MRAP stands for Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples), and is an anti-racist French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 NGO, created in 1949 Mouloud Aounit became in 1989 its first general secretary (1989-2004), then president (2004-2008), then member of the presidentieal college (2008-2011) not to belong to the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...



The Mouvement national contre le racisme (National Movement Against Racism) was created in 1941 by several Resisters
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 who believed that a specific struggle against racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 had to be fought in the context of France's liberation from German occupation
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. A primary goal was to save as many black children as possible from deportation, and the movement coordinated its actions with the Protestant and Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. Two clandestine newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s, J'accuse in the North zone and Fraternité in the South zone
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

, were charged with countering the Nazis' and Vichy
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

's racist ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...


The MRAP was created on May 22, 1949 around former MNCR members and various personalities, such as the painter Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

 or the Social Catholic
Christian socialism
Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel...

 leader Marc Sangnier
Marc Sangnier
Marc Sangnier was a French Roman Catholic thinker and politician, who in 1894 founded le Sillon , a liberal Catholic movement. He aimed to bring Catholicism into a greater conformity with French Republican ideals and to provide an alternative to anticlerical labour movements...

. It took the name of Mouvement contre le racisme, l'antisémitisme et pour la paix (Movement Against Racism, Anti-Semitism and for Peace) in a period during which the dominant questions were neo-nazism
Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements....

, anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 and the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...


Post-World War

The colonial wars
Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

 and the French economy's dependence on immigrant
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 labour during the Trente Glorieuses
Trente Glorieuses
Les Trente Glorieuses refers to the thirty years from 1945-1975 following the end of the Second World War in France. The name was first used by the French demographer Jean Fourastié...

, extending from 1945 to 1974, changed the positions of the struggle against a racism that began to take various forms. The MRAP supported anti-colonialism and was opposed to the Algerian War (1954–62). It was one of the rare organizations to condemn the methods of the police prefect Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

 and the October 17, 1961 massacre in Paris.

The MRAP obtained the vote of the Pleven Act
René Pleven
René Pléven was a notable French politician of the Fourth Republic. A member of the Free French, he helped found the Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance , a political party that was meant to be a successor to the wartime Resistance movement...

 on July 1, 1972, which condemns incitations to racial hate and permits anti-racist associations to depose courtsuits against those who commit such hate speech
Hate speech
Hate speech is, outside the law, any communication that disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or other characteristic....


It became the Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l'Amitié entre les Peuples in 1972, its current and present name.

The MRAP is also engaged in international issues. It was active against apartheid in South Africa and now struggles against racism in the United States
Racism in the United States
Racism in the United States has been a major issue since the colonial era and the slave era. Legally sanctioned racism imposed a heavy burden on Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latin Americans...

 (in particular by defending Black Panthers member Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death. He has been described as "perhaps the world's best known death-row inmate", and his sentence is one of the most debated today...



It continues to be engaged against anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 (despite dropping the term from its name in 1972), defends the right of immigrants, Gypsies and more generally all forms of racism. It is also engaged in actions against the far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

, as well as the right wing. In some cases, it has also criticized the Socialist Party, criticizing Ségolène Royal
Ségolène Royal
Marie-Ségolène Royal , known as Ségolène Royal, is a French politician. She is the president of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council, a former member of the National Assembly, a former government minister, and a prominent member of the French Socialist Party...

, the Socialist contender for the 2007 presidential election
French presidential election, 2007
The 2007 French presidential election, the ninth of the Fifth French Republic was held to elect the successor to Jacques Chirac as president of France for a five-year term.The winner, decided on 5 and 6 May 2007, was Nicolas Sarkozy...

, when she released her program on security issues, stating that she was engaging in the "most dangerous kind of populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...


The MRAP was engaged in the creation of the alter-globalization
Alter-globalization is the name of a social movement that supports global cooperation and interaction, but which opposes the negative effects of economic globalization, feeling that it often works to the detriment of, or does not...

 NGO ATTAC in 1998. Currently, it concentrates its action against immigration-restricting laws and in favor of immigrants' rights, as well as denounciation of racism on the internet and against historical revisionism
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see...

 (courtsuit deposed against Bruno Gollnisch
Bruno Gollnisch
Bruno Gollnisch is a French academic and politician, a member of the National Front far-right party, and a member of the European Parliament. He was chairman of the European Parliamentary group 'Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty' in 2007, which was dissolved in November 2007 following the...

, member of the Front National
Front National
Front National can mean:* Front National , a French political party* Front National , a World War II French Resistance group* Front National , a Belgian political party...


See also

  • France in the twentieth century
    France in the twentieth century
    The History of France from 1914 to the present includes:*the later years of the Third Republic *World War I *World War II *the Fourth Republic *the Fifth Republic -Geography:...

  • Human rights in France
    Human rights in France
    The preamble of the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic, founded in 1958, recalls the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. France has also ratified the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights 1960 and the Charter of...

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