France meets Muslim leaders, experts after burkini row

PARIS: France’s Interior minister has gathered leaders of the country’s Muslim community, experts and lawmakers to mend relations between Islam and the French state undermined by the burkinis dispute.


Bernard Cazeneuve, who also has government responsibility for maintaining good relations with religious denominations, told the La Croix newspaper ahead of Monday’s meeting that he wants to create a foundation to help promote “an Islam of France” that respects French secular values.

The foundation would finance education and cultural projects and non-religious training of imams, such as history of religion classes, he said.

Cazeneuve ruled out drafting a national law to ban burkinis. Some right-wing leaders are seeking the move after a top court ruled last week overturned municipal bans on wearing the head-to-ankle swimwear.