French bishop warns of rising Islamophobia
LOURDES — Leading bishops have voiced alarm at a rise in anti-Islamic sentiment in France and admitted that hardening attitudes within the Roman Catholic church are fueling the trend.
In comments that will add to pressure on President François Hollande to respond todemands from France’s large Muslim community to speak out on the issue, the Bishop of Angoulême, Claude Dagens, said he was profoundly concerned by recent developments.
“It is with much pain that I notice the emergence of a Catholic Islamophobia, in the same way that there has been a Catholic anti-semitism for centuries,” Dagens told AFP in an interview on the sidelines of an assembly of French bishops here.
Dagens said his concerns had been heightened by the controversial“Muslim demographics” presentation made at the Vatican last month in which Cardinal Peter Turkson predicted that Islam would eventually become the dominant religion in Europe.