50,000 French Accepted Islam In 50 Years: Intelligence


By Hadi Yahmid, IOL Correspondent 



http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2003-10/08/article04.shtml



PARIS, October 8 (IslamOnline.net)  Some 50,000

French have accepted Islam since the 1950s, a French

intelligence report revealed, saying that most of the

converters were heathens "who embraced Islam to fill

their spiritual vacuum."



The report, parts of which published by the daily Le

Figaro Tuesday, October 8, said converting to Islam

"has become a phenomenon (in France) that needs to be

followed up closely." 



The "top-secret" report, as described by the daily,

warned that Salafi groups might be behind the rising

number of Muslim converters in France. 



It said that L'Essonne, 17 miles (27km) southeast of

Paris, has the largest number of those who accepted

Islam, with 1000 to 2000 out of a total of 50,000

converters in 53 years' time. 



The intelligence report said from two to three people

are visiting the Islamic council in Evry, a department

of L'Essonne, on a weekly basis to embrace Islam. 



Though it said most of the converters were originally

non-believers, some of them came from Christian

backgrounds, "which did not live up to their

aspirations." 



Competition 



The classified report further said the Pakistani

Al-Da'wah and Tabligh group (inviting people to Islam

and spreading the religion) plays a pivotal role in

encouraging French youths to embrace Islam. 



It said the group is heavily represented in L'Essonne

with 400 members and devotees, adding it promoted a

"spiritual discourse competing with the dominant

worldly pleasures." 



The report argued that the group and Salafi groups are

competing, noting that the Salafis have gained more

ground over the past two years. 



It warned of the ideologies adopted by Salafi groups,

recalling that one of the Casablanca bombings convicts

was a French Muslim, who was sentenced to life

imprisonment. 



At least 41 people were killed and scores more wounded

in a string of bomb blasts that rocked Morocco's

largest city Casablanca on May 16. 



In an interview with Le Figaro, a French, who

converted to Islam ten years ago, said his reading of

the Qur'an has changed previous stereotypes that Islam

was "an intolerant religion that provided no room for

dialogue." 



Ezzudin, whose name was Oleve, told the paper that

there was no contradiction whatsoever between Islam

and science, contrary to Christianity. 



He said that he succeeded in convincing his Christian

parents to change their views on Islam, asserting that

it was not a religion of war but peace. 



On the future of Islam in France, Ezzudin said that

despite the problems facing Muslims in France, they

are integrating with the French society, adding that

the hijab issue was only "an incidental problem." 



The issue of hijab has recently sparked much

controversy in France, especially after repeated calls

for a new law banning it in schools. 



French Premier Jean-Pierre Raffarin did not rule out

passing a law banning hijab to allow secularism

restore its strength in the European country. 



President Chirac set up a secularity commission in

July to rule on whether new legislation was needed to

handle a growing debate over religion in schools,

particularly Muslim schoolgirls wearing hijab. 



It is expected to submit its report to Chirac by the

end of this year after questioning ministers and

representatives of French non-governmental

organizations (NGOs) and various syndicates. 




Back

Back To Islam Awareness Homepage

Latest News about Islam and Muslims






Contact IslamAwareness@gmail.com for further information