PARIS, 23 January 2021 – A petition has been submitted before the United Nations Human Rights Council charging France of abusing the rights of Muslims.
The petition by groups based in London, Paris and across Africa, decries France’s “breadth of state abuse against Muslims”.
It is signed by a group of lawyers, as well as by leaders of NGOs and heads of religious bodies from 13 countries.
The coalition accuses France of violating “a number of basic rights that are protected in legislation that is ratified by Paris”.
Successive French governments since 1989 have “entrenched structural Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims,” the petition reads in part.
Muslims in France have suffered a backlash since the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001.
Among the actions taken by French authorities discriminating against Mulsims include the 2004 ban on the hijab in public schools.
They include the 2010 French ban on the niqab in public spaces and moves in 2016 – later overturned – against the full-body swimsuit by Muslim women.
The petition calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council to cause Fance to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights.