French ‘Islamophobia’ Targeted for Group Closure by Government will Relocate to Belgium

Muslim faithfuls hold placards as they pray during a gathering on October 30, 2020 in cent

The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a group the French government moved to dissolve in the aftermath of the terrorist murder of Samuel Paty, is to relocate to Brussels under a new name.

The CCIF, which French President Emmanuel Macron targetted for dissolution in the wake of the Islamist-inspired beheading of the history teacher, is expected to relocate to neighbouring Belgium, to become the Collective Against Islamophobia in Europe (CCIE) instead. In dissolving itself and moving abroad in the face of the government pursuing it, the body has effectively jumped before it could be pushed by Macron’s anti-extremism crackdown.

But Belgian MP Denis Ducarme has said he will challenge the justice and interior ministers over the proposal, and intends to ask Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne to look into dissolving the association once it arrives in his country, Belgian magazine Le Vif reports.

“Our country cannot become a zone of retreat for Islamists again,” Ducarme said, likely referring to how Bataclan terrorist Salah Abdeslam was able to hide in Brussels’ notorious Molenbeek immigrant district for months following the November 2015 Paris terror attacks before Belgian police eventually caught him in 2016.

“I consider it extremely dangerous to allow such an organisation to establish itself in Belgium, given the actions of its members in France,” Ducarme added.

The CCIF voluntarily dissolved itself at the end of October last year, prior to the French government decree that accused it of giving legitimacy to “a permanent suspicion of religious persecution likely to stir up hatred, violence or discrimination”, according to newspaper Le Monde.

The paper noted that as early as November, French nationals had filed documents to set up the CCIE in Belgium. Earlier this month, the CCIF told its followers that it would be transferring its assets to other groups, including the CCIE.

Belgian Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne commented on the issue earlier this week, saying there would be no automatic ban on the group, but the intelligence services would monitor the group if needed.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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