BY ANADOLU AGENCY
PARIS DEC 29, 2022 – 10:53 PM GMT+3
In this file photograph taken on April 20, 2022, French writer Michel Houellebecq gestures during the show “Existence a Basse Altitude”, a creation around a collection of his poems with music by Romain Poncet, aka Traumer, during the 46th edition of the Printemps de Bourges music festival in Bourges, central France. (AFP File Photo)
The Great Mosque of Paris announced Thursday that they are filing a criminal complaint against French author Michel Houellebecq over his anti-Muslim statements amid a surge of Islamophobia in the country.
The decision was taken after a “long conversation” between Houellebecq and another writer, Michel Onfray, and was published in the magazine Front Populaire in November, said the statement.
In the article, Houellebecq said that people in France were “arming themselves” and could attack Muslim establishments when “entire territories fall under Islamic control.”
“People are arming themselves. They are procuring rifles and taking shooting courses … I think acts of resistance will occur when entire territories fall under Islamic control. Then, attacks and shootings will be perpetrated in mosques, coffeeshops mostly visited by the Muslims, well, Bataclan in reverse,” he said.
For officials of the Great Mosque of Paris, these “lapidary remarks” were “unacceptable and unbelievably brutal.”
“They do not seek to elucidate any public debate but arouse discriminatory rhetoric and acts,” it added.
The statement noted that while criticizing religion was permitted in a democratic society, the comments in the article were “calling to reject and exclude the Muslim component in its entirety.”
“In these circumstances, the Great Mosque of Paris had decided to file a complaint … against those remarks that it considers as an act provoking hatred towards Muslims,” it added.