The three students, Ms. Tourya Essaoudi, Ms. Malika Médouni and Ms. Anja Schwalbe, had made a common study of the new forms of xenophobia and racism expressed through the discourses of the French National Front when Marine Le Pen took the place of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, at the head of the party. Mrs. Taubira congratulated the three laureates for the rigor and audacity of the work they undertook on this sensitive subject, daring “not only to question the most brutal form of these exclusions, but to go looking for the subtle expressions of the Other’s rejection”.
The cooperation of these three students is both exemplary and necessary, according to the French Justice Minister. She made reference to the words of Angela Davis: “because the walls we knock down become bridges: bridges of knowledge, bridges of dialogue, bridges of encounter. And that’s what these three young women did.”
In stating that “when crossing languages and going until the Other, we first reach ourselves”, Christiane Taubira recalled the audience that the intercultural dialogue put into action by the three laureates is not only a necessity for the pacific coexistence between people, but is also a mean for anyone to achieve a better understanding of what constitutes one’s own singularity within the world and among men.
Mrs. Taubira also took the occasion of this international, inter-cultural and inter-religious meeting to assert the firmness of the French government and of her ministry, opposite racist and anti-Semitic crimes, and opposite the speeches of hatred which fan such crimes.
As a representative of the French State, Christiane Taubira assured that “opposite situations which we perceive as absolutely monstruous”, “we act on par with our responsibility”, throughout three ways : pleading in tribunals, implementing penal laws and elaborating anti-discrimination strategies. In a context where the racist and anti-Semitic discourse is rising, The Justice Minister reasserted the determination of the government to fight with the required means against the discourses that create an environment conductive of crimes.
Mrs. Taubira finally asserted that if the recurrent use of force could be required against hatred speeches, we must also fight with an open and careful mind. To fight the causes of racism and anti-Semitism, she said, “it is not enough to act, identify and punish. We also have to use words of love. We also have to be able to use welcoming words. We must know how to make fraternity come true in the daily life. We must ensure that this world will dialogue.”
With her own words, the French Justice Minister emphasized the conviction which presided over the foundation of the Aladdin Project: that the fight against racism and anti-Semitism cannot be dissociated from the positive hope that an open dialogue and a mutual comprehension can be reached between men. She recalled the audience that the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and against the Other’s exclusion cannot be dissociated from a deep and fervent love for dialogue and pluralism.