In a decision so late in arriving it is hard to believe, France has finally recognized that Islamophobia does actually exist in their country. The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights officially ended its long-standing opposition in its latest report on racism.While the news is a step forward, it’s an indication of just how oblivious French society can be when it comes to their deeply-embedded problem of violent xenophobia.
Certainly, the nation’s leaders prefer to portray Muslims as a threat in an effort to justify destabilizing wars in places like Libya, Yemen, and many others. It’s certainly easier than remedying the bottom-level socioeconomic status French society has afforded their estimated 5 million Muslims.Such measures might take even longer, because the current Prime Minister says he refuses to use the term “Islamophobia”. It is unthinkable, one hopes, that he would refuse to use the term “anti-Semitism”, or “misogyny”, for example.
France’s media eagerly feeds the public’s desire for portrayals of Muslims as violent, sexist and somehow inferior. Typifying the extremist view is satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was condemned around the world for its graphic and degrading images of Prophet Mohammed, but widely applauded in France.They say it’s never too late to do the right thing, but that France still has a lot of catching up to do. Anti-Muslim violence has never been higher, and the neo-fascist National Front never more openly accepted.
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