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AbdelFattah Rahhaoui

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AbdelFattah Rahhaoui is a French Muslim school teacher, school founder, imam and engineer in the Bellefontaine suburb of Toulouse, France.

Background[edit | edit source]

Rahhaoui studied engineering, achieving a qualification equivalent to a post-doctoral level (French: plus-huit(+8)). In 2003 he left the field of engineering to found a non-contract school, Al-Badr, the first in southern-France, for Muslim children in the controversial suburb of Bellefontaine.[1][2]


Educational Policy and Rational[edit | edit source]

Rahhaoui argues that his intention was and is to provide quality education within the legal framework and the national education framework to disenfranchised Muslim youth. He argues that without access to education tailored toward the community it serves, parents will only turn to clandestine institutions or home schooling. He argues that it is only through education that recidivism and delinquency may be averted.[3][2]

"I am an intellectual who wants Muslims out of the difficult situation in which they find themselves. We teach the Qur'an and Islamic education within the school and precisely this can only serve to prevent young people from joining Daesh and falling into the trap of radicalisation."

— AbdelFattah Rahhaoui

Girls and some teachers wear a type of veil at the school.[4]The french ban on religious symbols in schools does not apply to institutions that are not under contract(french:hors contrat.)

links to Toulouse and Montauban shootings[edit | edit source]

Various sensationalist news accounts have attempted to draw links between Rahhaoui and Mohammed Merah, perpetrator of the Toulouse and Montauban shootings. Souad Merah, mother of the shooter, is described as having attended the school of AbdelFattah Rahhaoui and it is alleged that his teachings radicalised her. She was 25 in 2003, the year the school, which teaches CP to CM2, opened.[5] Rahhaoui responded to the attacks by stating that it will only pour oil onto the fire which he is trying to extinguish, referring to anti-Muslim sentiment in France.[6]

Criminal Accusations[edit | edit source]

A school inspector stated in an official report that the school was engaged in firearms lessons. The school claims it had taken the children on an excursion to play laser tag, which they argue was misrepresented.[3]

An inspectors report stated that the students were deficient in areas of history, civics and science(French: S.V.T.). The report was not signed or dated, did not contain any specific details of the assessment or any recommendations for improvement in order to reach compliance or respond. Rahhaoui's lawyer argued in his priority question of constitutionality that the penalty imposed was out of proportion to the alleged offence and he had not been given official notice of the offence as required by law. Certain aspects of France's S.V.T. curriculum have been controversial with as many as 25% of schools failing to implement it notwithstanding their legal obligation as of 2016. [7][8][9][10][11]

Rahhaoui was not given opportunity to defend these allegations and was convicted on the basis of the school inspectors report which did not conform to legal norms, without a fair trial and due process according to the constitutional court. [12] On December 19, 2018, he and the school administration were acquitted of all charges.[13]

Collateral Bar Rule[edit | edit source]

Rahhaoui has been charged with contempt of court for disobeying a court order imposed as a result of the subsequently overturned conviction. The prosecution will need to prove that he violated the order.[13] It may seem unjust after the invalidation of the conviction which procedurally justified the imposition of these penalties but such cases have precedent in American law. Such decisions were used to crush the American Civil Rights Movement and was subsequently used to crush labour movements in what became known as the Collateral Bar Rule. Although a technically legal victory, the ruling served to undermine public confidence in the court. Illustrating the inseparability of procedural law and substantive law, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from prison regarding his conviction for contempt, "The transgressor evidences the highest respect for law and order while remaining true to his higher Christian duty...law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and that when they fail to do this they become dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."[14][15] [16]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ducos, Jean-Marc (September 19, 2016). "Toulouse : une école musulmane hors-contrat fermée par l'inspection académique". Le Parisien.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Acharnement de l'état sur une école privée musulmane à Toulouse, Mr AbdelFattah Rahhaoui témoigne". Islamotion. November 5, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Briand, Amandine (September 13, 2016). "Éducation islamique et prétendu entrainement au " tir " : le directeur d'une école confessionnelle toulousaine crie à l'acharnement".
  4. "À Toulouse, le directeur d'une école musulmane renvoyé devant la justice". Le Figaro. October 4, 2016.
  5. "Souad, la sœur de Mohamed Merah : salafiste jusqu'au bout des ongles". Agence France-Presse. November 14, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  6. "Tuerie de Toulouse : Au Mirail, "c'est peur sur la ville"". March 20, 2012. il viendrait mettre de l'huile sur le feu alors qu'on veut l'éteindre.
  7. LAURANT, Françoise; COLLET, Margaux (June 13, 2016). "Rapport n°2016-06-13-SAN-021 :Rapport relatif à l'éducation à la sexualité: CHAPITRE 1 DANS L'ÉDUCATION NATIONALE :UNE OBLIGATION LÉGALE ET UN RôLE CENTRAL" (PDF). Haut Conseil à l’Égalité entre les femmes et les hommes. p. 66. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  8. "Code de l'éducation - Article L312-16". Legifrance: Le Service Public de la Diffusion Du Droit. April 15, 2016.
  9. Laarman, Vincent (December 3, 2007). "Untitled Open letter. General Delegate of SOS Éducation on Zizi Expo 2007" (PDF). SOS Éducation. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  10. "Zizi sexuel l'expo, enfin le retour!" (PDF). La Cité des sciences et de l’industrie. October 14, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2017.
  11. Wintemute, Robert; Andenas, Mads (2001-10-23). Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships: A Study of National, European and International Law. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 482. ISBN 9781847312495.
  12. ABELA, FRÉDÉRIC (December 20, 2018). "Toulouse : l'ex-directeur de l'école coranique Al Badr relaxé en appel". La Depeche. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Toulouse : relaxé, l'ancien directeur de l'école musulmane Al-Badr veut enseigner à nouveau". December 21, 2018.
  14. Palmer, John R. B. (November 1, 2002). "Collateral Bar and Contempt: Challenging a Court Order after Disobeying It". Cornell Law Review Online : Online companion to Cornell Law Review. 88 (1). ISSN 0010-8847.
  15. Chayes, Abram; Fisher, William; Horwitz, Morton; Michelman, Frank; Minow, Martha; Nesson, Charles; Rakoff, Todd. "Critical Legal Readings of Walker v. Birmingham 388 U.S. 207 (1967)". The Bridge. Harvard Law School.
  16. Gotanda, Neil; Peller, Garry (1995). Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement. p. 96. ISBN 9781565842717.


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