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Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric Former French President Francois Hollande.

French senior officials were active in advocating against xenophobia.

French President Francois Hollande on the 17th of March took part in a ceremony that honored the people who die from the hands of “the Toulouse shooter”. "France, as a year ago, has united against terrorism. The Republic (France) will never bend its knee in the face of global terrorism. French solidarity – that’s the best answer to terrorists", - he stated. "As in the Nazi era, Jewish children and teachers from the "Otshar Ha-Torah " school died only because they were Jews. After the brutal murder I ordered an intensified gathering of information on extremists. Terror is threatening not only France, but also other civilized countries and we have to fight it together ", - noted the president.

He also promised to tighten control over social networks in the fight against terrorism and incitement to religious hatred. "Nothing should be considered in this matter as harmless or meaningless, - said the French leader. - In this regard, I have instructed to take measures to combat the proliferation provoking hatred on the Internet, especially in social networks". According to the president, "a space of freedom, such as the Internet, in any case cannot be used to carry out propaganda and create hostility".

On March 21st during dinner of the Executive Council of Jewish Institutions of France, French President F. Hollande condemned anti-Semitic statements in social networks. «It is impossible that the authors of racist and anti-Semitic messages go unpunished. They need to know that the courts will make them liable and they will be punished for their misdeeds, "- he said. According to the president of France, "anti-Semitism is not only hatred towards the Jews, but also repulsion towards France" .

On April 18th, Francois Hollande criticized the instigators of riots in a number of French cities during protests against the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. "The right to protest is written in our Constitution and recognized by the French. But the protest should not take the form of violence, "- said F. Hollande .

June 25, French President Francois Hollande condemned violent attacks on French Muslims. "The government will vigorously fight against all manifestations of racism and discrimination, including anti-Muslim attitudes in society. The sharp increase in the number of attacks on French Muslims is a serious injury to French unity," - said the President. "No one should doubt the determination of the authorities in the fight against Islamophobia in France. The government intends to fight racism and discrimination at any time and in any place. Moreover, those responsible for confrontations in Argenteuil will not go unpunished," - added the Minister of Women's Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem .

On February 27th Minister of Internal Affairs Manuel Valls said that France and Europe must show that Islam is compatible with democracy and compliant with human rights and freedoms. In addition, Valls said that France will need some time to understand and accept Islam as its present. "Today, France, as well as Europe, must tackle a fairly daunting task. Over the years, Islam has become the country's second-largest religion based on believer count. Currently there are about 2.3 thousand Muslim places of worship. Therefore, France and Europe must show that Islam is compatible with democracy, human rights and freedoms, the position of women and secularism. I am convinced that the French need time to accept and understand Islam, to abandon their prejudices and fears. Islam will find its place in the history of France, "- he said. “We must hope that that Islam will dissolve in French traditions, all along preserving its identity. However, to achieve a positive outcome of this situation the Republic (France) needs to effectively combat racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in society," - said Valls. At the same time, in February M. Valls repeatedly mentioned the unacceptability of the hijab as a means of discrimination against women .

On June 1, 2014, President of France Francois Hollande said that France will do everything possible to stop the radicalisation of youth. “We will monitor these Jihadists to make sure that they cannot do any harm” .

On July 20, President Francois Hollande supported the government's decision to ban anti-Israel demonstrations. According to him, activists have other means to express their position .

Hollande also met with representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities in the country to express his outrage with the riots. Prime Minister Manuel Valls acknowledged that anti-Semitism in his country has taken a new form – widely distributed through the internet and covering new workers' quarters of French cities .

President Francois Hollande said in his New Year’s speech that the fight against racism and anti-Semitism will be one of his main goals in 2015. He also talked about the growing threats of terrorism and fundamentalism, urging the people of France not to succumb to fear .

In his New Year's address on December 31, 2014, Francois Hollande stated that the struggle against racism and anti-Semitism will be one of its main tasks for 2015. He also noted "growing alarming threats" of terrorism and fundamentalism, and called on the French not to succumb to fear.

President Hollande also sent and resent the same message to French Jews as PM Valls (France wants you to stay, we will do everything to protect you etc.). Hollande also condemned antisemitism when he visited a desecrated Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union.

During the ceremony of burial of four resistance fighters in the Pantheon on May 27, 2015, the French president linked the incident during the war and the events of January 2015: "Seventy years have passed, but this hatred has revived." It is carried by different persons and under different circumstances, but always with the same words and the same intentions, aimed at innocent people, journalists, Jews and policemen, the French united on January 11 to resist this deadly revival, because they never were afraid to defend their freedom.”

On February 27th Minister of Internal Affairs Manuel Valls said that France and Europe must show that Islam is compatible with democracy and compliant with human rights and freedoms. In addition, Valls said that France will need some time to understand and accept Islam as its present. "Today, France, as well as Europe, must tackle a fairly daunting task. Over the years, Islam has become the country's second-largest religion based on believer count. Currently there are about 2.3 thousand Muslim places of worship. Therefore, France and Europe must show that Islam is compatible with democracy, human rights and freedoms, the position of women and secularism. I am convinced that the French need time to accept and understand Islam, to abandon their prejudices and fears. Islam will find its place in the history of France, "- he said. “We must hope that that Islam will dissolve in French traditions, all along preserving its identity. However, to achieve a positive outcome of this situation the Republic (France) needs to effectively combat racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in society," - said Valls. At the same time, in February M. Valls repeatedly mentioned the unacceptability of the hijab as a means of discrimination against women.

On March 12th, Manuel Valls urged French Muslims to fight against radical Islamists. In his opinion, the significant presence of Muslims in the country is a great chance for them to show that Islam is a peaceful and democratic religion .

On April 15th, French Minister of Internal Affairs Manuel Valls held a meeting with Muslim leaders of the country. He announced the creation of a special government commission, which in cooperation with the Ministry of Education would be responsible for the creation of specialized educational institutions for French Muslims. "The new specialized educational institutions will first appear in Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg. Their primary task will be the formation of Muslim religious leaders, who will receive both purely theological education and legal in order to competently address policy issues of secularism" - announced the French Minister of Internal Affairs. "I want to assure the French Muslim community that together with the French Muslim Council we will find new ways of acquainting the French society with the diverse culture of Islam," - said Manuel Valls .

In a June interview with La Figaro Manuel Valls, speaking about the case when the mayor of Arcangues refused to register a same-sex marriage, said: "A government official, who was elected to the post, who does not respect the laws of the Republic, is risking confronting severe sanctions" .

On January 6, Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls recommended the mayors of cities to ban Mbala-Mbala’s performances. On January 7, he was supported by President Francois Hollande. “We cannot allow the public rostrum used for anti-Semitic provocations” .

On February 27, Manuel Valls stated, “France will never forget the terrible March 2012”, speaking about the murder of Jewish children in Toulouse. He also noted the threat of anti-Semitism on the internet, stressing that if xenophobic propaganda is not stopped, it will tear the society apart .

Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls spoke at the ceremony dedicated to the students and teachers of the Jewish school in Toulouse, who were shot by an Islamist extremist in 2012. He called anti-Zionism an “invitation to anti-Semitism”. Old anti-Semitism of right wing radicals has been renewed in France, Valls noted. “It feeds on hatred against Israel. It feeds on anti-Zionism. Because anti-Zionism is an invitation to anti-Semitism. Criticism towards Israel, founded on anti-Zionist sentiments, is the modern day anti-Semitism, it is a haven for those who do not accept the state of Israel .

Official representative of the French Government Stephane Le Foll called migrantophobic statements of Marine Le Pen “unacceptable” .

After Le Pen’s anti-Semitic remarks, Minister of Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud demanded the French National Front to remove Le Pen from its ranks .

On January 5, Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe called for a ban of performances by an anti-Semitic humorist Dieudonné Mbala. In an interview with radio station Europe1 mayor of the French capital, said the comedian “justifies crimes against humanity” .

On September 29, Mayor of Paris condemned anti-Semitic graffiti at a nursery, calling them an “unacceptable act” .

On February 17, Toulouse Mayor Pierre Cohen said he was "deeply shocked" by the emergence of xenophobic graffiti and asked the police to “find those responsible as soon as possible” . Mayor of Sarcelles promised to react to anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish teenagers .

On September 23, Mayor of Pontarlier demanded to find those responsible for desecrating the local mosque and bring them to justice .

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