Some French suburbs turning into 'separate Islamic societies'

Paris, Oct 7 (ANI): France's run-down city suburbs are becoming 'separate Islamic societies' cut off from the state, a report has warned.

According to the Daily Mail, Arab communities are increasingly rejecting French values and identity to focus more on Muslim culture and lifestyle.

Muslim pupils often boycott school dinners if the food is not halal and most Arabs oppose marriages to white French citizens, a study by political scientist Gilles Kepel has said, adding France, whose five million Muslims make up Europe's largest Islamic population, was turning into a 'divided nation'.

"In some areas, a third of the population of the town does not hold French nationality, and many residents are drawn to an Islamic identity rather than simply rejecting or failing to find a secular one," Dr Kepel wrote in the study called Suburbs of the Republic.

"French schools, which are rigorously non-religious, have traditionally been seen as having the role of training young citizens of the republic," he added.

But local officials say Islamic pupils are heading home for a halal lunch.

"Most people in France do not object to mixed marriages, but in the suburbs we were surprised to find a very large proportion of Muslim respondents said they were opposed to marriages with non-Muslims," he claimed. (ANI)