This type of discrimination is happening in every sort of situation. In the work environment, at school,at universities, in restaurants and cities. So Islamophobia as a phenomenon is not stopping.” Marwan Muhammad of Association against IslamophobiaA group of French Muslims have staged demonstrations in front of the Town Hall in the city of Gennevilliers to protest against the suspension from work of four young Muslims, for fasting during the holy month of Ramadan Press TV reports. The four Muslims, employed by the town council of Genevilliers, just outside Paris as instructors in a holiday camp, were dismissed on July 20, the first day of Ramadan, under the pretext of endangering the children’s safety by themselves not drinking or eating from dawn to dusk.
The protesters said the men were victims of Islamophobia in the country and their suspension on grounds of incompetence to handle the children, while fasting was a lame excuse.“The first goal is to support and show solidarity for the four youths. The second goal is a wider one to send the message that the practice of [fasting in] Ramadan does not go against any profession...They have to understand that we are here to promote peace,” activist Nabil Ennazry told a Press TV correspondent on Saturday. The leader of the opposition party of Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), Jean-Francois Cope has strongly criticized the decision by the mayor, but organizers say the problem is part of a political landscape. “You have hardcore anti-religion front in France. So we have, of course, on the right wing, your traditional racism, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim hate, which clearly says that Muslims and Islam don’t belong here,” said Marwan Muhammad of Association against Islamophobia.
The local mosque of Gennevelliers has offered to mediate between the Town Hall and the victims, but organizers say the challenge harbors a the national level.“This type of discrimination is happening in every sort of situation. In the work environment, at school, at universities, in restaurants, and cities. So Islamophobia, as a phenomenon, is not stopping,” Muhammad added. Last year, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government banned the wearing of face veil in public spaces, which provoked anger in the Muslim community. AO/HN