French Muslim schoolchildren ‘terrorized’ by police after discussion over teacher’s beheading – 5Pillars

Photo: Andelou Agency

Four primary school children were “terrorized” and grilled during more than 11 hours of detention by French police on false allegations of “justification of terrorism”, according to the parents of the children.

In an interview with the Anadolu agency, the parents of the four children living in Albertville, in the south-east of France – all aged 10, three of Turkish origin, one of Algerian origin – denounced last Thursday the excessive use of force by the police.

“Before 7 a.m., the police struck [on the door] in such a way as to almost break it,” said the father, Yildirim. “Ten masked police officers carrying large weapons entered the house.”

Police woke Yildirim’s 10-year-old daughter and told them they were taking her to the police station, he recalled. “They took pictures of the wall decorations, tried to find clues by searching the whole house,” he said.

Later, at the police station, “they asked us a lot of questions about our religious beliefs, whether we prayed, etc. They interrogated both of us, my wife and me, for two hours.

“In addition to questions about our religion, they asked us what we thought of the strained relationship between [French President Emmanuel] Macron and [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” the father said, calling the questions disrespectful and provocative.

“As they did in the morning, they clearly wanted to terrorize us with noise and excessive violence. I don’t understand: 10 over-armed policemen, apparently trying to break down our door, to pick up my 10-year-old daughter, who was still sleeping.

Father says his daughter’s 11-hour detention and ‘overly aggressive and quite scary’ behavior by police may relate to class discussion of blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (as) and last month’s murder of a teacher who showed the cartoons. in class.

Although his daughter may have said something about the murder, the father explained, she is only 10 and “knows nothing about it”.

“These are not things we talk about at home,” he said, adding that “everyone knows our family after 20 years of living here. The school knows us very well; we had several children who went to the same school. If there was a concern about radicalization in our country, everyone would know about it.

The 10-year-old girl who was detained by police for 11 hours told Anadolu Agency when her teacher asked her what she thought of the teacher’s murder “I told her I was sorry he was dead but nothing would have happened if he hadn’t shown the cartoons.

“My teacher just answered. “Okay, I get it,” and that was it,” she said.

Of her long detention by the police, she said: “I was very scared. This is the first time something like this has happened to me. She added, “The police asked me if I went to the mosque, and I told them I went on Saturdays and Sundays.” She said the experience left her very shaken.

Albertville police told Anadolu Agency they could not provide information on the detention of the four children.

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