French Journalist Put Under Police Protection After Islamism Documentary

French TV host, Ophelie Meunier, attends M6 group press conference, on September 5, 2017 in Neuilly sur Seine. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)
MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

A journalist who presented a documentary on Islamism in France has been placed under police protection after she was subjected to death threats.

Ophélie Meunier, the presenter of a “Forbidden Zone” documentary into Islamism in France, has been placed under police protection after becoming the target of death threats.

Utilising hidden camera footage, the documentary aired on M6 France revealed the growing influence of radical Islam in many aspects of French life.

According to a report by L’Obs, Meunier was placed under police protection shortly after the documentary aired on January 23 over threats to the presenter’s life.

Another person who appeared in the documentary, a lawyer by the name of Amine Elbahi, has also been put under protection after similar threats were issued against him.

Elbahi has since retweeted an image of himself on the streets of Paris with two agents of the Service de la Protection, a branch of the French police.

“What I said upset people. Given the threats I am receiving my aim must have been right,” The Telegraph reports the lawyer as saying.

“I say to the Islamists who seek to silence us because we disturb them that I will not be silent,” Elbahi also said in an interview with RTL France.

The Director of the film, Michaëlle Gagnet, has bemoaned the slow response from the majority of the French media, complaining that for a time only “the media of the right, even of the extreme right” came out to support those threatened.

“It is important that we can denounce a dangerous ideology without being accused of Islamophobia,” the director said according to Le Monde.

While some media in the country have been slow to respond to the plight of those involved in the production, politicians have been a little more eager to jump to their defence.

French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour derided what appeared in the documentary to be “the customs and traditions of totalitarian Afghanistan”.

“The habits and customs of totalitarian Afghanistan are taking root here, under the benevolent gaze of the public authorities,” Zemmour wrote after discussing the contents of the documentary in an opinion piece.

France’s Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, also voiced his support for the French those who appeared in the documentary.

“The journalists and people who testified in this report have been supported, their complaints have been heard,” L’Obs reports Darmanin as declaring.

“We encourage the profession of journalism. We say that, whatever the opinions we may have on such and such a report, in France, we can broadcast what we want and above all that all means must be used to find the authors who, I hope, will be strongly condemned by justice,” Darmanin also said.

The interior minister has recently appeared to make a concerted effort to challenge radical Islam, forcing the closure of a multitude of mosques accused of advocating for jihad, as well as inciting hatred against other religious groups.

France’s government has meanwhile pushed a number of Islamic associations into signing a charter renouncing political Islam, as well as promising the end of foreign influence in French Muslim life.


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