Inquiry into anti-Muslim discrimination at Gare du Nord backs trade union’s claims

Earlier this year the French national railway SNCF and its baggage-handling subsidiary Itirémia were denounced by the SUD trade union, after black and African employees at the Gare du Nord station were excluded from contact with Israeli president Shimon Peres and his entourage, on the grounds that “they might be Muslim”.

The Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France reports that an official inquiry into this scandal by the health and safety body CHSCT has concluded not only that SUD’s allegations were accurate but also that these discriminatory practices continue, and are not restricted to the SNCF.

“In light of the evidence gathered during the inquiry … we can say there are strong grounds for believing that discrimination of a racial and religious character was carried out by management”, the inquiry’s report states. It adds: “We find that contrary to statements by management these practices are not isolated and have become common.” The report also questions whether it was only local management that was involved in the Gare du Nord case.

The report states: “It is regrettable to see the amalgam that management made with regard to people of the Muslim faith, by treating them as potential terrorists and therefore a danger to society.”