With elections on the way, French politicians continue their targeted campaign against Muslim organisations.
France’s right-wing interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, announced on Twitter that he’s moving against a Muslim publishing house for allegedly selling books promoting Islamic history on key Muslim figures who fought in the name of the faith.
According to the minister, the publishing house “Nawa Editions” has an editorial line that is “anti-universalist and in direct contestation of Western values,” adding that it “distributed several works legitimising jihad.”
One such work includes a biography of the seventh-century Muslim military commander Hazrat Khalid ibn al-Walid (R.A).
France has been quick to celebrate and defend colonial-era figures that continue to cause controversy over the country’s brutal imperial history. However, Muslims could now be regarded as extremists for publishing and celebrating figures and personalities important to their history and identity.
In a statement, “Nawa Editions” condemned the “purely political” decision by the state. The publishing houses expressed their alarm at the “drift of the French political model” towards executive dissolutions of Muslim organisations without due process.
France’s latest actions against a Muslim organisation is part of a pattern that has seen the state closing charities that represent Muslims.
Last year the country’s largest Muslim charity, Baraka City, was closed, followed by the anti-Islamophobia advocacy group CCIF, which was the only organisation in the country collecting data on rising anti-Muslim violence in the country.
On both occasions, the group’s purported affiliation with “Islamism” was cited, a loose term which the French government increasingly uses against organisations it deems as calling out state-led racism and Islamophobia.
On its Facebook page, “Nawa Editions” books, in French, resemble what one can find in any Islamic book shop ranging from how to fulfil Islamic requirements on paying charity, texts on Islamic civilisation and the political history of Islam.
On its website, Nawa publishing house describes itself as an organisation that aims to “promote the human and political sciences born of Islamic heritage” and “contribute to the revitalisation of these disciplines by studying the Western world and sciences, modern political ideology and doctrines”.
Following the decision the bank accounts of the publishing house and those of its main writers – Aissam Ait Yahya and Abu Souleiman Al Kaabi – were frozen.
Many organisations have come out in support of the unprecedented actions directed at the publishing house.
Whereas another user cited both the increasing pressure Muslims are facing in the country and the hypocrisy of the French state on the one hand defending freedom of expression and on the other clamping down on Muslims.
“It is time for the Muslim to stop being walked on. We cannot accept that a publishing house is dissolved. It is an attack on the fundamental rights of the republic, which is freedom of expression. All my support for NAWA Publishing.”
With the French presidential elections less than eight months away and Macron’s disapproval ratings hovering around 60 percent, the flurry of anti-Muslim proposals is a bid to take votes from the far-right.
France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen is ahead in the polls for the 2022 presidential elections and is known for her anti-Islam and anti-Muslim stances.
Source: TRT World