The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, revealed on Thursday June 15 that groups of students from several schools in Nice were organizing Muslim prayers during their meridian break time. A “minute of silence in memory of the Prophet Muhammad” was notably respected by children attending school in CM1 and CM2, said the city councilor on Twitter, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne.
Muslim prayers in the courtyard by CM1 and CM2 students, minute of silence for Muhammad: the inspector of@AcademieNice informed me of extremely serious facts in several primary schools in #Nice06.
I immediately grasped @Elisabeth_Borne and the @ prefect06. pic.twitter.com/h0Ir3OJhcl
—Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) June 15, 2023
Fifteen students concerned
These prayers at lunchtime concern ten pupils of CM1, on May 16, and three children of the same level in another school, on June 5, specified the rectorate of Nice to the Figaro. In a third establishment, a pupil of CM2 took the initiative on June 8 to organize the minute of silence in memory of Mohammed, by calling on his comrades to participate.
In all, about fifteen pupils are concerned, in five primary schools (Saint-Sylvestre, Fuon Cauda and Bois de Boulogne) and secondary (Pablo-Picasso middle school, in Vallauris, and Estienne-d’Orves high school, in Nice).
The prayers were sent to the rectorate through the “Facts establishments” platform set up by the former Minister of National Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem in 2016.
“Suspicion of radicalization”
The behaviors were then flagged as “suspicion of radicalization” to the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes. In his letter, Christian Estrosi asks the government for an action plan and “a major campaign to raise awareness of the phenomenon of radicalization”. He also expressed this wish to the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes. “These are very serious facts but which remain very rare”, indicated to Figaro Natacha Chicot, the rector.
According to several concordant sources, some parents of students were summoned following these practices. The authorities are trying to find out if they are part of a mimicry or a phenomenon of contagion, which could also concern Var establishments.
Pap Ndiaye launches an investigation
Education Minister Pap Ndiaye described Friday, June 16 as“intolerable” the prayers pronounced by schoolchildren in Nice, in a rare joint letter with the mayor of the city.
With @cestrosi, a common line: firmness in the face of attacks on secularism. National Education and the city of Nice are strengthening their cooperation so that the School remains protected from any religious influence. The principle of secularism is not negotiable in our Republic. pic.twitter.com/Ck3JSpARcJ
— Pap Ndiaye (@PapNdiaye) June 16, 2023
The Minister also announced the opening of an administrative investigation “An investigation by the General Inspectorate is being carried out to precisely establish the facts and draw useful conclusions. » Sessions on secularism have already been organized for the pupils of these schools.