French Muslim leader asks for 'respect'

3rd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 3 (AFP) - One of France's most prominent Muslim leaders Thursday urged the state to show "respect" for his community, after a seventh night of battles between angry youths and police in high-immigration suburbs of Paris.

PARIS, Nov 3 (AFP) - One of France's most prominent Muslim leaders Thursday urged the state to show "respect" for his community, after a seventh night of  battles between angry youths and police in high-immigration suburbs of Paris.

Speaking to faithful in the Paris mosque, Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council for the Muslim Religion, said Muslim immigrants deserved better than their current lot.

"Our immigrant brothers in Paris and in France must be given the conditions to live with dignity as human beings," not in "disgraceful squats", Boubakeur said, referring to the low-income suburbs where the trouble has broken out.

"This is our hope, this is our wish and is an address to the French authorities, to (president Jacques) Chirac who is a friend to Muslims, a  friend to Islam," he said.

"The community deserves respect because it is respectful, young people need to find the way back to calm, our mosques need to be respected," Boubakeur said.

The firing of a police teargas canister at a packed mosque in Clichy-sous-Bois, epicentre of the violence that has affected more than a dozen Paris suburbs since last Thursday, added to the community anger at the  weekend.

France is home to Europe's largest Muslim community, estimated at around five million people.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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