Walk against Islamophobia: what to remember from the demonstration in Paris and Toulouse


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This Sunday, in Paris, during the controversial march against Islamophobia that gathered 13500 people, a young woman taking the codes of the Femen has created confusion by bursting topless in the middle of the mobilization.

Just a step away from Gare du Nord in Paris, the march against Islamophobia was a snag.

The presence of Femen

A naked breasted woman broke into the procession. "Do not sell secularism," she wrote on her body. If it has resumed the mode of action of the Femen, it is not however an action of the radical feminist group. "The movement Femen was not present during the march," denied the group.

The scene was captured by several phone cameras. It shows the girl taking off her blue shirt to reveal her chest and the message she has written, raising both fists in the air and shouting around her. Protesters quickly surrounded her, preventing others from approaching.

In the confusion, the young woman was then taken to the side of the street, where several people stretched coats in front of her, in an attempt to hide her from the crowd. On images shared by a journalist of the RTS, we can see the order service of the march trying to exfiltrer and creating a barrier between the activist and the protesters.

"Blasphemy is a republican right"

If the sequence is brief, it has already been widely relayed via social networks. On Twitter, a user shared a photo pretending to show the young woman before walking. The latter brandishes a sign on which is written: "Blasphemy is a republican right."

According to the surfer, the young woman, of North African origin, would be called Meriam. She was reportedly taken into custody following her protest at the heart of the protest. This episode illustrates the ambiguity of the march launched by several personalities and organizations such as the Collective against Islamophobia in France: was it against racism or against criticism of Islam?

This march has created this week many divisions, especially in the ranks of the left. Fabien Roussel (national secretary of the PCF), Yannick Jadot (The Greens) or Francois Ruffin (France Insoumise), although signatories of the platform calling to "march against Islamophobia", published in Liberation on November 1, were disassociated from the movement.

Several personalities present

Among the personalities calling to march in Paris, we find the leader of La France rebellious, Jean-Luc Melenchon, the general secretary of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, the journalist and director Rokhaya Diallo, the lawyer Arie Alimi, the journalist Aida Touihri or Esther Benbassa, Senator EELV of Paris. "This event is a cry of warning to the public to say stop racism," said BFMTV Olivier Besancenot, the spokesman for the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA).

Policy reactions

"Magnificent day of republican unity concluded by a magnificent Marseillaise.The divisors and the haters of the Republic in Marche and the FN are in failure.France is our common good", tweeted at the end of the march Jean-Luc Melenchon.

Emmanuelle Wargon also provided ambiguous support for this march: "In France, everyone must be able to practice their religion freely within the framework provided by the laws of the Republic." Support to Muslims but NO hatred advocated by the organizers of the # Marche10Novembre".

One of the organizers of the march, Moujid Messaoudene, elected majority in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), has publicly stated that these liberticidal laws were for him those of 2004 and 2010 on the veil. Neither Jean-Luc Melenchon, nor Éric Coquerel wanted to confirm or deny the fact that this elected very involved in the fight against "Islamophobia" was listed on the list of France insubordinate municipal.

Eric Coquerel shared a message on Twitter: "Tens of thousands of people sing:" In the streets of Paris, Muslims sang: the Republic we love, It must protect us "Today, we walk on the right side Of the history".

On the side of the Republicans, we do not support this movement: "The March10November does not correspond to the idea we have of the Republic.The Republic is not for sale cut," the party published on Twitter.

Why this gathering divides?

Among the organizers of the event, there was the controversial Collective against Islamophobia in France. The CCIF is accused of having links with the Muslim Brotherhood, an international organization promoting political Islam known for its rigorous positions and proselytes. A very embarrassing support for some political parties.

On this subject, Yannick Jadot (Europe Ecology-The Greens), who signed the appeal, said on Tuesday that he does not "validate the whole text" of the platform, which is criticized for some its passages and for the identity of its initiators, including the CCIF.

This rally divided on the left. Some politicians and personalities who signed the text behind this rally finally decided not to participate. Others requested that their name be removed from the list of signatories.

13,500 people gathered

On the far right, Marine Le Pen said to see in this march "an event organized by the Islamists": "All those who will go to this event will be hand in hand with the Islamists, that is to say with those who develop in our country a totalitarian ideology that aims to fight the French Republic, "said the president of the party Rassemblement National before the television cameras. Madjid Messaoudene, one of the initiators of the appeal, responded by denouncing a "desire for sabotage" on the part of the president of the far-right party. For his part, Jean-Luc Melenchon maintained his positions accusing left deserters of "denying Muslims the right to be defended by people who are not Muslims and who want to stop the current mood against them"

According to a count realized by the firm Occurence for a collective of media, including La Depeche, some 13,500 people walked in the capital.

The appearance of the keyword #Manifdelahonte on the networks

While more than 10 000 people mobilized about Islamophobia, on social networks, a keyword largely taken over appeared in particular on Twitter: #Manifdelahonte. "In any case the Islamists and their leftist valets are doing everything to end badly.We heard everything in this #ManifDeLaHonte except the Marseillaise," publishes a user.

Strong controversy

According to some Internet users, the former spokesman and director of the CCIF, Marwan Muhammad would have asked the crowd to shout "Allahu akbar".

A photo has also circulated on social networks. We see a little girl displaying a yellow star of David on his jacket. The president of the Licra said he was shocked by this cliche. Protesters present at the march were also "stunned" to see people wearing the yellow star worn by the Jews during the Shoah. Bernard Henri-Levy, writer and philosopher, also reacted on Twitter about this photo: "This staging is despicable, that a senator endorses it is unworthy, there is no bus place de la Contrescarpe. of Vel d'Hiv or yellow star against the Muslims This mixture of relativism and cynicism is appalling ".

In Toulouse, 350 people

The parade was political, but not only. About 350 people marched peacefully against Islamophobia, this Saturday afternoon in Toulouse. Several leftist banners were present in the parade: New anti-capitalist party 31, Lutte Ouvriere, Left party, Attac, and members of France Insoumise or the South union were present. Three members of the pro-Kurdish YPG party also brought their flags. The protesters left Jean-Jaures shouting "Racism is gangrene, we eliminate it, or we die!"

Nearly 14,000 people gathered during this walk in France.

Nearly 14,000 people gathered during this walk in France.
                                    – DDM Michel Viala

The reaction of Jean-Christophe Sellin, Regional Councilor Occitanie

I was present this afternoon alongside hundreds of Toulouse to "shield" with our Muslim compatriots against division and hatred.
We have the responsibility to support our compatriots of Muslim faith who have been suffering for months stigmatization up to a terrorist attack in Bayonne against two believers, seriously injured.
We must remember here the part of moral responsibility of the National Rally and Marine Lepen in the passage to the act of this man, because they armed ideologically by the arm of the far-right terrorist.
We all live together and only concrete and everyday secularism can be respected by the guarantee of freedom of conscience, freedom to believe or not to believe, freedom of worship.

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