Khalid Majid and his aides stride past piles of napkins, shirts and plastic watches at the weekly market here, scouting not good deals but for votes.

On a frigid morning, he pushes fliers at a clutch of men selling clothes. "Our children live in France, our lives are here," he tells them, as one nods in agreement. "We must also have our say — not just as Muslims but as French."

Majid is a manager at the SNCF rail company. But he's getting name recognition these days as president of the fledgling Union of French Muslim Democrats, or UDMF party, which is making its first run in regional elections.

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