Reactions to developments in Egypt from around the world

Reactions on Friday around the world to developments in Egypt following clashes in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured:

 

EUROPEAN UNION

 

European leaders spoke Friday about the need for a coordinated EU response to the violence in Egypt and agreed there should be a meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers next week. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for an end to violence and a resumption of dialogue in Egypt. The German government statement said Merkel told Hollande that Germany, one of Egypt’s biggest trading partners, would “re-evaluate” its relations with Cairo in light of this week’s bloodshed. Hollande also discussed the violence with Italian Premier Enrico Letta and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah voiced support for Egypt’s military-backed interim government, saying the kingdom stands by the country in its fight against “terrorism and strife” — an apparent reference to deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement. In a televised statement, Abdullah called for honest people and intellectuals “to stand firmly against all those who try to shake the stability of a country that has always led the Arab and Islamic worlds.”

 

TURKEY

Turkish officials kept up their criticism of the military government’s crackdown, with President Abdullah Gul saying that “all that happened in Egypt is a shame for Islam and the Arab world.” Turkey and Egypt recalled their ambassadors for consultations late Thursday as their relationship worsened.

 

TUNISIA

About 1,500 people flooded the main avenue in central Tunis, many of them pouring out of the capital’s most important mosque. They gathered in a large square in front of the municipal theater, shouting support for the Egyptian people, especially supporters of Morsi, and condemning the Egyptian military and the U.S. The hour-long protest was peaceful.

 

In Little Egypt, Echoes From Home

Little Egypt, NYC: Reaction to recent events in Egypt.

 

French Council of the Muslim Faith elects new President

30.06.2013

Le Monde

The director of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, was elected to become the new President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith on Sunday (CFCM). The French Algerian has previously headed the organisation between 2003 and 2008 and succeeds the French Moroccan Mohamed Moussaoui.

The CFCM has recently been making headlines for a number of internal power struggles between the different national movements which make up the organisation following a push for  structural reforms in February. The organisation was created in 2003 under the guidance of the former Secretary of State and later French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to form a representative body for the several million-strong Muslim community of France.

France: Islamophobic attacks on the rise

Liberation

01.05.2013

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) reports that Islamophobic attacks have risen in the first trimester of 2013. The rise accounts to 25% within the last 4 months, i.e. 50 anti-Muslim attacks registered with the French police since the beginning of the year in comparison to 40 last year. Last year alone, 201 acts against Muslims have been registered, amongst them 53 hate crimes and 148 threats against Muslims.  The number of Islamophobic attacks has increased in 2012 by 28% compared to 2011, while there has already been a 34% decrease between 2011 and 2010.

The rise of Islamophobia in the country is, amongst other reasons, the result of an increasingly populist discourse in France on Muslims and Islam. The Observatory against Islamophobia, a sub-organisation that is part of the  CFCM, has explicitly warned of the rise of cyber hate against Muslims. Its leader, Abdallah Zekri, has appealed a second time to French President Francais Hollande to ‘declare the fight against Islamophobia a national cause as he’s previously done for the fight against anti-Semitism’.

French Council of the Muslim Faith commends French President

14 January 2013

 

In a communiqué released by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), the organization praises the French President’s avoidance of the term ‘islamist’ and ‘islamism’ in his recent speech, announcing French support to the Malian government’s battle against armed rebels.

 

The CFCM salutes the President’s precaution and brings to attention the significance of language as a tool of producing as well as fighting prejudice and abuse against Muslims.  Whilst President Francois Hollande’s careful usage of language finds praise, the organization however also points out to the widespread disregard towards misleading and confusing language and vocabulary by a number of French politicians and the French media industry.

French-Algerian filmmaker tackles identity politics on the silver screen

Friday, 31 August 2012

French politician and filmmaker Yamina Benguigui has tackled sensitive issues in France in relation to individuals of Maghreb origin within her productions, which focus on immigration and identity politics.

In an interview, Benguigui pointed towards the importance of political discussion within her movies, particularly in her latest film “Immigrant Memories.”

Born in France to Algerian parents, Benguigui has criticized political scenarios in France through her filmmaking.

The film also gives insight into the lives and history of many Algerians and Moroccans living in France, including Benguigui’s family. Raised in a moderate Islamic household, Benguigui believes she has inherited a degree of wisdom from her parents in regards to their religiosity.

Speaking of French President Francois Hollande, Benguigui said that he was the first statesman and president who is concerned about minorities, which was made evident in his proposals during his presidential campaign.

French President Appoints Yamina Benguigui as Junior Minister for French Living Abroad

May 18, 2012
On 16 May 2012, Yamina Benguigui was appointed “Delegated Minister in charge of French people living abroad and of Francophonie by the newly elected French President François Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault . Her parents are of Algerian origin and immigrated in the 1950s. In the March 2008 French municipal elections Benguigui was elected in the XXe arrondissement to the Conseil de Paris, where she focused on human rights and the fight against discrimination. She is known for her films on gender issues in the North African immigrant community in France.

French President Sarkozy accused of “fanning hatred of Muslims”

News Agencies – December 23, 2011

 

France sparked diplomatic tensions with Turkey by taking steps to criminalize the denial of genocide, including the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks, prompting Ankara to cancel all economic, political and military meetings. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the draft law put forward by members of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling party was “politics based on racism, discrimination, xenophobia.”

“This is using Turkophobia and Islamophobia to gain votes, and it raises concerns regarding these issues not only in France but all Europe,” he told a news conference, adding that Turkey could “not remain silent in the face of this.”

French scholar forecasts increased violence against Islam

July 27, 2011

 

French researcher Professor Vincent Geisser has said that terrorism attacks in Europe are a result of the climate against Muslims. Geisser, who said that Europe expresses its societal ills through Islamophobia, warned that there is a risk that Norwegian-like individual acts against Islam might become widespread in Europe. According to Geisser, professor at the Aix Political Sciences Institute of France, populist right-wing politicians like French President Nicolas Sarkozy also has a role in legitimization of anti-Islam rhetoric.

French advocacy group calls for increased statistics on religious minorities

July 24, 2011

 

Members of ANELD (L’Association nationale des élus locaux de la diversité), an advocacy group representing elected local officials from ethnic and religious minorities, have stated that it’s time for France to compile statistics on its ethnically diverse population. The organization deals with issues related to ethnic diversity in France, including employment, equal rights and discrimination. Ethnic statistics are forbidden by the country’s constitution and frowned upon as a way of forcing people to identify with a set ethnic group. However, critics say these numbers are necessary given the country’s increasingly diverse ethnic landscape.

It is not the first time the issue has arisen over the past decade. The controversy over ethnic statistics last surfaced in 2009, when French President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed the Committee for the Measurement of Diversity, arguing that efforts to help minorities were hampered by a lack of data, and that he wanted to find a way to “measure the diversity of society.”

 

Members of ANELD are due to meet with the French commissioner for equal opportunities, Yazid Sabeg, to discuss a possible census. They say they plan to raise the issue of discrimination as a major topic in France’s forthcoming presidential election.

France’s Sarkozy fires diversity head Dahmane

BBC News – March 11, 2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has fired his diversity adviser after he called on Muslims not to support the governing UMP party. Abderrahmane Dahmane, a Muslim and former UMP official appointed to his post only in January, was protesting against a planned debate on Islam. He said Muslim members of the UMP should not renew their party membership unless the debate was cancelled.

The UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) is planning to hold a public debate on 5 April on “Islam and secularism”. Speaking on March 10th, Mr Dahmane compared the situation of French Muslims to that of Jews during World War II and said the debate had been planned by a “handful of neo-Nazis”.