- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 06:49
- Written by BC-Stuff
A group of French Muslims have held demonstrations in front of the town hall in Gennevilliers to protest against the sacking of four young Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
The four Muslims, employed by the city council as youth workers in a holiday camp located just outside Paris, were fired on July 20, the first day of Ramadan. The reason given was that "they were putting children's health and safety at risk" by refusing to eat and drink until sunset.
Protesters said the men were victims of Islamophobia in the country and their suspension for allegedly being unable to care for children was just an excuse.
"The first objective is to support and show solidarity for them. The second goal is broader: to show that the practice of fasting during Ramadan does not contradict any profession.They must understand that we are here to promote peace", said activist Nabil Ennazry on Saturday.
The leader of opposition party Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Jean-Fançois Cope, has strongly criticized the mayor's decision, but organizers say that this is part of a larger problem.
"We have a hard anti-religious front in France. Of course we have the far right with its traditional racism and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hatred, who say clearly that Muslims and Islam do not belong here", said Marwan Muhammad, of the Association against Islamophobia.
The local mosque in Gennevelliers has offered to mediate between the city and the victims, but organizers say the challenge is nationwide.
"This kind of discrimination is occurring many situations. In the workplace, at school, in universities, in restaurants and in the cities. So Islamophobia, as a phenomenon, does not stop", said Muhammad.