It isn't that Madonna is dating a French guy whose mother is eight years younger than she is

Although that is the angle on which the UK Daily Mail has focused, the real story here is that the new man in Madonna’s life is a DEVOUT MUSLIM.

UK Daily Mail The mother of Madonna’s latest toyboy told yesterday of her astonishment when her son told her who he was dating. Frenchwoman Patricia Vidal said she received a phone call from her 24-year-old son Brahim Zaibat, a dancer working in New York.

‘I’ve got a new girlfriend,’ he said. (And he didn’t even have to kill anybody to get his “virgin”)

The mother of four was unperturbed when he mentioned an age gap of eight years. ‘You’ve always been mature for your age – it will be good to spend some time with a girl who’s a bit older than you,’ she said. ‘No,’ Zaibat replied. ‘She’s eight years older than you, Mum – and her name is Madonna.’

‘My mouth fell open when I realised that my son was Madonna’s new boyfriend,’ said 44-year-old Miss Vidal at her ninth-floor flat on a dingy council estate in Lyon. ‘It’s something I’m still trying to come to terms with.

Zaibat met 52-year-old Madonna in September when he was dancing at the launch of her new line of clothes at Macy’s department store in New York. She invited him out and observers say it was love at first sight.

They have become regulars at the Sullivan Room, a dance club where they sit in the VIP area sharing bottles of Fiji mineral water. On a recent trip to London they were seen kissing and cuddling in a nightclub.

However the relationship is not without its obstacles. Zaibat’s English is far from fluent while Madonna does not speak a word of French.  And, like his mother, Zaibat does not even like Madonna’s music very much.

Most importantly, he is a devout Muslim who – according to his mother – prays to Allah a number of times a day and shuns alcohol and cigarettes.

Those religious views contrast sharply with the hedonistic lifestyle personified by the Material Girl. Moreover, Madonna is a high-profile follower of Kabbalah, a variation of Judaism.

Miss Vidal – whose Algerian husband left her and their four children when Zaibat was still a young boy – explained: ‘This is certainly not the kind of thing Brahim was brought up to involve himself with.

‘Things didn’t work out between me and my husband, but Brahim was raised as a good Muslim. Brahim’s faith is hugely important to him, and has got him through some very difficult times.’

She continued: ‘I certainly wouldn’t say we’re overjoyed by Brahim’s relationship with a non-Muslim, and the fact that she’s Madonna doesn’t make things any easier.

‘The only other thing I’m prepared to say about all this is that I think it was Madonna who moved in on Brahim rather than the other way round. I think she’s very well known for this kind of thing.’

Madonna’s initial topic of conversation with Zaibat was apparently that she is a Leo – born in August 1958 – while he – born in September 1986 – is a Virgo. She said the two star signs were naturally suited.