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New French cabinet includes three Muslims

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Junior Minister for French Living Abroad and Francophony, Yamina Benguigui, Top row, second from left, Minister for Women's Rights and Government Spokesperson, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Middle row, fifth from left.

France’s first left-wing President in nearly 20 years, Francois Hollande has unveiled a government that includes three Muslim ministers.

Of the 34 ministers in Hollande’s government, three are Muslims. They include Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Yamina Benguigui and Kader Arif.

Morocco born Belkacem, 34, has been appointed as the minister for women’s rights, a position long missing from the French government.

The former presidential campaign spokesperson is also the government spokeswoman now.

The second Muslim Minister, Yamina Benguigui, Junior Minister for French Nationals Abroad is a French-Algerian film director. She is known for her films on gender issues in the North African immigrant community in France

The third Muslim minister is Kader Arif, the Junior Minister for Veterans who has been vocal in blaming Israel for French foreign affairs problems, saying Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union was blocked by Israeli actions in Gaza.

Hollande has appointed Jean-Marc Ayrault, a veteran social democrat and German expert, as his prime minister.


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