April 18, 2014
Muslim leaders opened France’s largest Islamic conference on Friday, April 18, amid a recent controversy surrounding the recent social debates in France regarding legalization of gay marriage and discussions on gender equality education in schools.
“From the point of view of the religious consciousness, marriage for all is something that is a real problem of consciousness,” Tariq Ramadan told BFM TV, media-presse.info reported.
“The issue of homosexuality should be asked in terms of philosophy life: I think it is something that goes against my faith,” he added.
Organized by UOIF, Le Bourget, the largest Islamic conference in France, opened on Friday.
Prominent Swiss Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan will attend the first day of the conference, which closes next Monday.
Themed “What values for a changing society? Man, family and community life”, the four-day conference discusses a host of topics of interest for the Muslim community in France.
The event is expected to draw 150,000 visitors annually, Le Bourget’s attendants will be able to visit a 15,000 square meter exhibition space in which typical products from the Arab and Muslim world will be displayed.
France is home to a Muslim minority of six million, Europe’s largest.
Last February, French Muslims went in mass protests against the legalization of gay marriage and gender equality teaching in schools considering it a “violation” of traditional family values.
The controversy erupted after gender theory, which promotes same-sex, was included in school education stirring fierce criticism by France’s conservative and right-wing groups.
Despite fierce opposition and mass protest across the southern European country, President Francoise Hollande signed the controversial marriage bill into law in May 2013.
After the legislation, France became the 14th country in the world to allow gay marriage.