France: “Jihad by Court”
- The goal of this trial is to create judicial precedent: to ensure that in the future, any criticism or insult against Islamism must be considered “racism”.
- Valentina Colombo, a professor at the European University in Rome, warned early on about jihad by court. In 2009, she wrote that, “The lawsuit that was initiated by The Union of the Islamic Organizations of France and the Great Mosque of Paris against the satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ for republishing the Danish cartoons about Muhammad is one of the most recent examples of this kind of jihad.” But nobody paid attention to the warning. And when jihadists came in 2015 to murder eight journalists and cartoonists, nobody understood that “jihad by court” is only the first step.
- “Legal action has become a mainstay of radical Islamist organizations seeking to intimidate and silence their critics.” — Steven Emerson, Founder and President of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
A silent jihad is under way in France. Spread by a constellation of Muslim organizations allied to powerful (non-Muslim) “anti-racist” associations, “jihad by court” is attacking freedom of press, and freedom of speech. Any journalist, politician, lawyer or intellectual who talks or writes either about Islam or some of its representatives in a critical way, is at risk of being taken to court for “racism” or “outraging a group of people because of their religion.”
The so-called “jihad by court” began in an experimental way in France at the beginning of the century. In 2002, the famous French writer Michel Houellebecq was sued for “incitement to hatred” by Islamic organizations allied to the Ligue des droits de l’Homme, (“Human Rights League”), a prestigious “anti-racist” organization. Houellebecq was sued for having said in an interview with Lire magazine that, “of all existing religions, Islam is the dumbest. We read the Coran, we all collapse.” Houellebecq was acquitted.
In 2007, a similar lawsuit was initiated by the Union of the Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) and the Great Mosque of Paris against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, because it republished the Danish Muhammad cartoons. The plaintiffs accused Charlie Hebdo of “racism”. Charlie Hebdo was acquitted. In 2011, unknown arsonists burned Charlie Hebdo‘s offices. The magazine was sued again in 2012 and in 2013. Each time, the plaintiffs were different Muslim organizations claiming different instances of “racism” or “blasphemy”. January 7, 2015, two Muslim terrorists stormed into the offices of Charlie Hebdo and murdered 12 people.
Two years after that, jihad by court is everywhere.
Against Intellectuals and Journalists
Éric Zemmour, a writer and journalist, was sued in February 2011 for “racial incitement”. He said on television that “most dealers are blacks and Arabs. That is a fact”. He was fined €2,000. In May 2012, Zemmour was sued for defamation by Patrick Lozes, president of Council of Black Associations (CRAN). Zemmour had written in 2008: “Patrick Lozes said ‘Obama is our president’, which proves that for him, racial solidarity is superior in his enamored eyes than national solidarity”. Zemmour was acquitted.
In 2014, Zemmour was sued again because he said, “The Normans, the Huns, Arabs, the great invasions after the fall of Rome are now replaced by gangs of Chechens, Roma, Kosovars, North Africans, Africans, who rob, abuse or strip your belongings.” He was released in September 2015. The appeals court reconfirmed his release in 2016.
In December 2015, Zemmour was again fined €3,000 because he had declared to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that the “deportation” of five million French Muslims seems “unrealistic”, but is comparable to “the five or six million Germans who had to leave eastern Europe after World War II”. Zemmour succeeded in proving that the word “deportation” was added by Corriere della Sera, but the judge did not take that into consideration, and Zemmour’s conviction was reaffirmed after an appeal in November 2016.
In June 2017, Zemmour was fined €5,000 after saying on television in September 2016, that “jihadists were considered by all Muslims, good Muslims.” The plaintiff was a pro-Palestinian association, CAPJPO-EuroPalestine.
Pascal Bruckner, an author and essayist, was sued in December 2015, by the Islamic, “left-wing” associations, Les Indivisibles and Les Indigenes de la République. Bruckner had said on television that the plaintiffs had “ideologically justified the murder of Charlie Hebdo‘s journalists”. Bruckner was acquitted in 2016.
In January 2017, all “anti-racist” associations and the Islamist CCIF (Collective Against Islamophobia) sued Georges Bensoussan — an award-winning Jewish French historian, born and raised in Morocco — for racism. He had said on the radio that “in France, in Arab families… anti-Semitism is imbibed with one’s mother’s milk.” He was acquitted, but the prosecutor has filed an appeal.
Against the “Fachosphère”
The fachosphère (combination of “fascist” and “sphere”) is the term that the mainstream media are now calling a collection of websites — such as the Riposte Laïque, Resistance Republicaine and many others — that warn of the dangers of being overrun by radical Islam. Between 2012 and 2017, Riposte Laïque alone was sued “no fewer than 43 times” its editor-in-chief, Pierre Cassen, told Gatestone. This time, the plaintiffs were not only “anti-racist” associations (LDH, SOS-Racisme, le MRAP, la LICRA and Islamist CCIF) — but also the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo (pictured); former Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, and various Islamic associations such as L’Aube du Savoir (“Sunrise of Knowledge”), journalists from the mainstream media (Libération, Le Monde), the Ligue de Défense Judiciaire des Musulmans (“Muslim Judicial Defense League”). These libel and racism suits asked for fines from €5,000 to €40,000.
On March 30, 2016, Laurence Rossignol, then Minister of Families, Children and Women’s Rights and known to be a fierce critic of the omnipresence of the Islamic veil in public places, was interviewed by the radio station RMC. She compared veiled women to “American negroes [“nègres américains”] who supported slavery”. Rossignol apologized for using “negroes”, but possibly too late. The Islamist Collectif Contre L’islamophobie en France (CCIF) and the Frantz Fanon Foundation launched a class action suit for “insult of a racial nature” and announced their intention to submit a complaint to the Cour de Justice de la République, a court empowered to adjudicate lawsuits against members of the government. The plaintiffs also threatened to sue the minister appointed to the Correctional Court and the Administrative Court of Paris.
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