We strongly condemn the irresponsible declarations made by Jeanette Boughrab, former French right wing UMP minister. accusing the Party of the Indigenous of the Republic (PIR) of being responsible for the killing of the journalists of Charlie Hebdo because of their criticism of the islamophobic positions taken by this journal.
We strongly condemn the murder of these journalists. Despite Charlie Hebdo’s continuous islamophobic ridiculisation and mockery of Muslims, it is not justifiable to kill journalists because of disapproval of their ideas.
However, Ms. Boughrab’s position stands in direct opposition to the idea of freedom of speech that French people are defending in the streets today. The Party of the Indigenous of the Republic exercised precisely their freedom of speech and responsibility as citizens when they drew attention to the the islamophobic tendencies of Charlie Hebdo. The critique of islamophobia is crucial to stop the rise of the extreme right and the sources of violence in French society today.
To criticise the islamophobic position of a journal is not equivalent to calling for the murder of its journalists. Debates about ideas and their consequences are always healthy. But to make the PIR responsible for the killing of the journalists without any proof at a moment when emotions are running high and islamophobia is on the rise is to incite violence and repression against PIR members and anti-racist activists in general.
Ms.Boughdrab’s position is a de facto instrumentalisation of the killing of the journalists for the extreme right agenda to constrain citizenship rights, eliminate freedom of speech, and increase repression against anti-racist activists in the name of a false security.
We strongly condemn this irresponsible attack on a political party that has been actively working to combat institutional racism in French society. We call on all anti-racist forces (organisations and individuals) to protect the citizenship rights of PIR members and other anti-racist activists.
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222