ATbar Camus, Jean-Yves

Camus, Jean-Yves

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Islam in France

10/05/2004

France is a country with a population of 60 million where Churches and State are separated since 1905, which means, among other things, that asking people about their religious affiliation in a population census is forbidden. However, it is believed that between 4 and 5 million Moslems, whether foreign residents or citizens, live here, compared to roughly 600,000 Jews. After the bombings of September 11th, 2001, as elsewhere, France has had its share of often-harsh controversy about the compatibility of Islam with the values of the Republic and Western-type democracy. Some marginal, but very vocal voices, within the Jewish community and conservative right circles close to the Jewish political right, have openly questioned the possibility for Moslems to fully integrate into French society, and even compared Islamic fundamentalism to national-socialism, which is both irrelevant and dangerous.

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