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Topless demonstrator joins in anti-Islamophobia march through the streets of Paris

Topless demonstrator joins in anti-Islamophobia march through the streets of Paris as thousands taker to the streets amid renewed debate over women wearing veils in public

  • Organisers said rally called for support after man with far-right connections fired shots in a mosque Bayonne
  • A topless woman, who had ‘we’re not promoting secularism’ written on her chest, also joined demonstration
  • Hard-left party members took part, but some others in the centre stayed away saying it threatened secularism
  • Crowds waved banners with the messages ‘Stop all racism’ and ‘Islamophobia is not an opinion but a crime’

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Thousands marched through Paris today in an anti-Islamophobia demonstration that has divided France’s political class.

Organisers said they had called the rally in a sign of support two weeks after a man with far-right connections fired shots in a mosque in the southwestern city of Bayonne, injuring two elderly men.

A topless woman, who had ‘we’re not promoting secularism’ written on her chest, also joined the protest, but appears to be from the feminist group Femen protesting for a secular society.

Thousands marched through Paris today in an anti-Islamophobia demonstration that has divided France’s political class. A topless woman (pictured), who had ‘we’re not promoting secularism’ written on her chest, also joined the protest, but appears to be from the feminist group Femen protesting for a secular society

Organisers said they had called the rally in a sign of support two weeks after a man with far-right connections fired shots in a mosque in the southwestern city of Bayonne, injuring two elderly men. Pictured: The topless woman today

Organisers said they had called the rally in a sign of support two weeks after a man with far-right connections fired shots in a mosque in the southwestern city of Bayonne, injuring two elderly men. Pictured: The topless woman today

Members of hard-left parties took part in the march, though some others in the centre stayed away saying it threatened France's tradition of secularism. Pictured: The topless woman in the crowd today

Members of hard-left parties took part in the march, though some others in the centre stayed away saying it threatened France’s tradition of secularism. Pictured: The topless woman in the crowd today

Protesters wave French flags as they march near the Gare du Nord, in Paris to protest against Islamophobia on Sunday

Protesters wave French flags as they march near the Gare du Nord, in Paris to protest against Islamophobia on Sunday

A Muslim man holds a banner reading French And Muslim, Proud Of Both Identities, as an estimated ten thousand French citizens marched from Gare du Nord to Place de la Nation

A Muslim man holds a banner reading French And Muslim, Proud Of Both Identities, as an estimated ten thousand French citizens marched from Gare du Nord to Place de la Nation

Members of hard-left parties took part in the march, though some others in the centre stayed away saying it threatened France’s tradition of secularism.

Far right leader Marine Le Pen claimed the event had been organised by Islamists.

Crowds walked through the capital waving banners marked with the messages ‘Stop all racism’ and ‘Islamophobia is not an opinion but a crime’ at the event organised by the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France.

Crowds (pictured, today) walked through the capital waving banners marked with the messages 'Stop all racism' and 'Islamophobia is not an opinion but a crime' at the event organised by the Collectif Contre l'Islamophobie en France

Crowds (pictured, today) walked through the capital waving banners marked with the messages ‘Stop all racism’ and ‘Islamophobia is not an opinion but a crime’ at the event organised by the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France

People hold placards during the demonstration to protest against Islamophobia, near the Gare du Nord in Paris, today

People hold placards during the demonstration to protest against Islamophobia, near the Gare du Nord in Paris, today

Head of the far left France Unbowed party Jean-Luc Melenchon (pictured) said: 'It's up to us to demonstrate after an event like Bayonne to ensure the freedom of religion and thought that goes with it'

Head of the far left France Unbowed party Jean-Luc Melenchon (pictured) said: ‘It’s up to us to demonstrate after an event like Bayonne to ensure the freedom of religion and thought that goes with it’

The state secretary in charge of fighting discrimination Marlene Schiappa had said the demonstration was a protest against secularism 'under the disguise of fighting discrimination'. Pictured: Placard on the left reads: 'Let Muslims live their faith'

The state secretary in charge of fighting discrimination Marlene Schiappa had said the demonstration was a protest against secularism ‘under the disguise of fighting discrimination’. Pictured: Placard on the left reads: ‘Let Muslims live their faith’

A group of protesters hold a banner reading 'Stop to the liberticidal laws', as people and members of anti-racism associations gather to protest against Islamophobia at the Gare du Nord in Paris

A group of protesters hold a banner reading ‘Stop to the liberticidal laws’, as people and members of anti-racism associations gather to protest against Islamophobia at the Gare du Nord in Paris

Head of the far left France Unbowed party Jean-Luc Melenchon said: ‘It’s up to us to demonstrate after an event like Bayonne to ensure the freedom of religion and thought that goes with it.’

But the state secretary in charge of fighting discrimination Marlene Schiappa had said the demonstration was a protest against secularism ‘under the disguise of fighting discrimination’.

More than 40 per cent of Muslims said they had felt religious discrimination in France, according to a survey by Ifop earlier this month.

Islam is the second biggest religion in France, which has the biggest Muslim minority in Western Europe.

Last month, a member of Le Pen’s National Rally party fuelled an ongoing debate about the position of Muslims and Muslim symbols in France by publicly telling a woman to remove her headscarf.

More than 40 per cent of Muslims said they had felt religious discrimination in France, according to a survey by Ifop earlier this month. Pictured: The rally today

More than 40 per cent of Muslims said they had felt religious discrimination in France, according to a survey by Ifop earlier this month. Pictured: The rally today

Islam is the second biggest religion in France, which has the biggest Muslim minority in Western Europe. Pictured: The protest today at the Nation Place

Islam is the second biggest religion in France, which has the biggest Muslim minority in Western Europe. Pictured: The protest today at the Nation Place

Last month, a member of Le Pen's National Rally party fuelled an ongoing debate about the position of Muslims and Muslim symbols in France by publicly telling a woman to remove her headscarf. Pictured: Today's march in Paris

Last month, a member of Le Pen’s National Rally party fuelled an ongoing debate about the position of Muslims and Muslim symbols in France by publicly telling a woman to remove her headscarf. Pictured: Today’s march in Paris 

People and members of anti-racism associations march to protest against Islamophobia in Paris, on Sunday

People and members of anti-racism associations march to protest against Islamophobia in Paris, on Sunday

Protesters demonstrate as thousands took to the streets of Paris in the Anti-Islamophobia Rally on Sunday. One woman holds up her fingers and smiles

Protesters demonstrate as thousands took to the streets of Paris in the Anti-Islamophobia Rally on Sunday. One woman holds up her fingers and smiles

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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