Even before the recent string of Islamist attacks, many Muslims living in France have felt the staunchly harsh anti-Muslim sentiment that is sometimes exacerbated by the authorities, Cecile Le Roux told RT.
Le Roux, herself a Catholic French, who is spokesman and wife of Rachid Nekkaz, a prominent Algerian-born businessman and political activist, said she experienced “upsetting dissidence” after she got married to a Muslim and had a child.
“Anti-Muslim sentiment in France is something that was new to me when I married Rachid Nekkaz. And having a child you sort of feel like it is unsexy to be Muslim and Arabic in France,” she said.
“The French government has contributed to [this sentiment]. The government seems to be unsure of how to handle the fact that the growing part of its youth population is of Muslim culture, even if they are not necessarily all practicing Muslims,” Le Roux said.
At the moment instead of my being able to tell you that France is looking into how to cohabitate and how to peacefully live with different cultures and religions, one very clear thing that has happened is that a law has been passed that forbids young women to dress the way they want.”
Le Roux said she is afraid that even tougher times are ahead for the French Muslim community, as tensions are high in the wake of Wednesday’s attack.
Reaction to the shooting massacre in central of Paris largely focused on condemning the atrocity and showing solidarity with the slain cartoonists and policemen, some have attempted to analyze what actually led to the terror act.
Europe’s multicultural policies, the problem of antagonizing Muslims in society and the weaknesses of police forces that are not trained for “war-type situations” have been highlighted by critics among less obvious grounds for the attack than the religious extremism and the Middle Eastern wars.
Some blamed France’s multiculturalism model for creating a rift within the French society between the Muslim and non-Muslim populations. Chairman of the English Democrats Robin Tilbrook told RT he thinks this kind of policy is not sustainable.
“It is the fundamental problem of multiculturalism and the whole model of multiculturalism. We’ve got societies living side by side now that have very little contact with each other and have no shared values. Consequently, we’ve got this increased of ghettoization of our society. It is not only French society, but society here in England as well,” Tilbrook said.