Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice and an MP representing France's mainstream right-wing party, the UMP [Sarkozy's party, currently in opposition], made some interesting remarks about Islam in a television interview recently.

The MP declared his opposition to a declaration made by François Hollande during his official trip to Tunisia, when he declared that "France knows that Islam and democracy are compatible". "We can't go around proclaiming secularism everywhere and at the same time say that Islam and democracy are perfectly compatible", he declared. "In France as soon as you have in a crèche, in a school, in a public place, someone who would display an ostentatious sign of belonging to a religion, everyone starts yelling, which seems to me totally legitimate, because I defend the principles of secularism," declared the mayor of Nice.

"When I see what's happening in Egypt and a certain number of countries in the name of Islam, I am particularly worried," added Mr Estrosi, ending with: "Thus for me, it is totally incompatible, I want us to defend the idea of liberty and democracy based on the principle of secularism, which forms the model for our country."

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