March against Islamophobia in Paris: 13,500 demonstrators, according to the firm Occurrence



SOCIETY – Thousands of people took part in the march against Islamophobia in the streets of Paris this Sunday, November 10th. An initiative launched by fifty personalities to say "Stop Islamophobia" and the "growing stigmatization" of Muslims.

"Living together is urgent" Several thousand people were marching Sunday in Paris for a controversial march against Islamophobia, which tore apart the left and provoked an uprising from the government and the far right.

"Yes to the criticism of the religion, not to the hatred of the believer", "stop to Islamophobia", "to live together, it is urgent", could one read on placards of demonstrators in the middle of many French flags . "Solidarity with the veiled women", chanted participants.

Part of the Gare du Nord at 1 pm, the demonstration, at the call of several personalities and organizations such as the NPA or the Collective against Islamophobia in France, arrived around 4 pm Place de la Nation. According to the count of the independent firm Occurrence, quoted by AFP, 13,500 people responded present in Paris. The police prefecture announced 10,500.

The beginning of the demonstration was marked by the appearance of a woman who, according to the mode of action of feminist activists Femen (the collective indicated that she did not act in her name), appeared in the procession , topless and raised fist.

The call to protest was launched on November 1 in the daily newspaper Release, four days after the attack of a mosque in Bayonne and against a revived debate on the wearing of the veil and secularism. The initial message was to say "STOP Islamophobia", the "growing stigmatization" of Muslims, victims of "discrimination" and "aggression".

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"We come to warn, say that there is a level of hatred not to be exceeded.We are open to criticism but we must not exceed certain limits in aggression," said a protester, Larbi , a 35-year-old entrepreneur. "We want to be heard, advocate a mixed society and live together, not to be excluded from society," said Asmae Eumosid, a veiled 29-year-old woman from Epinay-sur-Seine (Seine-Saint-Denis ).

"We hear everything and anything about Islam and veiled women today, we try to stigmatize Muslims, to put them away from society," said the engineer in the car.

In Marseilles, a few hundred people – Muslim families, but also trade unionists and left-wing activists – were also gathered Sunday afternoon door of Aix under signs "Islamophobia kills". The crowd chanted "we are all children of the Republic". Claudine Rodinson, a 76-year-old retiree who has come with a handful of Labor Lutheran activists, does not understand those who have "lost their dignity" on the left. "There is a scandalous propaganda against Muslims, an amalgam of terrorism and Islam," she denounces.

Politics in the procession

Since the call to demonstrate, the political class is torn on this theme. The very notion of "Islamophobia" as well as the identity of some signatories of the call led some of the left not to join, the PRG or the PS (which announced to work to the organization of an upcoming protest against racism).

But in the Paris procession, several elected representatives of insubordinate France (Clementine Autain, Daniele Obono, Eric Coquerel …) were present alongside their leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who called before the start of the march to do not "confuse some people with the value of the cause that is served". Also in the street, Ian Brossat, spokesman for the PCF, believes that "there is a climate of hatred against Muslims". "We can not stand idle," he added, castigating attacks by the President of the National Assembly.

Marine Le Pen had indeed estimated Saturday that it was a demonstration "hand in hand with the Islamists".

Several members of the government also had very harsh words against the rally described as "unbearable" by the Secretary of State for Youth, Gabriel Attal.

"France Insoumise and executives of EELV are caught in the pot of jam clientelist and communitarian," he denounced. Referring to "ambiguities", Elisabeth Borne, Minister for the Ecological and Solidarity Transition, said that the march drew people "against each other".

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