Two Muslim Paris police officers have had their weapons taken away from them, with one suspended from duty, after allegations that the pair may have been radicalised.
The first officer, a 39-year-old, was ordered to surrender his firearm on Thursday and suspended by the police force as a “precautionary principle”. According to his colleagues, the officer had married a Muslim lawyer in 2011 and began to grow his beard, pray at work and show other signs of religiosity, Le Parisien reports.
In 2018, an investigation into the officer was done by the General Inspectorate of the National Police and the Directorate of Intelligence and found that while the officer was very religious, he was not radicalised. After divorcing his wife, he even shaved his beard and became less isolated from his fellow officers.
However, since the killing of four people, including police officers, earlier this month by Muslim convert Mickaël Harpon, police have become far more cautious, with officers floating the idea that the 39-year-old could be practising “Taqiyya” — a form of deceptive concealment of religious belief which Islam permits.
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The second officer, a 34-year-old from Villeneuve-la-Garenne, had previously been suspended in 2018 after signs of radicalism but was later reinstated after a court appeal this year.
He is said to have encouraged other Muslims to pray with him and refused contact with female colleagues — much like Harpon is said to have done.
The officer also allowed the friend of a known terrorist to borrow his badge and firearm for a photograph.
Christophe Rouget, deputy secretary-general of the union of cadres of internal security commented on the disarming of the two officers saying, “Vigilance must apply and it is necessary to detect radicalized officers. But it must be done with cold rigour, without falling into a witch hunt.”
Earlier this week, some French officers claimed that they had been afraid of being labelled “Islamophobic” if they spoke out against Muslims they believed may be radicalised.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 11, 2019