August 29, 2016
A video has emerged of a Paris restaurant owner chasing two Muslim women out of his premises for wearing headscarves, calling them “terrorists.”
The footage, filmed by a customer at the posh Le Cenacle restaurant in the Paris suburb of Tremblay-en-France on Saturday and widely shared on social media, shows the man ranting at the women.
“Terrorists are Muslims, and all Muslims are terrorists… This is a secular country and I have a right to an opinion… I don’t want people like you here. Full stop,” the man shouts.
The women in turn say they “do not wish to be served by a racist,” to which the man shouts, “Now get out” as the women leave crying.
The video has sparked outrage and widespread calls for protests across France. Members of the local Muslim community gathered outside the restaurant at the weekend to protest the incident.
The Committee Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) offered legal and psychological support to the two young women and denounced the incident as “Islamophobic” which “led to the humiliation of two young Muslim women.”
According to the French daily Le Parisien, police have launched an investigation into the case.
The man has reportedly apologized for his behavior, saying he “got out of hand” because he had a friend who had died at the Bataclan concert center attack last November.
Nearly 120 people were killed on November 13, 2015 after being held hostage by gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Scores of people were reportedly killed in other attacks across Paris, for which the Takfiri group of Daesh claimed responsibility.
The Takfiri ideology has its roots in Saudi Arabia, which is a key ally of the US and Europe in the Middle East, where the extremist creed is widely preached and tolerated by the kingdom’s rulers.
The incident follows tensions in France over a controversial ban on Muslim women’s full-body swimwear, known as burkini.
The government banned burkini in about 30 French coastal resorts this summer, but France’s highest court ruled the ban is “seriously and clearly illegal,” this week.
Despite the ruling, as many as 28 French mayors still defiantly uphold the ban while right-wing politicians have pledged to pass a legislation at a central government level to maintain the law.
Director of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France Marwan Muhammad said on Sunday the French government is very “busy chasing innocent Muslim women to fight against terrorism.”
“I do not see the disturbance in public order from a woman who goes swimming dressed,” he said.
France became the first European country in April 2011 to ban public wearing of the full-face Islamic dress, called burqa.