French Minister Rossignol and the headscarf 'gaffe'

Published 06.04.2016 00:37

French Minister Laurence Rossignol's Islamophobic statements may be appreciated as a sign of frankness, but they are certainly clear proof of the reappearance of fascism which has been long hiding in European values

French Families, Children and Women's Rights Minister Laurence Rossignol made a shockingly discriminatory statement last week likening women who wear headscarves to American "negros" who support slavery.

There is so much on the world's political agenda at the moment that this statement was not discussed sufficiently. However, it needs to not only be highlighted closely, but also needs to be the subject of social judgement.

Rossignol is from the Socialist Party of France, which describes itself as a champion for democracy and human rights.

Rossignol is at the same time a leading figure for the SOS Racisme organization, a group that fights racism and discrimination, making her statements all the more baffling.

In reality, she was just more frank than any other European decision maker.

Now, it is not only European nationalists or those on the far-right who attack religious identities, especially those of Muslims, but politicians in the center have became defenders of discriminatory policies.

Rossignol was subjected to harsh criticism on social media following her remarks on women in headscarves, which was a clear act of discrimination and an insult to the identity of Muslim women. But no official statement came regarding her insulting remark.

France has the largest Muslim population of any country in the EU at 5 million.

At the same time, it is the country that was the founder of the concept of laicism with its 1905 law on the Separation of the Churches and the State. Any statement to be made by politicians in this country has to be taken as more than just words.

In such a climate of hatred toward Muslims in the Western world, words that fuel discriminatory policies should be avoided.

Yes, the Islamophobic trend in Europe is about to rise and the responsibility of politicians is much more important than ever.

And Rossignol has to apologize to Muslim women for her humiliating statement.

THE PANAMA PAPERS ARE BEYOND JOURNALISMLeaks and ‘investigative journalism'

The Panama Papers, a recent leak of the secret financial files of various politicians and celebrities, is another fact confirming that there is no concept of investigative journalism in our age.

Journalism has turned into an instrument for multinational operations of power.

Some information will be made available. Open Society and other foundations will fund the project. Millions of documents will be examined and some facts will be more visible than others according to the agenda of the game setters.

Even though the political consequences of the Panama Papers may be fruitful for the well-being of world politics with regard to the rumors about Russian President Vladimir Putin, it should be noted that there is something going on that is surely not journalism. And lessons should be drawn by those who argue for the concept of free investigative journalism. We should find another term to define attempts to change perception and political balances. If someone wants to have a word in politics, they take off their journalist cap and put on the jacket of a politician or strategist. Let us be honest, journalism is a term far removed from defining the ongoing clashes of information.

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