Islamophobia has entered the political scene in France once again after the October 16 decapitation in Paris.
In its crackdown on Islamic organizations, France’s Ministry of the Interior began proceedings to dissolve the humanitarian and human rights NGO BarakaCity.
Established in 2008, BarakaCity is currently active in humanitarian and sustainable development projects in 20 countries. The organization addresses issues such as starvation, health crises, and natural disasters.
France’s Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, expressed his intent earlier this week to dissolve several Islamic NGOs in the country.
Darmanin’s declaration came three days after the October 16 beheading of middle school teacher Samuel Paty in the Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. The minister said to Europe 1 on October 19 that “51 associative structures will see all week a number of visits from state services.”
The chairman of BarakaCity, Idriss Sihamedi, said he received two police officers at 10:14 p.m. on Tuesday who informed him that proceedings are underway to dissolve the NGO. Sihamedi strongly denounced “the false, defamatory, completely face and fallacious reasons included in the notification.”
Sihamedi expressed his determination on Twitter to disprove the allegations against BarakaCity, such as claims the NGO organized a trip to Syria in 2018. He said he “will bring all the factual evidence” to disprove “these lies,” adding that “lawyers will demonstrate the arbitrary procedure, and the illegitimacy of this notification.”
Muslims must stand up for their rights and “show great discipline” and “not give in to division,” he stressed. “We will defend this case by legal means in France and internationally.”
BarakaCity is not the only target of the French Ministry of the Interior.
Darmanin, in his statement to Europe 1, said he also intends to dissolve the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF).
The organization responded in a statement on Tuesday that France’s campaign against the CCIF and other Islamic NGOs and associations such as the Omar Mosque, Learning & Understanding, BarakaCity, and Ummah Charity is a “purely politicized agenda.”
CCIF also said the French government is mobilizing a “repressive policy” to abort any protest in the name of “freedom of expression.”
The organization announced that it plans to refer France’s “Islamist separatism” law and the vigor to dissolve Islamic associative structures to the UN Human Rights Council.