French Parliament considers ‘internment camps’ for Muslims
A version of this article was first published on:
By TRT World | December 9, 2020
A law being considered in the French assembly would see camps being set up to house people that have not committed crimes but are considered “radical.”
A far-right politician in France’s national assembly has tabled a bill that would result in “internment camps” for Muslims.
The proposed legislation presented by Guillaume Peltier, a former member of the extremist far-right party National Rally led by Marie Le Pen, who later joined The Republicans, a liberal-conservative party in France, has been criticised by human rights activists.
Were the bill to become law it would result in “interning” French citizens who are on so-called radicalisation watchlists and would see them being officially sent to “administrative detention centres.”
A French human rights defender warned that Peltier’s chilling remarks on radicalisation are not even defined in the Bill and lawmakers have struggled to come up with a working definition in the past.
Recent police raids on Muslim households call into doubt whether French authorities could responsibly apply the law or whether it will lead to a slippery slope resulting in Muslims who disagree with the government being labelled as radicals and extremists.
According to Peltier France is already monitoring more than 22,000 people who are on a radicalisation watchlist.
France doesn’t collect statistics on the religious background of those it’s watching, however, Peltier’s speech left no doubt that he believes that the new law is aimed at Muslims.
It’s not yet clear when and if the proposed bill will pass into law, however, recent French measures against its Muslim population have drawn international condemnation.
The countries Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin recently announced that the state will start monitoring and controlling 76 Muslim places of worship, of which 16 will be in the Paris region and the rest in other parts of France. Some mosques are expected to be closed down.
The measures have been described as “massive and unprecedented.”
Darmanin has also announced plans to shut down the country’s anti-Islamophobia reporting group which Human Rights Watch has condemned as a measure that “risks further stigmatizing Muslims in France.”
The US envoy for religious freedom, Sam Brownback, recently said about the situation in France “I’m worried, of course, about what’s going on in France,” referring to the increasingly draconian measures being taken by French officials.
“There can be a constructive dialogue which can, I think, be useful,” but “when you are too repressive, the situation can get worse,” he warned.
France recently saw several attacks occur in the space of a few weeks following the republication of a derogatory cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad under the guise of free speech.