Paris Mosque sues French writer Houellebecq over anti-Muslim comments

AFP - LIONEL BONAVENTURE

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris has filed a complaint against award-winning French writer Michel Houellebecq over "staggeringly brutal" comments made during a recent interview in which the author drew divisions between "native French people" and "the Muslims" responsible for "robbing and assaulting them".

In a statement published on Twitter on Wednesday, the Grand Mosque of Paris announced it had filed a complaint against Michel Houellebecq following "very grave comments he had made about Muslims in France".

The statement referred to a "long conversation" between Houellebecq and philosopher Michel Onfray – the founder of "anti-system" magazine Front Populaire – published in November.

The statement, signed by the mosque's rector Chems-Eddine Hafiz, quotes an extract:

"When entire territories are under Islamic control, I think that acts of resistance will take place. There will be attacks and shootings in mosques, in cafés frequented by Muslims, in short Bataclan in reverse," referring to the 13 November 2015 terrorist attack on the Paris concert hall.

"The wish of the native French population, as they say, is not that Muslims assimilate, but that they stop robbing and assaulting them. Or else, another solution, that they leave," Houellebecq is quoted as saying.

The Grand Mosque described the remarks as "unacceptable" and implied that Muslims were "not real French people".

It wrote that the comments constitute "an incitement to hatred against Muslims" and "a call to reject and exclude the Muslim component as a whole".

But he is no stranger to controversy.


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