“By the end of the 18th century, relationships with the Muslim world were so common as to have become banal. People walked about Paris not even blinking when they saw someone wearing a turban, because they were so used to it,” says Ian Calder, a history professor and author of 2009 book, ‘Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe‘.
The first phase of French Muslim history began in 716 CE when a group of Spanish Muslim soldiers crossed Spanish-French border along Pyrenees Mountains to occupy the city of Norborne. In 721 CE, Muslim forces under the command of Al-Samh ibn Malik conquered the city of Toulouse by defeating Duke Eudes of Aquitaine’s army. Toulouse was the scene of a recent Israeli Mossad’s false flag shooting operation which killed four French Jews at a school. Muslim forces continued their victory march until it reached the city of Lyon and occupied the city of Bordeaux in 731 CE. However, their advance turned into retreat when Muslim army was defeated by Duke Eudes in alliance with Charles Martel near the city of Poitiers in 732 CE.
The second phase began after Christian Crusaders defeated the last Spanish Sultanate in 1942 – consequently, some 150,000 Spanish Muslims who escaped the slaughter, had to seek refuge in south of France and settled there.
The third phase of French Muslim history began over 500 years ago, when France became the first Christian country to establish a diplomatic alliance with the Ottoman empire, and opening doors to diplomats, intellectuals, tourists and students from the Muslim East and North Africa.
King Francois I (1515-1547) established the College de France in 1530 as an alternative to the Sorbonne University in Paris – as an institution free from domination of the Church and the government. The University was home to Europe’s Arabic language course. In 1533, Francois I sent colonel Pierre de Piton as his ambassador to Sultan Ahmed ben Mohammed of Fez (currently a part of Morocco). Fez is home to the world’s oldest educational institution, the Al-Qarawiyyin University, which was established in 859 during the Shia Fatmid dynasty. The Jewish theologian Rabbi Moses Maimonides (d. 1204) studied at the Qarawiyyin University.
In 1536, King Francois also signed a friendship treaty with Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent of Ottoman Turkey which would last nearly 300 years.
Currently, one out of every six French is a Muslim. Muslim communities are concentrated mostly in Paris, Lyon and Marseille (known as ‘Marsa Ali’ in Arab history). France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population (6-8 million). Islam is second largest religion in France after Roman Catholic. However, Muslims have no representation in French parliament or being elected President of France. In contrast, 500,000 French Jewish communiy has several MPs and Presidents including the current President Francois Hollande, who has been called the first Muslim President by the FrontPage Magazine, owned by one of America’s top Islamophobes, Zionist Jew David Horowitz.
The French major three political parties (Socialist, Front National and UMP) are anti-Islam and pro-Israel. According to professor John R. Bowen (Washington University), France is not a secular country in the real sense. Its government uses this myth to persecute its Muslim minority which don’t believe in the separation between the religion and state.
“The French States gives aid to the Catholic Church. All private Catholic schools that teach the national curriculum are subsidized by the State. Muslims who have been trying to create private, religious state schools have had a hard time getting similar funding. One only effort so far has succeeded,” says Bowen.
Morocco-born, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, 34, has made history by becoming the first minister in the prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s cabinet which has three pro-Israel Jew ministers.
Paris is home to Europe’s third largest mosque, the Moorish-style Great Mosque of Paris. The mosque has a 130 ft high minaret, the only one in Paris but is not allowed to be used for Adhan (call for prayers). The mosque was opened for prayers in 1926 to honor the 100,000 Muslim colonial soldiers who died for France in WW I.
According to Algerian-born Jewish singer Salim Halali (d. 2005) the Great Mosque of Paris provided sanctuary and refuge to Jews, Halali among them, during the Nazi occupation.
According to some sources, over 20,000 people convert to Islam in France each year including former Hollywood French actress Emilie Francois. Listen to her in a video below.