PARIS (AP) — France’s finance minister, a presidential hopeful, says mosques need state funding and it’s time for a century-old law banning financing for religious groups to be modernized, according to excerpts of a new book hitting the shelves on Thursday.
Nicolas Sarkozy, in his book “The Republic, Religions, Hope,” says extremism is festering in underground mosques and Islamic groups don’t have money to build houses of worship.
“What is dangerous is not minarets, but caves and garages that keep clandestine religious groups hidden,” Sarkozy says in the book, according to excerpts published in Le Monde and other French newspapers Tuesday.
Unlike Jewish and Christian groups with a history in France, Islam is relatively new here and needs a helping hand, Sarkozy says.
“In light of our past experiences and our errors, let us prove our modesty and tolerance,” Sarkozy writes. “Have we already forgotten our crusades?”
Oh no, Nick. We remember them very well. But have you forgotten the jihads? Obviously.