Muslim organisations make complaint to UN over France’s treatment of Muslims

Emmanuel Macron Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

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

CAGE, UK

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

Gonulelcileridernegi, Turkey

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

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