WorldFrance: Chain dissolutions of associations arouse concern and indignation *

France: Chain dissolutions of associations arouse concern and indignation *

AA / Paris / Fatih KARAKAYA

The French government has just proceeded, once again, to the dissolution of a Muslim association. Indeed, the Council of Ministers of October 20, 2021 decided to dissolve the Coordination against Racism and Islamophobia (CRI).

“As detailed in the decree that I presented, it called for hatred, violence and discrimination”, was immediately delighted by announcing the news, on Twitter, the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin.

It must be said that this dissolution is not the first and probably not the last. Indeed, the government has already, for the same reasons, dissolved the Muslim humanitarian association Baraka City, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) which according to the French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP) is “an organization effective anti-racist who enforced the French anti-racist law ”. In addition to these associations, the Black African Defense League (LDNA), Génération Identitaire and the de facto Groupement Les Loups Gris have also suffered the wrath of the government.

– No conviction

In a press release published on October 22, the UJFP explained that “the CCIF was its partner in the anti-racist platform fighting, with the BAN, the CRAN and La Voix des Rroms, against racism in all its forms”.

But above all, what worries the Jewish association is that “these associations have never given rise to an indictment of their militants by the Justice”. Moreover, “none of their actions has ever been the subject of a condemnation”, further notes the association which explains this by the fact that “the power bypasses justice by using a law that has been made in the 1930s to dissolve very violent fascist organizations whose objective was the establishment of a dictatorship regime ”.

– Chain dissolutions

For human rights activists, all these dissolutions raise fears of an “authoritarian drift”. The warnings of international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or the League of Human Rights do not change anything. Worse still, “Emmanuel Macron’s France has all the characteristics of a country which is experiencing a neofascist impregnation”, according to Philippe Marlière, professor of political science at University College London.

Indeed, in a column published on September 3, in Middle East Eye, Marlière evokes “a France of 2021 once again in the grip of its old demons, as in the 1930s and 1940s”.

Still in his tribune, he affirms that “freedom of expression is brandished to insult, humiliate and attack minorities who are victims of discrimination or normalize Islamophobia, as if expressing racist and insulting remarks were a public freedom”.

“Following the Islamist terrorist attacks, Islamophobic discourse and anti-Muslim repression were normalized within the government itself, such as the dissolution of the Collective against Islamophobia in France on unstated legal bases. The control of the bodies of racialized women is redoubled, more than 30 years after the first bans on wearing the hijab in schools, ”the professor still observes.

– A historic first

It is moreover this situation which worries the UJFP which sees “for the first time in half a century, the power to dissolve a publishing house: Nawa, which presents itself as a publishing house”. Thus according to the UJFP “the freedom to write, to print freely is violated”.

In addition, as in the previous cases, the decree dissolving the IRC indicates that the Coordination “works to cultivate suspicion of Islamophobia within French society”. Thus, according to the Jewish association, “expressing the opinion that our political system creates of Islamophobia is considered a call to racist hatred”. De facto, a crime of opinion is then tacitly created.

Likewise, the government accused all these Muslim associations of “complicity in terrorism”. However, during an opinion, the Council of State swept aside the invented complicity with terrorism and rejected the link indicated by Darmanin of an involvement in the assassination of Samuel Paty.

On the other hand, as the UJFP reminds us, “the Council also took up this antiphon of“ incitement to hatred ”.

By taking note of this decision, the Jewish association which fights all forms of racism fears “that if to denounce racism is to incite hatred then the whole anti-racist movement is in the crosshairs”.

– Reverse cause and consequence

This observation is shared more or less by a large part of the anti-racist movements. But the UJFP goes much more in its analysis and estimates that “for the Macronian power, which is largely inspired by the racist ideologies of the extreme right, the Moslems would be potentially in rupture with the whole of the French company”. According to the association, the government has succeeded “in reversing cause and consequence”. Thus, the association does not hesitate to put the government in the face of its contradictions “and its separatism which endangers living together”.

– Who’s next ?

It must be said that more and more Muslim associations, scrupulously respecting the laws, fear being targeted unfairly. Because “the pernicious argument used, of an” ecosystem “of terrorism allows, by amalgamation, to consider that everything that calls on Muslims to fight against discrimination is the bed of terrorism”, estimates the UJFP. “These amalgamations are formidable and can target all progressive organizations, and already aims through many mosques, the freedom of worship”, also estimates the association.

In any case, it is the bitter observation made by the Allonnes mosque, which has been accused of “promoting terrorism and hatred against non-Muslims” and which is undergoing a closure procedure.

“Sermons and the activity of this place of worship legitimize the recourse to armed jihad, martyrdom, the commission of acts of terrorism, recourse to violence, hatred and discrimination as well as the establishment of sharia (…) (The place of worship would be) frequented by individuals belonging to or close to the radical Islamist movement. “” The Koranic school is also implicated, it would expose approximately 110 children to lessons valuing the armed jihad and would therefore serve as “place of indoctrination” “, writes France Bleu. So many accusations as serious but still without accused. Moreover the lawyer of the mosque denounces, since these accusations “that the burden of proof be reversed”. Indeed, these accusations come only from a blank note, that is to say from a note from a member of the intelligence and the mosque must prove that this is false. In a normal democracy, it will be up to the accuser to prove the offenses incriminated but now the situation has been reversed in France.

Finally to conclude, the UJFP wonders “on the meaning of this authoritarian hardening” before responding that “some see it as a fleeting moment, others see it as a return to the authoritarianism native to the 5th Republic”.

In any case, a few months before the presidential election, the climate seems to be deteriorating more and more. Indeed, the more the so-called center parties concede to the far-right, the more the far-right comes back with even more liberticidal proposals.

* The opinions expressed in this analysis are those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial line of the Anadolu Agency.

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