"Hvis frihed overhovedet betyder noget, så betyder det retten til at fortælle folk det, de ikke vil høre"

George Orwell

French Researcher receives Threats to her Life due to her Exposure of the Huge Influence of The Muslim Brotherhood

29. maj 2024 - International - af Kirsten Valeur

Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, in her book  “Le Frèrisme et ses réseaux, l’enquête” (The Brotherhood and its networks, a survey) describes the very structured Islamization of France and the West by the Muslim Brotherhood. Since its publication January 2023 she has been threatened on her life and is now under police protection. She deplores, that there is now no more than a handful of researchers who still dare to deal with the Islamization of the West.

Florence Bergeaud-Blackler

Florence Bergeaud-Blackler is an anthropologist employed by the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS, (French National Centre for Scientific Research) as researcher in the group Society, Religions, Secularism. For more than 30 years she has worked with Islam and particularly the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. She sheds light on the construction, organization, the players as well as the sources of finance with a special view to the EU. Millions of euros are spend by EU in NGO’s backed by the Brotherhood. Such NGO’s do research on e.g. islamophobia.

In 2017 Bergeaud-Blackler published a book Le Marché Halal (The Halal Market) based on more than 20 years of research into this market shedding light on how extensive this money making machine has become in Europe.

The Book on the Muslim Brotherhood

January, 2023, Bergeaud-Blackler published her book “Le Frèrisme et ses réseaux, l’enquête” (The Brotherhood and its networks, a survey) at the publishing house Odile Jacob. The foreword was written by the highly regarded expert on Islam Gilles Kepel, who in 2016 needed police protection due to death threats by the jihadist Larossi Abballa. In her book Florence Bergeaud-Blackler describes the increasing influence of the Brotherhood in France, working towards making the society sharia compatible and ultimately Muslim. The Brotherhood thus has a longterm strategy and it promotes e.g. the Islamic headscarf, the halal system and the notion ‘Islamofobia’.

There may be some 50.000 people affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in France, but the ideology of the Brotherhood has its influence on millions of people in France.

Threats after publishing the book.

Since publishing her book Florence Bergeaud-Blackler as well as her publisher has been under pressure even as she herself has received death threats.

Nothing took place in the first month after the publishing. Then followed intimidations at the university from people affiliated with the environment of the Brotherhood comprising defamations on social media and designating her ‘islamofob’. Several attacks on Tweet by the prominent researcher Francois Burgat, former director of studies at CNRS, who, like Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, has been employed at L'Institut de recherches et d'études sur le monde arabe et musulman (Institute of Research and Studies on the Arabic and Muslim World, IREMAM). Bergeaud-Blackler mentions Burgat occasionally in her book, where she describes his spreading of Brotherhood propaganda.

Next followed threats from people in France and abroad. Since March 2023 she has needed police protection by two officers, following her wherever she may go. A 36-year-old man, well known to the police, was arrested and in early December 2023 sentenced unconditionally to jail to 15 months of jail for the threats on the life of Bergeaud-Blackler.

May 12 Florence Bergeaud-Blackler was meant to speak at Sorbonne on her new book, but her lecture was cancelled a few days before citing security issues. Following several protests her lecture was held on June 2 under extensive security measures.

May 23 Florence Bergeaud-Blackler met with Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior. He was aware of the security issues she was subject to and affirmed the importance of her being protected by the security forces of the national police, SDLP. She used this opportunity to raise the question of the security situation of teachers at universities working professionally with Islamism. There are only a handful left of them in France and Europe according to Florence Bergeaud-Blackler due to the delicacy and politicizing of the subject. It is presently difficult to teach and do research on Islamism while being risky for students to choose this subject. If nothing is done to secure their safety this discipline might die out and insights may be lost. She furthermore called on a wider reflection on the security situation of anyone working on Islamism.

Lacking support from CNRS

Florence Bergeaud-Blackler has lacked support from the leadership of CNRS. This research institution has restricted itself to a single tweet on the life threats to her being a scandal and since then for long kept quiet. As the newsmagazine Le Point early April 2023 contacted CNRS to get their reaction to the situation of Bergeaud-Blackler this institution merely stated: “Mrs Bergeaud-Blackler receives functional protection”. CNRS ought to be more advised about procuring a secure framework for the scientific debate. Laws on education declare: “As for teachers, professors and researchers at universities it is mandatory for universities and colleges to provide an environment in which they can pursue their activities in teaching and research with the required independence and tranquility of mind necessary for reflection and for the process of intellectual creativity.”

On April 12, though, CNRS to Le Figaro at last expressed unequivocal support for Bergeaud-Blackler.

Support for Bergeaud-Blackler

A number of colleges have privately supported Bergeaud-Blackler but are afraid to express this support in public. She does not think this is due to security issues but rather issues of career. On March 30 2023 Le Point was able to publish, though, a declaration of support with 800 signatures, stating that “The normal and expected reaction in a democratic society is to defend its researchers against any threat and to secure an environment which enables the scientific discussion”. Among the signatures one finds the author Boualem Sansal (2084) and the historian Georges Bensoussan (Une France soumise).

Sébastien Fath like Bergeaud-Blackler is researcher at the CNRS group Society, Religions, Secularism and on April 12, 2023, he posted a blog in support of her. Fath stresses the importance of researchers’ input to secure well informed and reasoned contributions in the civil debate, such debate being important for the democracy. When a researcher is threatened with physical violence it is the whole environment of researchers which is at peril, said Sébastian Faht who proceeded to refer to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, article 19: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Is continued research in Islamization possible?

Research into the Islamization of the West is under pressure these years. Political correctness is prevalent on the side of research policy makers and many have accepted the notion of ‘Islamofobia’ as a phenomenon, which should be quelled which leaves Islam free from criticisms. Florence Bergeaud-Blackler has only received limited support in her present situation from the research institution CNRS. She generally meets with hindrances careerwise due to her area of research, which stands in need of resources.

Researchers are under pressure from the Islamic side. This affects their research contributions as well as future generations of researchers, who will be inclined to choose a different area of research.

Bergeaud-Blackler will not, herself, expose students to dangers to their lives by being their supervisor. France is, besides, within the educational sector generally, perturbed by the terror killings of Samuel Paty (2020) and Dominique Bernard (2023). Question is, whether research into Islamization in the West is able to proceed with the needed priority under these circumstances.

transl. lrb