LONDON – The forced closure of the CCIF today (Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France; Collective against Islamophobia in France) [1] by the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, exposes the French state’s brazen hypocrisy in advocating ‘free speech’ while legally denying Muslims the freedom to speak and organise. 

The CCIF now faces the unprecedented situation of not only being banned, but also having its staff indefinitely blacklisted. This means they cannot moderate the CCIF, nor can they set up new associations or speak publicly. Their freedom of association and expression has been suspended indefinitely. 

The move follows similar action against Baraka City, another household name among Muslims in France, and the violent arrest of its manager as well as a series of raids on mosques, Islamic schools and homes. 

Muhammad Rabbani, managing director of CAGE, said:

“Individuals linked to the CCIF have been muzzled in a manner only heard of in the most autocratic countries. Governments are evading due process the same way that untransparent corporates such as World Check and other shady proscription lists operate, where there is no right to challenge and listing is indefinite.”

“This disruption and attempt to weaken the Muslim community follows Macron’s announcement of a new ‘Separatism Law’ [2] to curtail Muslim charity work and political campaigning. It also follows an EU Joint Statement of a “united front against Islamism” – to distract the EU from French violations of ‘liberty, egality and fraternity’ and even EU laws.” 

“All those that claim to uphold the right to organise and collaborate to bring about positive social change cannot be silent any longer. This is not the way to nurture trust between people and government. We must speak up with courage for those in France who are standing firm despite state repression.” 



[1] The CCIF (Collective Against Islamophobia in France) is a human rights organisation created in 2000, whose mission is to combat Islamophobia. An archived copy of their manifesto can be found here

[2] For a full briefing on the “Separatism Law” please see here.


CC Image courtesy of Jacques Paquier on Flikr

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