Would it be a stretch to say "Paris Fiddles While Rome Burns?" That was my feeling reading this brief article from Le Salon Beige, on the festivities planned for the start of Ramadan:
This week-end Ramadan begins. The mayor of Paris (Bertrand Delanoë, pictured) is organizing for the occasion an evening of festivities and of "sharing" on September 30 at Charléty stadium. The guest of honor will be the mayor of Casablanca Mohammed Sajid and refreshments will be served. The program will be introduced by the director Yamina Benguigui and enlivened by a Jewish-Arabic orchestra, with artists such as Youssou N'Dour, Abderahim Souihri, Naïma Jazaïria, Jbali, Amine, Willy Denze, Leslie ou Assia. At midnight fireworks will bring the evening to a close. This year, Charléty stadium will be able to accommodate a larger crowd and around 5000 people are expected.
We're waiting for the mayor's proposals on celebrating Easter.
Bertrand Delanoë, of Jewish origin, has been an active socialist since he arrived in France from his native Tunisia, where he was born May 30, 1950. He became known for his oratory skills and eventually took over the leadership of the Paris branch of the socialist party. He was elected mayor in 2001, the first socialist mayor since the Paris Commune of 1871. (Paris had always been run by city councils, usually headed by conservatives, until the election of Jacques Chirac as the first mayor of Paris in 1977.)
Delanoë espouses all the mandatory left-wing social causes, and fights against all forms of discrimination, as you can see. Among his other accomplishments he is known for having bestowed on Mumia Abu-Jamal the title of honorary citizen of Paris, putting killer Mumia in a class with Marie Curie and Pablo Picasso. He has also been criticized for renaming numerous streets of the capital after singers, performers and left-leaning celebrities such as Simone de Beauvoir, Salvador Allende, Rosa Parks, Habib Bourguiba, François Mitterand, et al...
In October 2002 a lunatic named Azedine Berkane stabbed Delanoë during a festival called "White Night". Berkane told the police he hated politicians, socialists and homosexuals. He was confined to a psychiatric hospital and the mayor recovered from his wounds.
Well before his election as mayor, Delanoë had come out about his homosexuality. When he renamed the square in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral after Pope John Paul II, he was accused by gays of "homophobia" and of pandering to the Vatican. However it is said that the gay vote was instrumental in his winning the election.
There's more, in French, at Wikipedia.