UK-based Islamic Organisations petition UN Human Rights Council over French Policies

January 19, 2021

According to the Islamist website, 5 pillars, a number of UK-based organisations were amongst those who submitted a complaint to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, over the French Government’s recent steps to try and combat what it calls Islamist “separatism”.

The complaint claims to have been made by “organisations and individuals who represent French Muslim citizens”, and who claim that there is a “pressing need to combat the negative repercussions on governmental Islamophobic attitudes and events in
France. In France, this trend has led to Muslim communities becoming targets of
increased hostility, Islamophobia and more violence against Muslims”.

The document maintains that “the French government exploits the murder of professor Samuel Paty for racist and Islamophobic purposes.” And it repeatedly accuses the French government of seeking the “political, ideological, theological and financial control of Muslim communities”.

It adds,

The French government has openly supported and advocated the publication of demeaning and insulting cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is an infringement of the dignity of all Muslims. Defaming the Prophet (peace be upon him) ‘goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate’ and ‘could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace’” [here the document is citing the words of the UN Human Rights Committee].

And the complainants further insist that the steps taken by the French State are “disproportionate”, adding that “religion and ideology are not primary motivators for violent extremism, radicalisation is a social issue. International studies show that radicalisation follows a sense of isolation and exclusion from society”.

Their document also gives a short history of what it describes as “structural and systemic Islamophobia by the French government” dating back to 1989.

5 pillars, in its own summary of the complaint, states that its purpose is to demand “immediate legal action against France over the violation of its Muslim citizens’ rights.” It also says that France should rescind “all laws which have systemically entrenched Islamophobia”.

They further accuse the French Government of having,

  • 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.”

And 5 pillars gives example of what they claim is the “impact of state aggression and violence on children”, including:

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.”

In reporting this news on its website, Cage (a signatory to the complaint), claims that it is backed by a “global coalition of civil society organisations”.

Cage quote Feroze Boda of the Muslims Lawyers Association, who apparently submitted the complaint to the UN, as saying:

Muslims around the world united behind the cry to hold the French government accountable for continuing to support publications defaming the Prophet (peace be upon him). We hope they will unite again around this global-first, a truly collective effort, which expands the call for accountability and positive change to include the dismantling of pervasive hateful policies against Muslims in France. These policies are not only counter-productive, but they are open to abuse, and have been abused – while also being completely out of touch with reality.
Amongst the 36 signatories to the complaint, are the following 13 UK-based organisations:

Muslim Youth Network (MYN), UK
Human Aid, UK
Norbury Muslim Centre, UK
West Norwood Muslim Community Project, UK
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
Islamic Cultural Centre, UK

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