Tag Archives: France

Deeply unpopular Hollande calls for France to ’embrace’ Islam and rejects calls for a nationwide burkini ban

President Unpopular

President Unpopular

From Daily Mail: Islam can co-exist with secularism, President Francois Hollande said Thursday, warning in a speech seen as preparing the ground for a re-election bid that the anti-terror fight should not undermine French values.

coexist-not2

The deeply unpopular Hollande has yet to announce whether he will run for a second term next year, but is widely expected to be a candidate. In a passionate plea for tolerance, he defended the country’s Muslim minority following a vitriolic debate on the banning of the Islamic burkini swimsuit. ‘Nothing in the idea of secularism opposes the practice of Islam in France, provided it respects the law,’ Hollande said. Secularism was not a ‘state religion’ to be used against other religions, he said in the speech in Paris, denouncing the ‘stigmatisation of Muslims’.

Mayors in around 30 towns this summer cited France’s century-old secular laws in banning head-to-toe swimwear on their beaches, unleashing a furore. Several of the towns later revoked the bans after France’s highest administrative court ruled they were a ‘serious’ violation of basic freedoms.

The oh-so-attractive burkini

The oh-so-attractive burkini

Hollande rejected calls by conservatives, including his arch-rival, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, for the state to ban the burkini, saying it would be ‘unconstitutional’. 

Asking whether Islam could co-exist with secularism, like Christianity and Judaism, he insisted: ‘My answer is yes, certainly.’ ‘The question the Republic must answer is: Is it really ready to embrace a religion that it did not expect to be this big over a century ago? There too, my answer is yes, certainly.’

In a wide-ranging address Hollande cast himself as a guardian of democracy, resisting calls for more repressive laws following a string of jihadist attacks that have left over 230 people dead in France since January 2015.

The authorities this week launched another anti-terror investigation, following the discovery of six gas cylinders in an abandoned car near Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral. Seven people are being held over the find, which comes two months after a Tunisian radical slammed a lorry into a crowd of Bastille Day revellers in Nice, killing 86 people. Hollande said attack plots had been foiled ‘in recent days’ but did not elaborate.

The government has responded to the threat by deploying thousands of troops to patrol the streets, enacting a raft of anti-terror laws and repeatedly extending a state of emergency – measures deemed insufficient by the conservative opposition.

Sarkozy, who has announced a bid to try to win back the presidency in next year’s election, has called for suspected radicals to be interned in camps. The former president responded late Thursday to Hollande’s comments, saying that ‘democracy can’t be weak. We are France, we cannot accept impotence.’

Sarkozy, putting himself forward as a strong contrast to Hollande, added; ‘I want to be president of a Republic which will protect the French people and which will defend France.’

Hollande warned that France could not sacrifice its core values of liberty, equality and fraternity. ‘The declaration of human rights is not some old scroll to be framed and hung in reception rooms,’ he said. ‘Did the Patriot Act and Guantanamo protect Americans from the (terrorist) threat? No,’ he said, declaring: ‘Democracy is our weapon.’

Polls predict a drubbing for the 62-year-old Socialist if he throws his hat in the ring again after five years marked by stubbornly high unemployment and only timid attempts at reform. Hollande has deferred his decision on whether to run until December.

A poll published Tuesday showed he would only get between 11 and 15 percent in the first round of voting. A separate survey for BFMTV Wednesday showed 88 percent of the French opposed to Hollande standing again.

Three of Hollande’s former ministers have already announced their own presidential bids. They could soon be joined by ambitious former economy minister Emmanuel Macron, who resigned from government last week.

Despite his own camp being in disarray Hollande has cast himself as a unifying force at the helm of the state. ‘When there is danger we must come together,’ he said. Prime Minister Manuel Valls praised the speech, saying Hollande had set out his vision with ‘new vitality’.

DCG

Cannes bans full-body ‘burkini’ swimsuits from beaches

Some people are upset about a burkini ban. Heaven forbid they get upset about how those who practice Islam actually treat women.

burkini

From USA Today: The French resort of Cannes has banned full-body, head-covering swimsuits from its beaches, citing security reasons — a measure some are decrying as a discriminatory anti-Muslim move that only worsens religious tensions.

The ban on “burkinis,” at the height of the French Riviera’s vacation season, comes as France remains on edge after deadly Islamic extremist attacks on nearby Nice and on a Catholic church in northwest France.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard issued an ordinance in late July forbidding beachwear that doesn’t respect “good morals and secularism.” It notes that swimwear “manifesting religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks, could create risks of trouble to public order.”

A City Hall official said the measure, in effect until the end of August, could apply to burkini-style swimsuits. Violators risk a $42 fine.

The mayor calls the burkini “the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion.” In an interview published Friday in Nice-Matin newspaper, Lisnard said the measure could also apply to saris worn by Indian bathers, because the clothing could hamper rescuers’ efforts to save them in an emergency.

The Cannes beach ban is just the latest of many French measures seen as singling out Islam, the country’s No. 2 religion, in the name of official secularism.

Last week, the mayor of a town outside Marseille banned a swimming day for women at a local park, citing a risk to public order because swimmers were required to cover up from chest to knee. The association Smile 13 organized the event for women, girls and boys, asking swimmers respect the Islamic notion of “awra,” a reference to parts of the body to be hidden.

French law already forbids face-covering veils anywhere in public, and headscarves in public schools. Proponents say the laws preserve secular values and protect women from religious oppression. But critics say they’ve deepened the religious divide, and Islamic State extremists say the laws are justification for attacking France.

The local branch of the Human Rights League warned that Cannes’ “burkini” ban could further alienate French Muslims.

The Collective Against Islamophobia in France said it’s filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Cannes measure. It urged tolerance, noting that Muslims made up about a third of the 85 victims of the July 14 truck attack on the Nice seafront. Two weeks later, after extremists killed a Catholic priest near Rouen, Muslims across France attended Mass in a symbol of solidarity and a denunciation of terrorism.

DCG

Mother and her three daughters, aged between 8 and 14, are stabbed by ‘Muslim’ man in French holiday resort because they were ‘scantily dressed’

Religion of Pieces strikes again.

islam

From Daily Mail: A mother and her three daughters were reportedly stabbed while on holiday in France because they were ‘scantily dressed’. A knifeman attacked the woman and her three daughters, aged eight, 12, and 14, in the village of Garda-Colombe near Laragne-Monteglin, in south-east France, at around 10.30 yesterday morning.

The attacker, named locally as Moroccan-born Mohamed Boufarkouch, was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and remains in police custody. 

Local reports suggest the Boufarkouch attacked the victims because they were ‘scantily dressed’. The victims are believed to have been wearing shorts and t-shirts at the time.   It is also understood that the victims were known to the attacker and his family as they were staying next door to each other in the holiday village.  The victims, who have not been named, were attacked while eating breakfast at the holiday village.

Local mayor Edmond Francou, told Le Parisien that the attacker was on holiday with his own family, including two children, from their home in Yvelines, near Paris.

At a press conference, the Prosecutor said so far there was no motive.

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

However local reports suggest the attacker had made references about the woman and children being ‘too lightly dressed’. Jean-Marc Duprat, a deputy mayor for the nearby town, said the attacker was upset because the victims were wearing shorts and t-shirts. French TV channel TF1 said he ‘may have acted out of religious motives’.

A small folding knife with a blade measuring from 8 to 10 centimeters was found at the scene.  Boufarkouch, who is now in custody, has been known to police for at least 15 years. He reportedly fled after the attack, leaving behind his family and his wife ‘in tears’.  The mayor suggested Boufarkouch, who lives with his family in Yvelines, west Paris, could be ‘pyschologically sick’ and he is set to be seen by a psychiatrist today.

The eight-year-old victim was the most severely wounded in the attack and remains in a critical condition in hospital.  The mother reportedly suffered an injury to her sternum. French channel TF1 claimed the mother had helped the knifeman by bringing him medication when he fell ill on Monday.

Francois Hollande’s deputy chief of staff Christophe Pierrel said: ‘It is time to keep calm and let the investigators do their job.’

Karine Berger, member of the French National Assembly representing Hautes-Alpes, said she was shocked by the attack on a family holiday village. ‘This tragedy affects us all by the age of the victims and the circumstances,’ she said.

Laragne-Monteglin is 180 kilometers 110 miles northwest of Nice, where a Tunisian man killed 84 people last week by driving through a crowd on Bastille Day.

DCG

France PM: “We should learn to live with terrorism”

white flag

From the Daily Sun: France must “learn to live with terrorism”, the country’s prime minister has said, as he announced three days of national mourning beginning on Saturday, reports ITV.

“Terrorism is a threat that is weighing heavily on France,” Manuel Valls said.

“We’re faced with a war that terrorism has brought against us. The goal of the terrorists is to make us scared. We won’t give in to the terrorist threat, we must stand together, united. France has been once again struck in our flesh.

Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism. We have to show solidarity and collective calm. France has been hit in its soul on the 14 July, our national day.

“They wanted to attack the unity of the French nation. The only dignified response is that France will remain loyal to the spirit of the 14 July and its values.”

DCG

St. Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc2Today, May 30th, is the Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc, my favorite saint.

St. Jeanne La Pucelle was born in Domremy, a small village of Champagne, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1412, to Jacques d’Arc, her father, a peasant farmer who was a leader in his community, and to Isabelle, her devout mother.  Isabelle taught Joan her Catholic Faith and her prayers.  Joan was a pious young person, who loved to pray and receive the Sacraments, Penance and the Holy Eucharist.  She was very kind, having cared for individuals who were sick and helping people who were wanderers, offering them her bed so that they might rest.  She enjoyed her childhood and was most proficient with the household chores, wherein she loved to sew and spin.  Joan said, “I fear no woman in Rouen at sewing and spinning.”

Joan lived in the throes of the Hundred Years War.  King Henry V of England invaded France, took over Normandy and claimed the crown of Charles VI of France.  To make matters worse, there was also a civil war between the Duke of Burgundy and his allies and Orleans.  The Duke was murdered and thereafter, the Burgundians allied themselves with the English.  France was literally falling apart, with town after town falling to the English and/or the Burgundians.  In the meantime, the new individual who should be king, was Charles VII, known as the Dauphin; he did little to help France’s dire situation.

Joan of Arc1

When Joan was 13 years of age, Joan saw St. Michael the Archangel, who comforted her and told her not to be afraid.  She then saw Sts. Catherine and Margaret, telling her about her mission from the King of Heaven, to save France advising her that she must lead the army of France.  Joan stated in testimony:

“When I was thirteen, I had a voice from God to help me to govern myself. The first time, I was terrified. The voice came to me about noon: it was summer, and I was in my father’s garden. I had not fasted the day before. I heard the voice on my right hand, towards the church. There was a great light all about.

I vowed then to keep my virginity for as long as it should please God.

I saw it many times before I knew that it was Saint Michael. Afterwards, he taught me and showed me such things that I knew that it was he.

He was not alone, but duly attended by heavenly angels. I saw them with the eyes of my body as well as I see you. And when they left me, I wept,and I wished that they might have taken me with them. And I kissed the ground where they had stood, to do them reverence.

Above all, St. Michael told me that I must be a good child, and that God would help me.  He taught me to behave rightly and to go often to church.  He said that I would have to go into France.

He told me that St. Catherine and St. Margaret would come to me, and that I must follow their counsel; that they were appointed to guide and counsel me in what I had to do, and that I must believe what they would tell me, for it was at Our Lord’s command.

He told me the pitiful state of the Kingdom of France.  And he told me that I must go to succour the King of France.

St. Catherine and St. Margaret had rich crowns on their heads.  They spoke well and fairly, and their voices are beautiful-sweet and soft.

The name by which they often named me was Jehanne the Maid, child of God.

They told me that my King would be restored to his Kingdom, despite his enemies.  They promised to lead me to Paradise, for that was what I asked of them.

Twice and thrice a week the voice told met hat I must depart and go into France.

And the voice said that I would raise the siege before Orleans.  And it told me to go to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudricourt, captain of the town, who would give me men to go with me.

And I answered the voice that I was a poor girl who knew nothing of riding and warfare.”

Joan went three times to speak to Robert de Baudricourt about the instructions she received from the King of Heaven.  On the third occasion, Baudricourt listened to Joan, as a previous prediction she had made to him regarding a defeat for the French army came true.  Accordingly, Baudricourt gave Joan an escort of three soldiers to protect her, to present herself to Charles VII.  Joan travelled wearing the clothing of men and reached Chinon on March 6, 1429.  The Dauphin disguised himself to see if Joan would be able to point him out amongst the other individuals in his Court.  Of course, Joan identified the real Dauphin.  She spoke with him in private and gave him a secret message told to her by her heavenly messengers, which convinced Chales that what Joan said was true.  He gave her soldiers so that she could lead them towards the relief of Orleans.  However, this decision came with opposition from some of the members of Charle’s court.  Therefore, she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a learned body of theologians.  After extensive questions and a thorough investigation, these theologians found Joan to be pure and true, finding no fault with her.  Indeed, they advised Charles to use this pure human being for the good of France.

After Joan returned to Chinon from Poitiers, she was equipped with an expeditionary force, and she was provided with white armor and other supplies, with a banner or standard which was Joan’s favorite possession.  Upon the banner was a representation of God the Father to whom two kneeling angels were presenting a fleur-de-lis, with the writing upon it, “Jesus:Maria”.

Joan of Arc3On April 27, the army left Blois with Joan in her white armor and banner, leading the French army.  They entered Orleans on April 29th, and Joan’s presence in the city gave hope to the people.  And by May 8th, the English forts which surrounded Orleans were captured and the siege raised.

Joan the Maid was then allowed to lead the French army in yet another campaign on the Loire with the Duc d’ Alencon, one of her dearest friends.  This campaign was successful, and she ended with another victory at Patay in which the English forces suffered yet another defeat.

On July 17, 1429, Charles VII, the Dauphin, was crowned with Joan beside him holding her treasured banner.  Joan was successful in this important campaign.  Nevertheless, troubles ensued and she went to the relief of Compiegne which was holding out against the Burgundians.  On May 23, 1430, because of some miscalculation, the drawbridge over which her company was retiring was raised too soon, leaving Joan and some of her men outside at the mercy of the Burgundians.  She was taken by the enemy and remained the prisoner of the Duke of Burgundy.  Charles, the Dauphin, did not come to Joan’s aid during the entire time of her imprisonment.  Clearly, he betrayed her.  On  November 21st she was sold to the English.  They knew that they could not condemn her for her defeat of them in war, but contrived that they could harm her if she was tried as a sorceress and a heretic.

Joan was in prison in the castle of Rouen.  On February 21, 1431, she appeared before Peter Cauchon, who was Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that through English influence he could become the Archbishop of Rouen. This Tribunal consisted of Cauchon, dignitaries and doctors carefully selected by Cauchon, as well as of the ordinary officials of an ecclesiastical court.  During the course of her sessions, Joan was examined and cross-examined as to her visions and her voices, her assumption of male attire, her faith and her willingness to submit to the Church.  Joan answered their questions boldly.  Her answers were not only cogent, but logical and embarrassing for her inquisitors.  For example, when Joan was asked whether she would refer herself to the determination of the Church, she stated:

“I refer myself to Our Lord who sent me, to Our Lady, and to all the blessed saints in Paradise.  It seems to me that Our Lord and the Church are one and the same, and that no one shold make difficulties about that.  Why do you make difficulties about its not being one and the same?”   

Joan further reiterated this comment stating her allegiance to the Church and also stating, “Our Lord first served!”

This alleged unfair tribunal summed up her answers as revelations from the devil wherein these misrepresentations were submitted to the judges and then to the University of Paris.  Joan was denounced.

The tribunal decided that she must be handed over to the secular arm as a heretic if she refused to retract.    In a final attempt  to obtain her admission and retraction, Joan was threatened with torture.  She, out of extreme fear, made a retraction of her testimony.  She was taken back to prison.  Joan knew that her retraction was wrong, and again put on the male attire that she wore as a soldier for France even though she was expected to discard this dress.  Cauchon and his assistants visited Joan in her cell and saw what she had done, noticing that she had recovered from her previous weakness.  Therefore, Joan again declared that she was sent by the King of Heaven and that the voices of the saints she heard came from Heaven also.

On May 29, 1431, the judges heard Cauchon’s report, condemning Joan as a relapsed heretic to be delivered over to the secular arm.

On May 30, 1431, the 19-year-0ld Joan was fastened to a stake being prepared to be burned upon it.  A Dominican friar at her request held up a cross in front of her eyes, and as the flames lept upon her, she cried, “Jesus, Jesus”.  Some of the people cried that they had burned a saint.  Her ashes were hurled into the Seine.

Twenty-three years later, Joan’s mother and her two brothers appealed to Pope Callistus II to have her case reviewed.  The Pope granted this request and appointed a commission to review what happened, to examine the witnesses and review the written testimony.  On July 7, 1456, the trial was declared biased and unfair, quashing the trial and its verdict, completely exonerating dear Joan.

Four-hundred and fifty years later, on May 16, 1920, Joan was canonized as a saint with all solemnity, by the Catholic Church.  She is the Patron Saint of France, soldiers, military personnel and prisoners.  And finally, St. Joan is also the Patron Saint of individuals who are ridiculed for their Faith.

St. Joan is very dear to me as she has helped me so much in my life.  It is my hope that I will also live my life with kindness, courage, bravery and loyalty, and putting my Faith first above all things, loving Our Triune God with great passion and zeal.  She is an example of a pure young lady, full of love for God, for His Church and for his people.  Yes, dear brave Joan, may Our Lord always be first served! 

With love, reverence and respect for St. Joan,

Joan

Sources:

Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Edited by Michael Walsh

One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press AOL Time Warner Book Group

Joan of Arc In Her Own Words, Compiled and Translated by Willard Trask; Afterword by Sir Edward S. Creasy

St. Joan of Arc:  Maid for God, EWTN, May 30, 2013

Jude Law’s security team attacked and mugged by migrants when the cameras stopped after the fool left the jungle camp in Calais

Bet Jude won’t be inviting any of the migrants to his home(s) any time soon.

jude law

Security guards hired to protect Jude Law when he visited the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp were reportedly targeted by rock-pelting migrants just moments after the actor boarded the coach home.

The Daily Mail reports that the star useful idiot made the journey to northern France last week to highlight the plight of child refugees who are being evicted under a move by French authorities to demolish the southern part of the camp.

He was joined by singer Tom Odell and a film crew, who captured him on camera as he urged David Cameron to let the hundreds of children at the camp come to the UK.  But moments after the celebrities had boarded the production team coach back to Britain, their security team was ambushed, according to the Sunday People. The attackers reportedly hurled stones at the men before stealing their mobile phones.

A source told the newspaper: ‘We were shocked to see some of the migrants acting like football hooligans. (Apparently these fools don’t read the news.) The security team had stones thrown at them and two had phones smashed and stolen.’

The official deadline for migrants to leave the most southern part of the camp was on Tuesday and the first phase of clearing migrants started on Thursday after a judge approved mass evictions. Charities working in the camps say the demolition will destroy the homes of 3,000 people, including hundreds of children. It will, they claim, ‘uproot again those who have already had to abandon their homes due to war and persecution’.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

Angry Truck Driver versus Migrants at Calais

Calais is a town in Northern France. The gentleman in the video is speaking Hungarian (from what I’ve been told). There are subtitles in English (lots of swearing!).

How many women and children can you spot in the video?

The funniest part? Scroll ahead to the 5:00 minute mark and watch the driver try and scare these poor “refugees”!

DCG