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FRANCE. Owing to the forty years of Muslim domination of the southern part of the country during the eighth century, France came into contact with Islam at a relatively early date. Other attempts at penetration continued into the tenth century but were not successful. Throughout the Middle Ages and in spite of the prevailing spirit of the Crusades, Muslims left their mark in several regions of France; this was especially true of the merchant class. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, a ...more

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