‘Cut beard or leave’: French high school student told his beard is ‘sign of radicalization’

A student of a French high school was threatened with expulsion after he refused to comply with the headmaster’s demand to shave his beard, which the headmaster considered a “sign of radicalization.”

“You cut it or you leave,” the headmaster reportedly told the student. The head teacher also reportedly claimed that the student’s beard is an apparent “sign of radicalization.”

When the headmaster first asked the student to shave or shorten his facial hair, the young man, 21, explained that he had been cultivating his beard for two years for religious reasons.

“The Prophet [Muhammed] was wearing one. It is something important to me,” the student, who wanted to remain unidentified out of fear of “being stigmatized even more.”

He also added that the head teacher’s “threats put pressure” on him and he “ended up” writing a letter to inform him that he was leaving the school. According to Le Parisien, the student has not attended school since October 13.

“He [the headmaster] gave me a few days for reflection to see if I change my mind and shave [the beard]… but I will not!” the student said. The student, who is a son of an atheist and a non-practicing Muslim, also admitted that he used to miss classes to go to Friday prayers, and said that he avoided shaking hands with his schoolmates for reasons of “decency.”

He also said that he used to wear harem pants – a sort of clothing common among Muslims – but stopped wearing them at headmaster’s request, as he agreed that it could be a religious sign. However, he still defends his right to sport a beard.

“I am not the only one with a beard, both among students and teachers,” he said. In the meantime, the young man received support from his classmates. “It looks like it was the parents who complained to the headmaster. Everything is mixed up!” one girl said.

The incident took place in the Parisian northern suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, where some of the terrorists, who were involved in the Paris attacks in November 2015, were living.

 

 

Sweden Democrats Attack Muslim Politician in Rostrum

November 5, 2010

The far-right populist Sweden Democrats’ speakers William Petzäll and Kent Ekeroth attacked Islam, and especially Abdirizak Waberi from the Moderate Party, from the rostrum Wednesday 4 November.
They accused the Moderat Party of letting an Islamist into the parliament. They said it’s their duty to speak up against Islam, just as they would against any other totalitarian force, such as Communism or Nazism.
They further claimed that Waberi defends domestic violence and doesn’t agree to men and women shaking hands or dancing.
Waberi, who was not present, later commented the attack by saying he does not advocate violent acts towards women, and that he agrees to common Swedish values. Rather he thinks the Sweden Democrats talk against him just because he’s a Muslim.

Amsterdam man fined for refusing work on religious grounds

An Amsterdam court has backed the decision of the Amsterdam Welfare Agency (DWI) to fine a Muslim man who refused work which would require him to shake hands with women and cut his beard. The man was fined 200 Euros by the DWI on the grounds that his convictions prevented him from accepting work as a security guard. According to the DWI this would also have frustrated efforts to get the man employed as traffic warden or seniors’ home. The court argued that in this case, finding a job
takes precedence over freedom of religious expression.

Teachers complain woman refuses to shake hands

An administrative worker at the School for Journalism in Utrecht has sparked resentment among some teachers. The woman, who greets male teachers with a hand over her heart rather than shaking hands, has been working at the position since September. Some teachers have lodged a complaint regarding the practice. Trajectum quotes teacher Michiel Smis saying he feels discriminated: “Purely because of the fact that I’m a man she refused to shake my hand.”

Désirée Majoor, head of the Communication and Journalism Faculty, says in response that the employee reported her behavior regarding men before her job interview. She is well qualified for the position and has a pleasant and open attitude. “There is no issue here that she avoids contact. She only chooses to greet men differently. That does not impede her functioning.”

Muslim man denied job for refusing to shake hands with woman

An unnamed Muslim man was denied a job in Rotterdam as a client manager at the Rotterdam social services department, because he refused to shake hands with a woman. The man claimed that he was wrongly denied the job, but a Dutch court ruled otherwise. The judge ruled that shaking hands is a common way of exchanging greetings in the Netherlands, and refusal to shake hands can be seen as hostile or offensive. The judge also ruled that denying the man the job was appropriate and necessary.

Radical Muslims Gaining Influence over Moderate Co-Religious

AMSTERDAM – Radical Muslims are gaining influence over their moderate co-religious at an increasing rate in the Netherlands. This was the main finding of the fourth progress report on combating terrorism which Interior Ministers Johan Remkes and Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on Wednesday. It said that ultra-orthodox Salafism in particular was making its presence felt in an increasing number of mosques. This is a radical branch that seeks to return to the “pure Islam” of the days of Mohammed. Adherents often shun western society and criticise efforts by other Muslims to integrate into Dutch society. The movement has been linked to the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia. Followers of radical Islam have successfully used the internet and lectures to win over more followers and gain control of moderate mosques, Remkes said. Both he and his colleague said the ideological influences exerted by radical Muslims was a cause for concern. Conservative MP and Muslim critic Geert Wilders criticised Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for her behaviour during a visit to a mosque in the Hague on 3 June. She removed her shoes on entering the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague and refrained from shaking hands with Muslim men there in accordance with their strict religious beliefs. The visit was to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of the mosque. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende praised the Queen’s behaviour as an example of the type of religious tolerance needed in the Netherlands.