(Photo: On Islam)
(Photo: On Islam)

Lyon,  15 Rabi’ul Akhir 1436/5 February 2015 (MINA) – Five Muslim children were taken away from their mother after mistakenly linking father to extremism, amidst the state of hysteria that hit France following Charlie Hebdo attack, leaving their parents traumatized.

“With unimaginable cruelty and violence, the children were taken to an unknown destination with devastating consequences for their psycho-emotional state, and without being able to see their mother,” the Coalition against Racism and Islamophobia (CRI) said in a statement cited by 5Pillars on Monday.

According to the CRI, five children aged 6, 5, 4 years, 18 months and 3 months were taken by police and social services from their home in Bourgoin Jallieu near Lyon last January 29, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

At that time, the father Maher Mskani who was in Tunisia was mistaken for a “suspected fighter” and accused of planning to travel to Syria.

Mskani, who returned to France after hearing the news, argued that he indended to move his family to his home country Tunisia because they could “no longer practice Islam in France.”

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“Alerted, the father returned the next day to France without being bothered in the least by either the customs, nor by the PAF (Air and Frontier Police),” the CRI said.

Yet, he found his children already taken away by police.

The case of the five kids to be is not the first in which Muslim children are being tracked by police since Paris attacks last month.

Last week, an 8 years old Muslim schoolboy was interrogated by French police after refusing to take part in a minute’s silence in honor of victims. The young kid was accused of condoning terrorism as he opposed Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

More recently, a French ‘anti-jihad’ guide which warns parents that their kids might be radicalized if they buy new clothes and stop eating baguettes, has been widely mocked on social media since its launch by the ministry of interior.


The police action was vehemently condemned by the Lyon-based CRI that described the separation of parents and children as “unimaginable cruelty”.

“We condemn this unhealthy and dangerous climate and hold accountable politicians, media and intellectuals who have exploited the dramatic events we have experienced, and are playing with fire by allowing the spread of Islamophobia,” The CRI said.

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“Since the attacks of 7 January 2015 we have received more than 200 calls from Muslims who have been assaulted.”

Moreover the coalition called for establishing a “parliamentary commission of inquiry to measure the extent of this new form of racism and legislation to protect the Muslims of France who have become scapegoats.”

The coalition also denounced preventing the Muslim mother, Aicha, from visiting her children after taking them away.

“We learned with amazement that the mother wanted to breastfeed her baby with her own milk and had provided a bottle for this which was refused by the police who responded ‘powdered milk will be given,” the CRI stated.

“We are appalled by the inhumanity of separating a breastfed baby of 3 months from her mother, and to deny that breast milk be given.

“The mother, who is accused of nothing, asked to be locked up, if necessary, with her baby so she can breastfeed and be at his side. Even if the father is the worst of criminals we do not understand this ferocity towards the wife and children. “


Muslims in Europe have been facing an increasing resentment after Paris attacks that left 17 killed, including two Muslims.

The National Observatory Against Islamophobia said over one hundred incidents have been reported to the police since Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 7-9.

The rise in attacks over the last two weeks represents an increase of 110 percent over the whole of January 2014, the organization said on Monday.

Moreover, a Muslim father was stabbed to death in his own home in southern France this week by a neighbor who claimed to be avenging Charlie Hebdo.

Seeing the Charlie Hebdo attack as a betrayal of Islamic faith, leaders from Muslim countries and organizations have joined worldwide condemnation of the attack, saying the attackers should not be associated with Islam.

Check special coverage with the reactions from prominent Muslims worldwide. Check also reactions from eminent Muslim scholars on this barbaric incident. (T/P011/R04)


Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)