Benoît Hamon, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and several other figures from the left participated in the parade, which gathered 13,500 people Sunday in Paris.
If the success of an event is measured by the number of participants, it is also evaluated by the opinion leaders who make the trip. At this yardstick, the demonstration "Stop Islamophobia", Sunday, November 10, has succeeded.
Several figures from the left braved the cold and drizzle of November to be part of the 13,500 people came to march against the stigmatization of French Muslims. Only one party was missing the call of this unprecedented initiative, launched in the columns of Release November 1st: the Socialist Party. The first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure, does not wish, indeed, associate his party to a rally "Initiated by the Collective against Islamophobia in France and individuals who have claims that are not ours".
If some like François Ruffin and Adrien Quatennens (France insubordinate, LFI) as well as Yannick Jadot (Europe Ecology-the Greens, EELV), had excused, one could thus cross, between Gare du Nord and Nation: Olivier Besancenot (New anti-capitalist party); Ian Brossat of the Communist Party; Benoît Hamon (incognito) and Guillaume Balas de Génération.s; Esther Benbassa, Senator EELV of Paris and many "rebellious", including Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
The presence of the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhone, militant Republican and laic claimed, surprised even in his own ranks. One of his close associates, Benoît Schneckenburger, drew up a long and well-argued critique of the position of the former presidential candidate, though he did not name it.
Moreover, a scene that took place Sunday afternoon should leave traces in the "rebellious", not inclined to the public demonstrations of the faith: one of the initiators of the demonstration, Marwan Muhammad, launched on a truck several " Allahu Akbar (God is big) ", picked up by the crowd. "We say Allahu Akbar because we are proud to be Muslims and we are proud to be French citizens. (…) Because we are fed up with the fact that the media are passing this religious expression for a declaration of war. "
Faced with questions, Mr. Mélenchon was anxious to explain himself before the event, during a press conference. For him, it was unthinkable not to respond to "The atmosphere of hatred against Muslims" which is expressed in France in an exacerbated way, according to him, since the arrival of Eric Zemmour on Cnews and the attack of the mosque of Bayonne by a activist of the National Rally, end of October. "We must surround with affection and fraternity those who are pointed out. We must make a block, close the ranks around the victims, he stressed. The fatherland becomes republican from the moment when everyone can find his place. "
"Fraternal, without provocation"
The former socialist senator believes that the cause of struggle against Islamophobia goes beyond semantic disputes about "Liberticidal laws" – the writers of the call aim, under this term, the texts of 2004 (on religious symbols at school) and 2010 (on the ban on the burqa) – and also the presence of some religious among the signatories of the call. "Our word, that of the lay militants, has at least as much weight as theirs (that of the religious) Answered Mr. Mélenchon.
One thing is certain: the reception of the parliamentarian by the demonstrators was more than cordial, many welcoming his presence. The atmosphere in the crowd was, it is true, good child and family, peaceful. We could also see several tricolor flags. "From what I saw of this manifestation, it was fraternal, without provocation. It was nice. I only heard Republican songs like "Secularism, we love you", "The Marseillaise". Songs of unity and solidarity », says the LFI deputy of Seine-Saint-Denis, Alexis Corbière.