A concert organized by the group SOS Racisme sought to denounce the new law authorizing DNA tests for immigrants wanting to join their families in France. The concert brought together ordinary citizens with well-known personalities from politics, film, and the stage under a united effort to condemn the law.
CAIRO – French Justice Minister Rachida Dati is facing a smear campaign by right-wing media and “jealous” politicians, who cannot swallow a Muslim woman of poor ethnic background holding such a prestigious post, Britain’s Times reported on Tuesday, July 17. “Rachida Dati is paying for being an outsider, because she is young, a woman and of North African origin,” said Dominique Sopo, the Socialist President of the SOS Racisme organization. He said Dati, as an “atypical” minister, has sparked “resentment” among the “republican aristocracy.” Dati, 41, has become in no time one of the most popular politicians in France with six books on her life and battle against adversity being rushed into print.
MADRID, Spain (AP) – At Mussa Bachiri’s butcher shop, the customers used to include a man now jailed on suspicion of playing a role in the Madrid terror bombings of 2004. The alleged bomber was just a casual acquaintance who ran a cell-phone store down the street. Still, Bachiri wonders if he is not somehow tainted by association – simply for sharing the man’s Moroccan roots and Islamic faith. My Spanish neighbors look at me the way they always did, Bachiri said, pausing on an afternoon of chopping beef and slicing liver in Lavapies, an immigrant-rich district of Spain’s capital. But deep down inside, who knows? Two years after the massacre that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,500, human rights groups and Muslims themselves say with relief that there has been no significant backlash against Spain’s estimated million-strong Muslim community. But Muslims feel targeted in subtler ways – a rise in job application rejections, trouble finding housing, grumbling from neighbors when they want to set up a mosque. This is not something you can measure. But people live it. They notice it, said Begonia Sanchez, spokeswoman for immigrant aid group SOS Racism. They notice it when they get on the bus. They notice it when they seek work. They notice it when they run into neighbors in the stairwell. Islamic militants claimed responsibility for Spain’s worst terrorist attack, saying they acted on behalf of al-Qaida to avenge the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq.