The Union of French Mosques (UMF) therefore maintains its complaint. The Muslim federation led by Mohammed Moussaoui reacted in an open letter, published Tuesday, May 30, to the apologies presented by the writer Michel Houellebecq for his comments on Muslims made in a special issue of the magazine Popular Front.
In his latest book, few months of my lifethe latter denies the remarks made in this interview with Michel Onfray, whom he qualifies as“idiots”. ” I apologize to any Muslims this text may have offended – that is, I’m afraid, pretty much all Muslims. » The writer also returned to his remarks in the program “La Grande Librairie”, on May 24, on France 5.
In this interview published at the end of November 2022, Michel Houellebecq presented Muslims as thieves and aggressors and predicted future “Bataclan upside down”.
“An honorable but incomplete step”
The Union of French Mosques had filed a complaint for incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence, against the management of Popular Front, as well as Michel Houellebecq and Michel Onfray. Today, after the apology of the writer, the federation does not withdraw its complaint, considering that “Michel Houellebecq’s approach is honorable but incomplete given the seriousness of the threat it engenders”.
“We consider that the massive distribution of the third special issue of Popular Front to which is added the transmission of extracts from the text in the press and on social networks present a threat against Muslims which we hope to put an end to by recourse to justice”develops the federation close to Morocco.
However, the UMF says it takes note of the request for forgiveness initiated by Michel Houellebecq, to which “she can’t be insensitive”. First because “forgiveness is a central value in the Muslim faith”says the press release, but also because ” too many people have made statements detrimental to Islam and Muslims without ever expressing regret or asking for forgiveness”. “Also, the gesture of Michel Houellebecq must be appreciated at its fair value”continues the letter.
“Raise awareness about the danger (of words) for national cohesion”
The UMF judges, however, that the writer’s apology should also include other passages of the interview, which in its eyes are “just as prejudicial to the security of Muslims in France, even more dangerous than the passage on the assimilation of Muslims to delinquents”. In particular, she would like Michel Houellebecq “clarifies its position on the “Great Replacement” theory ”, which, the letter mentions, inspired the killer of the mosques of Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019. The federation also wants Michel Houellebecq “begins a formal and more offensive procedure” to stop the circulation of the offending issue of the journal Popular Front.
“By his complaint, the Union of French Mosques does not aim at the direction of Popular FrontMr. Houellebecq or Mr. Onfray as persons, specifies the UMF. We simply want to condemn the remarks made and raise awareness of their dangerousness for national cohesion. »
At the beginning of the year, the words of Michel Houellebecq had been the subject of a media sequence, triggering the ire of the Great Mosque of Paris. Its rector, Chems-eddine Hafiz, had threatened to file a complaint, before giving up following mediation between him and Michel Houellebecq provided by the chief rabbi of France, Haïm Korsia.