PARIS, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday hailed the Islamic arts and civilization that contained the adequate means to fight against "obscurantism."
Inaugurating the new department of Islamic art at the Louvre museum, the French head of state said the new exposition was "a political and peaceful act" after hundreds of Muslim demonstrators gathered last Saturday near the U.S. embassy in Paris to denounce a movie mocking the Prophet Mohamed.
Hollande denounced protests that had turned violent in some places, calling for more respect to the true essence of the Muslim civilization.
"It is to the honor of Islamic civilizations that they are older, more alive and more tolerant than some of those who today abusively suppose to speak in their name," said Hollande.
About 5 million Muslims are living in France, the largest in Europe.
Following Tuesday's official inauguration, the new wing of Islamic art at France's most famous Louvre museum will open to the public on Saturday with 3,000 valuable art works on show, in a bid to improve knowledge of a religion.