FRENCH STORE BANS PORK, ALCOHOL
- MUSLIM SHOP'S PORK, ALCOHOL BAN SPARKS FRENCH DEBATE
Catherine Bremer, Reuters, 12/10/02
PARIS (Reuters) - A supermarket in a Paris suburb has caused a furor
among some shoppers and incurred the wrath of the mayor by stripping
its shelves of alcohol and pork to appeal to the largely Muslim
The mayor of Evry, southeast of Paris, said the new owners who took
over the Franprix store in October risked turning the town into a
ghetto by selling only halal meat slaughtered according to Muslim
rules and banishing taboo products
The new owners, Mohamed and Abdel Djaiziri, said they would sooner
lose the Franprix franchise than reverse their new policy.
"It was necessary to change the business to adapt to a primarily
Muslim clientele. If we lose the Franprix sign, it's not important.
What's important is that we keep doing good business," Abdel
Djaiziri told Liberation, the daily newspaper.
"We asked for a certificate to guarantee our meat is halal. That's
incompatible with selling pork. Is that against the law?"
France has taken in many immigrants from its former North African
colonies, and its estimated 5 million Muslims make up the country's
second-largest religious group.
ANTI-ISLAM, ANTI-SEMITISM RIFE IN EUROPE
BRUSSELS, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Islamophobia and anti-Semitism fuelled
by the September 11 attacks and the Middle East conflict are in
danger of becoming acceptable in Europe, the European Union's racism
watchdog warned on Tuesday.
Presenting its report on racism in the EU, the European Monitoring
Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) called on leaders of the 15-
nation bloc to deal with the underlying social and economic factors
it said were fuelling racial prejudice.
"Now it seems legitimate to have anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic views
on some issues because people have mixed up the whole issue," said
Bob Purkiss, chairman of the EUMC.
"The danger is...how it has now embedded itself."
In the wake of the September 11, 2001, hijacked airliner attacks on
U.S. cities, people who "looked Muslim," mainly women wearing
headscarves, became the victims of anti-Islamic sentiment, the
The report also focused on problems faced by immigrants in the
labour markets, saying they were often paid less and given less
attractive jobs than EU citizens with the same skills.
Migrants faced problems ranging from direct racism such as verbal
abuse in the workplace to indirect discrimination in the form of
unrealistic language requirements.
FRENCH MUSLIMS TO GET SINGLE REPRESENTATIVE BODY
HUGH SCHOFIELD, Agence France Presse, 12/10/02
France's five million Muslims are for the first time to be organised
within a single representative body authorised to press their
interests before the government, under an agreement signed Monday by
the country's three main Muslim groups.
The deal was revealed in a television interview Monday evening by
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who said it would give "our
compatriots of the Muslim confession the right to live out their
faith just like Catholics, like Jews and like Protestants."
According to the minister, the structure of the new body will be
finalised by the end of the year. It will include women, but all
influence from foreign countries or governments will be strictly
prohibited, he said. The announcement is the culmination of several
years of efforts to establish a proper line of contact between
successive governments and the country's second largest religious
community, with the clear if unspoken aim of encouraging a
homegrown, liberal version of Islam
France is a rigidly secular state, and it regulates its relations
with the other main religions through official bodies of the type it
now wants to create for Islam.
Monday's agreement was signed by what Sarkozy described as
the "three major groupings of Muslims in France": the Paris mosque,
the National Federation of Muslims in France and the Union of
Islamic Organisations in France.
However the representatives of five mosques, including the main
mosques in France's second and third cities Lyon and Marseille, said
they had been cut out of the arrangement in secret talks
conducted "in order to allow Sarkozy a quick success."
The minister said the new body's statutes would "conform to the
rules of the republic," and its leadership would be part elected and
part appointed. This is to ensure that minorities, and especially
Muslim women, are fully represented.
"What we should be afraid of is Islam gone astray, garage Islam,
basement Islam, underground Islam. Not the Islam of the mosques,
open to the light of day," the minister said
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