Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Wearing head scarves and long skirts, the women glide along the faded back streets of this poor French town as they make their way to the mosque to hear the last prayer of the evening.

Like their husbands and brothers, fathers and sons, they feel at home here. That is in large part because Roubaix, a small city in northeastern France, has made a point of embracing its Muslim population, proportionately one of the largest in the country.

...The mayor’s office has taken steps to offer assistance to Muslims here, including finding places to worship. That contrasts with the approach of many French cities that strictly follow the national ethic of laïcité, or state secularism. The city has six mosques, including one under construction, a large number for a city of fewer than 100,000 people. The local government has also allowed the appointment of a Muslim cleric at the city hospital, and three areas of the city’s cemetery are designated for Muslims, a rarity in France.

“When you look at the demographics, in two or three generations, all of France will be like Roubaix,” said Bertrand Moreau, the chief spokesman for the mayor’s office. “There will be a melting pot everywhere, and Roubaix is a laboratory” for how things could work, he said.
Source: New York Times

The New York Times concludes the piece with a touching vignette, implicitly the "happy ending" example that all we Europeans ought to follow: a French woman who marries an alien Muslim, converts to Islam and submits to her new Muslim master.
And yet the separation between Muslims and non-Muslims blurs here.

In the Muslim section of the graveyard in Tourcoing, a nearby town, Josiane Derenoncourt, 65, was the first visitor on a hot summer morning. She came with a bottle of water to put on the grave of her husband of 33 years, Mokhtar Farah.

“I have heard there is a heat wave coming, and I was worried he would be thirsty,” she said, her eyes filling with tears.

She had been Christian, her husband was Muslim, and they met while working in the now-closed textile factories. She converted informally, learning to pray in the Islamic way and sending their only son to a mosque.

“I am glad he is buried here,” she said of her husband, adding that otherwise they would have sent his body to his village in Algeria, where she would not be able to visit.

Is she Christian or Muslim? In this corner of France, she can be both.


russell harris said...

What can one say but, "stupid French"?

They deserve the riots...

Dr Bazooka said...

Amazing, how a socialist can be honest... when he talks to a journalist from the ends of the earth.
(Another proof that they perfectly know what they do.)

For the record, in Roubaix a few years ago, an official of a mosque caused a scandal by expressing his support for stoning and for Sharia law's enforcement, when Islam will be the majority in France.

Notice the pleasure of the perv :

Very promising.

Off topic : the last Star Trek episode.

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