Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing opposition party held an internal meeting Thursday on the "question of Islam" in France, which drew criticism from Muslim groups and some members of the party for "stigmatising" the religion.

The former French president's party, recently rebranded "The Republicans", debated "the place of religion" in secular France and more specifically "Islam in France".

One month after the January attacks in Paris that killed 17, Sarkozy said: "The question is not to know what the Republic can do for Islam, but what Islam can do to become the Islam of France."

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