Monday, January 19, 2004

Internationalization of Iraq 

We should let the French in the door because they've been so successful in their own backyard:
PARIS (Reuters) - France's drive to better integrate its five million Muslims looked shaken Monday after a weekend of protests against a looming ban on Islamic veils and a bomb attack on the car of a senior public official of Muslim origin.

The veiled schoolgirls chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greater) in marches across France and the bomb that destroyed the car of the newly appointed prefect for the eastern Jura area have cast doubt over the policy of winning support among moderate Muslims.

No link has been established, but commentators have already blamed the rising tensions unleashed by the veil debate for the attack against Aissa Dermouche, whose appointment was meant to show that Muslims can advance in French society.

While leading politicians vowed to defend the veil ban even more strongly, some legislators are asking whether banning all religious symbols from state schools will alienate Muslims more than it will help integrate them.

"If the ban on headscarves in school is not accompanied by a vigorous effort on integration, it will be nothing but a useless annoyance," the left-leaning daily Liberation wrote.
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