US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, elected to the House of Representatives last November, has since become a focal target for President Donald Trump and many among of the American Right. Arriving in the country as a child with her refugee family from Somalia, obtaining US nationality at the age of 17, she has engaged a political career as an outspoken, hijab-wearing Muslim politician who espouses radical-left policies. She also denounces American support of the Israeli government, and her controversial comments on that subject and the place of Muslims in US society have prompted death threats and accusations of anti-Semitism. Just what does Ilham Omar really represent, and what is behind the virulent campaign by Trump and his allies over recent months to make her a political pariah? Mediapart’s US correspondent Mathieu Magnaudeix reports.
In November, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced that over the first nine months of this year there had been a 69% increase in reported anti-Semitic attacks in the country compared with the same period in 2017. Some urban areas are witnessing a desertification of once significant Jewish communities, and notably in the socially deprived Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis, with a relatively large Muslim population, where synagogues are closing down as increasing numbers of Jews are moving out amid religious tensions and fears of insecurity. Others, meanwhile, and notably religious and community leaders, are locally active in attempting to fight anti-Semitism through dialogue and education. Sarah Smaïl, from Mediapart’s online partner Bondy Blog, reports from Seine-Saint-Denis.
A United Nations report has called for Myanmar’s military to be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya people and for crimes against humanity in the treatment of minority groups in the country. The news follows demonstrations this weekend calling for UN action over the crisis by tens of thousands of Rohingya in refugee camps in Bangladesh, where more than 700,000 of the stateless Muslim people have fled since they became the target of a campaign of killings and repression launched in August 2017. As Guillaume Pajot reports from Myanmar, the persecution of Muslims is not limited to the Rohingya, but is widespread in the country whose de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is accused of doing little to prevent.
What the French interior ministry calls a 'proccupying' rise in anti-Semitic acts since 2016 appears to be prompting a flight of Jews from some areas around Paris with a predominently Muslim population, while Muslim representatives say talk of a 'new anti-Semitism' is a nonsense that ignores Islamophobia among Jewish communities.
Arrests were made in operations across France but mainly on the island of Corsica, prosecution sources said.
Over the past two weeks a number of Muslim figures and organisations in France, together with anti-racist militants, have become increasingly vocal in calling for the release from preventive detention of prominent Islamic intellectual, scholar and preacher Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, who was earlier this month placed under investigation for two rapes. His supporters argue that he is subject to unusually harsh treatment, that his state of health has not been properly taken into account, with some also throwing doubt on the veracity of the accounts of his alleged victims. But, as Louise Fessard reports, the support leant to Ramadan has opened deep divisions among French Muslims, with questions raised over the motivations of the campaigners.
That is the question we ask ourselves after these dizzy recent weeks of a political and media cabal against us, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article, in which he offers an answer and responds to the extraordinary call by former French prime minister Manuel Valls that Mediapart be “removed from public debate.”
A programme aimed at de-radicalising Islamist extremists in France, launched by President François Hollande after the country was hit by a series of terrorist attacks, has been an 'amateurish' flop driven by a government that 'panicked', a cross-party parliamentary commission of enquiry has reported.
The perceived threat of the 'Anglo-Saxon model' is the upcome of distinct communities based on ethnic identity, while France, said PM Manuel Valls, 'does not see itself as a juxtaposition of communities, each with their autonomous path'.
Manuel Valls spoke after article quoted a number of Muslim women in France who said they had been subject of stigmatisation and racist abuse.
One activist described as 'a joke' the appointment of former minister Jean-Pierre Chevènement as head of Foundation for Islam in France.
The main rivals to become conservative Républicains party's 2017 presidential election candidate have clashing ideas over an increasingly tense national debate on Muslim identity in France.
France’s Council of State will on Friday announce its judgment on whether the ban of the burkini, recently applied by a number of mayors of coastal towns in France, is legal. The bans, imposed mostly in south-east France and amid the backdrop of recent Islamist terrorist attacks, supposedly target the full-body swimwear worn by some Muslim women. But the prohibitions also exclude dress that might threaten “public order”, and there was uproar this week after several reported incidents of police patrols intercepting Muslim women wearing headscarves on the beach. Carine Fouteau analyses a controversy that not only encroaches basic human rights, but which also has played into the hands of the Islamic State group which was behind this summer's terrorist attacks in France.
Bishop Nunzio Galantino denounced the ban in several coastal towns as a 'war on symbols' and a 'vulgar ridiculing of the religious sensitivity of others'.