France: Minister denies he converted to Islam

France: Minister denies he converted to Islam

The debate on Islam in Europe is usually painted in black and white. Nationalists/racists on one hand and Muslims/immigrants on the other. But the recent French debate was not driven by extreme right-wingers.

Besson was born in Morocco in 1958 to a French father and Lebanese mother. In the 1990s he was a prominent member of the Socialist Party but in 2007 he turned his back on them. (NL)


France's hardline immigration minister Eric Besson is threatening to sue over hotly denied claims he is about to convert to Islam to marry his young Muslim girlfriend.

The rumours, reported on French news website Bakchich Info, come as the 51-year-old spearheads a campaign against alien religions and cultures swamping his country.

He has already called for the Muslim burkha to be banned, and wants potential immigrants to take French tests and swear allegiance to the Republic.

This particularly applies to those arriving from Muslim countries who do not share the same values as France’s predominantly Roman Catholic population.

Divorced Mr Besson has admitted that he currently lives with a Paris art school student who is the great-granddaughter of Wassila Bourguiba, the wife of the former Tunisian president, Habib Bourguiba.

The father-of-three's younger lover was named as Yasmine Tordjman, who is in her 20s.

Before Christmas he travelled to the north African country to meet Ms Tordjman's mother, prompting speculation that he would re-marry in June.

Islam does not allow mixed marriages, meaning the minister would have to convert from Catholicism to Islam.

But Besson has now released an official statement stating that he ‘deplores having to deny a conversion to a religion which I otherwise respect, I am very attached to the secular character of our Republic.’


Source: Daily Mail (English)

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