Discrimination in France against Muslims

Posted on September 27, 2012


It is truly sad to see the country which proclaims “Liberty, equality and brotherhood” for all systematically discriminate against Muslims. In this first video, a woman who is wearing a head scarf is discriminated against because she is wearing a headscarf:

Muslim Women Discriminated in the Workplace for Wearing Headscarf

French Muslims face job discrimination

2012 Amnesty International’s Report on Discrimination against Muslims in France

European governments must do more to challenge the negative stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims fuelling discrimination especially in education and employment, a new report by Amnesty International reveals today.

“Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf. Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination.

“Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes.”

The report Choice and prejudice: discrimination against Muslims in Europe, exposes the impact of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief on Muslims in several aspects of their lives, including employment and education.

It focuses on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland where Amnesty International has already raised issues such as restrictions on the establishment of places of worship and prohibitions on full-face veils. The report documents numerous individual cases of discrimination across the countries covered.

“Wearing religious and cultural symbols and dress is part of the right of freedom of expression. It is part of the right to freedom of religion or belief – and these rights must be enjoyed by all faiths equally.” said Marco Perolini.

“While everyone has the right to express their cultural, traditional or religious background by wearing a specific form of dress no one should be pressurized or coerced to do so. General bans on particular forms of dress that violate the rights of those freely choosing to dress in a particular way are not the way to do this.”

The report highlights that legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment has not been appropriately implemented in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Employers have been allowed to discriminate on the grounds that religious or cultural symbols will jar with clients or colleagues or that a clash exists with a company’s corporate image or its ‘neutrality’.

This is in direct conflict with European Union (EU) anti-discrimination legislation which allows variations of treatment in employment only if specifically required by the nature of the occupation.

“EU legislation prohibiting discrimination on the ground of religion or belief in the area of employment seems to be toothless across Europe, as we observe a higher rate of unemployment among Muslims, and especially Muslim women of foreign origin,” said Marco Perolini.

In the last decade, pupils have been forbidden to wear the headscarf or other religious and traditional dress at school in many countries including Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

“Any restriction on the wearing of religious and cultural symbols and dress in schools must be based on assessment of the needs in each individual case. General bans risk adversely Muslims girls’ access to education and violating their rights to freedom of expression and to manifest their beliefs.” Marco Perolini said. [Please click here to read more]

To read the Amnesty International Report on Discrimination against Muslims in France, please click here.

Les Français face à l’islamophobie

OummaTV est partie à la rencontre des française pour leur poser plusieurs questions relatives à l’islamophobie.

French Islamophobia is exported to the US

Related Video: Va. Muslim Woman Accuses Air France of Discrimination

A Virginia woman accused Air France of getting her terminated from the job she held briefly at Dulles International Airport because of her religion.

“The hijab, to me, it’s empowerment,” 19-year-old Riham Osman said. “When people, men and women, talk to me, they’re looking at my personality, they’re listening to what I’m saying, they know that I stand for something.”

Osman is a proud Muslim from Herndon who wears a head scarf, or hijab, as a sign of her faith — a sign of her faith that she says got her fired from Air France. According to the copy of her contract she was hired by the staffing agency Aerotek to be a passenger service agent for Air France at Dulles.

“I think the fact that I was hired at first with my scarf on shows that Aerotek hired me according to my [qualifications],” Osman said.

On June 2, Osman’s first day of work, an Air France supervisor pulled her from her training session demanding she speak with the person who hired her at Aerotek, Osman said.

“He said that apparently Air France has an issue with the scarf that they will not allow me to work because it violates their uniform policy,” Osman said.

Refusing to take it off, Osman left the airport in tears. Soon after, she contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations for help. Noting the ongoing controversy in France about the legality of wearing a hijab, CAIR filed a complaint and sent a letter to Air France saying in part, “It is clear that a discriminatory dress code implemented in France would not supersede American laws protecting the religious rights of employees. Air France must follow American law and grant reasonable religious accommodations for its employees.”

A spokesperson for Air France acknowledged the company received a letter from CAIR but would say only that Air France is investigating..

After being notified about the situation, Aerotek said it asked Air France to make an exception to the dress code policy for Osman.

“Air France declined to make this accommodation and instructed us to end her assignment at Air France,” read a statement from Aerotek.

Osman hopes travelers will boycott Air France until she gets an apology.