28 episodes

Deciphering the most contested topics of our times straight from the South Side Banlieue of Paris. Join French human rights advocate Yasser Louati for his uncompromising takedowns of the headlines, what's behind them and who's on the other side.

LE BREAKDOWN With Yasser Louati Yasser Louati

    • News

Deciphering the most contested topics of our times straight from the South Side Banlieue of Paris. Join French human rights advocate Yasser Louati for his uncompromising takedowns of the headlines, what's behind them and who's on the other side.

    Sabine Vorin, the Black woman who died on her workplace under a white Mayor's watch

    Sabine Vorin, the Black woman who died on her workplace under a white Mayor's watch

    Sabine Vorin, a cleaning agent, was found dead, alone, in the toilets of the Naguib Mahfouz municipal library in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, on September 17, 2018. 
    What her death revealed, was the terror and racism faced by Black and Arab workers at the City Hall of Paris and how the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the Mayor of the 20th arrondissement Frederique Calandra (now in charge of helping victims http://www.justice.gouv.fr/delegation-interministerielle-daide-aux-victimes-12894/frederique-calandra-nouvelle-presidente-du-cn2r-33860.html), not only failed to address the issues when raised to them, but also decided to fund the legal harrassment of those who blew the whistle.
    In France, only 3% of the victims of racism dare to press charges. 
    Quoted in this podcast:
    https://www.cjl.ong/?s=sabine+vorin
    To support my work as I have been charged for the second time in relation to our investigations on the death of Sabine Vorin, please do so here: www.yasserlouati.com 
    If you are a journalist who want to cover this story, please DM me on https://twitter.com/yasserlouati 



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    • 28 min
    French elections: the Le Pen heist

    French elections: the Le Pen heist

    Reviewing the presidential campaign, the election, the debates, the state of the Left and what the 2022 elections say about France.

    Read the full analysis on The New Arab: https://english.alaraby.co.uk/opinion/macrons-victory-paved-oppression 

    'The levels of respectability that the National Rally has garnered was  all too visible during the presidential debate between Macron and Le  Pen. Not once did the sitting president critique the political views  that Marine Le Pen espouses. The words ‘far right’ ‘racism’ or ‘fascism’  were never uttered by him.''


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    • 29 min
    Deciphering the preference for Ukrainian refugees

    Deciphering the preference for Ukrainian refugees

    Guest: Jean Beaman, Author of "Citizen Outsider"  and researcher on race and racism in France and the US.

    Many have called out the blatant double standards on refugees by western powers. While refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia were violently rejected by countries like the US, France or the UK, those coming from the Ukraine were immediately welcomed and offered asykum, proper housing and means to integrate. But after calling this out, where do we take the conversation from here? How has whiteness been constructed to allow white skinned ukrainians in, but not white skinned Syrians? How will this sudden change in policy towards Ukrainian refugees affect hos countries that are already facing tremendous challenges in terms of structural racism and tension with marginalized minorities?


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    • 46 min
    Is there a Muslim perspective on disobedience?

    Is there a Muslim perspective on disobedience?

    Following our previous episode "Muslim Clerics and the Arab Revolutions", my guest Dr Usaama Al Azami, Lecturer in Contemporary Islamic Civilisation at the University of Oxford and author of "Islam and the Arab Revolutions" came back to carry the conversation towards the notions of "legitimate authority" and its limits, obedience and dissobedience, armed rebellion, the notion of social contract as conceptualised through Islamic lenses. We further debunked the prevalent modern day narrative promoted by school of thoughts that have been promoting, thanks to the backing of Arab regimes in Africa and the Middle east.

    Applied at the local level, how does the discourse on obedience apply? How does the narrative on listening and obeying affect communities and keep them from thriving wherever they are? furthermore, what the direct responsibility of clerics, scholars and religious leaders generally speaking in not opposing state sponsored narratives on blind obedience and trust?




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    • 1 hr 22 min
    Muslim clerics and the Arab Revolutions

    Muslim clerics and the Arab Revolutions

    As the Arab Revolutions were unfolding, various Muslim clerics took a public position to either support or condemn them, if not out right call for their repression in blood. Dr Usaama Al Azami, Lecturer in Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford and author of "Islam and the Arab Revolutions" joined me to discuss the rationale followed by each camp but also how Islam was both  the legitimizer of autocracy, democracy, the status-quo, revolution and counter revolution.

    From Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi to Ali Gomaa, Hamza Yusuf and Abdallah Bin Bayyah, we dwelve into the role played by religion during the uprisings even though, be it in Tunisia or Egypt, revolutionary leaders did not arise from religious institutions. The discussion was further extended to sepration of religion and state, secularism as a new religion (especially in the case of France) and whether Islam teaches strict obedience to whomever is in power and hence, is de facto the religion of power.

    This podcast is fully independent and autonomous thanks to our donors, please help us remain so through a donation on paypal or directly on our website.



    About my guest:




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    • 2 hrs 22 min
    Bombing a wedding in Mali: Inside France's drone war

    Bombing a wedding in Mali: Inside France's drone war

    Guest: Khalil Dewan, head of investigations at Stoke White Lawyers (London)
    After the bombing of a wedding celebration in the town of Bounti, Mali that left 19 civilians dead, a damning UN report contradicted claims by the French government that armed extremists were on site. To this, France has consistently refuted the accusation and has stuck to its narrative of targeting terrorists in the central Malian town and has so far ignored calls by Malians to hold its military personnel to account. 
    Six months later, on July 3rd, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he will be ending "Operation Barkhane" and withdraw troops from the region. But what he failed to announce, was the increase in the number of French drones that will be taking off from the Niamy, Niger airbase and continue drone operations with the sole purpose of continuing what troops on the ground had been doing since 2013. 
    “France has a systematic problem in admitting and identifying civilian casualties. The mounting evidence on the Bounti wedding airstrikes still has not triggered any investigations on part of France or the Mali government – none have approached the victims to date”Khalil Dewan
    Armed drones are becoming an integral part of France's military operations abroad but nothing has transpired in terms of strategy, chain of command, usage policies and when/how a strike is ordered. The Bounti, Mali massacre and the impunity that has followed has prompted the CJL to cover the topic through Le Breakdown and Yasser Louati who received Khalil Dewan head of investigations at the London based Stoke White lawfirm, and author of the report: France's Shadow War in Mali: Airstrikes at the Bounti Wedding.
    In this episode, we covered the horrific bombing of civilians in Mali but also how the 20 year long US drone war and its thousands of civilian casualties has not deterred France from launching its own, and, to make things worse, without any transparency. 
    Le Breakdown is brought to you the CJL, the Committee for Justice & Liberties. We are an independent human rights and civil liberties organization. 


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    • 55 min

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