In the march against Islamophobia: "Secularism we love you, you must protect us"


Some veiled women firmly hold a long banner. "Islamophobia kills", there is one. They came by bus from Le Havre to join the demonstration against Islamophobia that took place this Sunday afternoon in Paris and which unleashes controversies for a week, tearing the left. "Islam is attacked in France", pleads Nacira, 40, one of them.

"Secularism we love you, you must protect us", seals the procession, leaving the Gare du Nord. Slogans follow one another, expressly calling into question the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. The continuous news channel LCI is booed. "We're here, we're here even if Blanquer does not want to", say the protesters. At the same time, other shows are taking place elsewhere in France, such as Toulouse or Marseille.

Read alsoFrom Nice to Roubaix, the concern of Muslims

The initiative, supported among others by insubordinate France and the NPA was launched after the attack on the Bayonne mosque, through a petition published in Release, November 1st. Among the organizers, the CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia in France) whose presence sparked debates, the platform L.E.S Muslims Marwan Muhammad, the Adama Committee …

The march gathers beyond strictly militant circles, joined by a large number of non-Muslims. There are many Muslim families. Territorial official in Val-de-Marne, Saïda, came with his children: "When I arrive in the morning at work I take off my veil, because it's secularism." "We feel the heaviness when we do our shopping, when we wait for the bus, She adds. In recent months, it has worsened with media talk, I had to change my way of wearing the headscarf. One feels cataloged, reduced to the headscarf. But we know it's not France. "

"We are no longer thinking and speaking, but acting"

For Mina, the climate has worsened: "We are no longer stereotypes and prejudices, but amalgam. We are no longer thinking and speaking, but acting. " She manifests with her husband and their children, especially from Metz. "The effect of the headscarf is really felt in the job market, Mina adds. When we send a CV with a picture where we wear a veil, we are less likely to find. "

March against Islamophobia in Paris on November 10th.Photo Albert Facelly

Marwan Muhammad is satisfied. "We are probably beyond the ten thousand protesters", Estimates the former spokesman CCIF – 13500 according to the counting office Occurence, mandated by several media. At a moment of the manifestation, he makes a chant "Allahu Akbar" by the crowd. "One says "Allahu Akbar" because we are tired of the media passing this religious expression for an expression of war ", He explains.

Read alsoWhy was the cry "Allahu akbar" chanted during the march against Islamophobia?

Marwan Muhammad sweeps away the debate that focuses on the term Islamophobia. The controversy that has taken place in recent days has been led, according to him, to "Scuttle the manifestation" and avoid addressing the real issues, that of the growing discrimination of Muslims in France. "This is the word that the people who are demonstrating today use, he pleads. Why not question other words of the French language! " For the demonstrators, it is not a question of prohibiting the criticism of a religion. This is not the opinion of an activist claiming Femen (without the agreement of the movement) who made trouble at the beginning of the event. "Blasphemy is a republican right," says his sign. It will be quickly mastered by the service of order.

A few meters away, the demonstrators gather around comedian Yassine Belattar to make selfies. "I do not have football," he says to explain his presence in the Paris demonstration, referring to Francois Ruffin who has advanced this pretext not to join the protesters. "We will remember those who failed us", He added.

"Never has an anti-racist demonstration been so slandered"

Political figures parade, along with protesters, such as Senator EE-LV Esther Benbassa, far-left leader Olivier Besancenot, Communist Ian Brossat, Insoumis Jean-Luc Melenchon, Clementine Autain, Daniele Obono and Eric Coquerel .

"Never has an anti-racist demonstration been so slandered", launches the latter, Place de la Nation, at the arrival of the demonstration. "The common front will always be stronger than the National Front," exclaims Yassine Belattar. It triggers a Marseillaise, taken over by the crowd.

A journalist from Libe taken to part

During the Paris event, Release has been attacked twice, in a very virulent manner, about his coverage of the Tariq Ramadan affair. While Bernadette Sauvaget, our religious specialist – and author of a book on Tariq Ramadan – was approaching the organizers, a woman said: "We saw you on television. You only want to make money talking about it. " Supporting her at first, two women who accompanied him then dissociated by thanking us for being at the demonstration. Moments later, a new assault by a woman invested in the defense of Tariq Ramadan and who, under the pseudonym Globe 777, broadcast videos on his Youtube channel. "You are a liar, you are a liar," she shouted as she filmed and chased our colleague. Some protesters tried to calm the attacker while others were just filming and taking pictures. Later, in another video, the same Globe 777 admitted to have deliberately taken Liberation. Aggression regrettable – especially since the demonstration was held in peace – and we condemn in the strongest terms. The direction of Liberation

Bernadette Sauvaget


Frantz Durupt Photos Albert Facelly for Release

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