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Jewish shop firebombed in Paris suburb

A Jewish supermarket in a gritty northern Paris suburb was firebombed on Wednesday and one person slightly hurt, officials said.

"There was an attack inside a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles at lunchtime by two persons dressed in black who lobbed a device," said Richard Prasquier,
who heads France's main Jewish council CRIF.

There was no confirmation if the attack was linked to the film "Innocence of Muslims" which has triggered global protests since its release on the Internet or the publication of naked cartoons of Prophet Muhammad by a satirical French weekly on Wednesday.

"A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the shop," said Moshe Cohen-Sabban, a local Jewish community leader.

"Many people were going there to stock up for Yom Kippur which falls next Wednesday," he said.

Cohen-Sabban said there were no "special" religious tensions in Sarcelles, a working-class area with a population of about 60,000 and large numbers of Muslims and Jews.

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ISLAM

Erdogan calls French separatism bill ‘guillotine’ of democracy

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday denounced a planned French law designed to counter "Islamist separatism" as a "guillotine" of democracy.

Erdogan calls French separatism bill 'guillotine' of democracy
Erdogan has already denounced the proposed measures as "anti-Muslim". Photo: Adem ALTAN/AFP

The draft legislation has been criticised both inside France and abroad for stigmatising Muslims and giving the state new powers to limit speech and religious groups.

“The adoption of this law, which is openly in contradiction of human rights, freedom of religion and European values, will be a guillotine blow inflicted on French democracy,” said Erdogan in a speech in Ankara.

The current version of the planned law would only serve the cause of extremism, putting NGOs under pressure and “forcing young people to choose between their beliefs and their education”, he added.

READ ALSO: What’s in France’s new law to crack down on Islamist extremism?

“We call on the French authorities, and first of all President (Emmanuel) Macron, to act sensibly,” he continued. “We expect a rapid withdrawal of this bill.”

Erdogan also said he was ready to work with France on security issues and integration, but relations between the two leaders have been strained for some time.

France’s government is in the process of passing new legislation to crack down on what it has termed “Islamist separatism”, which would give the state more power to vet and disband religious groups judged to be threats to the nation.

Erdogan has already denounced the proposed measures as “anti-Muslim”.

READ ALSO: Has Macron succeeded in creating an ‘Islam for France’?

Last October, Erdogan questioned Macron’s “mental health”, accusing him of waging a “campaign of hatred” against Islam, after the French president defended the right of cartoonists to caricature the prophet Mohammed.

The two countries are also at odds on a number of other issues, including Libya, Syria and the eastern Mediterranean.

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