Muslims are not terrorists ... Terrorists are not muslims
|ROUBAIX, Apr 15: When police kicked in Mohamed Asbol’s at dawn and hauled away his son on suspicion of being an Islamist radical, he saw it as further proof that he was not considered fully French.
The 64-year-old was born in Algeria but came to France as a teenager, took French nationality, worked for decades as a welder, paid his taxes and quietly brought up his family in the northern city of Roubaix.
But, he insisted, as a friend arrived to help him fix the door on his modest red-brick terraced house, he is still seen as an outsider and he believes the policies of President Nicolas Sarkozy are reinforcing that prejudice.
“They broke my dignity. I am disappointed with France. It’s obvious that he is stigmatising Muslims to get votes,” said Asbol, just a week before the first round of voting in France’s presidential election.
“Just because my son has a beard, wears a djellaba and goes to the mosque doesn’t mean he’s a terrorist!” he said, indignantly. His 28-year-old son Said’s arrest came during a series of police raids on April 4 that netted 10 individuals in cities across France.
The dawn sweep was the second high profile wave of arrests of suspected Islamists in the wake of murders by a self-proclaimed Al-Qaeda member from Toulouse that shocked France.
The first wave netted deactivated assault rifles and other weapons and a number of people were kept in custody on terrorist-linked charges. AFP