Thousands march against racism,anti-Semitism in France

7th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 7 (AFP) - Several thousand demonstrators marched through France on Sunday in a protest at racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination itself overshadowed by divisions over participation by a group with links to Islamic fundamentalists.

PARIS, Nov 7 (AFP) - Several thousand demonstrators marched through France on Sunday in a protest at racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination itself overshadowed by divisions over participation by a group with links to Islamic fundamentalists.

Organisers said some 8,000 people, while police said 2,500 people took part in the biggest march, in western Paris, boycotted by SOS-Racism and Jewish groups because of their discontent at participation by the fundamentalist linked union of Islamic organisations of France.

Mouloud Aounit, the secretary general of the Movement Against Racism and anti-Semitism (MRAP), which organised the demonstration, criticised the organisations which did not take part, saying that they had chosen to keep the Jewish population "in a bunker".

Fouad Alaoui, the Secretary General of the Islamic group, called the boycott "irresponsible, irresponsible, badly thought out. The fight against racism and anti-Semitism is a national cause, nobody should keep out of it."

France, which is home to Europe's largest Jewish community estimated at 600,000, has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic acts in recent years.

Some five million Muslims also live in France.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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