Almost half of Muslims in France harassed at least once

29th Nov 2019

Elham Asaad Buaras

Almost half of Muslims (42 per cent) in France say they have experienced harassment at least once in their lives.

The survey published by the French Public Opinion Institute (IFOP) on November 6 said most anti-Muslim harassments occurred during police controls, job applications and house rentals.

France has the largest number of Muslims in the Western world primarily due to migration from North and West African as well as the Middle East.

A 2017 Pew Research report documents Muslim population at 5,720,000 or 8.8 per cent of the total population.

The poll for Le Point magazine found that 60 per cent of Muslim women who wear the hijab (headscarf) said they were harassed at least once, while this figure was 44 per cent for non-headscarf-wearing Muslim women.

24 per cent of Muslims who participated in the survey said they were verbally

attacked and this rate was 9 per cent for non-Muslims.
Also, 37 per cent of the headscarf-wearing Muslim women said they were insulted.

France already has an aggressive regime of anti-terrorism measures that overwhelmingly target Muslims, first introduced under the state of emergency that followed the November 2015 Paris attacks, and then passed into law two years ago.
Individuals may be assigned to a residence, subject to restrictions on their freedom of movement, subject to house searches or dismissed from employment, based largely on secret intelligence information without due process.

Speech that is judged to be an “apology for terrorism” can also result in prosecution.

Muslims are being called into police stations after anonymous tip-offs expressing concern about their behaviour. One woman who converted to Islam posted an account of such an interview session on her Facebook account on October 17. The interview included questions about her mosque, her husband, her family and the way she dressed.

“It is truly humiliating to find oneself alone interrogated by two men, obliged to justify oneself and one’s choices,” she wrote.

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