“National Council of Imams” struggles to succeed

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Islam in France: “National Council of Imams” Struggles to Succeed


Starting in the fall, the development of a “National Council of Imans (CNI)” as well as the development of the Charter forming the larger Muslim federations is struggling to succeed. Scheduled for Wednesday, a meeting which was to be held at the Ministry of the Interior was finally adjourned. Things are not expected to happen until January 2021.

“CNI will be done”, assures Liberation an influential member of the French Muslim Worship (CFCM) conducting the project. The famous CNI was supposed to be established in December. But at the moment, the discussion is still bitter. On the table: Charter of Muslim associations carrying the project. Assures one of the participants, “We had to soften the wording.”

“Claimed State of Islamophobia”

These talks are being done under pressure from the government, who are engaged in the fight against all, on suspicion of separatism and political Islam being the objective allies of terrorism. According to early versions of the charter consulted by the Liberation, large Muslim unions themselves condemn the “tool of Islam”. In the dock, the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabism or even the doctrine of Salafism. This list should, according to many sources, disappear in the final version.

Another controversial issue: the notion of state Islamophobia, particularly in France collectively against Islamophobia (CCIF), whose dissolution by the government is controversial. The charter will take a position at this point by siding with the government. In an early version, Liberation has been consulted, notably written: “While condemning acts of hostility that may target Muslims and symbols of their faith, we fully affirm that a The alleged state does not prohibit Islamophilia. France has no reality involved, and strongly rejects abusive campaigns, claiming that Muslims in France are being persecuted. “

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Despite these difficulties, the National Council of Imams generates some interest in the project area. A group of hundred mosques made public on December 9, the day of their presentation to the Council of Ministers, against Islamist separatism, have also prepared their own charter. “The fact that the framework is in place can only be beneficial for the Imam’s work”, estimates Farid Kachour, one of the managers of the mosque of Montefermil (Seine-Saint-Denis), who took part in the initiative.

“Surprised by this silence”

“It is unacceptable to abuse Islam and use it in our territories abroad, so necessary to disrupt the well-being, peace and tranquility of the French people, of which we are a constituent”, we read in this draft charter According to Kachour, the collective sent it to the Ministry of the Interior and the CFCM. Without receiving an answer… “We were surprised at this silence”, continues Farid Kachour. This remarkable innovative initiative will bring important places of worship in the Paris area. Brings together, not the larger Muslim associations that make up the CFMM.

But, other battles are being played from behind the scenes. One of the main priorities of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, is to abolish, as he has repeated on many occasions, the foreign influences imposed on France’s Islam. During his speech at Mulhouse on 18 February, he announced the end of the system of other Imams, agreements allowing Algeria, Morocco and Turkey to be ministers of worship (and payment), working in mosques in France.

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A source familiar with the matter to Liberation said, “Algeria has already learned that it will not stop sending imams.” In fact, under Algerian control, the stakes are high for the Great Mosque of Paris. It is mainly thanks to its network of 120 Imams paid by Algiers that it has a definite influence within Hexagonal Islam.

On 17 December, during a visit to the Great Mosque of Paris, under Algerian control, the Algerian Ambassador, Mohammed Antar Doud, sent some messages. “The Great Mosque of Paris is the first of all in Algeria and will never be anything else. And this is the most important, ”he announced on national television during the visit.

“Pope of Islam”

Since then, French Muslim circles have been engaged in understanding the ambassador’s words. Is this a warning to the French government? Or Morocco, which we regularly lean on to gain control of the GMP? Or even for the current rector, Chams Eddin-Hafiz, who should pledge in both Paris and Algiers?

“He considers himself to be the Pope of Islam in France,” angers one of his blockers. Since the beginning of the school year, GMP’s rector is, in fact, ubiquitous in the media, seeking to establish himself as an essential partner of the executive. “, Charter and the project of the Council of Imams has aroused rivalry between Muslim unions”, a notice from the Ministry of the Interior. For some, the CNI project may have already been born dead.

In fact, the French government is in a hurry to achieve results in its fight against separatism and foreign influences. “This agenda is not shared by every partner,” says an expert in the file. To go too fast, the executive cannot achieve permanent results. To end the so-called consular Islam as much as the Imam’s future National Council. Countries like Algeria or Turkey already know that they can play for the time being …

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