My Osocio colleague Tatjana just shared a post from Radio Free Europe, which reports that the above poster and two others, by the Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF), has been refused placement in the Paris Metro by Media Transports for being “religious and political”.
The CCIF has argued that its message is not sectarian but a message the unity for all French citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs. Their legal adviser, Lila Charef, explained: “Because a poster shows a religious sign, that does not mean it is denominational. On the contrary, our message is federative,”
But apparently Media Transport objected to the use of four French flags in the poster, which is based on the revolution-era nationalist painting Serment du jeu de paume by Jacques-Louis David (below) was an inappropriate use of the symbol of the nation to make “a political claim.” The agency also objected to the slogan “We Are The Nation.”
CCIF spokesman Marwan Muhammad stated, at the launch of the campaign, that reported acts of discrimination and violence against French Muslims have increased by more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2011.
France guarantees freedom of religion as a constitutional right, however the French state’s extreme adherence to secularism, coupled with the public’s xenophobic attitudes towards a growing Muslim minority, have resulted in ongoing tensions on both sides.
Here are the other two ads from the campaign: