Thursday, March 8, 2012

French premier reaches out to Jews, Muslims

France's prime minister scrambled Wednesday to dispel concerns in the Jewish and Muslim communities after criticizing the ritual slaughter of animals for kosher and halal meat.

Halal meat in particular has emerged as a hot-button issue in the campaign for presidential elections starting next month in France, a country with at least 5 million Muslims, the largest such population in western Europe.

Francois Fillon's call for religions to "reflect" upon what he called outdated traditions has fed a hyper-charged political atmosphere. 

But for many, Fillon's comments went too far. He hosted Jewish leaders Wednesday and was expected to meet with Muslim leaders Thursday in what appeared to be an attempt to ease concerns about his comments on French radio this week.

Read details: SFGate

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