French secular fundamentalists distort Islam

“France’s secular fundamentalists regard Muslim individuals and groups who speak of Islam as a way of life as fundamentalists or fanatics, who constitute a threat to French culture and social values. Images of militant groups and the violent actions of a minority of individuals are often taken as representative and proof of the inherent danger of mixing Islam, politics and social life. This stereotype is a major obstacle to the understanding of Islamic culture and has contributed to a tendency that reduces Islam to fundamentalism and fundamentalism to religious extremism.”

Dr Marwan Al Kabalan writing in Gulf News, 13 February 2004