French Council of the Muslim Faith elects new President


Le Monde

The director of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, was elected to become the new President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith on Sunday (CFCM). The French Algerian has previously headed the organisation between 2003 and 2008 and succeeds the French Moroccan Mohamed Moussaoui.

The CFCM has recently been making headlines for a number of internal power struggles between the different national movements which make up the organisation following a push for  structural reforms in February. The organisation was created in 2003 under the guidance of the former Secretary of State and later French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to form a representative body for the several million-strong Muslim community of France.

French-Algerian writer opposes separate classes for immigrants in Italian schools

Renowned French-Algerian writer Malika Mokeddem has stated that she opposes the Italian government’s move to introduce separate classes for immigrant children, saying that it would ghettoize them, and “gives the children a bad self-image” in addition to sending a negative image of Italy. Mokkedem said that the children need to integrate, and do so not by separating – but by urging children to “jump in the deep end and (start) socializing.” Mokeddem was in the southern Italian town of Otranto to receive the 2008 Grinzane Terra D’Otranto prize for literature.

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Nine Convicted in French Terror Trial in Paris

A criminal court in Paris convicted nine suspects on charges linked to the financing of and association with a terrorism group. One of these was Safé Bourada, a French-Algerian former prison inmate who established an Islamic group that called for armed jihad in France. The group, known as “Ansar al-Fath” or Partisans of Victory, was founded in 2003 and dismantled in 2005 when French authorities received a tip from Algerian counterparts. With this latest verdict, Bourada will not be eligible for parole for at least ten years. The other eight members received sentences between 1 and 9 years of imprisonment.

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France tells Algeria where independence war mines are buried

France has given Algeria details of where its forces laid some three million landmines half a century ago. Put in place to prevent independence fighters from infiltrating the then French colony, the mines remain nestled along Algeria’s borders with Morocco and Tunisia. French officials state the move as a gesture to improve French-Algerian diplomatic ties.