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French presidential candidate’s claim about Jews ‘a misunderstanding’

A spokesperson for Francois Fillon, a leading contender in the upcoming French presidential election, seeks to soften the candidate’s claim that Jews in the past did not respect French law.

Jérôme Chartier says Wednesday that criticism of Fillon was “a misunderstanding” of the candidate’s attempt to note that all religions have extremists.

“Francois Fillon is very clear on the fact that there may occur in all religious groups sectarian streams,” Chartier says. “They exist, everybody knows it. But at the same time he has always appreciated the integration of Jews in France.”

Chartier adds, “The Jews of France are French like the Christians of France are French and the Muslims of France are French, except for those who partake in Islamic sectarianism, in Islamic totalitarianism, which needs to be fought against.”

Chartier’s statement comes after Fillon said earlier Wednesday that France must combat Muslim sectarianism like “we fought against a form of Catholic sectarianism or like we fought the desire of Jews to live in a community that does not respect the laws of the French Republic.”

— JTA

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