“Islam one of the Most Beautiful Civilizations the World has Known”
* France is and has been bankrupt for quite some time, both financially & morally. Since the Fwench never had any morals anyway, don’t act surprised when they go for the money:
PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy’s increasingly frequent and positive references to God and faith have drawn fire from critics who accuse him of violating France’s separation of church and state.
Sarkozy, a taboo-breaker whose whirlwind love life has distracted the media for weeks, broke with traditional presidential reserve about religion to stress France’s Christian roots in a speech in a Rome basilica just before Christmas.
In Riyadh on Monday, he hailed Islam as “one of the greatest and most beautiful civilisations the world has known” and described his Saudi hosts as rulers who “appeal to the basic values of Islam to combat the fundamentalism that negates them”.
His praise for a kingdom that enforces and propagates a strict version of Islam, during a visit aimed at securing lucrative export contracts, was the last straw for his critics.
“This is not respect for the separation of church and state,” Socialist opposition leader Francois Hollande said.
“This is an ideological stand that makes religion into an instrument to promote French products (such as) civilian nuclear plants for Muslim countries,” he said. “Mixing religion and foreign policy is illogical and wrong.”
Jean-Louis Debre, a leading Gaullist who is now head of the Constitutional Council, indirectly chided Sarkozy by saying the 1905 law separating church and state was a good one and that it was “opportune to make sure its balance is not upset”.
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
* That could very well mean that they’re preparing for jihad,,,
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Muslim minority, the largest in Europe, is becoming increasingly more observant, with more of them saying daily prayers, visiting mosques and fasting during Ramadan, a new survey said on Thursday.
This appeared to reflect in part a reaction to discrimination against Muslims in France, and a growing number of new mosques being built in the country.
Thirty-nine percent of Muslims surveyed by the polling group IFOP said they observed Islam’s five prayers daily, a steady rise from 31 percent in 1994, according to the study published in the Catholic daily La Croix.
Mosque attendance for Friday prayers has risen to 23 percent, up from 16 percent in 1994, while Ramadan observance has reached 70 percent compared to 60 percent in 1994, it said.
Drinking alcohol, which Islam forbids, has also declined to 34 percent from 39 percent in 1994, according to the survey of 537 people of Muslim origin.
There was strong progression among Muslims under 25 for both mosque attendance and Ramadan observance. “There is a general tendency among the young to reaffirm their (Islamic) identity,” Islam expert Franck Fregosi told La Croix.
He said this was partly a reaction to discrimination against France’s Muslim minority, at five million the largest in Europe: “This ‘Islam as a refuge’ can be a way to respond to an environment that is not favorable to young Muslims.”
Part of the growth could also have come because it is easier to practice Islam in France thanks to many new mosques that have been constructed over the years, he added.Â