Justice: Muslim engineer will not have access to nuclear sites

The court in Chalons-en-Champagne upheld the decision of the EDF, which refused a Muslim engineer access to nuclear sites, invoking the “defense secret.” The engineer was first refused access in March 2014 and his decision was confirmed by the administrative court of Chalons-en-Champagne. The French court, to which he had filed several appeals, explained that the ruling was upheld for reason that “the young man, 29 years old, had met with ‘an imam involved in recruiting’ of young jihadists deployed to Iraq to fight American troops.”

The engineer’s lawyer Sefen Guez Guez argued, “There is no evidence of these alleged links, this decision based on affirmations of insufficient detail is not worthy of a state of law.”

The decision comes after the engineer’s access was suspended without a definitive reason. In June, the administrative court sided in favor of the engineer, expressing “serious doubt on the legality of the decision” to suspend his access. However in July the EDF again suspended his access, prompting a retrial and the recent decision to permanently block his access.

National Assembly strengthens anti-terrorism law

July 23, 2014

The National Assembly’s legal commission strengthened the law aimed at reinforcing France’s fight against terrorism. The legislation is expected to combat the threat represented by the presence of numerous French and European jihadists in Syria and in Iraq.

The plan’s key measure provides for the possibility to prohibit, for a limited time, a suspected individual from leaving the country to participate in jihadist operations. The text created a new “illegal entity”, that of an “individual terrorist firm” and equally reinforces Internet monitoring with the possibility of the government blocking sites that glorify terrorism.

“When these young people…see crime in its most barbaric and terrible form, with numerous executions, decapitations, and crucifixions, their behavior is destroyed to the point that when they come back, they represent a danger to our national security,” said Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve Tuesday, July 22 at the Assembly meeting.

The text, which will be publicly debated by leaders in September, completes the plan put in place in April, whose goal was to prohibit jihadist suspects from participating in Syria’s war.

Authorities have already put in place prohibitions in which children’s names, at the request of their parents, can be put on a list circulated throughout the European Union in order to stop minors from leaving to fight.

All the amendments presented by the Commission’s spokesperson, Sebastien Pietrasanta (PS) were passed. Both an individual’s identity card and passport can be confiscated in order to prohibit entrance to Turkey, the gateway to Syria.

Editors and hosts of websites “leading to acts of terrorism or glorifying it” will be, according to the amendment, required to remove the content in question.

According to Sebastien Pietrasanta, 900 Frenchmen have been involved in Syrian jihadist networks. As of mid-July, 342 Frenchmen are currently fighting in Syria including 50 women and seven minors. Over 150 people are in the process of going to Syria, and 171 are leaving Syria, of which 100 have returned to France. Thirty-three of these combatants were killed. Homeland Security stopped three people suspected of being members of a jihadist group Tuesday in Albi.

Shari’ah Law as National Security Threat?

Cyra Akila Choudhury

Florida International University College of Law

September 18, 2012

Akron Law Review, Vol. 46, 2012
Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper; No. 12-19

In 2011, several states passed anti-shari’ah laws arguing that they were necessary to protect the United States’ from the infiltration of Islamic law. According to supporters, these new law protect us from “shari’ah creep,” which has allegedly already influenced several recent civil cases, particularly in family law, that had an Islamic dimension or involved Muslims. Supporters further argue that any reference to Islamic law in our civil courts presages an unacceptable shift towards the formal establishment of a parallel or alternative legal code to our laws. Such accommodation, in their view, threatens to augment or replace our secular system with religious extremism. Finally, proponents of these new model laws argue that they reflect vital national security measures because terrorists follow shari’ah law and seek to install it in the United States. As such, the laws are critical to our ongoing war against Islamist terror.

This Article examines the recently proposed anti-shari’ah laws of Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arizona. It begins by examining the laws and their justifications and analyzes the 10th Circuit decision in Awad v. Ziriax upholding the injunction against Oklahoma’s Save Our State amendment. It then carefully analyzes the cases that have been cited as examples of shari’ah-creep and reveals that they are actually routine examples of comity and conflicts of law rules applied properly by a properly functioning judiciary. If these laws are not national security measures, what is their true purpose? The Article posits that the new laws are the latest in an ongoing legal and social resignification of Islam and Muslims in an effort to maintain a visible and “alien” threat. It argues that even if they are ineffective as national security laws and even if they are struck down as unconstitutional, anti-shari’ah laws have social effects on Muslims, marginalizing them from the mainstream and singling them out for differential treatment. The Article then analyzes the anti-shari’ah laws as part of a broad spectrum of social and legal methods used in the post 9/11 War on Terror that have the overall effect of “casting out” Muslims from the protection of both civil and human rights law. As such, the anti-shari’ah laws which form a part of this edifice of exclusion must be taken seriously. The Article concludes with the suggestion that states should refuse to participate in the Manichean construction of the Muslim enemy in a global War on Terror, and that we should recognize that our security depends, not on the ongoing exclusion of Muslims, but on their participation and cooperation.

CAIR: D.C. Hotel Uses ‘National Security’ Defense in Muslim Bias Suit

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/29/11) –- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today termed “unprecedented” a claim by a Washington, D.C., hotel that it had the right to discriminate against a Muslim employee because of a “national security exemption.”

In a motion filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel said the Muslim employee’s discrimination lawsuit should be rejected by the court because the hotel “was following a mandate from the federal government regarding a matter of national security.”

The hotel’s motion blames its discriminatory actions on security requirements allegedly imposed by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

“It is chilling to see the Mandarin Hotel — a private company — claim that national security concerns shield its discriminatory conduct from the law,” said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “We are confident the court will reject this unprecedented claim.”

Abbas said CAIR’s suit on behalf of the Muslim employee alleged that in December 2010, the American citizen of Moroccan heritage was forbidden to go to the 8th or 9th floors of the hotel because an Israeli delegation was staying there.

Attitudes Toward Muslims Mixed in Europe and the U.S.

“A new Financial Times/Harris Poll of cross sections of adults in the five largest European countries and the United States looks at attitudes toward Muslims and finds differing opinions on Muslims as a threat to national security, prejudice towards Muslims and whether parents would object to a child marrying a Muslim.

When it comes to Muslims as a threat to national security, the British are the most wary as 38 percent say the presence of Muslims in their country is a threat, followed by 30 percent of Italians and 28 percent of Germans who believe the same. Approximately one in five French (20%), American (21%) and Spanish (23%) adults also say the presence of Muslims in their respective countries is a threat to national security. With the exception of Spain and Great Britain, where large pluralities say the presence of Muslims does present a threat to national security, majorities of adults in the other four countries say they do not present a threat.

These are some of the results of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among a total of 6,398 adults aged 16 to 64 within France; Germany, Great Britain, Spain, the United States, and adults aged 18 to 64 in Italy, between August 1 and 13, 2007.

A summary of the report can be found here.

Terror expulsions policy lacks basic safeguards

Better Human Rights Protections Needed in National Security Removal Cases:The lack of safeguards in France’s policy of expelling foreign residents with alleged links to violent extremism undermines human rights and alienates communities whose cooperation is critical to the fight against terrorism, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

In France and other European Union countries, the forced removal of foreigners suspected of extremism is increasingly seen as a tool to counter violent radicalization and terrorist recruitment. Since September 2001, the French government has removed more than 70 individuals it describes as “Islamic fundamentalists,” including at least 15 who were Muslim clerics (or imams). However, the French policy lacks adequate safeguards against human rights violations, including torture. Appeals based on risk of torture or other human rights grounds do not automatically suspend removal.

On May 11, the United Nations Committee Against Torture condemned France for expelling a terrorism suspect, Adel Tebourski, to Tunisia despite credible evidence that he faced a risk of torture upon return. This is the second such finding against France by the UN body in the past four years.

“France is entitled to remove foreign nationals who threaten national security, provided it respects human rights in the process,” said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “But as the recent UN anti-torture committee decision makes clear, France’s safeguards in these cases aren’t up to scratch.” (HRW)