So Au Revoir and Allah Yisallimak! then, Ramadan, as four French Muslim summer camp workers are sacked on the first day of this strange religious “event,” which is the Islamic equivalent of Lent.
The workers were employed by the local council in Gennevilliers, a suburb of Paris, and were running a sports camp in Port d’Albret, in the Landes region of south west France.
They were formally dismissed when council officers decided that their ‘lack of nourishment’ between dawn and dusk was putting the health and safety of children at the camp at risk.
A spokesman said: “They did not respect the terms of their contract in a manner that could have endangered the physical safety of the children they were responsible for. This lack of nourishment and hydration could have resulted in these employees not being in full possession of the means required to ensure activities at the camp were correctly and safely run, as well as the physical safety of the children in their charge.”
The officials referred to a case in which a Muslim observing Ramadan caused a car accident three years ago, in which a child was seriously injured.
France is allegedly a secular republic which does not officially recognise religious differences, but the Muslim community has been pissed off since the introduction of a law last year which makes it a crime for women to wear veils in public.
Predictably, the dismissals have infuriated Islamic groups, who believe that the new Socialist government has done nothing to reverse nationwide discrimination and the sacked workers are taking Gennevilliers to an employment court.
Mohand Yanat, representing the sacked workers, said the safety argument was a cloak for anti-Muslim prejudice.
“How can you judge the capacity of someone to do their job on the basis of their religious observance?” he asks, disingenuously.
France’s Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) is preparing to sue Gennevilliers, and a spokesman said: “Religious freedom is a fundamental right and you cannot in any circumstances ban someone from practising their religion.”
The workers themselves claim that it was up to them what they eat and drank and one of them said he hoped the action they are planning to take over the ‘unfair and unacceptable’ treatment they had received would make life easier for other Muslims.
Perhaps we at Goodbye! magazine are being disingenuous, but the sackings are nothing to do with discrimination or with trying to prevent people practicing their religion.
Surely the Gennevilliers council is simply trying to ensure that the children in its care are looked after properly, and are claiming that someone who doesn’t eat or drink anything between dawn and dusk (i.e. from 4 am to 10.30 pm, some 18 hours) is unlikely to be in any condition to ensure their safety?
The point is surely that these workers can eat and drink whatever they like, whenever they like, in accordance with their bizarre religion, but what they cannot do is try to obtain or to hold down jobs for which their dietary practices will render them unfit.
It is surely the same as, for example, Sikhs who want to wear daggers whilst working as prison officers.
For people to protest that it is racism or religious discrimination to prevent them from holding jobs which are inappropriate to their religious practices is poppycock and another example of immigrant cultures using the racism argument in trying to pervert the culture in which they have decided to settle.