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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

French teacher facing death threats after asking a muslim student to remove her veil

By A. S.

In France, a teacher has received death threats and was accused of Islamophobia after he asked a student to remove her face-covering Islamic veil for identification purposes before taking an exam. 

The incident took place at the Charlemagne high school, located in Paris when students were writing their matriculation exams. When she arrived at the examination center, the muslim student in question was asked to remove the veil covering her face, to carry out a standard identity check by French law. At first, she refused to do so, but eventually, when she was reminded that she had to comply with the law, she agreed and showed her face.

Later, in an interview with a French media outlet about the incident, she said that she had “wanted to avoid conflict” and accused the teacher who – in accordance with the law – had asked her to do so of becoming “aggressive”. On the other hand, because he was following the law and did not want to make an exception for the student, the teacher started to face threats on social media after a friend of the student wrote about the “incident” on Twitter. Several “outraged” social network users immediately demanded that the teacher’s identity be revealed, while others threatened him with death and accused the exam center staff of “Islamophobia”.

As a result of the threats, the teacher filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor’s office, which opened an investigation for “death threats, online harassment and endangering the life of another person through the dissemination of information from private life”, according to Remix News.

This is one of many examples of the intercultural tensions that arise in multiracial societies with high levels of migration, such as French society. However, such threats must be taken seriously, especially in the light of the murder of Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded by a Chechen Islamist in 2020 for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in his classroom that had been published in the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which also led to a terrorist attack in the newspaper’s editorial offices.

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