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Ansley Youst

Mr. Phillips

AP English 3

13 December 2017

France’s New Anti-terror Laws

November 1st, a date that will go down in France’s history as the day the government

knowingly tore away the Muslim community’s freedom. President Emmanuel Macron recently

made the executive decision to end France’s controversial two-year state of emergency that

preceded the terrorist attacks of 2015, replacing it with a new state legislation (“'Perennial

Problem': Why Is Paris Adopting Its New Anti-Terror Law”). Although they were intended to

stop terrorism, these new anti-terror laws have only begun to stir discrimination while also limit

Muslim people's’ freedoms in France. Due to the new rise of terrorism, countries have begun to

put a price on freedom. If a country is willing to be more safe, what cost are they willing to pay?

Justice? Liberty? For two years, they have not made any advancements in increasing the safety

of their home. Anti-terror laws will not be an everlasting solution, therefore the time has passed

for the state of emergency regulations to continue any further. The results of these new laws have

enslaved people due to their religion and nationality. We cannot blame a religion for the acts of

terrorism, so therefore such laws are not the solution to the savagery of terrorist activity. In an

act to halt terrorism, France institutionalized a permanent state of emergency which jeopardizes

french civil liberties and discriminates against Muslims.

Under the new anti-terror laws, law enforcement personnel will have to adapt to more

power given to them in order to control terrorism. Under this new power, police officers can now
search houses, close places of worship, restrict certain citizens from specific areas, and force

individuals to report to government officials weekly (“Two-Year-Long State of Emergency Ends

in France, Replaced with New Terrorism Law”). Fionnuala Ni Aolain and Michel Frost criticize

the law by saying, “It could affect people’s right to liberty and security, the right to access court,

freedom of movement, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of expression and

freedom of religion or belief” (Goebel). Coincidentally, Muslims are the main target for

executives and have been the only citizens perpetrated. According to ​Financial Times​, more than

4,300 raids, 439 house arrests, and 19 closures of mosques have been carried out regarding

mostly Muslim persons (Chassany). Leaders of law enforcement have planned on more of these

incidents to take place under the new anti-terror laws (Chassany). How does losing such rights

hinder terrorism? How are citizens even considered to obtain freedom under such standards? The

French government defends its position by claiming police need more power and authority

because they are now faced with secluded individuals encouraged by ISIS and propaganda.

However, targeting a group of people and taking away their unalienable rights is not acceptable

(Chassany). There is no position that can safeguard such a claim. The anti-terror laws grab

muslims liberties and lock them away far beyond these citizens reach.

Although government officials would highly disagree, Human Rights Organizations have

a strong disapproval of the laws. Since the laws have been passed, the controversy of the bill has

caused multiple French rights activists to feel uneasy. Human rights organizations such as the

Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), the League for Human Rights (LDH),

Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have released statements which oppose the

sixth extension of the state of emergency as well as the new anti-terror laws (Asgeirsson). These
organizations denounce such laws claiming the bill infringes civil rights, targets muslims and

could potentially create more mistakes with law enforcement (Chassany). A law that objects

approval of the french human rights is a law that should not be able to stay in place. France is

doing little to end terrorism with the seemingly permanent state of emergency; the only thing

they are ending is the Muslim peoples ability to live freely.

Since such laws are conflicting with human rights standards that alone proves just how

corrupt and inequity the anti-terror laws are. “These measures would trample individual and

shared liberties,” The League of Human Rights argues, “which would lead France to an

authoritarian state, far from relating only to terrorist acts” (Bamat). The anti-terror laws go far

beyond the requirements to end terrorism and even take extreme measures to prevent these

immoral acts of terror. Citizens within their own country are denying the effectiveness of the

laws and feel as if the new bill is not a form of protection, but injustice (Bamat). Freedom is

something a country needs to thrive and to create a sense of patriotism amongst the people. The

government's options for cracking down on terrorism is inadequate resolution.

The French government is inoculated into believing the anti-terror laws are a solution.

President Emmanuel Macron insists the powers represented in the anti-terror laws are a “true

balance between necessary security for french citizens and the protection of individual liberties”

in order to stop terrorism but sadly this has been proven false. (“This Is What Happened during

France's State of Emergency”). The government has become so addicted to terminating terrorism

that they have lost sight of the fact that such laws drafted from the state of emergency can not

prevent terrorism. Since the state of emergency was issued, ninety two people have been killed;

including eighty five in Nice, France, a policeman on the Champs-Elysees, two young students
in Marseille Tram station, a catholic priest and lastly, a policeman and his wife (“This Is What

Happened during France's State of Emergency”). These laws not only take away civil liberties

but do not protect France if attacks are still able to occur. If such assaults can happen under the

state of emergency how are the symmetrical anti-terror laws supposed to be the resolution?

Furthermore, the government claims the state of emergency has helped cease thirty attacks from

occurring, but fails to publicize how many were stopped due to the state of emergency powers,

how many were foiled by police officials or even which ones were due to Jihadist terrorist

activists (“This Is What Happened during France's State of Emergency”). Without such

information, government officials can not defend the anti-terror laws as a form of protection. The

recent laws have not tackled the terror of terrorism but instead miserably missed the concept of


Moreover, France’s anti-terror laws are a prime example of discrimination due to the

closing of multiple mosques all over the country. The search and seizure of mosques have

created multiple Muslim persons to adapt to discrimination. Muhammad Henniche, a

representative of many mosques in northern Paris, publicly condemns the government's new laws

by saying, “they say they are pursuing terrorists, but it feels like everybody is suspected of being

guilty until proven otherwise”. By closing down the mosques, Henniche defends his position by

claiming that this is a prime example on why such laws do not aim at terrorists but the Muslim

community instead (Chassany). 19 mosques were closed under the state of emergency and 11

remain permanently closed under anti-terror laws (“This Is What Happened during France's State

of Emergency”). Police officials reason for closing a number of mosques was that they were

controlled by salafists, a radical form of Islam, in which law enforcement believe have provided
an intellectual basis for Jihadism. That is discrimination in its pure form! Law enforcement

personnel are closing places of worship due to specific islamic beliefs worshipped at mosques.

The anti-terror law fuels a feeling that such laws do not target terrorist groups but activity of the

muslim community as a whole (Chassany).

With the new anti-terror laws, France’s Muslim community appear to be treated like

second-class citizens. This could possibly initiate opportunities for terrorist activists such as ISIS

to take advantage of the high tensions between Muslims and government officials, which could

potentially increase rates of recruitment (Asgeirsson). As law enforcement continue to blatantly

target Muslim persons in their country, the problem of terrorism could continue to occur or even

worsen. An example that proved acts of discrimination occurred on November 15, 2015 when

Tony Geles’s, a Muslim resident of France, house was searched for four-hours, and then

shockingly he was integrated for 30 hours. Since the 2015 terrorist attacks at Stade de France had

just occurred, Geles claims he was only treated this way due to the fact he was Muslim and

almost every Muslim in the area had been victim of the same discrimination. This caused him to

be placed on house arrest until February 26, 2015. He now fears that with the anti-terror laws

becoming permanent, the Muslims of France will have to live in fear of discrimination although

the state of emergency was supposed to be “over” (Chassany). Geles was not the only Muslim

resident to be put on house arrest; 752 people, mostly Muslim, were put on house arrest (“This Is

What Happened during France's State of Emergency”). Following the anti-law becoming passed,

forty one still remain under house arrest (“This Is What Happened during France's State of

Emergency”). The government has yet to justify their reasons for house arrests and only claim

it’s to “prevent” terrorism (“'Perennial Problem': Why Is Paris Adopting Its New Anti-Terror
Law”). Since the beginning of the state of emergency, France has only showed discrimination

towards the Islamic community as a whole, and now the anti-terror laws have enabled the

injustice to continue.

The anti-terror laws are not a solution to the terrorism problem. In order for there to be a

real solution, the French Assembly should incorporate no discrimination and ensure these laws

are modified and approved by the judicial branch before social tensions create an inevitable

violence (Asgeirsson). “The new laws only temporarily fix the issue,” Roger Marian, former

prefect of security and defense in France recalls, “It doesn’t resolve the threat of terrorism.”

(“'Perennial Problem': Why Is Paris Adopting Its New Anti-Terror Law”). The bill entails to be

revised if the French government wants to see a real change regarding domestic acts of terrorism.
Works Cited

Asgeirsson, Erika. “French Anti-Terror Bill Threatens To Extend State of Emergency Abuses.”

Just Security​, 2 Aug. 2017, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Bamat, Joseph. “France's Macron ‘to End State of Emergency’, but Keep Its Anti-Terror

Powers.” ​France 24​, France 24, 9 June 2017, Accessed 30 Nov.


Chassany, Anne-Sylvaine. “Subscribe to the FT to Read: Financial Times France: the Permanent

State of Emergency.” ​Financial Times​, 2 Oct. 2017, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Goebel, Nicole. “UN: France Anti-Terror Draft Law Would Affect Civil Liberties” ​DW.COM​,

27 Sept. 2017, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

“'Perennial Problem': Why Is Paris Adopting Its New Anti-Terror Law.” ​Sputnik International​, 6

Nov. 2017, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

“This Is What Happened during France's State of Emergency.” ​The Local​, The Local, 31 Oct.

2017, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

“Two-Year-Long State of Emergency Ends in France, Replaced with New Terrorism Law.”

DailySabah​, 1 Nov. 2017, Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.