French Muslim servicemen discriminated against: report

Muslims serving in the French army are routinely mocked at, discriminated against and sometimes denied their religious rights, according to a new report.

The report, entitled French Servicemen of Immigrant Origin, found that racist jokes and derogatory remarks are often played on Muslims inside the military establishment, Le Figaro reported on Friday, September 24.

French soldiers make fun of their Muslim peers by trying to mimic their native accent when speaking in French, according to the report, undertaken by the independent French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).

Though Muslim servicemen are allowed halal meals and flexible working hours during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, this is not the custom inside the army. It is done randomly and not systematic as many Muslim servicemen do not get their halal meals for days, said the report.

The military top brass are increasingly opposed to allow Muslim servicemen to practice their religion, it added.

Islam Online, 24 September 2005