“Another underlying message also becomes clear in the meantime: ‘Muslims pose a threat to our society and have to be tamed,’ which is reminiscent of the ‘civilizing’ mission of the French colonial conquerors.“
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
Any sensible Muslim or person will condemn what happened in France concerning the beheading of a teacher. As Hafez points out, the incident is being used by President Emmanuel Macron to push through his anti-separatist bill and load his guns for the presidential elections of 2022.
Guess who he is facing in the presidential election? Right. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen who has, like her father, built her whole political career Islamophobia.
An old blame-game-the-whole-group emerges.
”The state needs to understand that those who provoked chaos and terrorism did not attend mosques they were not integrated into the Muslim community, they were repeat offenders, criminals, who came and went from prison,” said The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF). “They had a path in violence, and because of this we stigmatize a whole population?”
Should we be surprised that Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, which, like Le Pen, uses Islamophobia to gain voters and political power, is crying murder?
PS MP Leena Meri threw some Islamophobic punches at the government last week and had difficulty pronouncing Black Lives Matter, which she considered a violent association.
“Honorable government,” she asked in last Thursday’s session of parliament, “why haven’t you condemned what happened [in France]? Are you numb?”
We can rephrase the question back to Meri: “Has your Islamophobic rhetoric and racism shown an alarming trend in Finland?”
Apart from the political brownie points, Macron is trying to reap, and we see the same disturbing pattern of how we label the whole Muslim community for the outlandish deed. We see this happening with the PS.
“The crackdown on more than 50 Muslim organizations, including anti-racist organizations such as the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), is the best example of what the state aims to do with this [anti-separatist] legislation,” writes Hafez in aa.com. “While the human rights advocacy group CCIF is collecting data to create awareness on anti-Muslim racism and helps the victims of anti-Muslim discrimination, the singling out of this organization reveals a very worrisome dimension of Macron’s policies: Erasing Muslim visibility from the public space altogether.”
No more PS BS and politicking from Macron.
*Hafez is a political scientist at the University of Salzburg. He is also a non-resident senior research scholar at Georgetown University’s The Bridge Initiative, and the co-author of the European Islamophobic Report.