Challenging Power

Estefanía Campos  | 09 de abril de 2019  | Vistas: 39

College Freedom Forum Freedom Freedom of speech Human Rights

Zineb El Rhazoui shares at the College Freedom Forum 2019 the story of how she ended up threaten to death by Muslims after publishing a cartoon at the Charlie Hebdo Magazine, and reflects on the importance of freedom of speech in Muslim countries and equal rights for men and women.

Zineb says, she’s called “the most protected woman in France”, since for more than four years she has been living under police protection every thay, after she spoke in Muslim media criticizing the religious regime. She describes how some terrorists came to their newspaper and killed 12 people in the name of Al-Qaeda and the protests that came afterwards, where thousands of french people manifested against terrorism and defending freedom of speech.

For me, the right to what they call blasphemy, is exactly what draws the boundaries between civilization and barbarie”.

She later explains how even if the prophet is cartooned in a sympathetic way, or just pictured, this is considered something to be killed for in the Islam religion. El Rhazoui speaks on behalf of many other Islam people who hide their atheism, who are threatened for their sexual orientation, their beliefs, religion, for not using the hijab etc., who are persecuted daily.

The reality in the Muslim world is this: people like us are either killed, jailed, lashed, persecuted… and most of us, for being free, for practicing our freedom”.

Then she introduces the term “Islamophobic”, as Islamic people are usually called when they emigrate to other european countries and talks about how people don’t understand the difference between criticizing ideas and criticizing people.

My right to criticize Islam must be guaranteed”.

Finally she gives other examples of people who had been killed by Islamists for fighting for the rights of people, and for an Islam of enlightenment. Zineb concludes that she is lucky, despite the threats, because she lives in France and can speak. She says she doesn’t have the right to shut her mouth, while there are still people who don’t have freedom, emancipation from religion and enlightenment spirit.


Zineb El Rhazoui is a French woman of Moroccan origin, a…