French minister: No moderate Muslims

2011-12-03 19:59

Paris - A French minister said there was no such thing as moderate Islam, calling recent election successes by Islamic parties in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia "worrying" in an interview published on Saturday.

Jeannette Bougrab, a junior minister with responsibility for youth, told Le Parisien newspaper that legislation based on Islamic sharia law "inevitably" imposed restrictions on rights and freedoms.

Bougrab is of Algerian origin and her father fought on the French colonial side during Algeria's war of independence, and said she was speaking as "a French woman of Arab origin".

"It's very worrying," she was quoted as saying. "I don't know of any moderate [Muslim]."

"There are no half measures with sharia," she added.

"I am a lawyer and you can make all the theological, literal or fundamental interpretations of it that you like but law based on sharia is inevitably a restriction on freedom, especially freedom of conscience."

She was reacting to electoral successes scored by the Ennahda party in Tunisia, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has called for dialogue with such parties as long as they respect certain criteria, including the rule of law and women's rights.

Bougrab conceded that ousted Tunisian and Egyptian rulers Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak had used the Islamist "threat" to win backing from Western countries, but she added, "We shouldn't go to the other extreme."

And she hit out at the 30% of Tunisians living in France who had voted for Ennahda in last month's polls.

"I am shocked that those who have rights and freedoms here gave their votes to a religious party," she said.

  • Paul - 2011-12-03 20:06

    So Saudi Arabia is free or just a puppet of the west.

      Gollum - 2011-12-03 21:44

      who can dispute such a powerful argument ?

  • Cracker - 2011-12-03 20:22

    Maybe we should all dust off those bibles and re-read them. There may just be some reflection of the divine will in them. I have recently acquired the Catholic version in large print. Something to really keep one occupied for two or three months. Should be interesting in view of the latest world developments.

      Dmitri - 2011-12-04 17:06

      What is the difference between the catholic bible and the KJV (if I may ask - because I have no idea).

  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2011-12-03 20:40


  • Xolile John Mualefe - 2011-12-03 21:12

    interesting foundation being built, to continue blinding stupefied western news viewers. well? I too am guilty, silently watching the game of this United Kingdoms of doom. as the west divide & kill children & women(terrorists?). Iraqi, DRC, SUDAN, ZIMBABWE, who's next esp in SADEC? reasons! right ones! will be debated. yet for centuries the games may be played differently but IS still the same. say what ever but deep down we r all slaves, & we will protect lies. eg media hides it well in plain site

      Samantha - 2011-12-04 07:09


  • Isabel - 2011-12-03 21:51

    All religion is man-made. This is just another excuse for mind control by a relgious grouping. I agree that there are no moderate muslims, but christianity is not much better. They are justas good as restricting people's freedom. In the end they are all made in the minds of men, but the sad thing is that so many people (mostly women) suffer because of these fairy tales.

      piet.strydom - 2011-12-03 22:59

      What about the millions upon millions of people that are fed and nursed the world over by missionaries? Is that also a fairy tale?

  • Michael - 2011-12-03 22:31

    Are all Muslims moderate or extreme - the point is moot. what is interesting is that the French start to show their true colors after interfering in Arab affairs across North Africa and now into Syria. Be very careful little Napoleon, the minky might bite you!

      Dawood - 2011-12-03 22:56

      @ Michael very correct.Its all about installing puppets and keeping control of oil.The brits , french , israelis ,us and other western states have a track record of that and have the blood of millions around the world on their hands

  • Xolile John Mualefe - 2011-12-04 02:14

    I'm catholic, but its questionable how much passion directed to a religion with morals superior to our own. esp since colonialism wiped out African values. now we r as dump and horrible to those we don't understand. ergo justifying blood of the innocent, claiming to be civilized? strange world indeed? what's wrong with the western power? we can't blame education cause our only education is CNN, BBC, music videos, reality shows, borrowed mentality, interlectuals never speak their words? what's wrong with the world? God bless us all..!!!!!!!!

      Marc - 2011-12-04 04:03

      Let me assist you if i may. 1, The West is not fleeing to other cultures, others are fleeing to the West. 2, Cruel cultures are not superior. 3, Do not rely on TV shows for knowledge, observe actions and outcomes. The West is not perfect but a better culture i am yet to see, although our liberal ideas will be the end of us. If your culture is anchored in the past you will stay in the past. We in the West have become too soft and our foe walk amongst us pretending to be our friend until one day.....

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-04 04:15

    They fought their two WW's and labour tirelessly to build France as it is now. All these mistrust and suspicious minds started after WWII and the formation of NATO. With religion, I think religion is only used for personal selfish interests these days. If we may delve deeper into religions, even Christianity supports racism so are Muslims who support the wiping out of non-Muslims so it's just a matter of being selective of some values.

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2011-12-04 05:47

      I'm sure you're trying to say something here....

  • cowbwouy - 2011-12-04 07:51

    Dont let your hatred for a certain religion influence the way you think.Just a few days back your neighbors forbade a black man from marrying his white girlfriend; do you call that justice ;equality or human rights.Don't expect everyone to live like animals like you do.

  • Martin - 2011-12-05 11:30

    She is right.

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-19 17:48

    I would not agree with the honorable minister. I would say that there are Few moderate muslims.

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