Demonization of Islam in France: Violation of Human Rights

Posted on May 7, 2008

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Islamophobia in France: The Law against Hijab

Islamophobia in France: Double Standards for Muslims and Jews

De Villiers: Submitting Islam to French Law

In France, Islamophobia is viewed differently from Antisemitism

Hijab ban in French schools

PARIS — A French law banning hijab in state schools has deepened the Muslim isolation from the broader community, experts said Saturday, September 16.

“Some (Muslims) are enrolled in informal parallel structures. That makes them even more isolated from the broader community,” said Samy Debah, spokesman for the anti-Islamophobia group CCIF, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

France has triggered a controversy in 2004 by adopting a bill banning hijab and religious insignia in state schools.

French Muslims — a sizeable six-million minority — along with practicing Jews, Sikhs and international human rights groups strongly condemned the law, saying it violated the freedom of religion right in secular France.

In the same year, some 30 girls under the age of 16 dropped out of the French school system altogether, said Nora Rami spokeswoman for a committee opposing the law.

She said the number, though is tiny compared to the hundreds o thousands of Muslims in French schools, has a major significance.

It illustrates a “break between some young Muslim women and a country where “they no longer feel at home,” she said.

Other young Muslim women have also either left to study abroad, including in Belgium, or have signed up for distance learning courses, Rami added.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. [more] Please click here to read the whole article.

Sarkozy in full throttle against hijab in french schools

Paris mosque plastered with graffiti: “France is white”

By The Associated Press
Last update – 21:23 03/07/2006

Vandals painted swastikas and anti-Muslim slogans on a mosque in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes, a mosque official said Monday.

Abderrahmane Ammari said “extremists” attacked the walls of the mosque early Sunday, covering the exterior walls with slogans including “Islam go home,” “France is white” and “We fight against Islam” early Sunday morning.

He said this was the second time in a little more than a year that vandals damaged the mosque of Evry-Courcouronne, located in a heavily immigrant town some 25 kilometers south of Paris. [more]

Please click here to read the whole article.

New French Law Legitimizes Islamophobia in France

The new school term in France is the first under the new law which bans Muslim girls from wearing a Muslim headscarf to school. The vast majority of the young women involved (in general between fourteen and eighteen years old) have agreed under duress to remove the headscarf in school. The hundred or so who have refused have been separated from their fellow-pupils and kept in a separate room (often with separate break-times, no right to use the library and no attention from teachers, despite the legal obligation to provide teaching). Over the next three weeks they will be called to disciplinary committees and expelled from schools. They will join an unspecified number who have been too intimidated to turn up at school since the passage of the law.

Stop Press :
In a series of schools around Paris, headmistresses and headmasters (primary and nursery schools) have received strict instructions not to allow Mothers with headscarves to accompany school visits to museums, zoos etc. The One school for everybody committee is planning a demonstration Saturday, and also is planning with a good hope of success to challenge the ruling in the courts.

Some organized opposition to the law has been seen – school students have demonstrated in solidarity in Strasbourg and in the Paris suburbs, but the widespread Right-wing-Left-wing consensus in support of the law has made resistance difficult to organize. Nevertheless public meetings have drawn up to a hundred and fifty people a time, and showings of a new film « Thinly-veiled racism » containing long interviews of Muslim women about their experiences at school are drawing good audiences when shown at community centers around the country.

The existence of the law is encouraging Islamophobia everywhere in France. Over the last few months there have been cases ranging far beyond schools. A bank has refused to serve women in headscarves, a doctor has refused to treat them. Social workers, a health and safety inspector and even a fruit and vegetable saleswoman have been sacked for wearing the headscarf. Mayors have refused to marry women, mothers wearing the headscarf have been turned away at the school gates when bringing their children to school. The demonization of Muslims since September 2001, allied with the high level of racism in France all too happy to become respectable as « Not against Arabs but against Islam » is the main explanation for all this, but the French situation is quite specific, and there are other elements which can be difficult to understand. [more]

30-year old Prayer Room Closed Down

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