Offbeat Three Muslim federations demand an improvement in France's charter of Islam

23:55  21 january  2021
23:55  21 january  2021 Source:   lemonde.fr

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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 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

It follows three suspected Islamist attacks in little more than a month. The charter will state that Islam is a religion and not a political movement, while also prohibiting "foreign interference" in Muslim groups. In France , state secularism (laïcité) is central to the country' s national identity.

In a press release, these organizations express their disagreement with certain passages of the text and call for a wider consultation.

The unanimity welcomed by the Elysée on Monday, January 18 did not last three days. On Wednesday evening, the agreement of the eight metropolitan federations of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) on a "charter of principles for the Islam of France", presented Monday to Emmanuel Macron, was shattered. Three of them said in a statement that they wanted to amend the document after a broad consultation process, including imams and regional and departmental councils of the Muslim faith.

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Emmanuel Macron sees in his charter "a founding act for the Islam of France"

Two of these federations are part of Turkish Islam, the other, Faith and Practice, is close to Tabligh, a pietist and conservative current born in India. "We obviously agree with the approach of non-interference by states, the non-instrumentalization of religions and with respect for the Constitution and the principles of the Republic," write the three dissident federations. However, we believe that certain passages and formulations of the text are likely to weaken the bonds of trust between the Muslims of France and the nation. In addition, certain statements undermine the honor of Muslims, with an accusatory and marginalizing character. They plead for "a broad, democratic and participatory consultation" with a view to its amendment.

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Some of France ’ s most prominent figures, concerned about anti-Semitism, have signed a shocking manifesto aimed at curbing it. And although pushing for a theological reform of Islam in France is nothing new—everyone from leading imams to President Emmanuel Macron have made plans to

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"Non-constructive statement"

Thursday morning, the president of the CFCM responded to what he called an "accusatory and non-constructive statement". "I would have liked these declarations to be specified in writing in the form of an amendment and transmitted to the CFCM", writes Mohammed Moussaoui, who "deplores this new unilateral exit of three federations making up the CFCM, which is not likely to reassure our co-religionists on the state of representative bodies of Muslim worship ”. Mr. Moussaoui adds that a consultation of regional and departmental authorities, imams and mosque officials is planned and that it could lead to "possible improvements" of the charter.

Claimed by the Head of State after the October 2020 attacks in Conflans-Saint-Honorine and Nice, this charter must in principle be signed by the imams who will request approval from the future National Council of Imams (CNI), which will be created by the CFCM.

The president (LR) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, considered Thursday, on Franceinfo, that if they were not to sign the charter, the three federations will have to “draw the consequences themselves” of their refusal. Asked if they should be dissolved, he replied: "We give them another fortnight, we are not going to decide their fate today, it will be for the executive" to decide.

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