Prime Minister Fillon Attends Mosque Opening North of Paris

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon attended the inauguration of a mosque in Argenteuil, a
suburb north of Paris, the first time a head of government has attended such an event. Fillon gave
a speech to the 800 dignitaries in which he denounced violence against Muslims in France. But
he also warned against religious fundamentalism.
Fillon said Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux had signed an agreement with the French Muslim
council (CFCM) which would allow the gathering of statistics of violence committed against
Muslims in France. He also said that he had asked Justice Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie to
increase the number of judges specially trained to fight racism and xenophobia. The mosque
was built for the Al Iihsan Islamic institute of France, on a 5,200-square-meter piece of land.
According to the institute, some 28,000 Muslims live in Argenteuil.

French Prime Minister to inaugurate mosque in Argenteuil

On 28 June 2010 French Prime Minister François Fillon will inaugurate a mosque in Argenteuil, in the Val-d’Oise, in the Val-d’Argent-Nord neighborhood. The Prime Minister will give a speech in the presence of the Minister of the Interior, Brice Hortefeux. Approximatley 28,000 Muslims live in Argenteuil.

French told full burqa ban could fail court challenge

News Agencies

France’s top administrative body has advised the government against a complete ban on the full Islamic veil, instead suggesting outlawing the burqa in some places for security reasons. President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government is planning to present a bill to parliament in the coming weeks to restrict Muslim women from wearing full-face veils such as the niqab or burqa. Prime Minister Francois Fillon asked the State Council in
January 2010 for a legal opinion before drafting the bill that he said would ban the burqa in as many places as possible.

But in its report, the council warned that a blanket ban would likely not stand up to a court challenge and that there were no legal grounds for it. The council said however that the government could invoke security and public order to require that faces be uncovered in public venues such as courts, schools, hospitals and during university exams, for example.

The council however did not spell out the specific places where the ban could be enforced and suggested that local prefects who represent the state in French departments could issue directives. Muslim women who insist on covering themselves in violation of the law should be spared from paying a fine and instead be referred for counseling to a women’s rights association, the council said.

Burqa-wearing woman denied French citizenship

The French government has decided to deny the nationality to a man over allegations that he has forced his French wife to wear the face-veil. “This case is about a religious radical,” said French Prime Minister François Fillon, following Immigration Minister Eric Besson’s admission about the case. “He imposes the burqa, he imposes the separation of men and women in his own home, and he refuses to shake the hands of women,” Fillon added.

It was not clear if the wife was forced to cover her face or it was her choice. The name and nationality of the man was not declared. Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has called for denying Muslim men who force their wives to wear the full veil the citizenship.

Prime Minister Fillon even vowed to expel the man. “If this man does not want to change his attitude, he has no place in our country,” he said.”In any case, he does not deserve French nationality.” In 2008, a court denied a veiled Muslim woman the nationality for being “too submissive” to her husband and that her religious rituals were “incompatible” with French values.

Muslim Tombs Vandalized in the Military Cemetery in Notre-Dame de Lorette

148 Muslim tombs were desecrated with anti-Islamic and insults against Rachida Dati in the military cemetery of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in the Pas-de-Calais in Northern France. Numerous French officials, including Nicolas Sarkozy, Fran_ois Fillon, Rachida Dati and Mich_le Alliot-Marie have pronounced their condemnation of the act. The incident took place almost exactly a year after 52 other tombs were covered with Nazi inscriptions. Two young people, aged 18 and 21, were condemned to 2 years in prison for the previous vandalism; another minor of 16 years received 7 months in prison.