London – After two years of litigation, the administrative courts in France have forced the French interior ministry to overturn its entry ban against CAGE Managing Director, Muhammad Rabbani, and also pay compensation after they failed to produce any justification for their action.

The ban came into place in 2020 when Muhammad Rabbani attempted to travel to France for the purposes of developing our advocacy work and provide assistance to a British national who had been unlawfully deprived of his citizenship.

This follows a series of high profile victories against the French government’s policies targeting Muslims, and in particular the Systematic Obstruction policy [1]. In April, the French Supreme Court overturned three Islamophobic orders issued by the government. First, it opposed the closure of a mosque in Pessac and allowed it to reopen[2]. Then, it rejected the dissolution of two pro-Palestine organisations – hence allowing them to continue to express their political dissent[3].

These are positive decisions undermining the Systematic Obstruction policy which we contend leads to the persecution of Muslims in France.

Commenting on the ruling, CAGE Managing Director Muhammad Rabbani said:

“This is an important victory which limits the ability of French authorities to implement policies that discriminates against its Muslim minority. We will now build on that work to deepen our ties with French Muslims and ensure we continue to expose the systemic Islamophobia of the French government.”

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[1] See CAGE report, ‘“We are Beginning to Spread Terror”: The State-Sponsored Persecution of Muslims in France’ here: https://woocommerce-150299-430654.cloudwaysapps.com/we-are-beginning-to-spread-terror-report

[2] See court judgement in favour of Pessac mosque here. https://www.conseil-etat.fr/fr/arianeweb/CE/decision/2022-04-26/462685

[3] See court judgement about Pro-Palestine organisations here: https://www.conseil-etat.fr/actualites/le-conseil-d-etat-suspend-en-refere-la-dissolution-de-deux-associations-pro-palestiniennes

Image used courtesy of Flickr/Luca Lubatti photography (all rights reserved)

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