Muslim leader laments French bigotry

The official spokesman for France's Muslims has denounced a rising climate of intolerance and urged political leaders and the media to help restore the community's image.

    France's Muslims say they face a climate of growing intolerance

    Dalil Boubakeur, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), said on Thursday that attacks against mosques and anti-Muslim graffiti and comments were increasingly common after a heated debate on banning religious symbols in schools.

    "Faced with the seriousness of the situation and the growing number of incidents, the French Council of the Muslim Faith is particularly worried about the deterioration of the situation and wants to alert public opinion," he said in an open letter.
     
    The ban on Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses, due to come into effect in French schools in September, has triggered protests from France's Muslims and other religious groups, Islamic countries and Pope John Paul II.

    Media criticised

    Boubakeur, who is regraded as a moderate figure, said some media reports had portrayed young French Muslims as primarily responsible for rising anti-Semitism in France and its prayer leaders, or imams, as "a horde of foreign mercenaries without the slightest regard for the rule of law".

    This appeared to be a reference to France's expulsion of Muslim cleric Abd al-Qadr Bouziane to his native Algeria last week because he said the Quran allowed husbands to beat unfaithful wives.
     
    A Lyon court has since quashed the order used to expel Bouziane, but President Jacques Chirac on Thursday vowed to press charges against the cleric if he returned to France.

    Boubakeur said at the time of the expulsion that Islam was not a religion that favoured beating women, but he also denounced what he called a "media witch hunt against ignorant and frustrated imams".

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.