Two Muslim men attacked a French waitress for serving alcohol during Ramadan, in an incident some observers report as evidence that Muslim immigrants are attempting to impose radical Islamic values in Europe, the Evening Standard is reporting.
The waitress, herself a Muslim immigrant from Tunisia, was working her shift Monday at the Vitis Café in Nice, a tony resort city on the French Riviera.
As she was going about her job duties, two Muslim men passed the waitress and started verbally and physically abusing her. One of them called her a “whore” and slapped her across the face, giving her a black eye and knocking her to the ground. The woman, who declined to give her name because she fears retribution, says the men then started chastising her for serving alcohol during Ramadan.
“One of them said to me in Arabic: ‘You should be ashamed of yourself for serving alcohol during Ramadan, if I was God I would hang you.’ [I replied] ‘You’re not God and you cannot judge me.’ “
Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, began at sunset on Sunday, June 6, this year, and continues until sunset on Tuesday, July 5. During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to refrain from smoking, eating, drinking any liquids, and having sex while the sun is shining.
Further, alcohol is generally seen as forbidden for Muslims, although not all Muslims adhere to that prohibition, according to the Economist. As a Turkish hotel owner who identified himself as “Suleiman” explains, “The Koran bans getting drunk, but a beer or two doesn’t hurt. This is a matter between me and Allah.”
Some traditionally Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia, have gone as far as banning alcohol entirely, or allowing only non-Muslims to buy, sell, or consume alcohol (such as Iran). Other Muslim nations, such as Turkey or the French waitress’ native Tunisia, are relatively liberal when it comes to alcohol and don’t forbid it as a matter of law.
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Nevertheless, France is a secular, culturally Christian nation, not a Muslim one, and alcohol consumption is a part of the country’s culture and is not forbidden by law. So it came as a shock to the waitress when the Muslim men chose to take Islamic law into their own hands, according to the Local, and disregard French law.
“Serving alcohol doesn’t mean I’m not following my duties. I’m doing it because I am a barmaid. In Tunisia, I do the same job and I never had the same problem. I didn’t think that in France, the country of liberty, you could be attacked for that.”
The attack was captured on the bar’s security cameras, and as of this writing, the police have identified the attackers but they are not in custody. One of the attackers is an illegal immigrant and already known to French authorities for his extremist views.
According to the Daily Mail, some politicians have jumped on the attack, pointing to it as evidence that Muslim immigrants in Europe are attempting to bring Islamic law to the continent. Right-wing French politician Eric Ciotti, for example, said that Monday’s attack is part of a larger problem of growing Islamic fundamentalism in France.
“This attack should be placed in a national context that has seen a constant rise in religious fundamentalism and ghetto communities. Each attack like this strikes a severe blow against the values of the French Republic.”
A similar incident happened in Nice in 2014, when three Muslim immigrants attacked a Muslim baker for serving ham sandwiches.
The waitress attacked for serving alcohol during Ramadan has filed a police report against her attackers.
[Image via Shutterstock/Jag_cz]