from The Great Debate:

To become ‘French,’ abandon who you are

By Justin Gest
January 16, 2015


PHOTO (TOP): A young Muslim girl has two French flags and a headband reading "Fraternity" on her headscarf while marching to protest a French ban on religious symbols in state schools, Paris, January 31, 2004. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

from The Great Debate:

Netanyahu’s invitation to French Jews was awkward. For many reasons.

By Dimi Reider
January 14, 2015

French President Francois Hollande welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a solidarity march in the streets of Paris

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an impassioned call for French Jews to immigrate to Israel, after a series of attacks that began on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre killed four in a kosher supermarket in Paris. To many, it seemed like the most natural response he could deliver. After all, this is Israel’s stated raison d’etre: to provide refuge to persecuted Jews, wherever they may be. Underlying this sentiment is a deeper one, shared by Israelis across the political spectrum. It is the idea that Jewish life is at its most meaningful, and relevant, if carried out in the Jewish state.

from The Great Debate:

Will France fall into the trap of pitting ‘Islamism’ vs. ‘Nativism?’

By Carlo Invernizzi Accetti
January 8, 2015


The brutal attack that took place in Paris Wednesday on the headquarters of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, leaving at least 12 dead and more than 20 injured, could lead to dreadful consequences. 

from Photographers' Blog:

Destroying the heart of the village

September 20, 2013

Geste, France

By Stephane Mahe

The villages of rural France are faced with decreasing numbers of residents. In addition to the closure of bakeries and shops, they are seeing rising costs to maintain the religious and social heart of these communities, the local church. The village of Gesté and its church, Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens, has witnessed this first-hand.

from Tales from the Trail:

Romney on his work as a Mormon missionary: “We didn’t convert one person”

December 21, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday, where co-host Joe Scarborough asked him about his experience as a Mormon missionary in France in the 1960s. "Talk about your rejections as a missionary knocking on door, after door, after door in a hostile environment," Scarborough asked.

Losers all around in French Muslim council election

June 17, 2011

(Mohamed Moussaoui (4th R), President of the French Muslim council, speaks to the media after a meeting at the prime minister's office in Paris April 26, 2010. UOIF leader Fouad Alaoui is second from the right in the light suit//Gonzalo Fuentes)

Sleepy French hamlet seen at threat from Apocalypse sects

By Reuters Staff
June 15, 2011

(Pic de Bugarach, 14 November 2007/Thierry Strub)

The tiny southern French hamlet of Bugarach has drawn scrutiny from a government sect watchdog over droves of visitors who believe it is the only place in the world that will survive a 2012 Apocalypse. A report by the watchdog, Miviludes, published Wednesday said the picturesque village near Carcassonne should be monitored in the run-up to December 21, 2012, when many believe the world will end according to an ancient Mayan prophecy.

Witch hunt or wise move? Cannes ponders expulsion over Nazi “joke”

May 20, 2011

(Director Lars Von Trier arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film "Melancholia" in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, May 18, 2011/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Harun Yahya’s Muslim creationists tour France denouncing Darwin

May 16, 2011

(Harun Yahya at a news conference in Istanbul May 12, 2011/Murad Sezer)

France’s staunchly secularist educational establishment was shocked four years ago when schools around the country suddenly began receiving free copies of a richly illustrated Muslim creationist book entitled the “Atlas of Creation.” The book by Istanbul preacher and publisher Harun Yahya had come out in Turkey the year earlier. After the French Education Ministry warned teachers not to use it and held a seminar on how to deal with creationist pupils, the issue dropped out of the public discussion. But the Harun Yahya group has been spreading its view in France and is now holding a series of conferences on them. Here is my feature after visiting one of the first meetings in the current series:

Freudian take on Vatican life makes Cannes film festival smile

By Reuters Staff
May 13, 2011
(Director Nanni Moretti (C) and cast members Margherita Buy (R) and Michel Piccoli pose as they arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the film "Habemus Papam" (We Have A Pope) in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2011/Eric Gaillard )

(Director Nanni Moretti (C) and cast members Margherita Buy (R) and Michel Piccoli pose as they arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the film "Habemus Papam" (We Have A Pope) in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival May 13, 2011/Eric Gaillard )