News Agencies – February 28, 2012
Father tries to set 23-year-old daughter alight for being too emancipated. A man was being held by police after allegedly trying to set fire to his grown-up daughter in central Paris. Le Parisien newspaper reported that the man sprayed teargas in the young woman’s face and then covered her in petrol on Saturday evening. The father was apparently annoyed that the woman planned to go out with a group of friends that evening and considered her “too emancipated”.
The newspaper quoted a source describing him as a “Muslim fundamentalist.”
Le Parisien – May 13, 2011
According to the CRCM Rhone-Alps (the regional representative of the CFCM, the French Council of the Muslim Faith), 84% of mosques in the region, which includes the Mosque of Lyon, will not participate in the June elections of the CFCM. Associations in the region had until May 11 to sign up to cote in the June elections. Azzedine Gaci, president of the regional group, claims that mosques in this region do not feel represented by the larger CFCM body. Gaci suggested that the elections be suspended until after the 2012 presidential elections so that issues of representativity can be addressed in the organization.
April 20, 2011
Two-thirds of French people see the integration of immigrants into France as a failure and most believe the fault lies with the immigrants, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday. In the poll by Harris Interactive, published in the daily Le Parisien, 66% of respondents said immigrants had adapted badly to life in France and just over half felt the situation had worsened in the past ten years.
More than three quarters of the sample group said immigrants had not made enough of an effort to adapt to French society, according to the poll, carried out between April 8-10 among 1,631 people from all political backgrounds. Anxiety about immigrants in general and Muslims in particular has featured prominently in early campaigning for the 2012 presidential election in France, home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, estimated at five to six million according to the Interior Ministry.
A new poll published by Le Parisien claims that 54 percent of the French see Muslim religious practice as compatible with social life in France. 8 percent of respondents claimed that it was “rather not compatible” while 4 percent did not respond.
This article in Le Parisien notes that despite approximately 6 million Muslims in France, there are only 80 burial grounds that are suitable for proper Muslim burial in the country.
PARIS — A gang of young Muslims wielding iron rods has forced a Paris cafe to censor an exhibition of cartoons ridiculing religion, the owners of the establishment said on Friday. Some 50 drawings by well-known French cartoonists were installed in the Mer a Boire cafe in the working-class Belleville neighborhood of northeast Paris, as part of an avowedly atheist show entitled, “Neither god nor god”. The collection targeted all religions – including Islam – but there were no representations of the Prophet Mohammed such as sparked the recent crisis between the West and the Islamic world, according to Marianne who is one of the cafe’s three owners. “We used to give glasses of water to a group of local boys aged between 10 and 12 who played football across the street. On Tuesday a few came in, flung the water on the ground and accused us of being racists,” said Marianne, who did not wish to give her family name. “Later more of them came back with sticks and iron rods and tried to smash the pictures. They managed it with a few of them. With the customers we chased them away, but they kept coming back,” she said. Later the cafe-owners were approached by a group of older youths. “They said they did not approve of what the youngsters had done. But what we were doing was unacceptable, too. They warned us that if we didn’t take down the cartoons they would call in the Muslim Brothers who would burn the cafe down,” said Marianne. “They kept saying: ‘This is our home. You cannot act like this here’,” she said. Refusing to dismantle the exhibition, the owners have placed white sheets of paper inscribed with the word ‘censored’ over the cartoons that were targeted by the gang. “To take down the cartoons would have been a surrender. But on the other hand we cannot expose ourselves to this kind of violence. This way you can still see the pictures if you lift the paper,” said Marianne. One of the cartoons that aroused the wrath of the youths was a bar scene, in which the barman offers a drink to an obviously inebriated man who says “God is great”. The caption is: “The sixth pillar of Islam. The bar pillar.” In France a “bar pillar” is a barfly or drunk. The aim of the exhibition was to poke fun at all religions, according to cartoonists who took part. “Putting on this type of show in this place was not in the least a provocation. Unless you think that freedom of expression in itself is a provocation,” the cartoonist Charb told Le Parisien newspaper. The Belleville neighborhood of Paris’ 20th arrondissement is racially-mixed, with a large population of North African origin, but Marianne said that there were few outward signs of religious extremism. “There are areas near here which do have a reputation for Islamists. But here it’s different. These are street gangs for whom religion has become a kind of mark of identity,” she said. The owners of the Mer a Boire, which means “the sea you can drink” and opened in September, have filed suit with the police.