French official resigns, says he can’t get a second chance ‘as a Muslim’

A French official resigned Sunday from the Socialist Party’s administrative body, just a day after he was appointed to the post, saying he was being discriminated against as a Muslim.

The official, Yacine Chaouat, was convicted for domestic violence in March 2010 and received a six-month suspended sentence. He promptly resigned from his job as deputy mayor of the 19th arrondissement or neighborhood in Paris, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.

Sunday’s announcement that he was being appointed as deputy national secretary for integration in the Socialist Party outrage on social media and calls for him to renounce the position.

“I’m the subject of attacks on social networks and since that also reflects on the entire Socialist Party, I submitted my resignation from this post. I made a mistake six years ago, and justice was done. After paying my debt, I regret that people wish to apply a double penalty to me,” Chaouat said in a statement Sunday night.

“It is with sadness that I note that in France today, one does not have the right to a second chance when one is Muslim,” he said.

One of the calls for Chaouat’s resignation came from former Socialist Party minister Aurélie Filippetti, who told French channel BFM TV that Chaouat “should resign or be resigned.”

Others drew attention to what the appointment had signaled in the context of gender violence.

“The (Socialist Party) must quickly clarify its position on violence against women: no impunity, no excuses by elected officials,” said Valérie Debord, a deputy secretary general of France’s opposition Les Republicains party.