Fatima Abdul Ghani
In a preemptive step, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) announced that it had dissolved itself and moved its activities outside the country. This step came after the association received a notification from the authorities to move towards its dissolution.
The CCIF said on its website, “We decided to dissolve the assembly in France and transfer our activities abroad.”
“The board of directors took the decision to voluntarily dissolve the collective on October 29 and began transferring its activities to partner organizations that are involved in combating Islamophobia at the European level,” the statement continued.
“The Collective Against Islamophobia no longer exists in France, and all means of communication will be closed within 24 hours,” it said, adding, “After 24 hours, the Collective Against Islamophobia will not be active except in efforts to liquidate its activities on French soil.”
Observers believe that the CCIF’s decision to dissolve itself is an attempt to bow to the storm of European countries to confront terrorism and extremism and to avoid the wave of governmental measures against it in several European countries.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced Thursday, November 20, that he had notified the security services concerned with implementing the dissolution of the CCIF.
The day after the murder of teacher Samuel Paty in Paris, Darmanin had accused the CCIF of being “an Islamist den working against the republic.”
The minister explained in a tweet that CCIF officials “have eight days to present their observations.”
The CCIF responded to the minister’s notification at the time, tweeting that the interior minister “by submitting to the calls of the extreme right, sent a notification to the Collective Against Islamophobia in France with a draft solution without a subject,” because the CCIF had “transferred a large part of its activities abroad, as well as its social headquarters.”
“The collective will continue to provide legal support to people who are victims of Islamophobia and will notify international bodies about the development of the struggle against all kinds of discrimination and for equality in France,” it said.
In the wake of the killing of a French teacher at the hands of a young man of Chechen origin, the French authorities decided to dissolve several associations on charges of engaging in suspicious activities, the most recent of which was the Turkish Grey Wolves nationalist movement, against the background of promoting hatred and committing acts of violence on French soil.
Likewise, the authorities accused the BarakaCity organization of spreading ideas promoting extremism. The same applied to the Sheikh Yassin group, which is linked to the Brotherhood, and the authorities have arrested its founder pending an investigation on suspicion of his involvement in terrorist attacks.
The French authorities also recently announced the closure of 73 mosques, a private school and a commercial shop since the beginning of this year, as part of “combating extremism.”
The French authorities say that their measures target associations and mosques that receive foreign funding and engage in extremist activities that are inconsistent with French values.
According to reports, the Collective Against Islamophobia is one of the organizations close to the French Brotherhood.
Early last week, 22 French figures signed an open letter to President Emmanuel Macron, the prime minister and the interior minister, containing a major demand to ban what is known as the French Muslims organization, which is close to the Brotherhood.
Most prominently, the letter, published by the Atlantico website, was a warning against the Brotherhood and all other organizations associated with it in France.
The letter warned of the hidden agenda of this organization, which is working to create a parallel society within French territories with the aim of destabilization.
The letter also affirmed the necessity to dissolve all religious gatherings, societies, institutes and schools associated with the French Muslims organization.
The signatories of the letter also demanded the necessity of stopping foreign funding for the organizations associated with the French Muslims organization, and it specifically mentioned Qatar as a major financier.