• France

    Muslim doctor turned down by Paris hospital because of his beard

    A French court has recently upheld a Paris hospital’s right to reject a Muslim trainee doctor because he wore a beard. This, it was argued, infringed the French policy of secularism.  Some items – the headscarf or skull cap for example – are always going to fall foul of this policy. However the beard, like the long skirts which have been barred from schools in some cases, is not always a sign of unacceptable religiosity. The precise context is taken into account – and I assume that the religious identity of the wearer is a major factor in determining each case. Libération reports: “In these circumstances,” the court saw a…

  • antisemitism,  France

    France is being mental about anti-Jewish hate crime

    This is a cross-post by Lyn Julius from The Huffington Post On 4 April a 65-year old medical doctor living in a shabby suburb of Paris was woken at 4 am, beaten up for an hour and sustained 20 or more fractures to her body and face. At the end of her ordeal, she was thrown out of the window to her death. The murder of Sarah Halimi, an orthodox Jew,  raises several unanswered questions. The first is  – why was the killer, a 27-year old African convert to Islam named Kada Traoré, labelled a madman with a history of drug abuse and other offences, when all the evidence points to…

  • France,  Russia,  Trump

    Merci, Monsieur Macron

    Calling out to their face authoritarians who try to subvert democracy est toujours dans l’ordre. French President Emmanuel Macron has made an extraordinary attack on two Russian media outlets, saying they acted as “propaganda” organs during France’s election campaign. Speaking at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Macron accused the two outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik, of spreading fake news. He said that’s why he banned their reporters from his campaign headquarters during the race for the French presidency, which he went on to win May 7. Watch & *look at Putin's face* — you do not need to speak French to feel the daggers Macron…

  • antisemitism,  France

    Responses to antisemitic attacks in France

    A recent article in the Financial Times revealed that many French Jews were moving to London: Exact figures on how many Jews are leaving France and where they are going are hard to find because it is illegal to carry out a census according to ethnic or religious affiliation there. But there is little doubt many have decided it is time to leave, and after Israel — about 8,000 French citizens moved there last year, a record — the UK is an obvious destination. A few days after the FT piece appeared, a well known French Jewish politician, Alain Ghozland, was found stabbed in his apartment. The public prosecutor’s office considers…

  • 'Islamic State',  France,  Stateside,  Vote 2016

    Mastermind of Paris attacks reported killed

    The suspected ringleader of last Fridays atrocities in Paris was killed in a raid on an apartment building in a Paris suburb, intelligence officials reported. Good. I’m pleased French police are permitted to shoot to kill, however much that may distress Jeremy Corbyn. More than 100 police and soldiers stormed the building during a seven-hour siege that left two dead including the suspected overseer of the Paris bloodshed, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who had once boasted he could slip easily between Europe and the Islamic State strongholds in Syria. The confirmation was made after forsenic experts combed through the aftermath — blown-out windows, floors collapsed by explosions — presumably seeking DNA and…

  • France,  Religion

    No joke

    It looks like the setup to a joke, but while I’m sure some will accuse me of incurable naivete, it’s hard to see this as anything but good. An Imam, a rabbi and a priest at Paris' Grand Synagogue prayer service. pic.twitter.com/BgK1zbaMoW — Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) November 16, 2015 And here’s a reminder that the imam of the Grand Mosque in Paris played an honorable role in saving Jewish lives during the Nazi occupation of Paris.

  • 'Islamic State',  France,  Stoppers,  Toolbox,  Utter Scumbags

    Compare and contrast

    A message from Kafranbel, Syria, where people have been the victims of both the Assad regime and the Islamic State: A message from the Stop the War Coalition (since deleted): Alec adds: The article has been removed from the Stop the War – no! Not that one! – Coalition site. Shame that means it is gone forever.

  • France,  Terrorism


    I’ve never been in France, but this is the only response I can offer now to the ongoing atrocities against the people in the capital of that country. One of the greatest scenes in movie history:

  • antisemitism,  France

    France and BDS

    The illegality of the BDS movement in France has been confirmed by a recent ruling. A global campaign to boycott Israeli products has been judged to be illegal and antisemitic by France’s Supreme Court. The ruling by the Cour de Cassation was welcomed by Jewish groups, but denounced as an attack on free speech by pro-Palestinian activists. Lawyers said that France was the only democratic country to have outlawed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a worldwide movement that is also active in the UK, which urges consumers to avoid Israeli goods. Its aim is to pressurise Israel into ending the “occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands occupied in June…

  • France

    We Conquer’d Them at Waterloo

    Ebenezer Elliott, iron monger, Radical and Corn Law poet wrote a lament for the enemy of his country, Napoleon Bonaparte. To a later generation it sounded shocking. W H Auden said of it, that it was like finding a poem saying Now Hitler lies dead in Berlin. When working blackguards come to blows, And give or take a bloody nose, Shall juries try such dogs as those, Now Nap lies at Saint Helena ? No, let the Great Unpaid decide, Without appeal, on tame bull’s hide, Ash-planted well, or fistified, Since Nap died at Saint Helena. When Sabbath stills the dizzy mill, Shall Cutler Tom, or Grinder Bill, On footpaths…