• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
VIDEO: France launches 'shock' anti-hate campaign
Photo: Screengrab from one of the six videos

VIDEO: France launches 'shock' anti-hate campaign

The Local · 21 Mar 2016, 17:05

Published: 21 Mar 2016 17:05 GMT+01:00

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the French government has launched a video campaign to underscore the dangers of prejudices and racism.

Gathered under the banner #TousUnisContreLaHaine (translating into Everyone United Against Hate) the government has released a total of six videos inspired by real hate crimes that have occurred in France.

Prior to watching the videos, people are warned that they may find the comments and images “shocking”.

In one video, viewers see how a horrified group of Muslims discover a pig’s head stuck on the gate to a mosque. In another, two young Jews are brutally beaten a group of hooded youths, and in a third a young couple is the target of an unprovoked attack in the street.

All videos have been shot in the same way; filmed with a smartphone and with several people heard commenting in a xenophobic manner in the background until one person finally speaks up and questions the ongoing dialogue: “Are you serious? Do you really believe what you are saying?”

The 30-second long sequences end with the text: “Racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim acts - it begins with words, it ends with spitting, blows and blood”.

The campaign comes as France, recently hit by a number of deadly terrorist attacks, has seen a rising number of hate crimes, particularly aimed at Muslims and Jews.

Government figures released in January showed that the number of hate crimes in France jumped 22 percent in 2015, to 2,032 incidents.

Some members of France’s anti-immigrant National Front (FN) party weren’t too impressed by the campaign, however. While FN senator Stéphane Ravier tweeted that the “grotesque campaign is costing €3 million”, the party’s No. 2 Florian Philippot suggested Prime Minister Manuel Valls should make a clip himself. Philippot was referring to a 2009 incident when Valls, then mayor in the town of Evry, joked that “some whites” were needed to balance out participants at a local market.

In a stinging report released earlier this year, the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) slapped France on the wrists for what it described as a worrying increase in hate speech and intolerance, including by the country’s politicians.

The council’s Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland, said that in France “hate speech has become commonplace in the public sphere” and “remains a matter of concern”.

“I call on political leaders in particular to refrain from making comments which stigmatise already vulnerable groups and fuel tensions in French society,” he urged.

The report particularly pointed the finger at French politicians whose political discourse has been used to target both Roma and Muslim communities.

In the report, even Valls was reprimanded for his comments made in March 2013 about Roma people having “no interest in integrating in France”.

Story continues below…

French Mayor and MP Gilles Bourdouleix was also pulled up for his comments about Roma made in July 2013, when he was recorded as saying "Hitler didn't kill enough".

National Front leader Marine Le Pen was singled out for picking on Muslims, particularly with her rants against the distribution of halal meat and comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation.

And Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicains party were chastised for hosting its “conference on Islam” last year, which was boycotted by many Muslim groups.

And there was the infamous recent case of MEP Nadine Morano repeatedly insisting "France was a country of white race."

“ECRI is concerned about this situation, which is helping to trivialise the stigmatisation of these vulnerable groups,” the report read.

 
Today's headlines
US issues travel alert for France ahead of Euro 2016
Photo: AFP

The US has warned its citizens that France is a potential terror target during Euro 2016.

France lets widow have child with dead husband's sperm
An illustration of intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Photo: Wellcome Images/Flickr

A French court has ruled that the semen of a dead man can be used for artificial insemination.

French rail strikes to hit around half of train services
Photo: AFP

A rolling strike by French rail workers will begin on Tuesday evening with estimates suggesting around half of the train services will be not be running.

IN PICTURES: Wild weather pummels France
Submerged cars in the flooded town of Bruay-la-Buissiere, near Lens, northern France. All photos: AFP

Heavy rains have left submerged cars and flooded villages across France, and even breached the banks on the Seine River.

Paris to build humanitarian camp to welcome migrants
A new unofficial migrant camp in the north of Paris. Photo: AFP

Paris will soon be home to an official migrant camp that meets UN standards.

Paris has wettest May since 1873 (but Brittany stays dry)
Photos: AFP

Have you noticed it's been raining a lot in Paris in May? In fact it's been chucking it down more than in any other month of May for 143 years.

Is this France's best tourist attraction yet (for adults)?
Photo: AFP

Everything you need to know about France's new attraction: the world's biggest wine theme park, or a "Disneyland for adults".

French economy hit by drop in consumer prices
Photo: AFP

France's consumer prices have fallen, leaving the country stuck in a deflationary spiral.

France to put €1 billion into improving teachers' pay
Photo: AFP

France's teachers are soon to take home a bit of extra cash each month.

What's on in France: Ten great things to do in June
Photo: AFP

From music to car racing to food glorious food there is plenty to keep everyone entertained in France in June.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
How you'll be affected by France's ongoing strikes
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
National
Violent storms in France: How to avoid being struck by lightning
National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
2,739
jobs available