Several left-wing political figures have signed a tribune, published in Liberation on November 1, calling for a march this Sunday in Paris against Islamophobia. This text, entitled "Stop Islamophobia", denounces the stigmatization of French Muslims, especially after the attack on the Bayonne mosque, and evokes "liberticidal laws" that would target Muslims.
At the heart of this text, the term "Islamophobia" which has long divided the left. Many groups and leaders believe that in a secular Republic, one must be able to criticize religions as dogmas, without targeting the faithful.
But the most remarkable development is that of La France Insoumise (LFI) and its leader, Jean-Luc Melenchon, signatory of the text, and who will participate this Sunday in the march against Islamophobia, organized at the call of the NPA and the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF).
"We are, in this moment, the guarantors of the public peace and the Republic. What would be the situation where our people would divide constantly on religious grounds? He said on Sunday at a press conference.
" Certainly, Islamophobic is a word we do not like Certainly we prefer to fight the hatred of Muslims. But the question asked today is not at all that of the right or not to criticize a religion, "he had explained on his blog Thursday.
"You have to know how to make a bloc when the essential is at stake. And the main thing is at stake in this country right now because of the sorcerer's apprentices who want to speculate on the hatred of the Muslims or the permanent stigmatization towards them", writes still the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhone. A position that the leader of France rebuffed however long fought. Small anthology.
November 2015: "I challenge the term Islamophobia"
A week after the attacks of 13 November in Paris, Jean-Luc Melenchon launched: "I challenge the term Islamophobia, although I understand it. It is the Muslims who think they are being blamed because they are Muslims. I defend the idea that we have the right not to love Islam, we have the right not to love the Catholic religion and that this is part of our freedoms … "
February 2010: "They stigmatize themselves"
In an interview with Marianne on February 4, 2010, Jean-Luc Melenchon was very critical of Olivier Besancenot's party, which had nominated a veiled regional candidate.
"At the moment, we have the feeling that people are going to face stigma: they stigmatize themselves – because what is wearing the veil, if not inflicting a stigma – and then complain about the stigma they feel they have, "he then lashed out.
February 2017: Melenchon compares the veil to a "rag on the head"
On the set of "L'Émission politique", on France 2, on February 23, 2017, Lea Salame reminds Jean-Luc Melenchon of the comments he made on the KTO channel in March 2015: "The veil is a sign of submission ". "Do you still think so? Asks the journalist. "Oh yes," Melenchon replies, recalling his opposition "to all religious signs (ostentatious)". Before launching all of a sudden: "I do not see where God would be interested in a rag on his head".