By Peter Allen
Two women wearing headscarves were thrown out of a Paris restaurant after being threatened by its self-confessed racist owner who said ‘Terrorists are Muslims, and all Muslims are terrorists.’
The scenes at Le Cenacle follow a series of incidents in which grandmothers and mothers have been thrown off public beaches in France for wearing Islamic looking clothing.
Now a criminal enquiry has been launched into Saturday’s vicious attack at the restaurant in Tremblay-en-France, a north-east suburb of the French capital.
The women sat down at a table and were originally offered glasses of water, before the owner appeared from the kitchen and said he did not want them there.
A video of the attack shows the man saying: ‘Racists like me don't kill good people. Racists like me.’
He adds: ‘Madam, terrorists are Muslims and all Muslims are terrorists. Analyse my words, you'll see that they're right.’
But the Cenacle owner continued: ‘I'm living in a secular country and this is my opinion.’
After the man shouted ‘It seems like you didn't understand. Now get out!’ the crying women make phone calls and leave.
Another customer sitting nearby recorded the whole conversation on his phone, and it is now the subject of widespread public debate.
Laurence Rossignol, the Women’s Rights minister, said she had ordered a full enquiry by the Inter-ministerial Delegation into Racism and anti-Semitism (DILCRA).
Ms Rossignol called for sanctions against the ‘the unacceptable behavior of this restaurant owner.’
Police in nearby Villepinte meanwhile confirmed that their officers had attended the scene, and were also investigating.
Today the restaurant owner – who has not been named – said he regretted what happened, but had got caught up in the fiery debate surrounding the so-called ‘burkini ban’.
On Friday, the controversial measure which prevents women wearing Islamic looking swimsuits, or any other dress that might be considered religious, was overturned by a Paris appeal court.
It came after images of a woman stripping down and then being fined in Nice by four armed police sparked outrage around the world.
The court ruled that the burkini ban ‘seriously, and clearly illegally, breached the fundamental freedoms to come and go, the freedom of beliefs and individual freedom.’
Despite this, a number of French resorts, including Nice, are still fining women.
The new footage followa a series of incidents in which grandmothers and mothers have been thrown off public beaches in France for wearing Islamic looking clothing
More pictures taken on the city’s beach on Saturday showed a police officer jumping off a boat and telling two young women and a little boy to get off the pebbles.
Far right conspiracy theorists have claimed that such incidents are being fabricated, with the help of international picture agencies, but the photographers concerned have rubbished these accusations.
Police have also insisted that they would never be drawn into cheap publicity stunts which clearly portray them in a negative light.
The video of the Paris restaurant incident was today going viral all over social media.