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H.  11 Dhu al-Qi'dah 1444 No: 1444 AH / 039
M.  Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Press Release
French Intelligence Tramples the Law and Reveals the Reality about the Country of Enlightenment and Freedoms by Requesting a Census of Absentees from Schools on Eid al-Fitr!!
(Translated)

The French daily newspaper La Dépêche published on Friday, May 19, 2023, a news article stating that approximately a hundred schools in Toulouse and its suburbs received an email from the French police requesting the rate of student absences on April 21, 2023, which coincided with the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The article included a testimonial from a school principal who was shocked by this request.

As mentioned in the newspaper, similar requests were also received by schools in Hérault, where they were asked for the rate of absences on the day of Eid and even throughout the entire month of Ramadan.

The rector of the Toulouse Academy, Mustafa Forar, denied that this measure was requested by the Ministry of National Education. According to the newspaper's sources, the police officers who sent the email did so based on orders from the French intelligence.

The news indeed sparked a significant controversy in France, and there was a series of condemnations from human rights organizations and public figures. The issue has generated much discussion. Initially, the government remained silent, but after increasing protests and accusations, the Ministry of Interior issued a press statement two and a half days later, on Sunday evening. In the statement, the ministry acknowledged that it did request some schools to "assess the rate of absences observed during Eid al-Fitr." However, it strongly denied requesting a census of absentees.

In her statement on the same day, Secretary of State for Citizenship, Sonia Backès, also denied that any data was requested by name or any statistics at any time. She emphasized that the initiative did not involve a desire to "compile files" on students based on their religion. She attributed the matter to the regular assessment conducted by “the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas” which “regularly studies the impact of certain religious holidays on the functioning of public services, and in particular within the school sphere”.

Human rights activists and many who denounced the incident agreed that it targeted Muslims, and the danger lies in linking the practice of Muslim children with the issue of internal security. They criticized the press statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, considering it as an attempt to manipulate people, and called on the ministry to immediately inform the public about the reasons and consequences of what happened. But of course, the government turned a deaf ear to these demands and pounded its head like an ostrich in the dirt, hoping to sweep the incident under the rug.

What the French intelligence did only confirms established facts that we have long exposed. It reveals that France is an intelligence state that schemingly targets Islam and Muslims day and night. It does not hesitate to openly display its hostility towards anything related to Islam whenever the opportunity arises. This matter no longer needs explanation, as its history is filled with events that unmistakably indicate this reality.

Indeed, what they have done this time also clearly exposes their blatant lies to the world regarding their supposed reverence for secularism and the idea of freedoms. Through their actions, they have trampled upon their own laws that prohibit "the collection of personal data that directly or indirectly reveals racial or ethnic origins, political, philosophical, or religious opinions" (Article 8 of the Law of July 6, 1978). This is in addition to the circular issued on May 15, 2004, by the Ministry of Education, which calls for "allowing students to be absent during religious celebrations." This is not to mention all the international conventions issued by the United Nations regarding human rights, racial discrimination, and the fundamental principles of secularism that they have proclaimed loudly.

Yes, the French intelligence has exposed the truth this time and uncovered the deceit of French politics, revealing their degradation and violation of the beautiful image they have painted of a country of enlightenment, rights, and freedoms. That is why many organizations have sounded the alarm and considered the issue as undermining secularism, targeting freedoms, and engaging in racial discrimination against Muslims.

The weak response from the Ministry of Interior only further exposes their attempt to manipulate people's minds and the reality of the concept of sovereignty of the people. The people, to this day, have not received answers to their questions, which the government did not bother to address.

The challenges facing Muslims in France are increasing at an alarming rate, especially after the enactment of the law against separatism, which called for the assimilation of Muslims into the melting pot of secularism. This law was approved in 2021.

The targeting of Islam has become evident, and considering Islam as a strategic enemy is now openly exposed, especially with the significant increase in the number of Muslims in France in recent years, whether they are immigrants or native French converts to Islam.

The government's confusion and its policy of targeting Muslims stem from the realization by French politicians that their system is faltering, and Islam is the only civilizational alternative and a real threat to their principles. Therefore, it is essential for Muslims in France to recognize the nature of the conflict they are facing with those in power and to realize the falsehood of Western civilization and its deceptive slogans. They should hold firmly to their Deen and not weaken in the face of schemes aimed at intimidating and assimilating them.

Women’s Section
in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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