French Prime Minister François Fillon is opposed to a proposed debate about the place of Islam in France, if it would lead to the stigmatisation of Muslims.
“If this debate must be focused on Islam and if it seems to lead to the stigmatisation of Muslims, I oppose it. I say it clearly: I oppose it,” Fillon told French radio station RTL.
“But if the debate aims to reinforce the concept of secularism, to adapt French secularism to new circumstances, yes, I think it is a useful debate, but only under those circumstances.”
The question of the financing of places of prayer is “a question which should be asked and should not be taboo”, Fillon said, adding that the question of the education of imams is also “on the table” and has not yet been properly dealt with.