Kev Adams did not hesitate to defend French Muslims, who are “constantly in the spotlight” because of the Islamic State’s actions. His statement of support happened during his program On n’est pas couché on November 22.
He apologized for any associations between terrorism and Islam. “There are young adults that listen to me and one must not make automatic associations, Muslims are not terrorists, Muslims are good people,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky to tour in France, I like being able to visit different communities and I’ve been to many mosques where I saw that the discourse there is to tell the kids: ‘be proud to be Muslims…and to be French Muslims.’” Adams says it is “completely wrong” to say that they are terrorists, and added, “It’s important for me to say it on television.”
Before his show, journalist Elise Lucet highlighted the work done in mosques to combat radicalization. “In mosques there are people who are doing everything they can so that young adults, converts or Muslims, have a different vision of Islam, thanks to what they are taught.”
Adams’s sentiments were not all well-received by his fans. However, there have been many congratulatory messages that have multiplied after significant media coverage. “Thank you for your kind messages (and even the mean ones) about #OPNC or #VTEP! It is truly touching! #Love,” he wrote.
The National Coordinator counter-Terrorism and Security (NCTV) has plans to establish an independent support centre for families of jihadis and potential jihadis. According to Karima Sahla, who work for ‘Sabr’, an organization in city of The Hague that supports parents of (potential) jihadis, this is needed. Parents are extremely worried about their children and afraid for the phone-call that will tell them there child has become a martyr. It is important that the employees in this centre get trained in how to deal with this specific group, in order to assure quality and an ability to emphasize with the families.
June 30, 2014
More than 1.7 million Muslims living in Spain have started Sunday, the Ramadan. In this context, the Union of Islamic Communities in Spain (UCIDE) calls on employers to provide, where possible, its practitioners workers to fulfill this task. “We appeal to the generosity, good practice and good expertise of public and private employers and managers, to the extent of its powers to facilitate the achievement of the daily fast during this month,” says the president of the UCIDE, Riay Tatary. The organization points out that the Spanish law recognizes the right of Muslims to seek the conclusion of the work day one hour before sunset during Ramadan, which is then recovered hours by agreement of the parties.
In a recent interview with Fatima Achouri, author of “The Muslim Employee in France,” Achouri examines how observant French Muslims celebrate Ramadan while continuing to work. Achouri discusses Ramadan’s importance as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and as an obligation for all believers who are physically capable of observing the holiday. Ramadan “highlights the concept of patience and endurance against life’s struggles,” says Achouri. She describes it as an “inner experience,” which explains why many Muslims prefer to not speak about their fasting throughout the month.
When discussing Ramadan’s position in the workplace, Achouri says that “the right to work dictates that it is completely possible to practice one’s religion, it is a fundamental right…for that matter there is a limitation to this freedom that can be put into effect.” For example, during Ramadan a worker cannot “rely on fasting to justify an error [at work].” Furthermore, if the employee feels that his own health and the safety of others is in danger he is allowed to break the fast and make up the days at a later time.
This year Ramadan begins at the end of June and spans much of July– a time when many Frenchmen are on vacation. When asked if the timing would cause observers to use their vacation time during Ramadan, Achouri answered that most prefer to work. Many employees will, however, take the day off for Eid to celebrate the end of Ramadan. While workers may ask for time off it is not guaranteed–especially in workplaces with a large number of Muslim employees.
Businesses are responsible for their workers’ wellbeing and their health and security. This year’s fasting period is particularly long and can last for eighteen hours. The situations for Muslim employees in France can vary depending on the type of establishment. Some businesses are more likely than others to accommodate those who fast. They may allow observant employees to take breaks during the day, or give them tasks that require less physical exertion. Such policies are often in the organization’s own interest, as they promote workers’ health and efficiency and encourage “harmony” in the workplace. Achouri encourages Muslim employees, especially those whose jobs entail physical labor, to speak with their managers in order to find solutions that work for everyone.