After the report published by the HALDE last month pointing out the possible responsibility of the French system of education in the spreading of racist stereotypes; France attracts once again all spotlights with another case of racism. Many cases have already proved that the French government is always keen on legislating new laws said to go towards the French conception of a secular society and against any expression or expansion of Islam. The last two decades are seen by many a Muslim as a period marked with a new form of persecution translated in the government’s discriminatory behaviour towards Islam and the Muslims living in the hexagon. Besides, it clearly appears that the French belief in secularism is too much preventing any efficient form of fight against racism experienced by the French Muslims on the grounds of their religious belief. This voluntary Laissez-faire from the French authorities regarding racist crimes targeting Islam is also seen by many as a get way to attacks against anything that refers to Islam. This might be one of the explanations of the rise of Islamophobic crimes in the country today. If the state and the authorities seem ready to fight against any form of expression of Islam within the country, why could not any common individual try to harm this same religion and its community?
The rights of the Muslim community in France have no doubt become no-defendable causes. As a result, last week, a mosque –the Saint-Priest mosque- in the suburbs of Lyon was once again set on fire without raising any sincere concern from the political elites. Fortunately enough, the crime did not claim any serious casualty; however, it revealed once again that when it comes to Islam in France any criminal act seems to lose the denunciation of atrocity. Earlier in the same month, in the cemetery Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, near Arras 500 Muslim graves were profaned with racist and Islamophobic insults. Last August it was up to the mosque of Meyzieu (Rhône) to be redecorated with the same Islamophobic insults.
As pointed out by Abdelaziz Chaambi of the CRI -La coordination contre le racisme et l’islamophobie-, a Muslim association from Lyon fighting against the different forms of discrimination in France; “what we have been witnessing so far from the elites is just nice speeches and discourses empty of any bill such as those adopted in order to fight against anti-Semitism and revisionism in France”. Unless such laws are finally adopted the perpetrators of such crimes against the Muslim community will feel free and right to act so without the fear of any serious threat of being caught and rightly punished.
By Dr. Moustafa Traore