Friday, September 26, 2014

Islam overtaking Catholicism as the dominant religion in France

A majority of people in France, according to a new poll, believe that Islam is too influential in French society, and nearly half of Muslims view as a threat to their national identity.
The survey reveals a significant degradation of the image of Islam in France. The results also show that French voters are increasingly uneasy about mass immigration from Muslim countries, which has been encouraged by a generation of political and cultural elites in France dedicated to the creation of a multicultural society.
The investigation conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion (or Ifop, as it is called) and published by the center-right Le Figaro on October 24, shows that 60% of French believe that Islam has become "too visible and influence "in France - against 55% in a previous survey two years ago.
The survey also found that 43% of French consider the presence of Muslim immigrants as a threat to French national identity, against only 17% who say it enriches society.
In addition, 68% of people in France blame the problems associated with the integration of Muslim immigrants to refuse to integrate (against 61% two years ago), and 52% blame on cultural differences (40% against two years ago).
The survey also shows a growing resistance to the symbols of Islam. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of French say they are opposed to Muslim women wearing the veil or headscarf in public, compared to 59% two years ago.
In addition, the survey shows that only 18% of French people are in favor of building new mosques in France (against 33% in 1989 and 20% in 2010).
"Our survey shows a further tightening in the views of the French," Jerome Fourquet, director of opinion Ifop department, said Le Figaro. "In recent years, there has not been a week that Islam was not the heart of the news for social reasons: the veil, halal food, dramatic news like terrorist attacks or geopolitical reasons , "he said.
France, which had about six million Muslims, has the largest Muslim population in the European Union. There are now, in fact, more practicing Muslims in France as there are Catholic practice. 

Although 64% of the French population (or 41.6 million of 65 million inhabitants of France) identify themselves as Catholic, only 4.5% (€ 1.9 million) of these Catholics are actually practitioners, according to a separate survey on Catholicism in France published by Ifop in July 2009.
By comparison, 75% (or 4.5 million euros), the sub-Saharan estimated six million mostly ethnic North African Muslims in France identify themselves as "believers" and 41% (or 2.5 million) say they are "practicing" Muslims, according to a report in-depth research on Islam in France published by Ifop in July 2011.
Overall, the research data provides empirical evidence that Islam is well on the way to overtaking Roman Catholicism as the dominant religion in France.
This trend is also reflected in the fact that mosques are built mostly in France that are Roman Catholic churches; nearly 150 new mosques are currently under construction in France.
The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to more than 2,000 during just the past decade, according to a research report "Constructing Mosques: The Governance of Islam in France and the Netherlands." The rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled again - to 4,000 - to meet growing demand.
However, the Roman Catholic Church has built only 20 new churches in France during the last decade, and has formally closed more than 60 churches, many of which are destined to become mosques, according to research conducted by La Croix, a Catholic daily newspaper based in Paris.
In recent weeks, tensions have erupted over the proposed conversion of an empty church into a mosque in the central French town of Vierzon. The controversy relates to Saint-Eloi, a small church located in an area of the working class that has been taken over by immigrants from Morocco and Turkey.
With six churches to maintain and less faithful each year, the Catholic authorities in Vierzon say they can no longer afford to keep Saint-Eloi. Now they want to sell the building for € 170,000 ($ 220,000) to a Moroccan Muslim organization that wants to convert the church into a mosque.
In an interview with the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, Alain Krauth, parish priest of the largest Catholic church in Vierzon, said: "The Christian community is not as important as it was in the past If moderate Muslims buy Saint. -Eloi Of, we can rejoice that the Muslims of Vierzon are able to celebrate their religion. "His comments were met with outrage by local citizens who are now trying to prevent the church to become a mosque.
Similar scenes are played out across France.
In the nearby town of Poitiers, about 70 members of a youth group known as the Conservative Generation identity name has recently occupied a mosque being built in the district of Buxerolles heavily Muslim town. The dawn raid of October 21 was designed as a protest against the growing influence of Islam in France.
The protesters climbed onto the roof of the mosque (photos here) and displayed a banner with the symbolic expression "732 Generation Identity" in reference to the year 732, when Charles Martel halted the advance of the army Muslim invasion north of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours.)
Meanwhile, the socialist government in France has recently opened a new mega-mosque in Paris as a first step towards "progressive construction of a French Islam."
The new mosque, located in the north of Paris, in the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise, is not only vast in its dimensions (pictures here), but it is also very visible and symbolic minaret, which was deliberately designed to change the horizon of the suburbs being bigger than any church steeple in the neighborhood, which is supposed to become the "new symbol of Islam in France."
Speaking on behalf of French President Francois Hollande during the opening ceremony of the mosque in Cergy, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls revolves Socialist government policy vis-à-vis the construction of new mosques in France. He said: "A mosque when it was erected in the city, says a simple thing :. Islam has its place in France "

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