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CI supports boycott campaign against France

Citizens International (CI) strongly condemns the French President Emanuel Macron for linking to Islam the brutal murder of the French school teacher Samuel Patty. We support the boycott of goods and services from France.
The killing of Patty and three others has been condemned by many, including Muslim governments, scholars and individuals. They were carried out by individuals who felt deeply offended by the insulting caricature of their beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., endorsed by the French government.

Islam, like all major religions, forbids the taking of life of a person except in accordance with law. The Prophet advocated peace and coexistence. He said, “Whoever harms a Jew or Christian will find in me his adversary on the Day of Judgment”.
Macron’s blaming Islam for the murders reflects the Islamophobia that afflicts him and his government ministers. When a Hindu extremist kills a Muslim suspected of eating beef Hinduism is not responsible for the vigilante violence. If a Jewish extremist settler, wearing his kippah, kills a Palestinian farmer and destroys his farm, you don’t blame Judaism for his acts. If a Christian ant-abortionist bombs an abortion clinic and kills someone Christianity cannot be blamed for his terrorist act. When a Burmese, instigated by an extremist priest, rapes and kills a woman, is Buddhism responsible? These are crimes for which the perpetrators should be prosecuted and punished. So, why is Islam being blamed for the crimes committed by some extremist Muslim?

In his speech on 2 October 2020, Macron outlined a blueprint for the secular Inquisition against France’s Muslim population. It is a manifesto for cracking down on the French Muslim community and their institutions. Muslims are terrorized and put into fear through unwarranted police action.
Some mosques have been closed down; increasing number of raids and searches have been conducted in mosques, including the Paris Omar mosque, schools and a funeral house without any reasonable grounds.
The French Council of Ministers dissolved a Muslim humanitarian non-profit organisations BarakaCity. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced his intention to shut down the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF). Member of Parliament Barbara Romagnan commented: “Until proven otherwise, the CCIF has nothing to do with this. Shutting down an organisations that gives a voice to those who feel discriminated against does not fight terrorism…”
The French government is pushing for the adoption of a bill to fight radicalization which stipulates increased inspections of organisations offering Arabic lessons or tutoring. What is clear is that the bill targets “Islamist separatism” in particular, to quote President Emmanuel Macron.
What does he mean by “Islamic separatism” – having halal food outlets, avoiding consumption of alcohol, women wearing hijab? Is the French republic so fragile and vulnerable as to feel threatened by this religious–cultural diversity?

Many intellectuals, politicians and civil society organisations have warned that the increasing authoritarianism and repressions directed against the Muslim community could be extended to the rest of society. It will facilitate the empowerment of neo-fascist and white supremacist groups. Macon is taking France on the slippery slope to fascism as happened during the Nazi era.
Macron’s justification for the insulting cartoons on the basis of freedom of expression is hypocritical. In Macon’s France, questioning the number of people killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust is a crime and those who questioned it have been imprisoned. Insulting a person on the basis of, his colour, gender identity, or disability is a crime punishable by law.

Yet, insulting and defaming religious leaders, loved and honoured by billons of people – Muhammad s.a.w., Jesus, Moses, Buddha – is considered exercising one’s freedom of expression by Macron and the French establishment. This is the product of sick minds.
Macron says Islam is in crisis. It is not Islam, but Western civilisation delinked from the spiritual and the sacred, that is in crisis. Rooted in individualism, materialism and hyper-consumption, it has brought our world to the brink of collapse. It is responsible for the ecological crisis and the social crisis which threaten the very basis of our existence. Its leaders are causing death and destruction in many parts of the world and yet preaching human rights to their victims.

Muslims must expect more attacks on Islam and their prophet from their enemies. There are groups with large budgets, and supported some by governments, dedicated to defaming Islam and its adherents. Muslims need to act with wisdom and moderation. Violent response to their provocations is counter-productive and should be avoided. National, regional and international institutions should be used fight these purveyors of hate.
Muslims should ally themselves with those fighting for social justice and environmental protection. There should be a boycott of goods and services from countries that promote Islamophobia.

We fully support the call for boycott of goods and services from France. Civil society organisations must put pressure on Muslim states, particularly Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate, to reconsider their trade relations and stop buying arms from France.

Mohideen Abdul Kader
Citizens International

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