An attempt to divide the Islamic loyalties of Muslims in France and elsewhere, and pry them away from the jihadists? Or another example of craven French dhimmitude? You be the judge. From the BBC:
The French interior minister has joined Muslim leaders at the main mosque in Paris to pray for the release of two French journalists abducted in Iraq.
Worshippers applauded as Dominique de Villepin spoke of the unity of French Muslims and non-Muslims.
French Muslim leader Dalil Boubakeur described the men as “our countrymen” and urged the kidnappers to free them.
The kidnappers have demanded that France repeal a ban on Islamic headscarves in French state schools.
The law introducing the ban is due to come into effect on Thursday. The government has refused to withdraw it.
The BBC’s Angus Roxburgh, in Paris, describes Mr de Villepin’s visit to the mosque as highly symbolic.
He says French Muslims attended to demonstrate their solidarity and their Frenchness – and to distance themselves from the Iraqi kidnappers.
Meanwhile, an influential Sunni Muslim organisation in Iraq, the Committee of Ulema, said it had failed to make contact with the kidnappers and feared the journalists might be killed.
A group calling itself The Islamic Army in Iraq says it is holding the two men – Christian Chesnot of Radio France Internationale and Georges Malbrunot of Paris daily newspaper Le Figaro.