Heart And Soul - Marseille: France's Muslim City

Saturday 2 June



Marseille is France's second city, and according to demographers it's likely to become the first Western European metropolis where the majority of the population will be Muslim.

Marseille can appear dirty, poor and covered in graffiti. Crime on the streets is commonplace, and in whole neighbourhoods, criminals, not the police, are said to maintain their own version of law and order.

But Marseille is also a city of hope and extraordinary pride, where Christians, Muslims and Jews live side by side; worshipping what many say is the same God. Or, failing that, the same football team Olympique Marseille. It is a city where most of the time the religions are playing on the same side against violence, crime, poverty and inhumanity.

John Laurenson meets the people who make up this rich, vibrant, colourful city which many hope can become an example of how multiculturalism can work. As French people look to their new President to see how he will address immigration, Laurenson explores how this city is managing religious integration and pluralism.

BBC World Service Publicity