Category: France

France raised Muslim terror threat alert

France has stepped up its vigilance against terror threats, a top official announced Monday amid reports of various new threats, including one against the Paris transport network.

In the last few days, there has been a false bomb alert at the Eiffel Tower and five French workers and two African colleagues have been kidnapped in Niger, part of the African turf of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Last week, the Senate voted to ban burqa-style Islamic veils in France, a subject that has prompted warnings by al-Qaeda‘s Maghreb group.

Here’s what you need to know about Islam and Terrorism.

French parliament adopts full face-veil ban

Niqab The French parliament passed a law Tuesday prohibiting wearing a full-face veil in public, meaning a ban will come into force early next year if it is not overturned by senior judges.

The Senate passed the bill by 246 votes to one. The bill already cleared the lower house in July, and will now be reviewed by the Constitutional Council, which has a month to confirm its legality.

Riot-torn Paris suburbs targeted by sects

Sect-like groups are profiting from the misery in riot-stricken French suburbs to attract new recruits under the guise of offering humanitarian aid, warns an official report. Organisations including the Church of Scientology, labelled a cult in France, are targeting vulnerable residents in the country’s poor, high immigration suburbs, it claims. France’s official sects watchdog, the Interministerial Mission in the Fight Against Cults (Miviludes), said the situation called for “extreme vigilance”. It said the activities of sect-like groups had increased in three main areas: children, alternative medicine and humanitarian aid. “The presence in French suburbs following the disturbances of the autumn

France Says Sikhs Must Remove Turbans

PARIS, France (AP) — France’s highest administrative body ruled Monday that Sikhs must remove their turbans for driver’s license photos, calling it a question of public security and not a restriction on freedom of religion. The Council of State’s ruling reversed its own decision in December in favor of Shingara Mann Singh, a French citizen who refused to take off his turban for a license photo in 2004. The case gained attention amid tensions between France’s religious minorities and the government over a law banning conspicuous religious signs in public schools, aimed at Islamic headscarves. For Sikhs, the turban is

Yahoo Loses Lawsuit Over Nazi Memorabilia Sale

Yahoo yesterday lost its bid to avoid liability for “hate speech” as defined in France in a decision that reveals lack of unanimity about how the Internet should be regulated. A divided U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed and dismissed a 2002 district court ruling that said Yahoo was not liable for a fine levied by a French court for Yahoo’s failure to keep Nazi memorabilia off its Web pages. Despite the ruling against it, Yahoo cast the decision as a victory for free speech. “We are pleased that the court affirmed that U.S. courts have jurisdiction

African evangelicals struggle for respect in France

MONTREUIL, France – The faithful are swaying, the walls are sweating and the choir’s belting out praise to the Lord. It’s Sunday morning and hundreds of black evangelicals are meeting in exuberant prayer. Cries of “Amen!” rise from rows of neatly dressed adults and clapping children. Gospel singers lead the crowd spelling out the name “J-E-S-U-S!” It’s the kind of service that could be found in black churches anywhere in the United States. But the sermon ends with “Dieu vous benisse!” (“God bless you” in French). The final hymn is in Lingala, a language spoken in Congo. On their way