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Vest of an Evreux mosque supporter. Facebook/MEP Nicolas Bay. Wikipedia

Jewish LICRA and Great Mosque of Paris join hands to fight ‘anti-Muslim hatred’

The Jewish organisation LICRA and the Great Mosque of Paris have joined forces against "anti-Muslim racism". LICRA was founded to fight "neonazism and Holocaust denial".

Published: May 20, 2021, 10:39 am

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    In the last few years, LICRA has intensified its international actions by opening offices abroad, in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Luxembourg, in Germany, in Portugal, in Quebec and more recently in Congo Brazzaville and in Austria.

    The partnership agreement between the International League Against Racism and Antisemitism (LICRA) and the Great Mosque of Paris (GMP) was signed by the President of LICRA, Mario Stasi, and the Rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Chems-eddine Hafiz, on May 19, 2021.

    This will allow victims of “anti-Muslim racism” to obtain legal aid from the LICRA free of charge. The two organizations announced the creation of a joint working group which will focus on youth issues.

    This agreement thus provides for “awareness and information actions” directed towards “young people” and “schools”, according to AFP who quoted the rector of the mosque of Paris. A joint working group will be formed and will make it possible to develop “joint analyses on current issues related to anti-Muslim racism and secularism, universalism and republican values”, the two organizations stated in a press release, adding the observation that “anti-Muslim racism is more and more prevalent and is visibly manifested in society”.

    In recent years, the LICRA has observed in particular that “among all the facts of racism or discrimination of which [it] has been alerted to via its online or telephone reporting format, the reports of anti-Muslim acts (acts of a racist and discriminatory nature) are the most”.

    According to 2020 figures sent to AFP, out of some 800 reports for acts of racism or anti-Semitism, 263 were acts of “anti-Maghreb or anti-Muslim” racism. And of the 492 reports received by the “online hatred” service, 114 concerned anti-Maghreb or anti-Muslim racism. The LICRA and the Great Mosque of Paris said that “there was a need to develop a new framework to support and organize the Islam of France”.

    To coincide with the announcement that the LICRA will in future be funding litigation against those who voice criticism against Islam, in Guichainville, an investigation was opened against Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and National Rally General Secretary Nicolas Bay after he released a video of a mosque construction site and Quranic school.

    This investigation follows “a report and a complaint from the Great Mosque of Paris” after the broadcast of the video shot in front of the future mosque of Guichainville (Eure), Dominique Puechmaille, prosecutor of Évreux, confirmed on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

    This 44-second video was posted on May 5 on Nicolas Bay’s Facebook account, according to the report sent to the prosecutor by the elected officials of the left-wing opposition group in the city council of Évreux.

    The elected officials of Évreux claimed that the publication of the head of the RN elicited comments on his Facebook page which, “in addition to their racist character, […] call, unequivocally, for violence against Muslims attending this mosque”. The “alleged acts of provocation to racial hatred” by the European deputy of the RN, did not stop Bay from commenting on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon: “Yes, the minaret of this mosque has no place in Normandy. Yes, communitarianism and Islamism are a threat to our country. The elected socialists and their accomplices will not prevent me from saying it.”

    In a tweet, Bay reminded his audience that the Islamist who beheaded French teacher Samuel Paty, came from Évreux.

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