Young Muslims in France Attending Private Catholic Schools

Many of the 8,847 private Roman Catholic schools in France have welcomed Muslim students. The country currently has four Muslim schools. While there are no national statistics, Muslim and Catholic educators estimate that Muslim students make up more than 10 percent of the 2 million students enrolled in Catholic schools. In more ethnically-mixed neighbourhoods and in the northern part of the country, that percentage can rise up to more than half. 80% of the students at the Saint Mauront Catholic school in Marseille, featured in this article, are Muslim. Soheib Bencheikh, former grand mufti in Marseille whose eldest daughter attends a Catholic school, claims that “It’s ironic, but today the Catholic church is more tolerant of, and knowledgeable about, Islam than the French state.”
In return for teaching the national curriculum and opening its doors to students of all faiths, the government pays teachers’ salaries and a subsidy per student. Catholic schools are free to allow girls to wear the headscarf.

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Young Man Questioned and Imprisoned Regarding Racist Aggression

An 18 year-old man has been charged with “voluntary violence” related to a physical assault of a French Muslim with took place on the 24th of July in Guyancourt (Yvelines). The man has denied the charges.

According to the victim, Nouredine Rachedi, 30, 2 men requested cigarettes from him and when he responded negatively, they asked whether he was Muslim and what he thought about Yugoslavia. Rachedi claims that when he told the two that he was born in France and a Muslim, that they responded, “We are Nazis!”

The CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France or the Committee Representing the Jewish Institutions of France) publicly denounced aggression and all forms of racism, whether they focus upon « Muslims, Jews, Blacks or whomever. »

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Islam Pluriel

Islam Pluriel

Libération

CRIF Press Release

Preliminary Charges In Attack on Jewish Teen in Paris

French authorities are filing preliminary charges of “attempted murder with anti-Semitic motives” against three suspects charged with beating a Jewish teenager on June 21st in Paris, who later spent two days in a coma. Libération newspaper claims that such altercations are on the rise among youth gangs in the 19th district of Paris.

The June attack was immediately condemned by President Sarkozy, who was on a three-day visit to Israel at the time and “assure[d] the victim and his family of his support and renews his total determination to fight all forms of racism and anti-Semitism.” Mohamed Moussaoui, the new president of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) stated in Le Figaro that he was concerned about the attack like “All other French people. Not especially as Muslims. We live in harmony with the other religions. The isolated incidents of anti-Semitism carried out by Muslims should be not over generalized.” France has the largest populations of Muslims and Jews living in close proximity outside of the Middle East.

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International Herald Tribune

More details on the attack here.

International Herald Tribune

Libération

Moussaoui’s comments in Le Figaro available here .

Youth can become addicted to extremism

Islamic extremism should be regarded as a potential addiction for vulnerable young people in the same way as alcohol, drugs or gambling, according to Scotland’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator. Allan Burnett wants to introduce rehabilitative measures similar to addiction support to prevent youngsters from becoming radicalised by fundamentalists, instead of sending them to prison. Speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of the Glasgow airport attack, Mr Burnett told The Herald that he wants to develop restorative justice and early intervention initiatives for young people as part of the strategy to stop future attacks. The Assistant Chief Constable of Fife is clear that there will be no leniency for those committing acts of serious violence. However, for young people susceptible to being led astray by extremist propaganda, he believes the emphasis should be on prevention. For that to work, he wants to build the trust of parents and the wider community so that if they come forward with concerns, their children will not be automatically penalised. “One of the things we are trying to do is early intervention, which we would use in other areas of behaviour to put a stop to it,” he said. “Just like any other perversion, the primary people who will stop (radicalisation) are parents. It happens with people concerned about their kids drinking, taking drugs or gambling. It happens right across the board and we shouldn’t be surprised that sometimes parents don’t have the knowledge or the skill to intervene in a positive way.

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Army looks to entice Muslims

British Muslims will be wooed to join the fight against the Taliban in a new Army recruitment drive. Military bosses plan to send serving Muslims back into their communities to encourage others to join the fight in Afghanistan. General Sir David Richards, Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces, revealed the move in an interview with an internal Ministry of Defence journal. He said: “There is an appreciation on our part that the Army would be better getting more Muslims into our ranks.” He added: “I am looking to see if some of our Muslim troops can go back into their communities to act as extra recruiters.” An MoD source revealed Bradford, West Yorks, would be the first area targeted.

He said: “We already know there are many young men and women in Bradford very keen to join up.”

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Ukraine: Introducing Muslim Fashion to Ukraine

Olga Kokalits, a 25-year old Ukrainian Muslim convert, won a fashion contest as the best fashion designer contest last week in the Ukraine. Kokalits said that she felt that “it was a duty” to take part in a fashion show sponsored by the state, presenting a selection of 10 different Islamic attires varying from wedding gowns, sports outfits, and evening dresses. “I was concerned that Muslim clothes, which cover the whole body except for face and hands, will look odd and funny to an audience who are not familiar with such wearing,” said Olga. Her designs, on the contrary, received a warm welcome from audience members and judges alike. “I was surprised to see the audience showing great interest in my creations,” she said.

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