Muslim leader urges Macron not to meddle too much in French Islam

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Source: Reuters

By Julie Carriat

PARIS (Reuters) – A leading representative of French Muslims urged Emmanuel Macron not to meddle in the organization of France’s second-largest religion, days after the president said he would try to redefine relations between Islam and the state.

The rebuke came from the leader of an organization set up 15 years ago in a bid to defuse concern about radical preachers and foster a more homegrown form of Islam that would fit better with France’s traditional separation of church and state affairs.

“Everyone must stick to their role,” Ahmet Ogras, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told Reuters in an interview.

“The Muslim faith is a religion and, as such, takes care of its own household affairs. The last thing you want is the state to act as guardian,” said Ogras, a Frenchman of Turkish descent who has led the CFCM since mid-2017.

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  1. Macron under fire over plans to reform Islam in France

    Source: Express Daily UK

    By ROMINA MCGUINNESS

    EMMANUEL Macron has come under fire for his Islam reform plans as the French far-left say the proposals “call into question” the state’s religious neutrality.

    Mr Macron has announced he is working on structuring Islam in France in a bid to preserve national cohesion and rediscover the true meaning of “laïcité”.

    France’s strict brand of secularism – the legal separation of religious and civic life –, also known as laïcité, is based on three key principles: freedom of conscience, a strict separation between church and state and the freedom to practice any faith.

    But the French president’s plans to reform Islam in France “call into question” the 1905 law separating church and state, a spokesperson for France’s far-left Parti de Gauche (PG) party said on Monday.

    Mr Macron told the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche that he was working on reforming Islam in France in an effort to reduce the influence of Arab countries, fight extremism, better explain Islam and preserve national cohesion.

    He said: “My goal is to rediscover what lies at the heart of laïcité.”

    Laïcité was formalised in the 1905 law, which explicitly states that the French republic “neither recognises, nor salaries, nor subsidises any religion”.

    Mr Macron’s reform plans were slammed by core members of the hardline leftist party who argued that the centrist government would be jeopardising the state’s secular principles by meddling in the religious affairs of French Muslims.

    PG spokesperson Benoît Schenckenburger said in a statement: “The president’s plans to restructure Islam in France call into question the 1905 law separating church and state.

    “The state cannot influence the organisation of Islamic institutions, cannot meddle in the training of imams and cannot weigh in on how Islam in France is to be financed.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/918666/Emmanuel-Macron-France-president-under-fire-reforms-Islam-religion

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