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Hollande admits Muslims are “the first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance”.

Friday, January 16th 2015 - 06:24 UTC
Full article 31 comments
French Muslims have reported dozens of attacks on mosques since Islamist gunmen targeted satirical journal Charlie Hebdo last week French Muslims have reported dozens of attacks on mosques since Islamist gunmen targeted satirical journal Charlie Hebdo last week
Hollande struck a careful balance between France's commitment to protect its 5 million-strong Muslim minority and to uphold the principle of free speech Hollande struck a careful balance between France's commitment to protect its 5 million-strong Muslim minority and to uphold the principle of free speech

President Francois Hollande assured Muslims in France and abroad that his country respected them and their religion but would not compromise its commitment to freedom and democracy.

 Speaking a week after three days of Islamist militant violence that killed 17 people in Paris, he told a meeting at the Institute of the Arab World in Paris that Muslims were “the first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance”.

His speech struck a careful balance between France's commitment to protect its five-million-strong Muslim minority, Europe's largest, and to uphold the principle of free speech even for caricatures that Muslims find offensive.

French Muslims have reported dozens of attacks on mosques since Islamist gunmen targeted satirical journal Charlie Hebdo last week. Authorities in several Middle East countries have denounced the newspaper's decision to print more cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in its first post-attack edition on Wednesday.

”Islam is compatible with democracy and we should refuse any confusion (about this),“ Hollande said at the Institute, where the slogan ”We are all Charlie“ was written in French and Arabic on the building's facade.

”French of the Muslim faith have the same rights and duties as all citizens,“ he said, and should be ”protected and respected, as they should respect the republic.“

Also on Thursday the French military's cyber defense specialist reported a surge of hacking against 19,000 different French websites in the past four days, mostly denial of service attacks. Websites of all kinds were affected, he said.

”This is the response to last Sunday's march by people who do not share our values, ranging from shocked believers to hardened terrorists,“ Vice Admiral Arnaud Coustilliere told journalists, referring to a mass protest march led by Hollande and more than 40 world leaders.

Freshly printed copies of Hebdo's ”survivors' edition“, which ran a cartoon of Mohammad on the cover holding a ”Je suis Charlie” sign, quickly sold out on Thursday morning, as they did on Wednesday when the weekly first hit the newsstands.

Five victims of last week's violence were buried in ceremonies on Thursday covered on national television.

Categories: International.

Top Comments

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  • Bongo

    If magazines like Charlie Hebdo offend you there is a simple tactic you can employ.

    Don't buy it.

    Jan 16th, 2015 - 07:29 am 0
  • CabezaDura2

    There are over 500 no go areas in all of France.
    http://sig.ville.gouv.fr/Atlas/ZUS/

    People are obviously going to be pissed off by this. You don’t solve things by attacking symptoms instead of the root of the problem. Pegida is just a symptom, Le pen is just a symptom.

    I find it really stupid that the left is chanting “Ohh it’s the right wing party taking benefit of this tragedy”

    Well Of course Marine Le Pen is going to reap support from this!! She has being warning this for years and years and she has proven to be right.

    Jan 16th, 2015 - 11:07 am 0
  • Conqueror

    A typically stupid thing for Hollande to come out with. It isn't muslims that are the first victims, it's everyone else. Take a look at the pictures in this article - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2911717/Hang-cartoonists-Pakistani-Muslims-demand-death-sentence-Charlie-Hebdo-staff.html - they're demented. And as for their sentiment; suppose the rest of us decide to go screaming mad and demand that everyone with a copy of the Quran should be hanged, or stoned to death.

    Pictures and sentiments such as these confirm my long held belief that Islam isn't a religion. It's a cult. A death cult. It's worth examining history and seeing what Islam's founder was like. Started off with fighting the Meccan tribes for eight years. Fortunately, it was okay because he managed to produce some Quranic verses permitting muslims to fight Meccans. How convenient. Then gathered an army of 10,000 muslim converts and marched on Mecca. Then sent out his followers to destroy every 'pagan' temple in Eastern Arabia. Not activities that I recall being attributed to Jesus.

    There are questions over the Quran. Reckoned to be what people remembered. Or is it what other people thought they'd have in there. “Kill all unbelievers”. Isn't that fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance? And these are individuals that we allow into normal, democratic countries? Then there's the offer of 72 virgins for killing unbelievers. Where would they get the virgins? Given their attitudes toward FGM and their women, where would they get 72 virgins?

    As you work through islamic tradition, you can see all the signs of cultism. For instance, when the wife, Aisha, was accused of adultery, the founder had a divine revelation saying she was innocent and directing that the charges be supported by four eyewitnesses. Obviously, islam has a different definition of adultery if you have to organise a party during which to do it.

    It's a cult. Nothing more. What should we do with dangerous cults?

    Jan 16th, 2015 - 12:32 pm 0
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