Brahim, an Education assistant at a college in Roubaix, France was dismissed by the administration for radicalization. Brahim, in late 2020, contradicted a professor in front of a student, and subsequently was laid off. This April, he was dismissed by the college. Investigations by authorities into his social media revealed questionable content. He is appealing this dismissal before the administrative court.
The content of social media is invaluable for investigation. Through content, investigators can assess the thinking of a potential jihadi or radical. Brahim’s content, as well as his supporters, are concerning enough to put him on the watch list. His pseudonym was Prince BR the Fellagha. Fellagha, an Arabic word meaning “bandits”, refers to groups of armed militants affiliated with anti-colonial movements in French North Africa. It most often is used to refer to armed Algerian nationalists who adopted violent means in order to push the French out of Algeria as well as groups in Tunisia who did the same.
He is supported on social media by Houria Bouteldja, a French-Algerian political activist and writer focusing on anti-racism, anti-imperialism, and Islamophobia, France’s version of Iqra Khalid. In 2014, Bouteldja won the “fight against Islamophobia” award from the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a non-profit organization campaigning against violations of the rights of Muslims ”, the French version of NCCM.
Brahim also reposted a tweet from Barakcity founder Idriss Sihamedi, whose organization was taken down in 2020 for ties to a radical Islamist movement.
Below are some screen shots from Brahim’s social media profile.
Below is Brahim’s story.
Before talking about the repressive situation you experienced, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Brahim D, I was AED in a college in Roubaix, I am an activist in many spaces, associations. I openly display my activism at the CGT, I am a supporter of strikes. I am a rapper in my spare time, I am the manager of a local rapper. I am very involved in the life of the neighborhood where I live, not far from the college. I am involved in the neighborhood committee that we took over with our association. We did a lot of things last year with our social mediation association during the first confinement. We distributed meals to needy people during the first lockdown, which represents 1,400 people for more than two months. The association also does digital inclusion, and administrative assistance.
You were AED and you were repressed following an exchange with a teacher, can you describe the context and the content of the exchange to me?
I managed a permanence with a student who was in inclusion, that is to say that he is excluded from the course but must stay in the establishment to do homework. I was with him and his teacher gave him a history assignment on slavery. It’s a subject that interests me, I have studied the black code, the code of the natives, the slave trade. On duty, the term “captives” appealed to me. That appeals to me because from the moment a slave is born a slave, he is not a captive. I speak with the professor and I try to argue about the use of the term captive. An exchange follows and I mention the black code, the Colbert decree of 1685, article 44 of the Black Code which states that “Africans are born slaves”, I speak of my readings including the works of Louis Sala-Molins, a Code Noir specialist.
The very afternoon the professor comes to see me angry, he did not appreciate that I questioned his word as a “historian”, points out to me that I have no knowledge and reproaches me for being intervened in front of the student. And there, I apologized because it is true that I should not have spoken in front of a student. The same evening, I spoke about it on the networks to discuss it with friends, without naming neither the professor and the college, and there were exchanges. Most of the comments came from professors, some of whom actually agreed with my point of view. I thought it was going to end there. The next day, at 7:52 p.m., I received a call from one of the CPEs asking me to delete the publication immediately, without explanation. So I delete, the publication did not stay even 24 hours. The next day, I arrive at 7.45 am, I have the welcoming committee, the principal and a childcare center who asks me what happened, I tell, the conversation and the publication. I was then reminded of Samuel Paty, that I was endangering the professor, but I did not name him, nor do I mention that I work as an AED on my networks.
I was greeted like a terrorist, I was told that I was laid off as a precaution, with a summons to the principal’s office. I was accompanied by a comrade of the CGT with whom I militate. I am accused of having questioned the entire duty, allusion was made to my pseudonym which is Prince BR the Fellagha.
Finally, I am informed that I am going on a joint and disciplinary mission at the Académie du Nord on March 11. I had the right to consult my file a week before. There were screenshots from my Facebook account, screenshots that had nothing to do with it. It is mentioned that the college administration made a report for radicalization, we do not know on what criteria and I really fell naked. Among the publications: caricatures of Sadri Khiari, a person close to the natives of the republic, a Jewish friend, a re-sharing of a photo of a Jewish woman on a bench reserved only for Jews in 1938, I had written in hoping this doesn’t happen to the muslim community in France, my profile picture, and scattered comments. Finally, a testimony from an AED that I would have met who would have reminded me of the missions of an AED to whom I would have replied “I am not here for the same fight”. This testimony, the AED in question affirmed to me never to have delivered it.