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'France in the crosshairs'

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Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

Latest update : 2009-12-01

French Muslims react to ban of minarets in Switzerland

Muslims in France are shocked by Switzerland’s decision to ban construction of minarets, says Le Parisien. The paper says they are worried about a stigmatizing of their religion but are still confident that tolerance remains in France.

Most French front pages this morning are reacting to the controversla Swiss ban of minarets. Le Parisien refers to a Sarkozy quote in 2004, “What’s dangerous is not minarets but basements and garages which hide clandestine places of worship.”

As for French Muslims in the street, several gave their point of view to the paper. 33-year-old housewife, Najet, said “What hurts is the prejudice and the presumptions that people make.” Ambulance driver, Ali Hassani, says “Islam is once again being vilified.”

The Strasbourg-based paper Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace reminds us in its editorial that French actress Brigitte Bardot first called for a ban of minarets in France several years ago. There are only seven minarets in the entire country (there are four in Switzerland!) but the DNA says it’s not the quantity that counts. Minarets are seen as a provocation by some “in a land still more catholic than it is secular.”

“The right-leaning government in France is having difficulty figuring out how to respond to what is clearly a politically incorrect decision in Switzerland.”

France Soir also leads with the story, “Minarets: the shockwave”

Le Figaro, “Ban of minarets in Switzerland: the debate on Islam bounces back in France”

Other stories in today’s French papers:

Libération leads with a critical article on Immigration Minister, Eric Besson. They say he has “betrayed the Socialist Party (which he left to join Sarkozy’s right-leaning government) with panache”

Le Figaro runs an opinion piece by former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing on the occasion of the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty. “An historic day, an emotional moment”

L’Equipe, “Messi triumphs”
The Argentine player wins the Ballon d’Or
 

By James CREEDON

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