A letter calling on “Muslim authorities” to denounce parts of Islam’s holy book, the Quran was signed by 300 French public figures including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, three former premiers and several MPs.
The letter compared Islam with “anti-Semitism” asking that “Muslim authorities… strike with obsolescence” the verses in the Quran calling for “the murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and non-believers.”
The manifesto also raised concern over “Islamist radicalization” and “a surreptitious ethnic purge” supposedly targeting the Jewish community in the Paris region.
Head of the Great Mosque of Bordeaux, Tareq Obrou, said that “attributing anti-Semitism to Islam almost constitutes blasphemy, as two-thirds of the Quran’s prophets are Jewish,” publication Press TV reported.
He went on to say that the manifesto makes no sense as, "The Quran does not call for murder, it calls for fighting back against hostile people. This is the same misinterpretation made by a number of ignorant Muslims, delinquents who pick and choose texts depriving them of their historical context."
France has an estimated six million Muslims which is eight percent of the total population.
Of late, the French government has been debating ways of tackling Islamist extremism in the country following last month’s attacks in the southern cities of Carcassone and Trèbes, committed by a man of Moroccan origin.