A French “human rights organization” is summoning the Dutch politician Geert Wilders to court. “Wilders made statements about French Muslims which incite to racial hatred,” says lawyer Yassine Bouzrou. The French complaint is based on a speech Wilders made in New York last September. The French courts will probably throw the case out because the event in question took place in New York, not in France.
In his speech, Wilders called the riots in the suburbs in 2005 a “Muslim intifada.” Bouzrou says that the expressions are criminal. Bouzrou made the complaint for the French human rights organization ADDH. They work together with the Collective against Islamophobia. Today’s edition of La Croix explains that the Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ADDH) was created in 2002 as an “anti-racist association, that fights against all forms of discrimination, in particular those that target Muslims.” It was the plaintiff in the case of vandalism of the Muslim military cemetery of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, last December.
There are, however, countless “associations for the defense of human rights” online. They are often connected to a specific country such as Morocco or to the EU. I did not succeed in finding the specific association mentioned in the above articles. However, I did not do an exhaustive search.
The attorney for ADDH, Yassine Bouzrou has been in the French news for his role in defending Abdoulaye Fofana, a 20-year-old who became well-known as a victim of police brutality last October, when the police entered his home in Seine-Saint-Denis and beat him up after handcuffing him. He was accused of having thrown cobblestones at the police car. The beating was filmed by a resident of the apartment building where Fofana lived and appeared at numerous websites, arousing sympathy for Fofana and outrage at the police. However, the facts were not entirely elucidated at the time, since the police said very little, and the person who made the video was known to have made "rigged" videos in the past. The street and neighborhood where Fofana lived are considered to be among the most dangerous in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis.
The French website Bivouac-Id, writing about the case against Wilders, cites as background information an older article from 2005, published by the news weekly L’Express, in which the leader of MRAP (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship among Peoples), Mouloud Aounit, is upbraided for his desire to criminalize any criticism of religion:
At least things are now clear. By demanding the criminalization of blasphemy, as he did on January 13 on France 3 TV, Mouloud Aounit, general secretary of MRAP, has taken a significant step in the history of the agency. When one hears this call for repression, through the legal system, of any criticism against God or religion, one can see that MRAP is henceforth aligned less with the fight against racism than with the fight for fundamentalism. [...]
In recent years, despite the opposition of some of his followers, MRAP has tried to persuade the public that it is necessary to fight first and foremost against "Islamophobia", demonizing in the process anyone who criticizes Islam or Muslims.
Bivouac-Id suggests that MRAP may have a role to play in any future prosecution of Wilders.