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Muslim leader in French Easter honours list

Published on 12/04/2004

PARIS, April 11 (AFP) - The head of the French Council for the Muslim Religion was among dozens of Easter recipients of France's highest military decoration, the Legion of Honour, according to the government's official journal published on Sunday.

Dalil Boubakeur, a 63-year-old Algerian who leads the first recognised national council for the country’s estimated five million Muslims, was made an officer of the Legion.

Henri Salvador, a much-loved French singer, was named a commander, as were actress Danielle Darrieux and the dancer and choreographer Roland Petit.

In a tribute to France’s proud culinary tradition, Paul Bocuse, a chef from southeastern Lyon, was made a commander of the Legion. He was joined by Paris chefs Alain Passard and Alain Senderens, respectively named knight and officer.

The writer Alain Robbe-Grillet, who was admitted earlier this year to the prestigious Academie Francaise, became a Legion officer, while the top French economist Elie Cohen was knighted.

Arlette Chabot, a journalist and public television anchorwoman, was also knighted, while the writer, journalist and former television chief Marcel Jullian was made a commander.

Political achievements were notably acknowledged in the figures of Jean Foyer, a former justice minister and ex-health minister Jean-Francois Mattei, both knighted.

Finally, the business world claimed its honours in the persons of Thierry Desmarest, head of the Total oil firm, Louis Gallois, head of the national rail company SNCF and Jean-Yves Le Gall, head of the Arianespace space consortium, among others.

Noel Forgeard, managing director of Airbus, was also named officer, one week after being awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) during a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II.

                                                                 Subject: French news