PARIS: A national anti-Islamophobia demonstration was held in Paris, as France is in the throes of another fabricated wave of anti-Muslim scapegoating.
With the one-year anniversary of the Yellow Vest movement a week away and the government trying to force through a deeply unpopular raising of the retirement age, France’s media and political classes have stoked and supported Islamophobia for the past two months.
Predictably, violence is starting to occur: two Muslims were shot at a mosque. Far-right policemen feel emboldened by the mainstreaming of racism, leading to a rebellion in an impoverished heavily-Muslim suburb of Paris over brutal police tactics.
As usual, from the center to the far-right the march was condemned.
Among the left-wing parties there was a long debate which confused the free speech right to criticize Islam with the very real discrimination, violence and repression caused by Islamophobia. Many alleged leftists pulled out of the march, and only a few unions sent a small number of representatives.
The incident is another reminder of how France’s entire political spectrum refuses to defend, much less welcome, Muslims. It’s also a sign of how French sectarianism is institutionalized not only in its former colonies, but at home as well.
Anger and resentment among the Muslim class is starting to build, but it’s hardly a new phenomenon: a poll this week showed that 42% of Muslims have been subject to discrimination over just the past 5 years, almost 2.5 times the national average.