PARIS – According to Le Parisien (also here), a young Muslim woman and her friend were refused entry to a bus because the driver deemed their dress too light.

Faced with the controversy, the RATP launched an internal investigation “as soon as the knowledge of the report” became public. An announcement was made on Sunday, May 5, in a joint statement posted on Twitter, by Élisabeth Borne and Marlène Schiappa, respectively Minister of Transport and Secretary of State for Equality.

“If the facts reported are confirmed, they would be viewed with great gravity, since they are totally contrary to the public service values, and would require exemplary sanctions,” the two write. The driver involved, meanwhile, will be heard “as soon as possible”.

The Paris public transport company contacted the author of the report. “A call for witnesses was also launched in order to collect all the useful testimonies ,” we also learn in the press release.

The facts go back to Tuesday, April 30, when “Elise was waiting for the bus line 60 with a friend, at the stop Botzaris, Buttes Chaumont (19th arrondissement),” says Kamel Pencheikh (pictured), father of the young Algerian woman.

“When the vehicle arrived, they were the only two waiting. The driver stared at them, did not open the doors and restarted,” he said. “The vehicle stopped a few meters away at a red light. My daughter ran to the driver’s window to ask the driver why he was not opening the doors . And according to the father, “the driver replied: ‘You have to get dressed properly’, while looking at her legs”.

The girl, who is a physicist, and her friend finally decided to take the taxi. Interviewed by Le Parisien, Kamel Bencheikh remarked: “This guy who drives a bus is paid with my taxes but prevented my daughter, holder of a valid Navigo pass and therefore in good standing, who has never done anything reproachable, to board… just because she wore a skirt.”

He lashed out at the driver from the “Maghreb” being an “Islamist”. In a post Facebook, deleted since, the father even claimed “[his] Islamophobia”.

He said: “I will not stop.” He explained that he was going to file a complaint on behalf of his daughter. “RATP must publicly apologize to my daughter” he told the daily.

Last week’s episode is not an isolated case. In the north-eastern suburbs of Paris, as reported by the Corriere della Sera, intimidation is the order of the day. Radicalized Muslims target women: sometimes they verbally attack them, sometimes they even physically attack them.

In a report published in 2017 by Le Parisien, journalist Cécile Beaulieu had already reported that in Chapelle-Pajol, “groups of ten single men, street vendors, drug dealers, migrants and traffickers dictate law in the streets, harassing women”.

According to Beaulieu “hundreds of square meters of asphalt are for men only, where women are no longer accepted”.

The suburbs dominated by men – mostly Arabs and Africans – have remained so, as nobody has had the courage to resolve the situation.

In these neighbourhoods, RATP buses and stops have regularly been vandalized and stoned. For this reason, in recent years, the public transport company has decided to employ drivers linked to Islamist circles.

One such an example was Samy Amimour, one of the jihadists who attacked the Bataclan Theater. From 2010 to 2012, before going to Syria to fight with the Islamic State, Amimour had been a driver of the RATP.

Author Ghislaine Dumesnil has accused the French unions of having allowed radicalized Muslims to infiltrate the transport company, turning the bus depots into prayer rooms while discriminating against non-Muslims.


Original article