The New York Times reported that French police raided the homes of 4 Muslim children, treating them as terrorists, for expressing to teachers at the school their refusal of the offensive cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – earlier this month.
On the 5th of November, the police raided the homes of 4 students in the city of Albertville during the early hours of the morning, and dealt with 10-year-old children as terrorists, 3 of whom were of Turkish origin and one from Algeria.
This came after the Louis Pasteur School reported the children to the police. Those children told their teachers that they did not like the cartoons offensive to the Prophet Muhammad – may God bless him and grant him peace – in response to questions asked by the teachers.
After receiving the report, the police assessed the children’s views as “support for terrorism,” then raided 4 homes simultaneously, took the four 10-year-olds from their homes, treated them as “terrorists”, and interrogated them for 11 hours in the police station.
With the spread of pictures of police raids on children’s homes on social media, a widespread wave of anger erupted among Muslims in France, and many activists in Turkey interacted with the story.
The New York Times confirmed that the anti-extremist operations announced by France have so far resulted in the questioning of at least 14 students, and the four children whose homes were raided by police with weapons in Albertville are still suffering from psychological trauma, and their families are preparing to sue teachers and police.
According to the data of the French Ministry of Education, there are about 400 similar incidents throughout the country, 150 of which were considered “in defense of terrorism.”
The American newspaper pointed out that France was criticized at home and abroad for its actions and statements that risk confusing ordinary Muslims of France with people accused of extremism, especially by human rights organizations, amid questions about whether children enjoy freedom of expression in the country’s classrooms.