The Muslim population of France was approximately 6.5 million in 2016, or around 10% of the overall population of 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union, just above Germany.
Although French law prohibits the collection of official statistics about the race or religion of its citizens, Gatestone Institute's estimate of France's Muslim population is based on several studies that attempted to calculate the number of people in France whose origins are from Muslim-majority countries.
What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in France during 2016:
January 1. The Interior Ministry announced the most anticipated statistic of the year: a total of 804 cars and trucks were torched across France on New Year's Eve, a 14.5% decrease from the 940 vehicles burned during the annual ritual on the same holiday in 2015.
Car burnings, commonplace in France, are often attributed to rival Muslim gangs that compete with each other for the media spotlight over which can cause the most destruction. An estimated 40,000 cars are burned in France every year. [Gatestone Institute] Read more