She described Islam as “filth”: 3,000 Euro fine

Former teacher and current president of an extreme-right association, Christine Tasin was fined 3,000 Euros on August 8 in Belfort after she made “insulting remarks against Islam” during the celebration of Aid-el-Kebir. She was charged with “incitement of racial hatred.”

Tasin made these comments on October 15, 2013 in Belfort during an exchange with Muslims. “Yes I’m Islamophobic, so what? I’m proud of my hate for Islam. Islam is filth…it’s a danger to France.” Her statement, which was filmed and posted on YouTube, occurred in front of a slaughterhouse that was installed for the ritual sacrifice during Aid-el-Kebir.

The Organization Against Racism and Islamophobia soon filed a complaint against Tasin. When she appeared in court on July 2 she was dressed in blue, white and red and made no attempt to deny her remarks. Prosecutors in Belfort stated that the words were “likely to incite rejection of Muslims by referring to them as a threat to France.” She received a three months suspended prison sentence and a 3,000 Euro fine. Tasin’s lawyer Joseph Scipilliti announced that his client would appeal the decision. “I find this judgment incomprehensible,” he said, “These are negative comments about Islam and not Muslims.”

In Sarcelles, Muslim and Jewish dignitaries pray for peace

July 22, 2014

On Sunday, July 20 violence marred a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Sarcelles. In its aftermath leaders from both the Muslim and Jewish communities, including France’s chief rabbi Haim Korsia and the imam of Drancy, Hassen Chalghoumi, gathered to pray together.

The multi-faith prayer took place in the town’s synagogue under the protection of local police and included singer Enrico Macias and writer Marek Halter. Soon after Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Buddhist leaders gathered at the French president’s official residence to denounce anti-Semitism. “The president of the Republic reminded us that the fight against anti-Semitism will be a national cause,” underlined president of the Central Israeli Consistory Joel Mergui.

The violent riots took place in Sarcelles, a city north of Paris, known for its large North African Jewish community and often referred to as “little Jerusalem.” Cars were burned and stores were ransacked, including a kosher grocery store. Eighteen people were arrested and eleven remain in police custody, four of whom are minors.

“I didn’t sleep at night, I was anxious. People from all places live together here, we don’t understand,” said a 67 year-old Jewish resident whose car was destroyed. The city’s mayor Francois Pupponi later stated that “the Jewish community is scared” and no longer feels secure.