Paris – Today, CAGE has launched a landmark report in Paris highlighting the unprecedented crackdown on Muslims in France under the sweeping ‘Systematic Obstruction’ powers. The report comes four years after the commencement of the anti-Muslim policies. The analysis demonstrates how the measures amounts to a Persecution of Muslims in France, as defined in international law.

Authored by French legal jurist and CAGE researcher Rayan Freschi, with a foreword by Professor François Burgat, the report entitled “”We are beginning to spread Terror”: The state-sponsored persecution of Muslims in France”, published in both English and French, covers in detail the unprecedented crackdown on Islam and Muslims in France under the Presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

The report highlights:

  • The ‘Systematic Obstruction’ policy – largely unknown outside the country, and scarcely understood inside it – on its four year anniversary of being introduced. This policy amounts to a Persecution of Muslims in France, in line with the international law definition of the term.
  • The nature of the persecution in French society.
  • How state Islamophobia is institutionalised through an infrastructure of enforcement and mass surveillance.
  • France’s attempts to internationalise its model of repression through its leadership of the EU.

The report calls for the repeal of Islamophobic policies such as the Systematic obstruction policy, ‘Anti-Separatism Law’, the Imams Charter, as well as the 2004 Law on religious signs in schools and the 2010 Niqab ban. It goes further to call for the establishment of an independent body to investigate the Systematic Obstruction measures, and provide reparations for damages and losses incurred by establishments and individuals as a result of such measures.

Commenting on its launch, author of the report Ryan Freschi said:

“Four years ago, the French government initiated a secretive and draconian Islamophobic policy. This report documents how the French state has swiftly dismantled the foundations of the Muslim community’s autonomy through a calculated persecution, spreading terror among an entire religious community. 718 closures, 24 884 inspections and 46 million euros extorted by the State later, it is time to stop this witch hunt against Muslims.”

“This report highlights how the appetite for anti-Muslim action in France seems endless: despite the ongoing Islamophobic persecution, the entire French political spectrum still regards Islam and Muslims as issues that have not been sufficiently dealt with. Moreover, through its current presidency of the EU Council, France is well placed to actively project its influence and promote its draconian Islamophobic policies to its neighbours. If left unaddressed, the persecution facing Muslims in France is likely to be exported to the rest of Europe.”

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)