Associated Press says more than three dozen French police officers descended on a small private school in Paris, blocked the 92 students inside their classrooms, took photos everywhere even inside the refrigerator, and grilled the school director.
It was a Muslim school or a school with Muslim teachers and students, the MHS middle and high school. The school was closed because it allows female students to wear scarves.
President Emmanuel Macron is putting pressure on Muslims to toe the line with his vision of France.
The incident was in November, and a week later, the director of the school Hanane Loukili tells the students the school is closing down.
In France, they call it the ‘dragnet’. The police sweep schools, shops, clubs or mosques to rout out “radicalization.”
However, it is in gross violation of all freedom and liberty guaranteed by the French constitution.
In December, the French government unveiled a draft law aimed at better arming France to root out Islamist radicalism.
The proposed legislation targets home schools, mosques or associations that promulgate an ideology running counter to French values.
Some say the draft is too soft and is a sign the Macron is just putting pressure on Muslims to satisfy the right-wing and the extremists.
He is fishing for votes while he knows he is in trouble if he do not get the support of right-wing extremists in 2022.
AP says the proposed legislation is intended to re-anchor secularism in a changing France.
The US news agency also says France is where Muslims are increasingly visible and Islam — the nation’s No. 2 religion — is gaining a stronger voice.
While the lower house of parliament is expected to pass the legislation, it will face scrutiny.
For sociologist Hicham Benaissa in Le Monde, the law is intended to hide the religious diversity of France.
In December, 476 raids were carried out. They closed 36 establishments.
These operations started way before the beheading of Mr Jean Paty last year.
According to Interior Ministry figures, since November 2019, 3,881 establishments have been inspected and 126 closed.
They are mostly small businesses but also two schools. “One was an underground school with no windows or educational program, along with sports clubs that included preaching and obligatory prayer. Five were closed,” wrote AP.
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