On Thursday, the Grand Mosque of Paris announced the opening of a criminal case against French writer Michel Houellebecq over his anti-Muslim statements amid a surge of Islamophobia in the country.
The decision came after a “long conversation” between Houellebecq and another writer, Michel Onfray, and was published in Front Populaire magazine in November, the statement said.
In the article, Houellebecq said that people in France are “arming” and may attack Muslim institutions when “whole territories come under Islamic control.”
“People are arming. They buy rifles and take shooting courses … I think that resistance actions will occur when entire territories come under the control of Islam. Well, the Bataclan is the other way around,” he said.
For the officials of the Grand Mosque of Paris, these “lapidary remarks” were “unacceptable and incredibly cruel.”
“They do not seek to shed light on any public debate, but provoke discriminatory rhetoric and actions,” he added.
The statement noted that while criticism of religion is permitted in a democratic society, the comments in the article “call for the complete rejection and exclusion of the Muslim component.”
“Under these circumstances, the Grand Mosque of Paris has decided to file a complaint… against what it considers to be an act of inciting hatred against Muslims,” the agency added.