IHRC is pleased to announce it has submitted the entire text of its 2012 survey ‘France and the Hated Society: Muslim Experiences’ to the 86th session of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination.
The report highlights how Islamophobic political and media discourse has become normalised and entrenched in France to the point where it is a major cause of anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred. In the prevailing climate of hostility towards Muslims and their religion which often translates into verbal and physical attacks and/or discrimination, Muslims are not free to express their faith. The survey revealed that over 80% of Muslims in France have witnessed the implementation of policies, both political and organisational, that impact Muslims negatively.
Muslims and ethnic minorities in France face structural discrimination from a state which veils its prejudices behind an alleged indivisibility of the French national identity into any component parts, be they religious, ethnic or racial. While this allegedly ‘colourblind’ approach is said by the state party to protect the principle of equality and ensure its application, the reality is that it is in and of itself a driver of discrimination.
The consequence of the body of hate ideology, hate policy and hate representation can be seen in its material manifestation, namely hate practices. Many studies have found a correlation between the anti-Muslim representation of Muslims in media and political discourse and a rise in hate crimes and experiences. Hate practices can divide into physical attacks, legal or civic ban, rape or threats of rape, insult or verbal abuse, and civil exclusion. In IHRC’s survey some three quarters of respondents felt that political discourse was to blame for the discrimination and hatred they faced.
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