niet-opgeleide vrouwen, die veelal een sociaal-zwakkere positie in de samenleving innemen.
In de derde plaats is het van groot belang onderscheid te maken tussen de positie van de vrouw uit de stad of het platteland, waarbij plattelandsvrouwen veelal meer blootstaan aan geweld vanwege de sterke sociale en familiale bindingen binnen een dorpsgemeenschap en de vanwege gebrek aan vooropleiding praktische aanwezige onmogelijkheid de streek te
2 Mishandeling islamitische vrouwen in Nederland en vrouwenmishandeling in
Nederland in het algemeen
Zoals reeds opgemerkt relateert mevrouw Hirsi-Ali de mishandeling van islamitische vrouwen in Nederland ten onrechte vrijwel uitsluitend aan de Islam en heeft zij te weinig oog voor de hierboven vermelde traditionalistische en sociale componenten, veelal afkomstig uit de landen van herkomst alsmede gevoed door de in Nederland heersende maatschappelijke
spanningen, die veelal samenhangen met het in de Nederlandse samenleving toegenomen racisme.
Evenzeer sluit zij de ogen voor het feit, dat mishandeling van in Nederland wonende islamitische vrouwen weliswaar een ernstig voorkomend verschijnsel is, maar dat een en ander evenzeer in onrustbarende percentages voorkomt bij zowel autochtone Nederlandse vrouwen als allochtone vrouwen van niet-islamitische komaf. De cijfers ontlopen elkaar niet al te veel, is er bij allochtonen [en daarbij zijn eveneens gerekend niet-islamitische allochtone vrouwen] sprake van een op de vijf vrouwen, is er bij autochtonen sprake van 1 op de vier
Het is uiteraard evident, dat ik hierbij het verschijnsel van de mishandelde islamitische vrouw in genen dele wil bagatelliseren, maar wel wil ik de indruk wegnemen, dat er overwegend sprake zou zijn van mishandeling bij islamitische vrouwen, hetgeen genen dele het geval is.
Evenzeer suggereert mevrouw Hirsi Ali veelal, dat het in zowel Somalië als bepaalde streken van Egypte voorkomend ernstige verschijnsel van de vrouwenbesnijdenis zou voortkomen uit een islamitische traditie, hetgeen niet het geval is. Hoewel voorkomend in geheel of gedeeltelijk islamitische landen als Somalië en Egypte, komt dit verschijnsel eveneens voor in een groot aantal Afrikaanse landen, die in het geheel niet islamitisch zijn, maar veelal aanhanger van animistische tradities, al dan niet vermengd met het christendom.
Uiteraard is vrouwenbesnijdenis een van de ernstigste schendingen van de rechten van de vrouw, maar juist gezien tegen dit licht is het van belang, een en ander in zijn juiste verband te zien.
Recentelijk is mevrouw Hirsi Ali in het nieuws gekomen als verdedigster van door eerwraak bedreigde moslima’s, hetgeen ik uiteraard van harte toejuich. Ook ten aanzien van deze problematiek echter maakt Hirsi Ali zich niet alleen schuldig aan verregaande generalisering.
In de eerste plaats is er in het geval van eerwraak lang niet altijd sprake van een vrouwelijk slachtoffer, noch wordt de daad alleen door mannen bedreven. Evenmin is er altijd sprake van moord, maar veelal van mishandeling, opsluiting en bedreiging.
Het belangrijkste is echter het feit, dat eerwraak niet zozeer religieus, maar cultureel gebonden is, aangezien dit verschijnsel zich niet alleen slechts in enkele islamitische landen zoals bepaalde streken van Egypte en Jordanië manifesteert, maar evenzeer voorkomt in niet-islamitische landen zoals enkele Zuid-Amerikaanse landen, de Antillen, Italië en Griekenland.
Het is mevrouw Hirsi-Ali dan ook verwijtbaar, dat zij ten onrechte de suggestie wekt, dat eerwraak gerelateerd kan worden aan de Islam en slechts in islamitische landen voorkomt.
1 Ressortering eerwraak onder de anti-terreurwetgeving
Nog los van haar generaliserende standpunten zijn m.i. eveneens haar oplossingsstrategieën uiterst dubieus. Zo stelde zij onlangs als maatregel voor, het eerwraak-misdrijf als zodanig
te laten ressorteren onder de anti-terreurwetgeving. Nog afgezien van het al dan niet wenselijke karakter van de anti-terreurwetgeving is hier geen sprake van een als terrorisme te
definiëren misdrijf en merkte minister Donner van Justitie dan ook terecht op, dat het laten ressorteren van een dergelijk misdrijf onder de anti-terreurwet zou neerkomen op een oneigenlijk gebruik van deze wet.
2 Verbod op islamitische scholen:
Een tweede door mevrouw Hirsi-Ali voorgestelde oplossingsstrategie ter bevordering van de emancipatie van moslima’s is het opheffen van islamitische scholen, aangezien een en ander o.a. de basis zou zijn voor het handhaven van ongewenste patronen in de man-vrouw relatie.
Verder geeft zij zelf aan geen gelovig moslim meer te zijn [hetgeen zij ”geseculariseerd” noemt]
Uiteraard is het haar recht al dan niet belijdend moslim te zijn, maar het sluiten van islamitische scholen vertrekt vanuit een fundamenteel gebrek aan respect voor de geloofsovertuiging van anderen, in casu de moslimgemeenschap. Bovendien is het in strijd met het recht op godsdienstvrijheid, als zodanig een van de grondbeginselen van de Universele Verklaring voor de Rechten van de Mens en [nog steeds] verankerd binnen de Nederlandse grondwet.
Verder is de uiterste consequentie van dit gedachtegoed, dat dan eveneens christelijke, Joodse en hindoeïstische scholen zouden moeten worden opgeheven, aangezien een en ander anders niet alleen getuigt van discriminatie tegenover een groep, maar er ook op christelijke en joodse scholen [zeker de orthodoxen] vrouw-onvriendelijke visies aanwezig zijn. Het is daarom ook niet te verwonderen, dat het CDA bij monde van haar minister van Onderwijs Maria Verhoeven ernstige bezwaren heeft tegen deze door Hirsi Ali geponeerde opstelling.
Nog afgezien van dit gebrek aan respect voor de geloofsovertuiging van de ander is de opstelling van Hirsi Ali ook nog in hoge mate generaliserend, aangezien de al dan niet progressieve benadering van de man-vrouwrelatie niet afhankelijk is van de aanwezigheid van islamitische scholen in het algemeen, maar van de visie van de desbetreffende leerkrachten en het schoolbestuur, dat van school tot school verschilt. Bovendien verliest mevrouw Hirsi Ali uit het oog, dat een groot deel van de opvattingen binnen de man-vrouw relatie via de opvoeding worden doorgegeven, waardoor een en ander veel minder controleerbaar is.
3 Monolitisering Islam
Zoals reeds gesteld valt mij sterk aan de standpunten van Hirsi Ali op haar vergaande generalisatie zowel de Islam in het algemeen als de islamitische landen in het bijzonder.
Zo maakt zij zoals reeds gezegd geen enkel onderscheid tussen stad en platteland, tussen laaggeschoolde en hogergeschoolde vrouwen en families en tussen de diverse richtingen binnen de Islam, die net zo gediffentieerd en gevarieerd zijn als binnen het christendom.
De mythe van de monolithische en eenvormige ”achterlijke” Islam is een racistisch verzinsel.
Natuurlijk heeft de Islam net zoals ieder andere godsdienst vrouwonvriendelijke componenten, maar dat hebben het christendom en het Jodendom ook. Kritiek op iedere godsdienst is geoorloofd, maar dan wel op feitelijk-aantoonbare en genuanceerde gronden.
Opvallend is verder dat Hirsi Ali niet alleen ondanks deze onvolkomenheden in haar redenatie volkomen kritiekloos door ”intellectueel Nederland” is binnengehaald als de ”Islam-deskundige” hetgeen zij niet is [niet naar mijn opvatting, maar die van gerenommeerde Nederlandse islamologen], maar daarenboven een rol heeft gespeeld en nog speelt tegen de achtergrond van toenemende stigmatisering van de moslims.
Hiervoor werd zij zowel door politiek als media naar voren geschoven als coryfee, die de veelal verre van frisse oogmerken van politici en sommige nieuwsmedia bevestigde, waardoor haar geventileerde kritiek eerder vooroordelenbevestigend werkte. Het gevolg was, dat vele moslims, die toch al na 11 september te lijden hadden onder toenemende stigmatisering en met een Mcarthiaans vergrootglas werden bekeken de op sommige punten wel degelijk zinnige kritiek van Hirsi Ali verwierpen, omdat zij door haar weinig genuanceerde benadering nog verder in het vakje van vooroordelen en racisme werden gedrongen. Hierdoor ontstonden verdedigingsmechanismen die veelal in de hand gewerkt werden door het feit, dat slechts Hirsi Ali’s weinig genuanceerde mening op de TV gehoord werd en iedere kritiek op haar visie bij voorbaat of in het geheel niet op de TV kwam of werd afgedaan als ”extremisme” of
”fundamentalisme” zonder vaak enige bereidheid van de kant van media en politiek de gronden voor een dergelijke kritiek aan een serieuze analyse te onderwerpen.
5 Intellectueel Nederland:
Bovendien hield en houdt het leeuwendeel van politiek en intellectueel Nederland vast aan de verkeerde veronderstelling, dat Hirsi Ali ”de eerste” kritische islamitische vrouw was, terwijl er al tientallen jaren zowel Turkse als Marokkaanse vrouwen binnen Turkse en Marokkaanse
vrouwenorganisaties zeer actief waren betreffende de emancipatie van islamitische vrouwen.
Verder was het evenzeer opvallend, dat zij haar waardering vrijwel geheel kreeg en krijgt vanuit de gevestigde Nederlandse politieke en intellectuele hoek.
Onder de door haar beoogde doelgroep echter, de Marokkaanse en andere islamitische vrouwen, alsmede een grote groep islamitische intellectuelen, kon zij op heel weinig waardering rekenen, hetgeen mijns inziens op zich eveneens te denken geeft over haar werkelijke affiniteit met de doelgroep waaruit zij ook is voortgekomen.
En laten wij eerlijk zijn, in het klimaat na 11 september werd iedere kritiek op de Islam, zinnig of niet [zie Fortuyn] van harte in bepaalde Nederlandse politieke en mediakringen omhelsd.
Ook de vorm waarin Hirsi Ali haar kritiek doorgaans goot en giet, is veelal niet acceptabel.
Nogmaals, kritiek op iedere godsdienst is geoorloofd, maar dan wel met respect voor de overtuiging van anderen. Haar uitspraken over de Profeet Mohammed, alsmede de vorm waarin de film Submission gegoten is, getuigt daar absoluut niet van. Het valt mij op, dat een en ander vaak gemakshalve wordt afgedaan met ”vrijheid van meningsuiting” maar eveneens is opvallend, dat dit gezegd wordt door autochtone Nederlanders, die veelal niet of nauwelijks affiniteit hebben met de Marokkaanse of andere moslims.
Wanneer een en ander dan ook nog gebracht wordt in een klimaat van toenemende polarisering, vind ik een dergelijke vorm waarin deze kritiek gegoten wordt getuigen van gebrek aan respect en morele lafheid. Verder zouden de autochtone Nederlanders, die ieder bezwaar hiertegen van islamitische kant vaak afdoen met ”onzin” of ”het moet kunnen” zouden zich eens moeten realiseren hoe zij het zouden vinden wanneer voor hen van
groot belang zijnde symbolen of principes stelselmatig worden bekritiseerd met een totaal gebrek aan respect voor hun identiteit. Tegen degenen, die vinden, dat moslims dergeljke kritiek maar ”moeten slikken” zou ik willen zeggen: Realiseert u, dat u zo een tweedeling in de samenleving creëert.
Realiseert u zich, dat u zich met een dergelijke weinig respectvolle houding schuldig maakt aan impliciet neokolonialisme. Men kan geen respect verwachten voor de dominante veelal niet-religieuze cultuur, wanneer men niet bereid is dat respect eveneens ten opzichte van de
religieuze allochtone cultuur te tonen. Dat geldt zowel voor de Nederlandse intelligentsia als critici als Hirsi Ali zelf.
(Uitpers, nr. 63, 6de jg., april 2005)
ASTRID ESSED ABOUT THE PUBLICATION OF THE
MUHAMMAD CARTOONS BY THE DANISH PAPER THE
JYLANDS POSTEN, REPUBLISHED BY CHARLIE HEBDO
AND OTHER EUROPEAN NEWPAPERS
Prejudice against Muslims exists in every corner of Europe. Not only do we collectively devalue and discriminate against Europeans who follow Islam, but the incidence of violence against Muslims is increasing.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) confirms these findings in its most recent paper on the rise and meaning of hate crimes against Muslims. So does Europe’s police coordinating body Europol: in 2019, far-right terrorism soared.
What is more surprising is how quickly anti-Muslim racism has turned violent.
In its most recent report the Council of Europe warns that “Europe is facing a shocking reality: antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other racist hate crimes are increasing at an alarming rate”. The OSCE also corroborates these findings in its own paper on hate crimes against Muslims.
If it were not so distressing it would be fascinating. From Spain to Bulgaria and from Finland to France, people feel prejudice against Muslims no matter the size of the country’s economy, its Muslim community, the religious, racial or ethnic social makeup, the kind of historical relations with the south and the Muslim world, or even the refugee policy after 2015.
Take two very different European countries: Germany and Poland. The German Muslim community (4.7 million people or 5.7% of the population) is more than 200 times larger than Poland’s (about 20,000 or 0.05). German GDP is seven times larger, and the country is much more religiously diverse. Perhaps the best indicator to showcase differences is the policy towards Syrian refugees that the two countries adopted in 2015. Germany’s Willkommenskultur stood in stark contrast to Poland’s staunch refusal to take any.
And yet roughly the same percentage of Germans and Poles think unfavourably about Muslims.
Racism in Germany occurs particularly frequently under the guise of anti-Muslim prejudice. Some 52% of those surveyed in early 2019 said they perceived Islam as a threat. This perception has remained stable at a high level for around 10 years. In Poland, with only a handful of Muslims, Arabs (usually identified as Muslims) have been the most disliked ethnicity for more than a decade. In the 2020 poll, 55% of Polish respondents said they disliked them.
In both countries, anti-Muslim prejudice prepared fertile ground for racist violence. According to German police statistics, the number of crimes classified as Islamophobia rose by 4.4% to 950 offences in 2019. Repeated or foiled attacks on refugee centres and mosques are becoming a serious danger to Germany’s national security, with the killing of nine people in Hanau in February as the most blatant example. Although smaller and less frequent in Poland, hate crimes since 2016 also have been perpetrated mostly against Muslims or “persons thought to be Muslims”.
The anti-Muslim bias is omnipresent not only geographically but also across the political spectrum. The right, the centre and the left – everyone seems to hold a grudge, although for different reasons.
In Germany, far-right racism focuses on the question of whether Muslims or other minorities can be “real Germans”. A whole generation of German Muslims have grown up in this social climate – constantly questioned and forced to justify their religion. The Alternative für Deutschland party, which claims it is defending Judeo-Christian values against so-called Islamisation, is now the biggest opposition party in the national parliament. Its ideas have spread into the mainstream.
Among liberals and on the left there is often prejudice against Islam from a position of “humanist universalism, human rights, gender equality and democracy”, as one Polish liberal commentator put it while warning about the creeping Islamisation of Europe. Even the strongest critics of the current PiS government in Poland will quite openly talk of Muslims as religious fanatics: “Not that I am against Islam,” you hear people say, “it’s just that they have not had their reformation yet – they’re like Christians in the Middle Ages.”
This is not to say that criticism of religion is inadmissible, or that all Europeans are racist. But xenophobia grows in crises, and we currently live in crisis – the pandemic, looming recession and global uncertainty may exacerbate what is already an existential danger for the European Union and democracy. The European scapegoat of choice will most likely be Muslim. Far-right or populist parties will openly vilify Islam, with the tacit support of many mainstream politicians.
The good news is that, thanks to the Black Lives Matter protests, the ground is now fertile in Europe for anti-xenophobic activism and policies. Across the continent – Poland and Germany included – thousands of people gathered this summer in anti-racist and antifascist demonstrations. In Germany, as a direct result of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Bundestag recently asked the DeZIM-Institut to set up a Racism Monitor, with funding of €10m.
The creation of an EU anti-racism coordinator could reinvigorate a pan-European approach to anti-Muslim racism. But it should incorporate the existing office for coordinating Europe’s efforts to combat anti-Muslim hatred – which was created in 2015 but has achieved little – with an enhanced budget and a clear, strong mandate.
An energetic and devoted coordinator should not only coordinate between EU institutions but also monitor and record anti-Muslim hatred in all member states: only 15 of 27 have strategies to fight racism.
But none of us should give anti-Muslim racism a free pass. Many communities across Europe are uniformly white and Christian, particularly in smaller towns and villages. But we all live in our own social bubbles, none of which are free from prejudice, and it is there that we need to act.
We need to keep a nose for what Frantz Fanon called the “stench of racism” – those seemingly rational opinions that hide a bias uttered at friendly dinners or drinks parties. Take up the issue and talk loudly about anti-Muslim racism.
Call a spade a spade. We have become accustomed to the word Islamophobia, but the “phobia” part softens the meaning as if it was a medical condition deserving of tolerance. EU legislation classifies anti-Muslim racism as racism – once we take it as such, its ominous character becomes clear. Racism is not a temporary or transitional phenomenon. It is a social pandemic that burrows into the structures of society, infiltrating and disintegrating all areas of life.
INDEPENDENTCHARLIE HEBDO MUHAMMAD CARTOONS PROJECTEDONTO GOVERNMENT BUILDING IN DEFIANCE OFISLAMIST TERRORISTS
The controversial depictions from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdowere displayed onto town halls in Montpellier and Toulouse for several hours on Wednesday evening, following an official memorial attended by Paty’s family and President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Paty was beheaded while walking home on Friday evening, just days after he showed Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Mohammad to pupils in a class about freedom of expression.
In a tribute to the slain teacher, Macron described him as a “quiet hero” who “embodied” the values of the French Republic. The president posthumously awarded Paty the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian honour.
He was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic. He was killed because the Islamists want our future,” Macron said.
“Samuel Paty on Friday became the face of the Republic, of our desire to break the will of the terrorists… and to live as a community of free citizens in our country.”
The attack on Paty is the second terror incident in the capital since a trial began last month against the alleged accomplices of the 2015 killings that took place at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices.
The trial sees 14 people accused of providing weapons and logistical support to the gunmen, who were killed by police after three days of attacks that left 17 people dead and dozens injured.
The perpetrator of last Friday’s attack was also shot dead by police, and more than a dozen individuals have since been arrested as part of the investigation.
The front page of latest issue of Charlie Hebdo did not feature an image of the Prophet Mohammad – as it did following the 2015 attack – instead displaying decapitated cartoons of various professions with the headline: “Who’s turn next?”
END OF ARTICLE
ARTICLE 1, FRENCH CONSTITUTION
La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l’égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d’origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances”
TEXTE INTEGRAL DE LA CONSTITUTION DU OCTOBRE 1958
”France will not give up cartoons, President Emmanuel Macron vowed Wednesday in a homage to teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded for having shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed to pupils in a lesson on free speech.
“We will not give up cartoons,” Macron told a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne university attended by the family of the murdered teacher”
WE WILL NOT GIVE UP CARTOONS:
MACRON IN HOMAGE TO MURDERED TEACHER
21 OCTOBER 2020
France will not give up cartoons, President Emmanuel Macron vowed Wednesday in a homage to teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded for having shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed to pupils in a lesson on free speech.
“We will not give up cartoons,” Macron told a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne university attended by the family of the murdered teacher.
The president said Paty was slain by “cowards” for representing the secular, democratic values of the French Republic.
Paty’s coffin stood in the centre of the university courtyard, adorned with French flags, as pupils, a friend, and a fellow history teacher paid moving tributes to the 47-year-old father of one.
The ceremony started with the song “One” by Irish rock band U2 played over loudspeakers at the Paty family’s request, and ended with applause.
Paty was killed on his way home from work after school last Friday by 18-year-old Chechnya-born Abdullakh Anzorov, who published an image of the teacher’s severed head on Twitter before he was himself shot dead by police.
Paty became the subject of an online hate campaign after he showed cartoons of the Prophet to pupils in a civics class to elicit debate on freedom of expression.
The same images had unleashed a bloody assault by Islamist gunmen on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo five years ago in which 12 people, including cartoonists, were killed.
Macron said Paty was killed “because he incarnated the Republic.”
Added the president: “He was killed because Islamists want our future,” while vowing “they will never have it.”
MUSLIM NATIONS CALL FOR BOYCOTT OF FRENCH PRODUCTS28 OCTOBER 2020
PARIS — Several Arab countries are condemning French President Emmanuel Macron after he said he would propose legislation to tackle Islamist separatism and paid tribute to history teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered after showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class. Macron has previously called Islam a “religion in crisis.”
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bangladesh and the Gaza Strip this week after Macron’s comments led to social media channels to be flooded with the hashtags #BoycottFrenchProducts and #NeverTheProphet.
Leaders and officials in Iran, Pakistan and Qatar have also come out to denounce Macron’s support of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, which many Muslims find disrespectful. Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, even called on Facebook to place a ban on Islamophobia and hate speech against Islam “given the rampant abuse and vilification of Muslims on social media platforms.”
The Qatari State has condemned an escalation of “populist rhetoric inciting the abuse of religions.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said insulting 1.9 billion Muslims for “the abhorrent crimes of such extremists is an opportunistic abuse of freedom of speech.”
The Oct. 16 killing of Paty has led to protests across France. The French Council for the Muslim Faith denounced the history teacher’s murder as “a betrayal of the message of the prophet” but said “forcing [the cartoons] on everyone by projecting them on public buildings or showing them to children in a compulsory education setting is another thing.”
On Sunday, Macron pleaded for unity.
“We are united,” he tweeted, adding, “We will not give in, ever” in both English and Arabic.
Debate around Islam is raging as the French government seeks to implement strong measures against radical Islamism.
Meanwhile, European leaders are standing behind France. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Erdogan’s comments “completely unacceptable” and European Union High Representative Josep Borelles said Turkey needs to “stop this dangerous spiral of confrontation.
France urged Arab countries on Sunday to stop calls for boycotts of French products, while President Emmanuel Macron vowed the country would never give in to Islamic radicals.
The French foreign ministry said in a statement Sunday that there have been calls in recent days to boycott French products, notably food products, in several Middle Eastern countries, as well as calls for demonstrations against France over the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
“These calls for boycott are baseless and should stop immediately, as well as all attacks against our country, which are being pushed by a radical minority,” the statement said.
On Sunday, Macron said in a tweet: “We will not give in, ever” to Islamic radicals. “We do not accept hate speech and defend reasonable debate,” the French leader added.
Boycotts already underway
Calls to boycott French goods are already growing in the Arab world and beyond, after President Emmanuel Macron criticised Islamists and vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Macron’s initial comments, on Wednesday, came in response to the beheading of a teacher, Samuel Paty, outside his school in a suburb outside Paris earlier this month, after he had shown cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech.
Muslims see any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemous.
Kuwait’s non-governmental Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies has already pulled several French products from stores. Several co-ops visited by Reuters on Sunday had cleared the shelves of items such as hair and beauty products made by French companies.
“All French products have been removed from all Consumer Cooperative Societies,” union head Fahd Al-Kishti told Reuters, adding that the move was in response to “repeated insults” against the Prophet and had been taken independently of Kuwait’s government.
Boycott calls on social media
The co-ops, some the size of hypermarkets, carry government-subsidised staples for Kuwaitis and account for a big part of retail in the country, as well as organising some educational courses and recreational activities.
In Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, a hashtag calling for the boycott of French supermarket retailer Carrefour was the second most trending on Sunday.
Similar calls for boycott have been issued also by groups in Jordan and Qatar.
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The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Friday decried the brutal murder that has shaken France but also criticised the “justification for blasphemy-based harassment of any religion in the name of freedom of expression”.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, Reuters)
…………”Darmanin said about 80 investigations were under way into radical preachers and suspected extremists accused of spreading online hate, and authorities were urgently assessing about 50 associations in the Muslim community, “some of which will certainly be dissolved”.
French police have raided dozens of Islamist groups and suspected extremists amid growing pressure on the government to clamp down on religious fundamentalism three days after a teacher was beheaded outside his school.
The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Monday that the swoops on Islamists – including individuals who expressed support for the attack – should send the message that “enemies of the republic cannot expect a minute’s respite” and more police operations would follow.
Darmanin said about 80 investigations were under way into radical preachers and suspected extremists accused of spreading online hate, and authorities were urgently assessing about 50 associations in the Muslim community, “some of which will certainly be dissolved”
Police sources told French media that authorities were preparing to deport 213 foreigners who were on a government watchlist and suspected of holding extreme religious beliefs, including about 150 serving jail sentences.
Darmanin said a fatwa appeared to have been issued against Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher of history and geography who was decapitated on Friday outside his secondary school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 20 miles north-west of Paris.
As part of a class discussion on freedom of expression this month, Paty had shown pupils a series of cartoons and caricatures including two of the prophet Muhammad published by Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine that was the target of a 2015 attack in which Islamist gunmen killed 12 people.
Police shot dead Paty’s attacker, an 18-year-old of Chechen origin named as Abdullakh Anzorov. A photo of the teacher’s decapitated head was posted to Twitter from Anzorov’s mobile phone, along with the message: “I have executed one of the dogs from hell who dared to put Muhammad down.”
Among the organisations being investigated by authorities is the high-profile Anti-Islamophobia Collective, which Darmanin said appeared to be “clearly implicated” in the attack because the father of a child at the school had repeated its name in a video posted online calling for Paty’s dismissal.
The pupil’s father and Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a well-known Islamist radical with links to the organisation who routinely uses social media and local campaigns to pressure the government over alleged Islamophobia, are among 11 people who have so far been arrested in connection with the murder.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has announced a national tribute for the dead teacher to be held on Wednesday, and on Monday he received the teacher’s family at the Élysée Palace, expressing his condolences and assuring them of his support.
At an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday, Macron announced a series of anti-Islamist measures including concerted steps against “the structures, associations and people close to radical groups … who spread hate and can encourage attacks”. Macron reportedly told ministers: “Fear is about to change sides. Islamists must not be allowed sleep soundly in our country.”
France’s chief public prosecutors were summoned on Monday to an urgent meeting with the justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti, to discuss “additional measures necessitated by the situation”, while security at France’s schools is to be increased when classes return after the half-term break.
Marlène Schiappa, a junior interior minister, summoned social media bosses for an urgent discussion of the role social networks played in the attack in Conflans and in previous atrocities. Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, said: “Those who participated in the public lynching of this teacher on social media are in some way also responsible for what happened.”
A day after tens of thousands of people took part in dozens of rallies in towns and cities across to France to support free speech and honour Paty, Macron is under pressure to come up with an effective response to the latest in a series of Islamist terror attacks that have rocked France since the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
More than 240 people have died from Islamist violence since that attack, prompting opposition politicians – particularly on the right – to accuse the government of waging a battle of words rather than taking decisive action.
Bruno Retailleau, the parliamentary leader of the centre-right Les Républicains party, said Macron was “fighting a battle of vocabulary, even while a part of the country is defying the fundamental values of the French republic”.
The leader of the far-right National Rally, Marine Le Pen, laid a wreath outside Paty’s school on Monday. She called for “wartime legislation” to combat the terror threat and demanded an “immediate” moratorium on immigration and the expulsion of all foreigners on terror watchlists.
END OF ARTICLE
THE ISLAMOPHOBIC WITCH HUNT OF ISLAMO LEFTISTS IN FRANCE
t’s true that France is hardly unaccustomed to Islamist terrorist attacks, having had to endure more than most western countries in recent years. The Toulouse and Montauban shootings in 2012, the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket and on the Bataclan nightclub and other restaurants and cafés in 2015, and the truck attack in Nice in 2016, being just the most deadly and high-profile. There have also been many smaller-scale incidents, with a spike in such attacks recently in the context of the ongoing trial of the presumed accomplices of the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and two weeks ago the murder of school teacher Samuel Paty on the last day of term, decapitated ostensibly for having shown examples of Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons in a class on free speech and laïcité (even though Paty warned that some of his pupils may find the pictures offensive and invited them to turn away or leave the room).
That such incidents provoke a reactionary backlash among rightwing politicians and media outlets insensitive to distinctions between Muslims and Islamists is unfortunately to be expected, but it doesn’t take much to provoke such reductionism in France these days – a veil-wearing woman who dares to express an opinion, participate in a song contest or go jogging or to the beach is enough to warrant as much “debate” on the “Muslim problem” as mass murder. Nor is it confined to the right: a member of Macron’s centrist party recently asked a veiled woman to leave the room, in an echo of a far-right politician doing the same earlier last year.
Upping the stakes
But that which has followed Paty’s murder is taking things to a new level, with the government at the forefront of Islamophobic polemics, and with changes to the law, to the constitution, and to the very definition of laïcité, being proposed to combat the terrorist threat, as well as restrictions on free speech being suggested as a necessary step to defending… free speech! Instead of healthy debate into what the state could have done better to prevent the killing, the mainstream political and media consensus has been to scapegoat those they say are simply in denial about the threat posed by veils and people not eating pork, and in particular those who critique Islamophobia and Charlie Hebdo – a wide range of people they refer to under the umbrella-term of “Islamo-leftists”. Journalist Rokhaya Diallo (black, Muslim and left-wing!) was recently accused by “new philosopher” Pascal Bruckner, for instance, of having blood on her hands for having used the “privilege” afforded her by being a black, Muslim woman to incite hatred against Charlie Hebdo.
n the aftermath of Paty’s murder, the police raided the homes and offices of numerous individuals and over 50 associations that, in the words of the interior minister Gérald Darmanin, admittedly “had no link to the Paty murder”; instead the aim was to “send a message”. Far from being Islamists or suspected terrorists (as suggested in The Guardian), these were in most cases simply Muslims and associations that provide legal advice to Muslims or that protest against anti-Muslim discrimination: the charity Barakacity, a faith-based charity providing clean water in Africa and help to the homeless and refugees in France, was banned a few days ago because of its Muslim affiliation (Catholic charities such as the Secours Catholique pose no such threat to laïcité however); and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a small organization with a UN consultant status which organizes mediation and helps provide lawyers for those defending themselves against Islamophobic discrimination, has been declared an “enemy of the Republic” and also threatened with dissolution – it has since taken steps to extend its activities internationally because it no longer feels safe in France.
Darmanin also went on a media offensive to put the blame on: the existence of Halal (and Kosher) food sections in supermarkets; journalists, left-wing politicians and charities such as Amnesty International and La Ligue des Droits de l’Homme for their denunciation of supposedly non-existent Islamophobia or police violence; and academics for teaching “Anglo-Saxon” courses on racism (as well as gender, sexuality and intersectionality) – all of which apparently contribute to “communitarianism”, “separatism” and ultimately Islamist terror. This weekend he also announced plans to impose a fine up to 75,000 euros and to send to prison for up to 5 years anyone who refuses to see a doctor of the opposite sex.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister for education, has also spoken out against veils, which, although technically legal, are “not desirable” nor “compatible with republican values”, as well as the corrupting influence of Anglo-Saxon academic concepts such as intersectionality. For Blanquer (and, even more embarrassingly, many academics in France), such work essentialises minorities (and is thus racist and sexist itself) and inevitably fragments society, in contrast to the French republican tradition in which everyone is equal and everyone gets along just fine.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of the first day of the Algerian war, Jean Castex, the Prime Minister, spoke about the need for the French public to no longer critique France’s colonial history (something France has never really started doing), and to instead be proud of France’s “roots”, identity and freedom. Meanwhile, and in the face of boycotts of French products in some Muslim-dominant countries, Macron tells the international media how tolerant France actually is of Muslims, offering a very different discourse to the one aimed at French Muslims.
The recurring theme in such debates is the supposed conflict between free speech and laïcité on the one hand (whereby Muslims seem to be little more than convenient objects of ridicule), and Muslims and anti-racists on the other (who inconveniently insist on Muslims having the right to have a voice). This manufactured conflict is dependent upon a curious, neoconservative redefinition of laïcité and a libertarian fetishisation of absolutist free speech.
From this perspective, nothing could symbolise the beauty of republican freedom more than anti-religious satire such as Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Muhammad as a terrorist or of a veil-wearing student union representative or other Muslims as animals. To suggest that such pictures are more Islamophobic and racist than they are representative of free speech (as indeed the European Court of Justice has done, arguing that depictions of Muhammad are not covered by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights), is not just seen as an affront to free speech and the French tradition of anti-religious satire, but contrary to the very principles of laïcité.
While the Observatoire de la Laïcité has sought to calm tensions in recent years by explaining that laïcité means simply that the state should be neutral and that the public should be free to practise whatever religion they want, figures from the (so-called) intellectual (so-called) left, such as the Printemps Républicain and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, have sought to push an alternative conception of laïcité whereby it is the public that is expected to be neutral (so, no more veils, no getting offended, no being too Muslim). In recent years they have been waging a war with the Observatoire (a neutral organisation whose task is to basically explain neutrality) which they regard as ideologically-influenced, partisan and unhelpful in the combat against the Islamist threat. In contrast, Laurent Bouvet, the leader of the perfectly neutral Printemps Républicain, recently posted on Twitter pictures of bacon masks, sent to him as a gift in the fight against the twin pandemics of Covid and Islam. This version of free speech and laïcité is the one that is winning the war, with the government now turning its attention to the Observatoire and threatening to “renew” its staff and role next year.
Free speech provocateurs
But it is almost as if the fearless defenders of free speech think that it is only speech that stigmatises Muslims that should be free. The government ministers who are so adamant about the need to celebrate the content of Charlie Hebdo as an exemplar of free speech have no problem in filing complaints for defamation against Mediapart, an independent online newspaper, for user-generated blog content they’ve hosted criticising police violence. A hundred academics have also just signed a letter siding with the reactionary comments of the minister for education against intersectional studies, asking for the state to intervene to prevent students from wearing headscarves and to put a stop to lecturers teaching such subjects. A few days ago, the Sénat passed an amendment to oblige academics to conduct their research “within the framework of Republican values”, which could be a perfectly banal and vague formulation, but which could also be the end of academic freedom, at least for those that do “critique” and “studies” (i.e. cultural, postcolonial, queer etc.).
I myself had problems organising a conference on Islamophobia, racialization and the “Muslim problem” when I was (very inconveniently) banned from using the words Islamophobia, racialization and the “Muslim problem” because they were too “provocative” (a favourite word of the free speech fetishists whenever they try to limit someone else’s free speech) and my university was too scared of offending the Printemps Républicain (Bouvet is a professor at the same university). I was also banned for the same reason from using an image of a woman wearing a tricolore veil to illustrate the event, and was instead asked to use orientalist images of Muslims as people from another continent and another century – I declined, but one person’s offence is clearly another person’s freedom.
One person’s offence is clearly another person’s freedom.
What seems worryingly clear, however, is that the free speech of academics, journalists, politicians, Muslims, anti-racist organisations, and law and order organisations is currently under threat, and that limits are being placed on the free speech of those who try to hold power to account simply to protect the free speech of those who feel it’s important to ridicule and stigmatise the powerless. And this is going to be done in the name of free speech.
Also, that in the name of neutrality (and even tolerance, of all words – where that now seems to mean the tolerance of offensiveness), the state is going to crack down even harder on the “proselytising” veil and proselytise Republican values instead. The extent to which school teachers and university lecturers go along with this remains to be seen. Further, the blanket approach to blaming both the left and Muslims for Islamist terror attacks, to side-lining critical scholarship and anti-racism activists, and to undermining anyone who tries to be neutral and balanced in their approach to debating such issues rather than reactionary and stigmatising, is going to be a prevailing feature of such polemics.
The extent to which critical scholars of race and intersectionality have taken over academia in France is rather unconvincing, however, seeing as it’s so hard to organise academic events on such topics (and when they are organised, they’re cancelled because of pressure from the very people claiming they’re rampant).
Similarly, the extent to which the organised left are in any way active in combatting Islamophobia is also dubious. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the founder of La France Insoumise, has always been explicitly anti-religious and guilty of Islamophobia himself (emphasising at one point that it simply isn’t French to wear a veil); it was only last year that he became convinced that there was a problem, agreeing to participate in a march against Islamophobia that is still being used against him as proof that he’s an Islamo-leftist. Despite several people from his party denouncing the current climate, there is still little prospect of a left-wing protest rally in front of the offices of the CCIF or Barakacity.
Macron’s move to the right on these issues (a far cry from his balanced tone during his presidential campaign) is perhaps politically-motivated. Le Pen and the far-right will probably be the force to beat in the next election. But the influence of the Printemps Républicain shouldn’t be discounted as well – this movement of the republican left is seeking to transform itself into a political party, with Valls and other big name politicians on both the left and right likely to be tempted to join what could become an attractive (not too obviously racist) alternative for many voters.
The focus for the immediate short-term, though, will be on the teachers and pupils returning to school today for the first time since Paty’s murder. Much is being made of the need for teachers to address what happened and for urgent classes on free speech and laïcité, in which many teachers will force racist cartoons upon the children in their class and encourage “debate”, whilst being simultaneously alert to any sign of radicalisation (presumably anyone looking away or debating too much).
In a further ironic twist, the text that teachers are to read out to their pupils today just before a minute’s silence – a text from Jean Jaurès on the role of the teacher, free speech and laïcité – appears to have been amended to emphasise the “fermeté” (determination, assertiveness) of teachers instead of their tenderness, while the passage on the autonomy of teachers has been completely removed. So, no autonomy for teachers or lecturers, and discouragement of critical thinking and debate among pupils and students, and all in the name of free speech, tolerance and neutrality.
Meanwhile, the much-mediated acts of Islamist terrorism continue unabated by the crackdown on Islamo-leftists, while the relatively unmediated acts and threats of violence against mosques, Muslim veil-wearing women and anti-racist academics seem to be occurring ever more frequently.
and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a small organization with a UN consultant status which organizes mediation and helps provide lawyers for those defending themselves against Islamophobic discrimination, has been declared an “enemy of the Republic” and also threatened with dissolution – it has since taken steps to extend its activities internationally because it no longer feels safe in France.”
THE ISLAMOPHOBIC WITCH HUNT OF ISLAMO LEFTISTS IN FRANCE
COLLECTIF CONTRE L’ISLAMOPHOBIE EN FRANCE
”Police sources told French media that authorities were preparing to deport 213 foreigners who were on a government watchlist and suspected of holding extreme religious beliefs, including about 150 serving jail sentences.”
THE GUARDIANSAMUEL PATY MURDER: FRENCH POLICE RAID DOZENS OF ISLAMIST GROUPS
”Collective punishment is a form of retaliation whereby a suspected perpetrator’s family members, friends, acquaintances, sect, neighbors or entire ethnic group is targeted. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions”
PROHIBITION OF COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT
”ARTICLE 33 [ Link ]
No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.
ARTICLE 33, 4TH GENEVA CONVENTION’
ARTICLE 1, FRENCH CONSTITUTION
La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l’égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d’origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
THE WITCH HUNT OF PRESIDENT MACRON AND HIS TEAM ONTHE FRENCH MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Letter to the Editor
This is the limit!Since the bizarre beheading of the French middle schoolteacher Samuel Patyby an 18 years old Chechen muslim, Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov [whowas killed by the police], because of showing his students the Charlie Hebdo 2012 Muhammad cartoons, followed by the stabbing of three Church visitors in aChurch in Nice by a 21 Tunesian suspect, two very tragic events, all Hell broke out in France.Because the [re]actions of the French government were a de facto declaration of war to muslims, not only in France, but also international.Immediately after the news broke out about the beheading of the school teacher, the French government got bananas.The first bizarre action was the showing of the offending Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoons, hanging from French government buildings, violating article 1 of the French Constitution, stating equality and respect for everyone regardless descent, race or religion, as respect for all religions.Although the showing of the cartoons pretended to be in the name of”freedom ofopinion”, the French government knew full well, that many muslims, asIslamic countries, would consider it as a declaration of war.Again, a for muslims holy symbol as the Prophet Muhammed was shownon a disrespectful way, this time by a ”neutral” government.To add insult to injury, president Macron stated, that ”France will not giveup cartoons” in a homage to the beheaded school teacher.Do then the muslims in France not belong to France?No wonder some islamic countries started a boycott against French products.The third action of the French government was the more discriminatory:Minister of Internal Affairs Damartin announced the prohibition of a numberof islamic organisations, being ”enemies of the Republic”, withoutany given proof or connection with any terrorist attack, thus alienating the majority of peaceful muslims in France.An example of Damartin’s witch hunt is the CCIF, a collective that fights Islamophobia in France.The intention is also the deportation of illegal refugees, who received thelabel ”muslimextremists” without any proof of involvement with any terroristattack.In my view as the view of International Law, this is a ”collective punishment” This is no State policy anymore, but a ruthless witch hunt, which has nothing to do with democracy, but with a police State.Especially in those times, dangerous for France, the French government should connect, not polarize.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
ISLAMOPHOBIA IN FRANCE/THE WITCH HUNT OF PRESIDENT
MACRON AND HIS TEAM ON THE FRENCH MUSLIM COMMUNITY
TEXT LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN DUTCH
HEKSENJACHT PRESIDENT MACRON EN ZIJN TEAM OP MOSLIMS
Het is bij de Macronen af!Sinds de bizarre onthoofding van de Franse leraar Samuel Paty door een [door de politie doodgeschoten] 18 jarige Tsjetsjeen, vanwege hetin de les tonen van de opnieuw door Charlie Hebdo gepubliceerdeMohammed cartoons, gevolgd door het neersteken van drie kerkgangers in Nice door een 21 jarige Tunesische verdachte, brak de Hel in Frankrijk los.Want de [re]acties van de Franse Overheid waren in feite een oorlogsverklaring aan moslims,niet alleen in Frankrijk, maar ook internationaal.Direct na het bericht over de onthoofding van leraar Samuel Paty ging de Franse Overheid los:De eerste bizarre actie was het tonen van de gewraakte Charlie Hebdo Mohammed cartoons op een aantal Overheidsgebouwen.Dit in strijd met artikel 1 van de Franse Grondwet, waarin is vastgelegd het gelijkheidsbeginsel, respect voor iedereen, ongeacht afkomst of religie, alsook respect voor iedere religie.Hoewel het tonen van die cartoons werd verpakt als ”vrijheid van meningsuiting”wist de Franse Overheid dondersgoed, dat dit door moslims alsook een aantal islamitische landen zou worden opgevat als oorlogsverklaring.En terecht, want wederom werd een voor moslims zo heilig symbool als de Profeet Mohammed op onwaardige wijze vertoond, deze keer door een ”neutrale” Overheid.Verder gooide president Macron nog olie op het vuur door de uitspraak, dat Frankrijk de cartoons nooit zou opgeven.Zijn de in Frankrijk wonende moslims, voor wie ze aanstootgevend zijn, dan niet Frankrijk?Geen wonder, dat een aantal islamitische landen een boycot tegen Franse producten begon.Nog discriminerender was de derde politieke actie, waarbij de minister van Binnenlandse zaken Damartin aankondigde een aantal islamitische organisatieste willen verbieden, die ”vijanden van de Republiek” zouden zijn, zonder dat daarvan enig bewijs geleverd was en er geen connectie is tussen deze organisaties en genoemde aanslagplegers, waardoor het gevaar levensgroot is, dat de Franse Overheid de meerderheid van moslims van goede wille tegen zich in het harnas jaagt.Een voorbeeld van een van de doelwitten van Damartin is het onverdachte Frans-islamitische Collectief, dat strijdt tegen Islamofobie.Ook door Damartin tot ”moslimextremisten” benoemde mensen zonder papieren worden uitgezet, zonder enig bewijs van betrokkenheid bij welke aanslag ook.Dat noem ik en ook het Internationaal Recht een ”collectieve straf”Dit is geen Staatspolitiek meer, maar een nietsontziende heksenjacht, die niet past in een democratie, maar in een politiestaat.Juist in deze voor Frankrijk onrustige Tijden hoort de Overheid te verbinden, niet te polariseren
LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN DUTCH
HEKSENJACHT PRESIDENT MACRON EN ZIJN TEAM OP
[WITCH HUNT OF PRESIDENT MACRON AND HIS TEAM ON
MUSLIMS/LETTER TO THE EDITOR]
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