French Muslim workers of the Charles de Gaulle airport have decried their "discriminatory" expulsion from the airport for no apparent reason other than being Muslims, while Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to challenge court orders to reinstall some of them.
I was on vacation when I received a message that my access badge has been withdrawn," Mohamed Ali Louja told IslamOnline.net on Thursday, November 16.
"At first I thought the decision had to do with not paying some overdue bills," he added.
When Louja went to the Saint Denis police station seeking answers for the decision he was faced with a barrage of irrelevant questions.
"They asked me about my beard, whether my wife was hijab-clad, whether I have been to Pakistan before and whether I had any ties with Salafists," he said.
Louja is one of 72 seasonal Muslim workers who were barred on October 21 from working at the airport after police withdrew their access badges, which allowed them to work in airport customs zones.
France's Anti-terrorist Coordination Unit (UCLAT) said that the Muslim workers posed "a risk to the airport's security" or were simply deemed "dangerous."
But a number of the workers had challenged the decision.
Two workers regained their badges on Wednesday, November 16, after a court ruled that they were wrongly deprived of their security passes.
Five others who had also asked for their security clearance to be reinstated had their request denied by the court.
Two workers had earlier got their badges back through the court.
Sarkozy vowed Thursday to challenge the court orders return of badges to the Muslim workers.
"It is extremely dangerous to withdraw the badges of the workers for no apparent reason other than being followers of a certain faith," said Aounit.
Mohamed Sedeki, who has regained his badge, said the security had been withdrawn for no apparent reason.
"When I asked for the reason I was told that I posed a danger to the national security," he said.
"But they declined to reveal the nature of the threat on claims they were state secrets."
But the Muslim worker managed to seek a number of documents comprising the charges against him.
"I found out that my name and address were wrong and that the indictment included things I have never heard about," he added.
Hervey Batai has been working at the Charles de Gaulle airport for three years.
"I had no problems during that period," he told IOL.
"Rather, I received a thank-you letter from the security authorities after having discovering a smuggled weapon at the airport," he recalled.
But things took a sudden U-turn for the Muslim worker.
"One day I got a message from the Saint Denis police station that my access badge has been withdrawn," he remembered.
"They told me that they had suspicions about my trips to a number of countries including Spain, Pakistan, the US and Kosovo though I had never been in the Caucasian province before."
"Most trips were for entertainment with my family and parents," he asserted.
The Movement Against Racism and for the Friendship Among Peoples (MRAR) has blasted the discriminatory expulsion of the Muslim workers.
"It is extremely dangerous to withdraw the badges of the workers for no apparent reason other than being followers of a certain faith," said MRAR Secretary General Mouloud Aounit.
Trade unionists at the Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport on Friday, November 3, called for a general strike in protest at the expulsion of the Muslims workers.
Right-wing politician Philippe de Villiers has claimed that the airport had been infiltrated by "Islamic militants".
Villiers -- a presidential hopeful in next year's elections – was accused of playing on public fears of Islamic radicals to win votes.
In 2002, a French-Algerian airport baggage handler was arrested when weapons and explosives were found in his car. Police later said he had been the victim of a set up.
Source : Islamonline.netGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16