Residents of a Paris suburb said Monday they are being used as a propaganda tool for a “separatism” bill in the French parliament.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, people who live in Trappes said they were disturbed by the allegations of French media outlets that they were “separatists.”
A student from La Plaine-de-Neauphle High School who did not want to be identified said an allegation by the school’s philosophy teacher, Didier Lemaire, that he receives threats from Muslim students does not reflect the truth.
"There is no clan life here as it is mentioned. Christians and Muslims live together," the student stressed, adding they fear these claims will affect their education.
“We have a fear of getting rejected in university applications just because we are from Trappes,” the student added.
Zerdy Zoulika, who has owned a restaurant in Trappes for seven years, also complained about the French media and politicians making their region a propaganda tool.
Zoulika wondered why the French teacher put forward such a lie which has upset the people who live in Trappes.
"We live here in accordance with global values like everyone else. Frankly, I cannot see a problem in this region as it is mentioned.”
She said they want the French media and politicians to leave Trappes alone.
“We live in such an ordinary suburb of France. We are all French citizens. Respect is what allows people of a country to live together. Stop discriminating,” she said.
Zoulika stressed that Buddhists, atheists, Muslims, and Christians live together in Trappes with respect for each other.
Verstraeten Sylvie, who has lived in Trappes for 32 years along with her children and grandchildren, also disagreed with Lemaire’s allegations.
"The problems here are no different from those of other cities in France,” she told Anadolu Agency.
Sylvie said not all Muslims should be treated as terrorists just because some people who lived in Trappes went to Syria and joined the Daesh terrorist organization.
"Some politicians say 'Trappes is full of Arabic worshipers.' Yes, it's true. But it is also true that there are Latin-French people who go to church here. There is also the synagogue. People go there too,” Sylvie said.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Trappes, Ali Rabeh, said they have received numerous threats following Lemaire’s allegations.
French President Emmanuel Macron introduced the bill last year to fight "Islamist separatism.”
It is being criticized because it targets the Muslim community and imposes restrictions on almost every aspect of their lives.
It provides for intervening in mosques and the associations responsible for their administration as well as controlling the finances of associations and non-governmental organizations belonging to Muslims.
It also restricts the education choices of the Muslim community by preventing families from giving children home education.
The bill also prohibits patients from choosing doctors based on gender for religious or other reasons and makes compulsory "secularism education" for all public officials.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.