Paris, Feb 24 French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said Muslims have to assimilate into the French culture in case they want to be made welcome in France.
In a live-broadcast interview with French Channel One television, the French president condemned multi-culturalism and described it as a failure.
Sarkozy said France had been too concerned about the identity of people who came to live in the country.
He stated that Muslims should “accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community.”
Sarkozy even went on to instruct the imams at French mosques on how to give their sermons.
France, home to some five million Muslim inhabitants, mostly of North African descent, takes pride in the “special relationship” it has with the Arab world, and its former colonies.
In the wake of revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, Sarkozy also warned the Middle Eastern countries of falling into what he calls “religious dictatorship.”
The French president, who had been a long-time ally of Tunisia’s ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, urged the Middle Eastern countries to help pave the way for democracy in Egypt and Tunisia.