Four sports instructors at a children's summer camp in Gennevilliers, Île-de-France, have been suspended for observing the Ramadan fast.
According to Morocco World News the local council justified the suspensions on the grounds that they could jeopardize their responsibility to take care of the children, by not eating or drinking.
The city council of Gennevilliers said the instructors were in breach of their contracts which stipulated they had to eat and hydrate properly. The council issued a statement saying “This lack of nutrition and hydration could cause these agents to be no longer in full possession of the means required to ensure the smooth and safe operations of the summer camp, and the physical safety of children.”
The BBC reported one of the suspended employees described the decision as "unacceptable" and said they were considering legal action. The man, named only as Samir, said "You can't force someone to eat - you can't prove that missing a meal deprives you of some of your faculties."
The French Council of the Muslim Faith has said it will support the instructors in the dispute. According to Gallia Watch there is a large Muslim population in Île-de-France, with 17,000 in Gennevilliers. Reports did not state if the children attending the camp were also observing the Ramadan fast.