Nevada (US), Nov 9 (ANI): Hindus and Jews have expressed shock over the reported expelling of Roma (Gypsies) from a church in France, who had been in the country for about a decade.
Reports also indicate that Roma camps in Creteil and Lyon in France were also emptied during the last few days.
Eminent Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a joint statement in Nevada today, said that it was disturbing that France was still reportedly expelling Roma despite the promise on October 15 to change its laws on the free movement of European Union citizens in view of a European Commission ultimatum following a crackdown on Roma during the months before.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich, further said that it was even more upsetting to learn that the expulsion order of Roma who had taken refuge in the church just south of Paris was signed by the priest. They pointed out that Jesus Christ clearly told the world to help the helpless, defenseless and downtrodden and love them and he showed the way also. They quoted from The Bible: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36)".
Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich argued that France had become an "embarrassment for Europe" due to its xenophobia and racism as was apparent from continuing Roma maltreatment. It was sad to see the "great nation of France", who claims to be the "mother of human rights", falling so low. This Roma maltreatment was not acceptable and further expulsions should be immediately halted.
Singling out of helpless Roma was appalling and immoral, was "officially stamped racism", and was a major offence, they stressed.uropean Commission, which was guardian of the treaties, would lose its legitimacy if it did not show guts and take strong action against France over stubbornly continuing racism coated Roma abuse, Zed and Freirich argued.
It appeared that European Union had a two-tier citizenship policy. If you belonged to the "upper-class" tier, then you could travel freely anywhere in borderless Europe, but if you fell in "Roma" tier, your travels were severely restricted, Rajan Zed and Rabbi Freirich stated.
Zed and Freirich suggested that France; the most visited fabled land of Descartes, Pascal, Rousseau, Voltaire, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Sartre, Camus, Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Braque, best-loved wines, royal chateaux, over 500 cheese varieties, creator of cinema, Eiffel Tower; should be more welcoming to Roma brothers and sisters whose traces in Europe reportedly went as far as 9th century CE.
Europe's most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc. It was clearly an apartheid situation, Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich added. (ANI)