Wearing Muslim head scarves in schools has been banned all over the country since 2004. But will the mayor of Nice get away with telling Muslim football players they can’t pray on the field?
Many in Nice question why Mayor Christian Estrosi is suddenly taking a harder-than-normal line against Muslims—trying to shut down a big mosque and threatening to cut funds to the local soccer club if players continue to pray on the pitch—less than two weeks after a report indicating ISIS is planning an attack on the beaches of southern France and Italy.
“He’s clearly starting a fire designed to pit the local Nicois against the local Muslims,” said Karim, 21, a young activist in one of Nice’s Muslim neighborhoods. “He’s using a form of blackmail to get more non-Muslims on his side and against our community. And to what end? He could end up radicalizing a lot of kids as a result.”
Estrosi announced late last week that football clubs on the Riviera must respect a “secularism charter” that forbids bringing religion into the game, invoking the hallowed law enacted in 1905 that strictly separates church and state.
Source: The Daily Beast