September 15, 2019
  • 9:12 am The 6 Questions That Led Me to Christianity
  • 9:12 am Christianity and Humanism – Stefan Gustavsson (Part 2)
  • 9:12 am Jagmeet Singh on the campaign trail | Day 2
  • 9:12 am Amrit Vela
  • 9:12 am The Differences Between The Major Branches Of Islam
VOSTF Islamophobia: “Muslim citizens as the barometer of democracy in the West” Yasser Louati


next an invite to the stage somebody made a bit of a lift back to the start of summit and I’d probably make another impact and this is yessir do what I to the organizers and sponsors and initiators and thank you for the thank you like Unilever really so the matter of today is about again the the power of storytelling but again to be lawyers this tradition of political rhetoric I will try to to show you how the fact that you telling your own story as well sure how to say it is just crucial right if you don’t tell you on story somebody else will do it for you but before telling the stories that I have to tell you let’s take a quick look at what’s happening in my country France so we have a situation that everybody heard about and has talked about at various times and this is what it looks like it is called Francis institutional warfare or legal warfare against its Muslim citizens this goes back to the mid 80s and shows the manufacturing of the Muslim problem in France despite Francis long history with the Muslim world of course not always peaceful and appease them this is what’s happening to French Muslims in the 21st century a series of measures taken by the institutions the government itself and making it acceptable that the Constitution can be modified to start targeting Muslims we can think about my ECT which is in the beginning so was supposed to grant religious freedom by obliging the state to be neutral and we transformed it to turn it into a tool of stigmatization and targeting of Muslims by making the neutrality obligatory upon seasons this means that you have your religion fine but your religion stays at home it’s like saying or telling you for example you’ve got freedom of speech but only at home so it led to a via to a series of abuses targeting especially young muslim girls and we have which the what i thought was the peak of the ridicule in my country was expelling young muslim students because they were wearing a long skirt so now the situation has evolved to such an extent that we are starting to see a the rise of a muslim consciousness and French Muslims saying you know what I’m done trying to please you right if you can’t accept me I’m going to impose my agenda upon you like it or not there are laws in this country and you keep modifying the rules of the game every single time i tried to use the log from my own benefit that was lie city which was granting us really a freedom of religion now you are using us to denios freedom of religion there were laws I know that every single time the the highest authority and I was saying this that famous gentlemen when I push Nev the highest authorities of the of the other states the counsel of the state protected young Muslim girls every single time they were expelled from school but now we are changing the rule of the game and now that Muslims are building their own schools in France we have now received a new bill but to to drastically ctrl-v the emergence of private schools so sorry what happened is what a what a call French Muslim resistance or resistance we have several stories that have made headlines in France for example this young entrepreneur called wahiba in France she was sword to her face by various employers with that piece of cloth on your head we will not hire you we would hire LGBTs transsexuals any kind of other human beings but not you she took it upon herself she did not fall into victimhood she went to a communication school graduated with honors and then set up her own company before she even graduated her book her she was overwhelmed with bookings from various companies first Muslim businesses who were supporting her to make sure that her business starts successfully and then people were she looks brave and bored maybe that’s what we need for our communication we have another story of a person that I know is called alcanza which is a who is a famous blogger and to my opinion one of the most influential people on Twitter he is a trend setter when I elkins types something everybody follows and that’s a person who’s just the hottest computer you know following the news and one of his most successful campaigns who also actually target the fraud of the halal market what he did was to launch a massive investigation against all these retailers selling fake handle food and put and shedding light and all the fraud targeting the Muslim market another success story the Upper West High School in the northern part of France it was the first Muslim high school to be built in France it is also the best high school in France with the highest ratings at the baccalaureate exam at the end of each school year another story and I am one I’m just humbly part of it is the various coalition’s that were set up to target the state of emergency in France as you are no or maybe not after the service attacks of November 2015 the government in the person of President oslow allowed and Manuel Valls past what we call the state of emergency giving broader power to the police to the executive reducing the power of the Justice and increasing dramatically the flowers of the prefect of preferred the governor and the prosecutor this led to massive abuses 3,500 raids were carried mostly against Muslims of to only lead to five inquiries on terror charges within three weeks the Muslim community was treated by the government as the enemy within but as you as you said academics always gets in early warnings about what’s going to happen to societies because the rhetoric of the enemy within in France was already used a couple of months before by Manuel Valls himself the Prime Minister of France when he said we are waging a war against an invisible enemy and enemy within and it turned out that the state of emergency that was passed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks was a project that was written a couple of months before even the terrorist attacks of November 2015 so this coalition was set up by various Muslim Human Rights militants including myself with non Muslim organizations and we set up a coalition called newness siddhappa which stands for women even understand to terror and fear and another coalition called stop the state of emergency an hour of butter are together was to have the government responsible for the witch of civil liberties and the fact that the government itself officially said we are going to withdraw from the european convention on human rights and that was also a project to even change the constitution and implement a permanent state of emergency that’s for number one the second option was to strip from their citizenship every single person who would be convicted of terror only if you are a bi-national person that means you have two kinds of citizens vote for the two people one is only French and another one is French with another citizenship if both commit a terrorist attack only the person with two nationalities will get stripped of his citizenship that means the fact to you put in a constitution that you have two kinds of citizenship and this coalition one and our major victory was to harass members of parliament harass the media lobby the National Council on human rights and stay visible and March day in day out it worked and the government found itself embroiled in this drama called the constitutional reform and one day I come to work someone calls me and says yes sir I have good news for you check the news I I just turn on my computer and the scene would have been funny because I couldn’t sit on my chair I kept walking back and forth in the office shouting we won we won and calling all our partners because it was the first time ever that mainstream in no human rights organizations has a convergence of interest with Muslim organizations and the teaching is in a receipt is that Muslims have a great responsibility to be the girl to guarantee that state of law and democracy remain alive in Western democracies ‘um the other stories that it’s about international media coverage I remember maybe some of you have seen how it was covered in the aftermath of in November attacks a lot was said in international media but what I knew from day one and when the terrorist attacks happened that night I did not sleep my wife woke me up crying she said yesterday killed 14 or 13 by the time I got up it was already 85 and they were launching the attack of the Bataclan since that night had a set for three days that first night we were up with all these be death threats all the hate speech on facebook and twitter etc and we had to reassure the muslim community and and we granted them the fact that we would be open for business the very next day sunday morning I get a call for a CNN interview they’re coming in and I had no clue why they got my phone number from and I want to ask me about the terrorist attacks non-story story short I was asked to apologize on behalf of the Muslim community and I was even asked why didn’t the Muslim community turning the suspects before they acted somehow Muslims knew what was going on my back come on black the intelligence community Brandon you what happened nobody knew what happened at the European level I mean I for God’s sake you Bernie happy we barely have equal access to education and jobs how can we know what the intelligence community does not know anyways what I knew from that day is that I will help myself to harass the international media because a new French media would not come to us to hear our side of the story and I was right for three weeks ninety-five percent of the time of us on television or the radio or newspapers it was on foreign news outlets and for those of you who have read Pierre Bourdieu the famous sociologist on the media media copy one another oftentimes they look at what the other is doing and do the same thing started different and we frame it but the story is quite the same what I told myself I’m going to make french media look ridiculous all right I’m going to be all over the place all right and I won’t talk to French media and in the end after so much covered with every single major news outlet around the world national radio came in then low mood came in then one by one they started calling me for interviews and to get my two cents and I was quite blunt and I said sorry for three weeks I’ve been screaming my lungs out what what was happening the brutality targeting innocent Muslim men and women the humiliation of families the ransacking of mosques and me and Muslim businesses where were you one of them was about my energy was quite frank and she said we had clear orders do not criticize the state of emergency that was the order given to a major newspapers a newsroom in France so but this campaign launched with various partners ended up making a mockery out of Francis strategy in foreign affairs about three weeks ago the French Minister of Foreign Affairs published an official statement called ten misconceptions about Islam and French Muslims I saw the tweet and I was like no they did not I click on the tweets are really article my jaw drops it reminded me of soviet-era propaganda ourselves our appetizer South Africa statements saying that don’t worry everything is fine while minorities are being persecuted and it was saying that you know Muslims were not being targeted and in your life if he wasn’t targeting Muslims and that the set of emergency wasn’t against Muslim etc etc I made a short video of 15 minutes I haven’t made me subtitles but if someone of you can do it you’re most welcome and that statement was supposed to reassure the international community well guess what made a video in French taking the points one by one and counting the proofs and showing by facts on the ground and all the official reports that the government was lying within the first day the the video 1500 views for a 15 minutes in a video specifically targeting human rights issue the score is quite impressive and I know the video was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France but why success stories matter and we heard quite a number of them and they were quite inspiring and that’s the role of success stories they inspire they empower they give reasons for people don’t feel concerned to join the ship and the struggle but most importantly they tell you where you are standing so you can know better where you’re going so you can tackle the state of denial because oftentimes and I have them personally with victims of Islamophobia is that they are in denial they are targeted and molec I’ve seen family is read by the police with a red side apartment with that woman I was humiliated in front of her husband and the husband in his drawers and curved face against the ground and they just wanna move to next step and they say there is no reason to tell my story but I was right if you don’t tell your story the government will make sure that you look suspicious enough so people accept that special treatment targeting you and it took tremendous amount of effort to tell these people speak up because as long as you remain silent you empower the unjust to continue doing what they’re doing so that’s why this story very important so we can tell people you are like everybody else if you are targeted by injustice speak up and shed light on your situation but I’m the party crasher success stories aren’t enough because we also need to continue the struggle and the reason why I changed my speech at the last minute is because we have to leave this room knowing was going to happen next and I turn to the organizers and sponsors of this event that we know what are the next steps until next summits are the noise in six months from now one year from now because and this is something I have been telling Muslims and non-muslims Slama phobia is not Muslims problems only it’s a it’s a problem for Muslims and non-muslims because it is at threats to national cohesion and we are in a country where we know where this kind of rhetoric I can lead to but also because everybody knows the old saying no justice no peace you cannot have a country where the minorities are persecuted anywhere in the world and expect to have a normal social life second reason is that Islamophobia is a threat as i said earlier to democracy and the rule of law why because by manufacturing the domestic enemy we make every single access possible and even and even legal what’s the mechanism it’s you manufacturer the enemy within then you request a special nozzle look we are dealing with a new kind of enemy the current laws don’t allow so tackle the problem we need to breach the Constitution pass laws of exception but don’t worry don’t worry is only for them political marketing is quite effective on that because when they want to sell a project there tell you this special law will target everybody never tell you know they will target her with her hijab over there what that do with his beard over there and etc all those masks nobody knows was going on inside them etc etc but in the end once you set up a precedent and the general opinion accepts it then that set it’s over it becomes legal ground to start targeting people on a random basis if not everybody at once and we have various examples as folk for example about the state of emergency it was enacted by saying that all we are going to target these Muslim radicals why they were targeting Muslims because of their last names or the agreements but within three weeks they started targeting the climate summit in Paris environmentalists human rights activists union leaders under keys etc and I remember like a couple of days after the the climate summit in Paris they called me for a meeting and I swear I had no other word but to say join the club Bienvenue au clever I couldn’t say anything else because what’s happening to you today happen to Muslims three weeks ago but everybody remains silent and felt in a kind of a secure position when you’re not if you don’t hold the state you know accountable and if you don’t stand up for your rights and the rights of others sooner or later you are next the third point is that Islamophobia if some of foodless service what you call the neoliberal agenda made of austerity measure structural inequalities and the rise of the police state at the expense of the welfare state how from own experience and of course I stand corrected and I’ve sit in France being obliged since the early ages first you divert public opinion and I have various examples in the early 2000s we had massively forms on fashion people took to the street in 2003 massive rallies union leaders shouting a scream this is unacceptable when the government do they brought in the exact question one year of media campaigns targeting the Asia and from from a newspaper counted the media coverage it was about 1,500 new species dealing with the hijab to only 700 dealing with the pension fund reform that’s what we call Islam Oh diversion you divert public attention while you are torpid in the welfare state and implementing highly unsuccessful measures other example in 2009 right in the midst of the financial crisis what did Nicolas Sarkozy think about doing the national debate on French identity which became a national platform from widespread Islamophobia and that’s what I was I was telling van de kirchner because I did not hear him condemn the drift towards normalized racism in France and his presence really raised questions back home in France the people their economy what is he doing in Sarajevo the other part are the other the other way Islamophobia serves the neoliberal agenda you have died version but you also have depression because by bleeding and manufacturing that the domestic enemy are the enemy within what happened is that you and you give yourself the means to pass extremely repressive laws the Patriot Act in the u.s. prevent in the UK state of emergency in France and this was made possible because people felt secure enough that these measures were not going to target them so Muslims have a restore responsibility not only to fight for their rights but also to think to remember that after them it’s the other minorities and this is a huge historic responsibility and as a matter of fact Muslims are the barometer of democracy and the rule of law in Western democracies because nowadays in the 21st essentially we have a huge gap between the liberal values being preached around the world and what is being implemented on the ground in our respective countries so I will finish and this is my duty my call for action the victims have to be at the center of any strategy everything we do has to materialize at the grass root level to support the victims to empower them and then have the legal tools to act against various governments to also have the means to start i aggressively advocate and lovey to tackle Islamophobia both at the national level and the international level think don’t forget if it doesn’t work at home if they kick you out of the door come back through the window by going through the UN the council of here of the European Union the international academics build alliances shed lights and make your country look with dignus in the face of the world and of course lobbying has to be addressed towards media and of course social media the last point is educated educates government officials and employees teachers etc because they keep implementing and misunderstanding of the law because what I was affecting their thinking is media coverage political rhetoric etc the journalists and in you at the newsroom xemahoa own experience I remember that I was invited to comment on the rise of Islamophobia in early twenties 2016 I was answering the question of one journalist and then they’ll start coming one by one all of a sudden I was standing in the newsroom giving a lecture unstable phobia we know what the reaction was this is unacceptable we have to speak about this come nobody talks about it oh my god I know you tell me if you don’t look for the news on the ground that we will bring it to you and of course and I first got ready the European European summer fuga report and an Berkeley is Islamophobia studies journal to have constant permanence intellectual production to demystify the question of Muslims in the West and my last point is invest in media that’s my point there are media’s crumbling under debts on the verge of collapse let’s be bored enough to have our own mainstream media to change the narrative and go to counteract the mainstream Islamophobic discourse you can take a look at this on a bed and put this online and what to say thank you you you

Jean Kelley

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3 COMMENTS

  1. soradeso Posted on June 30, 2016 at 9:54 am

    great presentation.
    it was very good for you to point out all the legislation precedents our governments are engaging in to divide, outlaw and alienate their citizens.


    First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Muslim.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Euroseptics, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Euroseptic.
    Then they came for the Human Rights activists , and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Human Rights activist.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    (poem originally written by Pastor Martin Niemöller, but modified here to apply to current circumstances)

    Reply
  2. HellMukmin Mukmin Posted on July 3, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Yasser salam
    may i ask you if the Open society is financing the CCIF or not?
    best regards

    Reply
  3. kalaza241509 Posted on August 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Couldn't help but notice you said @ 1:05 My Country France I think France are making it quite clear that any Muslim, especially women who wish to follow true Islamic values or #Modesty #BurkiniBan are not welcome in France!

    Reply
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