The Muslim woman accused the members of the French National Rally of destroying her life.
Rabat – The Muslim woman who experienced Islamophobic attacks from France’s National Rally party (RN) last week has spoken out about how the event at the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche Comte affected her life and that of her son.
Fatima E. accompanied her son to a school activity to explore the mission of the general assembly at the regional council.
The school trip, however, did not go well for Fatima, who faced Islamophobic insults from the members of the RN in front of her son because of the hijab or the veil.
Fatima spoke to Le Parisien about the incident, emphasizing that what concerned her the most was the distress of the children.
“They were really shocked and traumatized.”
Photos of the woman trying to calm her son who was crying after hearing RN’s comments went viral. The move angered several public figures who strongly condemned the RN attack against Muslims.
During the meeting held on October 11, leader of RN Julien Odoul asked the president of the council to ask Fatima to remove her hijab or to leave the meeting.
“It’s the republic, it’s secularity. It’s the law of the Republic, no ostentatious [religious] symbols,” said Odoul, exploiting France’s secularity to promote his own agenda.
The president of the council, Marie Guite Dufay, refused his request, emphasizing that no law allows her to ask the woman to leave for wearing hijab. The RN members then left the meeting.
Fatima said that the only thing she could do is to smile.
“I smiled first at his stupidity,” she said.
She added that she received support from several elected regional officials who wanted her to stay.
“When I saw my son crying, I told them that I will not be able to stay.”
She said that she also faced verbal attacks when she was leaving.
On her way out, she met right-wing regional elected member Karine Champy who told her “You will see, we’ll win.”
She said that the RN member wanted to provoke her to react.
“They destroyed my life,” the mother said. She added that she feels a “rejection that I had not felt before and that will have consequences.”
She said that she now understands why women with hijabs refuse to participate in school trips.
The RN’s move divided public opinion about the hijab in public spaces.
While some denounced the move, others seized the opportunity to attack Muslims.
The deputy editor of France’s Le Figaro publicly stated that he “hates the Muslim religion,” and that he believes it is his “right” to make openly criticize a religion on national television.
However, public figures, including actors, called on France President Emmanuel Macron to intervene.
“How long will we keep tolerating hatred against Muslims,” the French public figures asked in a collective statement published by Le Monde.