Brussels, 20 October 2020
The Forum of Muslim Youth and Student Organisations would like to reiterate the condolences shared by our Member Organisation EMF (Etudiants Musulmans de France) following the barbaric event of last Friday 16 October. The freedom of education, expression, together with the freedom of assembly and of conscience make up the foundations of our ethnically and religiously diverse liberal democracies and these principles must be safeguarded.
We therefore find it incredibly disappointing to observe the plainly opportunistic behaviour displayed by the French government supported by far right and other extremist groups to use this barbaric event in order to criminalise and dissolve the CCIF (Collective Against Islamophobia in France).
CCIF remains one of FEMYSO’s partners, having done critical work to protect the rights and the voices of the most marginalised. What we are seeing now is a direct attack on CCIF for their longstanding efforts to protect those that suffer discrimination due to their faith and an attempt to criminalise the fight against Islamophobia. In a country that saw a 59% rise in Islamophobic attacks last year (French National Observatory of Islamophobia).
The proposal to dissolve the CCIF and other Muslim organisations has no legal foundation and is a direct attack of the rule of law and Art. 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is behaviour that is based on non-legal accusations and is being conducted with full impunity. Criminalising the work that is done to fight Islamophobia, a form of racism that is institutionalised will set a dangerous precedent to cherry pick which religious and racialised groups to protect, and which ones to dehumanise and rob of their freedoms. All of us in Europe know very well the horrendous consequences at mass scale that can lead from such actions targeting a religious minority.
FEMYSO has been advocating for civic education, human rights and anti-racism for over 20 years. We have always worked closely with our partners across Europe in order to form a strong voice against marginalisation, stigmatisation and human rights violations. We call on the French government to put an immediate halt to unfounded allegations and decisions conducted outside of a coherent legal framework. We voice our strongest support to CCIF and the work they are doing. FEMYSO will always stand up against intolerance and will work for a diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe.
- FEMYSO (est. 1996) is a network organisation for 33 Muslim youth and student organisations across 20 European countries, and is the leading voice for European Muslim youth, developing and empowering them, and working to build a more diverse, cohesive and vibrant Europe.
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