French Independent Senator Jean Louis Masson compared wearers of the Islamic veil to “Halloween witches” during a debate in the French parliament, leading to calls for sanctions to be imposed against the politician for his words.
The politician made the comments during a debate in the parliament on French state secularism. The video recording of the remarks went viral across French social media, being viewed more than 260,000 times in less than 12 hours, France Bleu reports.
The senator from Moselle hit out against wearers of the Islamic veil on school trips. He said that children were becoming “polluted by the proselytism of communitarianism”.
After comparing veil wearers to “Halloween witches”, he added: “If they are not happy, let them go back where they come from.”
Several social media users petitioned Gérard Larcher, the president of the Senate, to seek parliamentary sanctions against Masson for his remarks as criminal prosecution is unlikely due to the senator’s parliamentary immunity.
Poll: 61 Per Cent of French Say Islam ‘Incompatible’ with Society https://t.co/QHCOYvB6wr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 30, 2019
In 2015, Masson also hit the headlines for controversial remarks, saying that, “Today’s immigrants are the terrorists of tomorrow!”
The bill up for debate in the Senate sought to ban the wearing of the Islamic veil for parents who accompany their children on public school trips. The Senate passed the motion in a vote of 163 votes for, 114 against, with 40 abstaining.
The relationship between secularism and Islam has become a heated topic in France, with a recent study claiming that as many as 61 per cent of French people say that Islam is not compatible with French society at all. The results of the new research were eight points higher than a comparable survey released in 2018, suggesting concern is rising.
The study comes after several reports of Islamist infiltration of public services in France, notably in the RATP, the company that facilitates the public transport system in Paris.
Two Muslim police officers later had their firearms taken away due to suspicions of radicalisation in October. The move came after police computer worker and radical Islamic extremist Michael Harpon killed four people in a Paris police station only days earlier.