Lettre ouverte aux escrocs de l’islamophobie

L’Obs today has extracts from Charb’s book, “Lettre ouverte aux escrocs de l’islamophobie qui font le jeu des racistes.”

Again, I’ll attempt a translation; tell me what I get wrong. (I know some of you are Francophones, you can’t hide.)

L’islamophobie, un concept mal taillé

“Les militants communautaristes qui essaient d’imposer aux autorités judiciaires et politiques la notion d”islamophobie’ n’ont pas d’autre but que de pousser les victimes de racisme à s’affirmer musulmanes (…) Si demain les musulmans de France se convertissent au catholicisme ou bien renoncent à toute religion, ça ne changera rien au discours des racistes : ces étrangers ou ces Français d’origine étrangère seront toujours désignés comme responsables de tous les maux.”

Islamophobia, a crude concept

The communitarian militants who tried to impose the notion of “Islamophobia” on judicial and political authorities had no other goal than to push victims of racism into self-identifying as Muslims. (…) If Muslims in France convert to Catholicism tomorrow, or even renounce all religion, that won’t change anything about racist discourse: these foreigners or these French people of foreign origin will always be made responsible for everything bad.

The next one is funny.

Avoir peur est un droit

“Avoir peur de l’islam est sans doute crétin, absurde, et plein d’autres choses encore, mais ce n’est pas un délit. (…) le problème, ce n’est ni le Coran ni la Bible, romans soporifiques, incohérents et mal écrits, mais le fidèle qui lit le Coran ou la Bible comme on lit la notice de montage d’une étagère Ikea.”

Being afraid is a right

Being afraid of Islam is for sure stupid, absurd, and lots of other things besides, but it’s not a crime. (…) The problem is not the Koran or the Bible, soporifically boring novels, incoherent and badly written, but the faithist who reads the Koran or the Bible as one reads the instructions for putting together an Ikea bookshelf.

I wish he were alive to write more books.


  1. d.r. says

    Your translation’s pretty good. You probably mean “foreigner” and “foreign” rather than “stranger” in the first one.

  2. moarscienceplz says

    these strangers immigrants or these French people of stranger foreign origin will always be made responsible for everything bad.

    IANA francophone, but I think this would be a better translation.

  3. Jean says

    The translation looks fine to me. And I also thought the second one was funny.

    Just as an aside, I don’t know if there is another word for it but ‘soporifique’ means that it is really boring and literally putting you to sleep.

  4. says

    Thank you moarscienceplz and d.r. and Elizabeth on Twitter, I made the changes.

    Jean it’s the same word in English – soporific. I made it soporifically boring, just to emphasize it.

  5. Okidemia says

    I’d tend to use “activist” rather than “militant” in the translation, otherwise current translations are really fair. The “push” toward the conflation of islamophobia with racism is about 15-20 years old, and Charb probably experienced it directly (as he was strongly committed in anti-racism). I remember being both surprised and disappointed when this agenda emerged in some anti-racist organizations, and I think it did not really take root actually. The recurrent pushing was not unnoticed at that time.

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