French President Jacques Chirac has praised the "spirit of responsibility" of France’s Muslim community in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States, and welcomed their condemnation of terrorism, a statement from the president's office said on Thursday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Chirac met with Muslim community representatives late Wednesday to discuss the international situation, and stressed France’s determination to fight against terrorism.
But he also said that the effort "should in no way lead to totally unjustified amalgams between terrorism and Islam."
Chirac’s office said that his message was well received by the Muslim parties.
The French president also underlined the secular nature of French society, saying: "Each has an equal place and duties, no matter what his origins or religion."
France has Europe’s largest Muslim community, estimated at around five million people, and the government has recently taken initiatives to better include Muslims in French society by creating a consultative body that will represent all Muslim communities – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )