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Muslim party to take part in French regional election

Muslim party to take part in French regional election

muslBOBIGNY: A Muslim party that aims to promote Islamic finance and overturn France’s ban on wearing the veil in schools will take part in regional elections next month.

Led by Najib Azergui, the Democratic Union of French Muslims (UDMF) also aims to promote the use of Arabic in schools and “fight against dangerous stigmatisation that equates Islam with terrorism.”

The party, which has 900 members and 8,000 supporters, is to put up two candidates in the March election in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, where a large proportion of the population is from an immigrant background.

It will also put up candidates in seven other regional elections next month.

“In the dramatic context like the one we are living through today, we need to make our voices heard louder,” said Khalid Majid, 36, one of the candidates in Bobigny.

France has struggled to integrate its Muslim community, Europe’s largest estimated at between 3.5 and five million, although figures are difficult to come by as secular France does not collate religious data.

Azergui founded the party in 2012 due to concerns over a growing tendency in France to portray Islam and the Islamic culture as “harmful, hostile and dangerous.”

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