Khalilah Sabra
11 min readNov 2, 2020


France enthusiastically criminalized the boycott of Israeli goods and classified it as a “hate crime.” France banned the hijab but allowed the Star of David to be worn. It should not come as a shock that President Macron has absolutely no objection to hateful attacks against Islam as a religion and classifies the crime of one as “Islamic terrorism.” International studies on terrorist attacks in the West found that Muslims are responsible for very few of them. One study that analyzed the information from the Global Terrorism Database found that of the eighty-nine attacks in the United States alone, occurring from 2011 to 2017, by people who happened to identify as Muslims, were responsible for eleven attacks, or 12 percent.

Perhaps Macron is more like Donald Trump than he may think. In December 2016, Donald Trump called for a ban on all Muslim travel to the United States. He has since called for “extreme vetting” of Muslims from “territories” with what he calls a “history of terror.” It affected events on different scales, from religious beliefs to economic interactions between nations. France exercises no difference when it says one thing and does another. Muslims have walked on eggshells while searching for acceptance in what for many is their nation of birth. Discrimination is a shadow that hovers over most of them and bars them from equitable assimilation to mainstream life.

Let’s be honest. Islamophobia did not become a new phenomenon, nor did it begin in the aftermath of 9/11 in the United States. It will more than likely exist hundreds of years from now, like racism and gender discrimination.

President Macron need only open his eyes and extend his intellectual capacity to understand that the stench of hatred of discrimination against practitioners of Islam unmistakably existed before the recent acts of terrorism in the last decade in France. Social, political, and religious racisms are only much more apparent today. Muslims are merely more visible; therefore, the threat of violence and abuse is an escalating reality, higher especially for women who are brave enough to wear the hijab.

The President’s display of blatant inequality and his embrace of religious racism and social ignorance leads one to question if he is fit to be President of France. The characteristic of justice is inseparable from leadership.

His valueless judgment answers that question, which undoubtedly is the result of the horrendous murder — in retribution for Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old history teacher, showing his pupil’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo as part of an obligatory “moral and civil education” course. Samuel Paty failed to understand the objective of his obligations. The issue involved not only human development but ethical and moral development and civic membership in the society, the increased need for civic and moral education that affect our children’s futures but also by their moral engagement and their interest and ability to lead lives that are meaningful to them and others and that are oriented to certain common norms, values, and principles.

Such a revolting reaction against Mr. Petty is clearly not within Islam’s boundaries — but why would an academic who is supposed to impart inclusion and respect between each pupil in an educational environment ridicule the spiritual values of a particular religion?

The logical conclusion that must follow and finally be taken into account by every country’s leader on this planet is, THERE IS NO ISLAMIC TERRORISM! People commit crimes, religions as a system of belief do not.

Macron fell into the trap, or maybe he jumped willingly. Politicians, like left-wing journalists, do not always share the truth. Many exploit the media's powers to scorn the truth, mock candor, disseminate lies to forge a connection with the listener, and broaden a coalition that berates diversity and increases financial market shares. Publicity outmaneuvers reality. Propaganda consents to all the damage, all the façade, where civility is burnt away, and you do not see very much that’s genuine. The policy of nations seeking to retain their lawless authority over certain groups of people embody unequal relationships between groups and their rulers, in pursuit of interests that are often expressed through the rejection of religious of cultural compromises with the population; these rulers are convinced of their own superiority and their ordained mandate to rule over those they consider religious minorities. In France, as in several countries, Muslim people may be a smaller part, especially in number that is less than half the whole but does not equate us with being a relatively small group of people whose numbers can be contained through discrimination against us in the global community, in society, or nations, because we may differ from others religion, language, or political persuasion. The French law states, “all persons have the right to freedom of opinion, conscience, and religion.” Yet, it has chosen to negate the promises it has made to Muslims and society at every opportunity. We come in peace, yet you will not “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” In Exodus of the Old Testament of the Bible, there is the notable verse which says, “The Lord spoke unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me”,

There is no Muslim terrorism, nor is there Islamic terrorism. When nations define terrorism based on a false narrative, they submit religion to a racist narrative. Throughout the world, there are familiar false narratives about terrorists who attack the West. We see them on television, in the theaters, on the news, and, currently, in multiple political administrations, even Middle Eastern tyrants looking for their own set of keys to Western “democracies.”. The first is that “terrorists are always (brown) Muslims.” Next is that “white people are never terrorists.” Macron must not follow the fascist ideology of his main competitor in France’s next election. Far-right Politician Marine Le Pen will lie on the skin of the French like maggots on dead bodies. If Macron loves France, he must love democracy. If he loves democracy, he must take the foot of France off the neck of Muslims and rephase a term that insults the dignity of those who practice Islam in peace and, according to the religious teachings, have never condoned the viciousness of what some countries have experienced in the last couple of decades. It is the same kind of violence seen in countries where non-Muslim have thrown Muslims into fire or forced them into concentration camps and where Christians have committed genocide.

The long history of the stigmatization of Islam, propelled by semi-intellectual arrogance, made such maneuvers commonplace. Most moderate Muslim organizations keep striving to loosen what appeared to be a tightly-sealed box filled with politically mandated places of dehumanization and social debilitation, assembled by people who failed to understand that democracy can never be refined by the injustice of adversity and cruelty directed toward Muslims. It is ignorant and a pathetic way to gain support by labeling the crimes of a few and blaming the majority. Islam is not synonymous with the individual acts of misguided Muslims Bigotry cannot sentimentalize into becoming patriotism. Like people of color in America, Muslims in France have grown weary of degradation. This minority faith group continues to struggle with increased intolerance, injury, and discrimination perpetrated by individuals, groups, and institutions in various contexts, including in academic institutions, in industry, and on the public streets. I say as an American Muslim convert of color, and as a woman whose Catholic grandparents migrated from to America from France, I say, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”

The intolerance faced by the practitioners of Islam is hellish and, for many, many people that I know, life has become merely unendurable on both continents. Racism in France occurs significantly frequently under the guise of anti-Muslim prejudice. The president and other government officials condemned anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-Christian acts, and the government deployed 7,000 security forces to protect sensitive sites, including religious ones. On November 1, the government ended the state of emergency in place since 2015.

The government replaced it with legislation allowing prefects to close down a worship place for up to six months if they found it promoted violence, hatred, discrimination, or terrorism. The government reported 11 of 19 Muslim religious sites closed over the previous two years remained closed. “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”

What did Emmanuel Macron attempt to accomplish by collectively punishing the largest Muslim population in the European Union? Worldwide Muslim communities wish to be treated with the same courtesy allowed other groups and not relegated to legally enforced inferiority positions. America has been a leader in such maneuvering a travesty of justice, lack of a moral compass, and the provocation of violence instigated by the highest government level. This is not a path any other nation should willingly follow behind. From Donald Trump, we see that tyranny, not equality, is based on his own political origins of discrimination and blueprints of misinformation. His offensive principles that have created processes that influence segregation and influenced social, political, and psychological dehumanization have yet to be seen. Still, the coming of truth is upon America on November 3. Learn from mistakes that breed hate, not follow it.

You will find no Muslim who has a clear understanding of his religion expresses any degree of admiration for an act of murderous violence.

Do not doubt the severity of these worlds. Liberal remain stunned by Islamophobia’s venom. However, Muslims are not. Some liberals are endlessly trying to be convinced racist behavior resulting from Islamophobia is isolated and not pervasive. They don’t want to believe, still less inclined to act on the belief that what is happening in a few places is not happening all over the world. They don’t want to realize that there are many more than just a few incidents, especially in Western democracies.

The injustice accorded Muslims has been pervasive since coming to the new world and often remains denied, uncorroborated regardless of reality. There are days when you wonder what your role is on this side of the world and your future. How exactly are you going to confront certain situations here? How will you convey to the incalculable, unmindful, undiplomatic, merciless millions that you are here? How do you deal with moral indifference, which is growing in this country? Groups of people have misled themselves for so long that they really don’t believe that Muslims should be allowed any human rights. Base it on behavior, not on what they say.

Islam is not really the problem, you know. The problem is apathy and ignorance, which is the price we pay for bigotry. That’s what bias means you don’t see what’s taking place around the corner because you don’t want to know, and most likely, you don’t care at all. A bigot disturbingly is unfeeling towards a person or group member based solely on that person’s group membership, just as a bigot is perfectly comfortable cultivating unreasonable attitudes that are unusually resistant to rational influence. Their world is sullied not by Islam but by idiocy instead of by the facts of life. This is where radicalism is an appropriate- radical change for the good, for fair treatment and human decency,

Reputation is a fundamental mechanism of social order and disorder. It allows for social misconduct and injustice. The calamitous conditions that caused the horrific violence we have seen were far beyond the power of Muslim community masjids or the religion itself to alter or control in except by reminding the majority of Muslim what they already know- the aftereffects of bigotry do not condone the abominable brutality of any kind, but we can start. Let us go to practice our faith.

This pattern of labeling “Islamic terrorism” not only strengthens the link between Muslims and terrorists but also strengthens the second narrative of white innocence. Crimes against Muslims in France are the byproduct of social manipulation. It is the way you combine social forces to bend society towards a particular inclination that evolves into movements that lead backward, not backward. The leaders of France and its people must decide its direction and so do many others who preach. But truth be told, those disinherited from equal opportunity and denied even access to the dream of freedom cannot be conditioned to understate their collective recognition of their own disadvantage. We are not lifeless accommodating stones. We see and understand the conditions of our existence. We have come to understand the processes by which the texture of entitlement is stitched together for some of this world’s religions while it is denied to others. The dispossessed also understands that, as the years go by, some of the empowered will come to believe that they deserve their status in life, and some do not. Those who are left with the lowest alternative may tolerate it for a time, but it will likely be accepted with sharp-edged resentment that, for them, has sliced apart the principle of democracy. Muslim people throughout the world are people in a quandary about the present. We are a people in search of our future. We are a people in search of an international community. We are people trying to solve the present problems, but we are attempting on a larger scale to fulfill the promise of Universal humanitarian rights. We are trying to fulfill our social purpose, create and sustain a society in which we are equal. And the solution is simple, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”

ISIS-inspired attacks accounted for 5.7 percent of deaths in France since 2015. By no means does this excuse the sickness of this group. But they are not Islamic in any way or fashion; they are lunatics. Nevertheless, to argue that one religion is inherently violent because of ISIS's insanity makes one predisposed to waving away the violent history of Christianity, followed with an untruth that seeks to manufacture a false “exception to the rule.”

Recent statements by President Emmanuel Macron and the Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin have been irrational and aggressive, deliberately targeting a minority community.

Two Muslim women were stabbed close to the Eiffel Tower on 21 October 2020 in an Islamophobic attack. A Muslim child was beaten up by three students in Catholic uniforms, who were taught Muslims were devils in class in May 2020. A Muslim grocer had his shop vandalized and was beaten and told to go back home in April 2019. Such incidents do not take place in a vacuum, yet where was the moral outrage?

Yet the Interior Minister made the shocking public admission, in all his audacity, that dozens of individuals not linked to any criminal investigation, were raided to send a message to Muslims in France.

This extraordinary claim highlights that the police and other government arms have been politicized to intimidate otherwise innocent Muslim citizens, such as spark international outrage.

Muslim communities and humanitarian organizations stand in solidarity with France’s Muslims. We call on the French government to end its campaign of hostility towards those carrying out their spiritual duties lawfully. Muslims in France should be afforded the rights that others are guaranteed; to live fully without facing state oppression. We call on Islamic communities worldwide to demonstrate against the injustice against people who are only trying to practice their religion in peace and reject mass violations. No innocent group of people should be held guilty for crimes they have not committed in some kind of collective punishment, which violates International law.



Khalilah Sabra

Dr. Khalilah Sabra, LL.M, (@khalilahsabra): Muslim American Doctorate in International Law, Executive Director (MAS Immigrant Justice Center)