Thirty six NGOs from 13 countries have submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Council demanding immediate legal action against France over the violation of its Muslim citizens’ rights.
The complaint also demands that France rescinds all laws which have systemically entrenched Islamophobia in France.
This represents the first coordinated, global civil society push back against France’s policies towards Muslims and finds that France has acted in clear violation of a number of basic rights that are protected in legislation.
Over the past few months France has closed down the nation’s biggest anti-Islamophobia organisation as well as the country’s biggest Muslim charity. Paris has done this, it says, to fight extremism after a number of deadly “Islamist” attacks on its soil.
The complaint says that France has:
- Exploited acts of political violence to entrench Islamophobia in policing and the judiciary.
- Designated religious practice as a sign of risk.
- Weaponised secularism to justify intrusion of the state in the religious and political practice of Muslims.
- Violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
- Infringed on freedoms of children, specifically to target Muslim children in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The document calls upon the UN to ensure France upholds and enforces the UDHR/ICCPR and every directive on the prohibition of discrimination/racism.
And it calls upon France to enact or rescind legislation to prohibit any such discrimination and to take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the grounds of religion.
The complaint particularly focuses on the impact of state aggression and violence on children. These include:
- The introduction of IDs for children so the government can track and crackdown on Muslim parents who choose to home-school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Illegitimate and violent raids of Muslim homes and organisations to “send a message.”
- Exploiting the murder of Professor Samuel Paty for racist and Islamophobic purposes.
- Deliberately and systematically undermining and violating fundamental civil liberties and human rights, and targeting and violating the rights of even the children.
The document has been signed by the following organisations:
Muslim Lawyers Association, South Africa
Association of Muslim Professional of South Africa
Sabir’s Legal Services, The Netherlands
The Islamic Council of Victoria, Australia
Bruxelles Panthères, Belgium
Simon Fraser University Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, Canada
European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), France
The Frantz Fanon Foundation
Decolonial International Network (DIN), The Netherlands
Muslim Rights Watch, The Netherlands
Khadija Leadership Network, New Zealand
University of Sialkot, Pakistan
Nyans: Muslim, Sweden
Antirasistisk Akademi, Sweden
Islamic Central Council Switzerland
Muslim Youth Network (MYN), United Kingdom
Human Aid, UK
Norbury Muslim Centre, United Kingdom
West Norwood Muslim Community Project, United Kingdom
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK
Finsbury Park Mosque, UK
Lewisham Islamic Centre, UK
Muslim Association of Britain
The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations, UK
Friends of Al-Aqsa, UK
Muslim Engagement And Development, UK
New York for Syrian Refugees, USA
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, USA
Islamic Center of the Capital District, USA
Islamophobia Studies Center, USA
Northwestern University, USA
Islamic Cultural Centre UK
Austrian Network for Refugees
Yaqeen Institute, USA