After trainer’s killing, French Muslims fear rising Islamophobia

65



Paris, France – The grotesque killing of a trainer by an 18-year-old suspect of Chechen origin is testing the nation’s fragile relationship with its Muslim minority, with rising fears of collective punishment.
The teenager attacked Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old father, in broad daylight on Friday, beheading him near his faculty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb about 15 miles (24km) from the centre of a Paris.
There has been an outpouring of grief and shock amongst high officers; Paty on Wednesday posthumously acquired the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, in a ceremony attended by President Emmanuel Macron. Thousands have attended protests.
Paty’s attacker had been angered that he confirmed his pupils caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
In the times after the killing, the federal government launched a crackdown towards Muslim organisations whereas vigilante teams have attacked mosques; locations of worship in Beziers and Bordeaux have been positioned beneath police safety after having been threatened with violence.
Tensions between the state and France’s Muslims, the most important Muslim minority in Europe, have deepened.
They have been already on a downward development after Macron, on October 2, launched a plan towards what he known as “Islamist separatism” and stated Islam was “in crisis” the world over.
Muslims fear Paty’s tragic loss of life is already being weaponised to advance a authorities coverage they fear conflates Islam with “terrorism”.
“Muslims are being targeted,” Yasser Louati, a French Muslim activist, advised Al Jazeera, including he believed Macron was “using Islamophobia to power his campaign.”
On Monday, the French authorities stated it was strengthening its crackdown on suspected “extremists”, finishing up a number of raids and threatening a mass expulsion of greater than 200 folks.

More than 50 Muslim organisations are being focused; the “Cheikh Yassine Collective”, an organisation has already been banned within the wake of the killing.
But there are extra shocking names on the record.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has proposed to ban the Collective Against Islamaphobia in France (CCIF), an association that tracks anti-Muslim hate crimes, in a move that greater than 50 civil society teams and teachers have warned towards.
In an interview with French radio station Europe 1, Darmanin lambasted CCIF as an “enemy of the republic”, including it was one among a number of organisations he would dissolve at Macron’s private request.
CCIF condemned Darmanin’s language as slander, stating the federal government was “criminalising the fight against Islamophobia”.
Darmanin, who was appointed in July throughout a cupboard reshuffle, routinely raises eyebrows for feedback interesting to conservative and far-right events.
In an interview with BFMTV Tuesday night, he stated he was “shocked” to see Halal and Kosher meals aisles in supermarkets, which he believes contributes to separatism in France, feedback that have been immediately mocked on social media.
But there are fears current authorities actions contribute to a discourse that endangers Muslim lives.
“What is going in France at the moment is unprecedented,” activist and co-founder of CCIF, Marwan Muhammed wrote on Twitter final week. “Fundamental freedoms are at stake, as the government is focused on stigmatising and criminalising Muslim communities.”
Many seen the federal government’s vigorous and accelerated response to Friday’s assault as a dire warning that the legislation could possibly be manipulated to focus on Muslims extra usually.
The crackdown has echoes of France’s response to the lethal November 2015 assaults in Paris by ISIL. Human rights teams criticised these measures, which noticed mass arrests and raids beneath emergency rule, saying they yielded few outcomes and left Muslims feeling like second-class residents.
A French Republican Guard holds a portrait inside Sorbonne University’s courtyard in Paris on October 21, 2020, throughout a nationwide homage to French trainer Samuel Paty, who was beheaded for displaying cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in his civics class [Francois Mori/ POOL/AFP]During Wednesday’s eulogy, Macron remembered Paty as somebody who “loved books, loved knowledge”.
Originally intent on turning into a researcher, Paty selected as an alternative to comply with the identical path of his dad and mom and develop into a trainer.
Paty finally was killed, Macron stated, “because he made the choice to teach.”
He had proven the caricatures throughout a lesson about free speech.
Muslims imagine that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
According to reviews, Paty suggested Muslim college students who could be offended to depart the room or look away throughout this a part of the dialogue, as a measure of sensitivity.
The attacker posted a photograph of the decapitation on Twitter earlier than being shot and killed the police. According to French media, {the teenager} had been in contact with Paty earlier than the killing.
Fifteen folks have been arrested as a part of an investigation into the killing, together with the assailant’s members of the family.
The assault additionally follows two stabbings final month outdoors the previous workplaces of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in September initially of the trial for these suspected involvement within the January 2015 assaults which killed 17 folks.
In his anticipated October 2 speech, Macron sought to handle “radicalisation”.
The new legislation he’s proposing to push faith additional out of schooling and the general public sector in France, goals to strengthen “laicite”, France’s strict separation of church and state.
It would, amongst different issues, let the state monitor worldwide funding coming into French mosques, restrict homeschooling to forestall Muslims colleges from being run by what Macron cited as “religious extremists”, and create a particular certificates programme for imams to be skilled in France.
Mame-Fatou Niang, an affiliate professor of French research at Carnegie Mellon University, advised Al Jazeera the federal government was not merely “going to war against terrorists”.
“Rather they’re taking these seeds of division planted by terrorists to erase any grey areas and create a completely polarised society … it’s a declaration against not only fundamentalists but against Muslims in general.”