Dec 17, 2013
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France should allow headscarves and teach more Arabic in schools: report to PM

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(A young woman from Somalia attends a lesson to learn French given by humanitarian association France Terre d’Asile in Angers, western France, November 9, 2011. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe )

France should reverse decades of strict secularism to integrate its immigrant population better, allowing Muslims to wear headscarves in schools and promoting Arabic teaching, according to an iconoclastic report commissioned by the prime minister.

Apr 19, 2011
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Vandalism and threats greet “Piss Christ” photograph in France

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(The "Piss Christ" photograph damaged by Catholic activists at the Lambert Gallery in Avignon April 18, 2011/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

A controversial photograph of a crucifix submerged in the urine of New York artist Andres Serrano has been vandalized during an exhibit in Avignon and the museum’s employees have received death threats.

Apr 10, 2011
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French police arrest protesters before burqa ban goes into effect

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(A Muslim woman protests against France's banning of full face veils from public spaces, outside the French Embassy in London September 25, 2010/Luke MacGregor)

French police have arrested 59 people who turned up for a banned protest over the banning of the Muslim full face veil, a police spokesman said. The measure goes into force on Monday and prohibits wearing the full veil, the burqa, in all public places, with a 150 euro ($216) fine for offenders.

Apr 8, 2011
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Paris death salon shows life and new trends in funeral industry

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(A television journalist speaks to camera as she tests a coffin on show at the 'Salon de la Mort' -- Salon of Death -- in Paris April 7, 2011/Charles Platiau)

“Care to try out the coffin?” Surprised but intrigued, the young man lays himself down on the ivory satin fabric and holds his breath as the heavy lid closes over him. At the Salon of Death, everything is permitted.

Oct 6, 2009
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French Muslim soccer team refuses to play gays

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An amateur Muslim soccer team has provoked an outcry in France after refusing to play against a team which promotes homosexual rights and has gay players.The Creteil Bebel Muslim team pulled out of its planned tie with Paris Foot Gay (PFG) at the weekend, saying it went against their religious beliefs to play against homosexuals.The PFG said they would sue Creteil Bebel for homophobia, but the team defended the pullout, saying religious convictions were much more important than any sporting event.“As a Muslim, I have the right not to play against homosexuals because I don’t share their ideas,” Zahir Belgarbi, one of the team directors, told France Bleu radio.Read the full article hereWhat do you think about this? Should players’ beliefs make any difference on the field?UPDATE: Creteil Bebel agreed several days later to play against Paris Foot Gay after all. “In no way is this a Muslim team,” said Creteil Bebel’s lawyer Bénédicte Puybasset. “Some members are Muslims but none are fundamentalists and some are not Muslim. It’s just a bunch of friends who like to play football after work.”
(Photo: Football at Chaban Delmas stadium in Bordeaux, 9 Aug 2009/Regis Duvignau)

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