We have not heard the last of what has been described as a second Dreyfus case: the French historian Georges Bensoussan is to return to court to defend himself against charges of ‘hate speech’ against Muslims.
The Comittee against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) is to appeal against the acquittal of Bensoussan for ‘hate-speech’. The appeal, backed by the state prosecutor and two human rights organisations, is to be heard in the next few weeks.
Georges Bensoussan, director of the Holocaust Memorial in Paris and author of a major work on the history of Jews in Arab Countries, was acquitted in March 2017 for quoting during a TV debate an Arab sociologist who stated that Arabs imbibe antisemitism ‘with their mother’s milk’ .
In an op-ed in the leading French newspaper Le Figaro, prominent figures allege that the Bensoussan affair undermines recent official moves to fight Islamist radicalisation. Indeed, it is part of ‘a strategy to make radicalisation respectable.’
The magazine Charlie Hebdo, the philosopher Pascal Bruckner and the reformed Islamist Mohamed Louizi have already faced similar trials in what has been termed a ‘judicial jihad’.
* In other news, the French Jewish community has welcomed the decision to prosecute the murderer of Sarah Halimi, Kobili Traore, as an antisemitic crime. Sarah Halimi was tortured and thrown out of the window of her apartment in April 2017.There were fears that the murder would be blamed on Traore’s unstable mental state.