France Islam: Muslims under pressure to sign French values charter

Source: BBC

By Lucy Williamson; BBC Paris correspondent

France’s Muslim Council is due to meet President Emmanuel Macron this week, to confirm the text of a new “charter of republican values” for imams in the country to sign.

The Council (CFCM), which represents nine separate Muslim associations, has reportedly been asked to include in the text recognition of France’s republican values, rejection of Islam as a political movement and a ban on foreign influence.

“We do not all agree on what this charter of values is, and what it will contain,” said Chems-Eddine Hafiz, vice-president of the CFCM and Rector of the Paris Grand Mosque. But, he said, “we are at a historic turning point for Islam in France [and] we Muslims are facing our responsibilities”.

Eight years ago, he said, he thought very differently.

The Islamist Mohamed Merah had just carried out attacks in Toulouse.

“[Former French] President Sarkozy got me out of bed at 5am to talk about it,” he remembers. “I told him: ‘His name may be Mohamed, but he’s a criminal!’ I didn’t want to make the connection between that crime and my religion. Today, I do. The imams of France have work to do.”

The plan is for the CFCM to create a register of imams in France, each of whom would sign up to the Charter, in return for accreditation.

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6 replies

  1. Country which has faced three Islamist attacks in a month will definitely make laws to protect citizens of his country. Muslims of France should not worry, law is not against them. Law is to protect the Children’s from being Islamic radicalized. Those people will have fear who are doing radicalization in the name of Islam or teaching the extremist / radicalized ideology to their children’s. People with extremist / radicalized ideology should have terror from this law.

    • My point is, that this ‘radicalization’ thing is just going into the wrong direction. You have to look at these guys. You will find mostly they have a petty criminal background. One of them was running a bar, was involved not only in alcohol but also drugs. Many of them have criminal records. Looking at mosques is looking at the wrong place !!! In most cases they are not radicalized in mosques but dropped out of the society due to other reasons. And, when you attack in the wrong places of course you are not going to solve any problem!!! (what I am saying relates to Europe, in Pakistan things are a bit different. There radical mosques and madrassas are a problem).

      • Perhaps they have found salvation in returning to the true teaching of Islam. Are you prepared to do Taksfir upon them? If they were criminals in this world they are now in Paradise. Do you deny this?

    • Who is any one to put a label on other Muslims. What you say is radical could be considered by others as normal Islam. Is it Not true that Prophet Mohammad PBUH did conquer with the sword. Will you deny the glorious deed of the Sahaba. The wars of Ridda? Shame on you. How wil you face Allah on the day of judgment?

  2. Although Macron says the target of laïcité is not Islam, but only “Islamism,” the latter term is left quite vague in his rhetoric. In practice, it’s not vague at all. In France it has long been obvious that personal Muslim practices are targeted: For many years, Muslim women in France have been banned from wearing headscarves in public buildings, or so-called burkinis on beaches. Last September, a French politician from Macron’s party protested a young French Muslim woman for merely walking into the National Assembly while wearing a headscarf. And, in October, the French interior minister even took issue with halal food aisles in supermarkets—and kosher ones, too, signaling a threat to the religious freedom of just not Muslims, but other practicing believers as well.

    In other words, what France requires from its Muslims is not just accepting the freedom of speech of blasphemers, but also giving up a part of their own freedom of religion. This is not only wrong in principle, but also myopic and counterproductive. It just makes it harder for practicing French Muslims to feel respected, accepted, and therefore fully French—precisely the sort of integration radical Islamists would like to avert…

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