President Hollande said in an campaign speech on Thursday September 8th:
'Nothing in the idea of secularism opposes the practice of Islam in France, provided it respects the law,' Hollande said.
Secularism was not a 'state religion' to be used against other religions, he said in the speech in Paris, denouncing the 'stigmatisation of Muslims'.
Asking whether Islam could co-exist with secularism, like Christianity and Judaism, he insisted: 'My answer is yes, certainly.'
'The question the Republic must answer is: Is it really ready to embrace a religion that it did not expect to be this big over a century ago? There too, my answer is yes, certainly.'