The Great Mosque of Paris is stepping up against the words of the Minister of National Education. Pap Ndiaye said on Sunday May 7 that“about 500 cases”attacks on secularism had been recorded in March in schools, colleges and high schools. Figures that are up from previous months.
“There is always a rise, each year at the time of Ramadan”, he said, without providing details on the nature of these attacks on secularism during this holy month for Muslims.
In a letter to the minister made public on Wednesday May 10 on the social network Twitter, the rector Chems-eddine Hafiz wonders about “the serious analysis that would have led (the minister, Editor’s note) to this very categorical observation”.
Rector @ChemsHafiz wrote to the Minister of National Education and Youth @PapNdiaye to tell him of his greatest incomprehension following the remarks he made this Sunday in a France 3 broadcast. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/6bZJFXqQm7
— Great Mosque of Paris (@mosqueedeparis) May 10, 2023
“I am especially concerned about the impact, with our fellow citizens, of such an affirmation, the discriminatory nature of which leaves little doubt”, he adds, saying both his “exasperation”but also its “fully prepared to exchange with (him) On the question “.
“I would have preferred, moreover, to read and listen to you during this month of Ramadan which, according to my own observation, was on the contrary a vector of remarkable civic actions”, continues the rector. He mentions in particular the “3,500 meals” distributed by young people with the Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris during this month.
“The minister never wanted to stigmatize a religion”
Contacted by AFP, the ministry explains that “The minister never wanted to stigmatize a religion. He was referring to the reports from the ministry which may indicate an increase in reports at the time of religious holidays.. “This is why the ministry has put in place a training plan for teachers so that they are better supported and more vigilant when these cases arise”, is added.
At the end of December 2022, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Chems-eddine Hafiz, had already made himself the defender of Muslims by announcing to file a complaint against Michel Houellebecq for his comments made on Islam in the review Popular Front. He had finally given up pursuing the writer, following a mediation between him and the writer operated by the chief rabbi of France, Haïm Korsia.
The rector of the Great Mosque of Paris is speaking out this time on the subject of attacks on secularism at school, which had already caused controversy at the start of the school year. The Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, had notably alerted on October 13, 2022 in a daily interview The world on “a wave of wearing outfits that could be considered religious, including abayas, qamis and bandanas”.
The figures for attacks on secularism in schools, recorded by the Ministry of National Education, have been published monthly since the start of the school year in September 2022. Previously these statistics were only published quarterly.
Reports of secular abuse hit a peak of 720 cases in October 2022, according to the ministry, “in particular to the commemoration of the assassination of Samuel Paty”, killed by a terrorist of Chechen origin on October 16, 2020, explained Pap Ndiaye.