Police guards for star French reporter who shone light on radical Islam

From The Times and Le Figaro here and here Photograph from Today in 24

A journalist has been thrust to the centre of the French presidential election campaign after being given police protection over a documentary on the impact of radical Islam.

Ophélie Meunier, 34, received death threats after a programme on Islamist influence in the poor northern town of Roubaix was broadcast on the private M6 channel.

On Sunday, January 24, as part of a new issue of “Forbidden Zone”, M6 was interested in radical Islam. In this vast investigation, the magazine, wishing to make an inventory on the ground a few months before the presidential election, had penetrated, in hidden camera or not, different places such as out-of-contract schools or religious buildings. Among them, the visit to Roubaix of a toy shop selling faceless dolls because “only Allah created” and an Islamic bookstore offering its customers a book promoting the defense of Islam by arms aroused the ire of Roubaisians and Muslims but also of right-wing and far-right politicians.

Since the broadcast of the report, the lawyer Amine Elbahi, who appears in several sequences, has reportedly received death threats. “My phone number circulated on social media, several calls for murder were broadcast. I am threatened with beheading, slaughter, attacking me because I held a speech of truth with my face uncovered and in particular on the inaction of the mayor of my commune,”

Meanwhile, we are told that it is complicated to dismiss the Islamists who are rampant at the RATP, those who work in schools (the director of the AAIR association of Roubaix, seen in the report is a teacher at the national education), those who open clandestine schools, the preachers who are rampant in mosques and on the internet, booksellers who sell propaganda books inciting jihad… We also note during this report that closing schools, even obviously illegal, is not only complicated but that the prohibitions are little respected and the weapons of the law rather insufficient. We are also talking about the mosque under an administrative closure and which continues to function because its leaders do not care about the injunctions of a state unable to be respected?

The documentary, Zone Interdite, highlighted an association granted €64,640 by the local council to help teach poorer pupils but which was later accused by prosecutors of offering Islamic education instead. It also featured a restaurant that has cubicles for women to eat without being seen by men …

The association, the restaurant and the dolls were denounced as evidence of an attempt to undermine secular values and impose fundamentalism. 

After the TV programme, officials closed Le Familial, the restaurant it featured, on health and safety grounds. Some locals backed the establishment, saying its cubicles were available for anyone, and not only Muslim women.

The Forbidden Zone report had the effect of an explosion. Yet it only shows what many French people already know: the rise of Islamist control in some cities and the consequent establishment of a way of life contrary to our principles and ideals. Indeed, the M6 documentary only takes into account the Salafists, the most visible of the Islamists, therefore the easiest to denounce, but it omits a much more dangerous part of this ideology: the Muslim Brotherhood, whose strategy combining entryism and double discourse is difficult to fight and the Wahhabis of the Islamist World League, who have made an alliance with the Fondation pour l’Islam de France, an organization linked to the government and who dream of setting up a “halal tax”, a real tool to legitimize a separate society and avoid sharing the same food as disbelievers, another name of the French for these people. The worm is not only in the fruit, it tries to colonize the tree.

M6 declined to comment.