(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/12/19) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed solidarity with the counter-Islamophobia march held on Sunday in Paris, France.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) expresses its solidarity with the counter-Islamophobia march, French Muslims and their allies who turned out on Sunday to reject all forms of hate, bigotry and discrimination, including Islamophobia.
“Marchers should be commended for upholding the spirit of democracy and inclusion by speaking freely, assembling, petitioning the government, and addressing the public on the harmful societal impacts Islamophobia has on all of France and Europe.
“As long as the French government continues to restrict the personal religious practices of French Muslims, it will fall short of upholding the universal ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity.”
Some 400 organizations, activists and others who oppose Islamophobia in France organized the march.
SEE: Facebook Event Page
SEE: Marche du 10 novembre à Paris: nous dirons STOP à l’islamophobie !
While the march was in response to an October 28 far-right, anti-Muslim arson and gun attack on a mosque in Bayonne that left two people injured – it also opposed French government bans on wearing visible religious symbols, like head scarf, in government buildings such as city halls and schools – and local pool and beach bans on Islamically inspired beach clothing – as well as bans on niqab.
November 10 march organizers sought to draw public attention to anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes, and anti-Muslim sentiment that can be found in French politics and media. March organizers called* to:
- STOP the racist speeches that are pouring onto our screens all day long, with the general indifference and complicit silence of the state institutions charged with combating racism.
- STOP discrimination against women wearing headscarves, causing progressively more exclusion of Muslim women from all spheres of society
- STOP the violence and aggression against Muslims, who are gradually dehumanized and stigmatized, making them into potential terrorists or enemies from within.
- STOP the abusive denunciation, at the highest level of the State, against Muslims whose only harm would be the real or supposed membership in a religion.
- STOP the mass surveillance that leads to outright criminalization of religious practice.
[*Note: These bullet points were translated using Google Translate, from French to English, and edited for syntax.]
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com