The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris gave rise to Islamophobic sentiment in France. Police have been conducting dozens of unauthorized raids against Muslims on a daily basis.
A state of emergency in France, announced after the terrorist attacks in Paris, has led to thousands of unprecedented searches and raids by police, carried out without warrants, ” Sputnik News cited Daniel Bushell, a Russian correspondent based in France as saying on Monday.
One of France’s top officials called them an “obvious violation of individual freedoms.”
“The road was blocked by trucks, and then 40 armed men stormed into the restaurant,” said Daniel Bushell, describing a recent raid.
“There were children inside. Police just stormed in, wearing masks, shields and holding weapons. Women got so scared they were shaking. Some of the police officers ran upstairs and battered down the door which wasn’t even locked.”
When police didn’t find any weapons they started searching “unregistered prayer rooms” on the upper floor. Attorneys said that such rooms were hardly against the law.
Young Arabs living in the European country told the reporter that many Muslims put hoods up as soon as they notice patrol cars so that police don’t see their faces. Locals said they are afraid of harassment by police and that Muslims are tired of “constantly feeling at gunpoint”.
“Police tried to pull down a hood of my Arab friend who was having dinner with my younger brother,” said one man on the condition of anyonmity. “Police arrested him saying that emergency state gave them such warrant.
Even before the terrorist acts, Arabs would be stopped by police on the streets eight times more often than other people.
Yaser Louati of the Collective Against Islamophobia showed the Russian correspondent examples of letters with threats and insults a five-million Muslim community in France gets daily. He said he regularly gets them, too.
“One of the women was improperly touched during a search. Another woman, who was pregnant, lost her child after the raid. The government is waging a war against Muslim minority. But one day Muslims will say enough is enough and will seek revenge,” Louati said.
According to the French government, severe measures are necessary in the fight with terrorism and violence. But some express concerns that these measures will have a boomerang effect.