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Edmonton’s Muslim community saddened to see a swastika painted on the mosque building

A swastika appears at the Baitul Hadi Mosque in Edmonton in this photo posted on Twitter. Edmonton police say they are investigating a spate of hate vandalism after a mosque reported a swastika painted on the building. Investigators said they believed the vandalism at the Baitul Hadi Mosque occurred around the same time in April when a vehicle and fence were vandalized in the downtown area. THE CANADIAN PRESS / HO – Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada

HO / The Canadian Press

A group of young volunteers take turns guarding the grounds of an Edmonton mosque that has been vandalized with a swastika symbol.

“There are some things on every Muslim’s mind right now, especially following the attack that took place in London, Ontario on an innocent family,” said Safwan Choudhry, spokesperson. of the Baitul Hadi Mosque.

“This particular symbol has become a symbol of hatred, has become a symbol of division, and it has become a means of creating fear in people.”

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He said in an interview on Wednesday that young members of the community took turns patrolling the mosque 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Edmonton Police said they were investigating the vandalism with their hate crimes unit.

A community member reported on Tuesday morning that someone had spray painted the large red symbol on the roof of the Baitul Hadi Mosque near the minaret, police said in a statement.

They said investigators believed the vandalism may have occurred in April – at the same time, a vehicle and fence were vandalized in an area near the city’s downtown area.

The same person may be behind all of the vandalism, police said.

But Choudhry said a member of the community only discovered the vandalism on Tuesday.

“And also, as you can imagine, it’s been almost 24 hours and we’re evaluating all (other) security options.”

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He adds that there was no security camera pointing towards this area of ​​the mosque, so someone had to climb the building with a ladder or with the support of another person to get to the roof of the mosque. building.

Imam Nasir Butt of the Baitul Hadi Mosque said the community is still in mourning after a Muslim family in London, Ont., Was hit by a vehicle earlier this month. Four family members have died, but a nine-year-old boy was recently released from the hospital.

“We are deeply disturbed by the rise in acts of violence against the Muslim community,” Butt said.

“This is not the path of Canadians, and we must work together to combat anti-Muslim sentiment.”

The mosque also said in a statement that the vandalism followed a report of threats made against an Ontario mosque on the same day the swastika was called out.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said Tuesday that two individuals attempted to enter the Islamic Institute in Toronto illegally and made several violent threats.

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The threats included bomb threats against the Toronto institution, the council said.

“We are extremely concerned and saddened that this incident has taken place in our beautiful place of worship,” said Fareed Amin, chairman of the institute’s board of directors.

“No community or place of worship should be subjected to such threats and heightened anxiety. “

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Windsor Muslim community “horrified and troubled” by truck attack in London, Ontario.

News that four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont. Were killed in what police believe is a targeted hit and run has sparked outrage and grief in Windsor.

The Windsor Islamic Association said in a statement that the Muslim community was “horrified and confused” and would pray for the family.

“We reject all forms of fanaticism, including Islamophobic rhetoric, and we encourage those who hate to learn instead.”

On Sunday evening, the family walked along Hyde Park Road in north-west London. They were waiting to cross the intersection when a truck pulled onto the sidewalk and hit them.

Police charged a 20-year-old man on Monday with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in what they called a “premeditated act” against a family of five “because of their Muslim faith” .

A nine-year-old boy remained in hospital on Monday with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said he was outraged and incredibly sad.

Dilkens told CBC radio Windsor Morning Tuesday he called London Mayor Ed Holder to express his condolences on behalf of the city.

“If it can happen in London, it can happen here,” he said. “And it’s just an incredibly, incredibly sad day.”

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French Muslim Council’s political appeal for Jerusalem goes against its own rules

In possible violation of a ban on political discussions in mosques, President of the French Council for Muslim Worship Mohammed Moussaoui called on his followers to take action on the Arab-Israeli conflict and recognize the importance of the al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem in the Muslim religion. , in a statement released Friday amid rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

The president of the CFCM adopted in January a charter of “republican values” for Islam in France, which he presented to French President Emmanuel Macron in order to show that “the principles of Muslim worship are completely compatible with the principles of the Republic”. The charter included a ban on all political discussion in mosques, recognizing the problem “that places of worship are used to broadcast political speeches or to import conflicts that take place in other countries of the world.”

Friday’s statement was posted on Twitter, and also said French Muslims should “organize fundraisers for humanitarian NGOs operating in the Palestinian territories,” and “launch a major sponsorship campaign among mosques in France. and Palestinian mosques, in order to provide the latter with aid.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center warned in a press release on Sunday that the CFCM’s political prescriptions could unintentionally lead to further violence against Jews in France.

The director of international relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, argued that Moussaoui’s statement exceeded the limits of the organization.

“The CFCM seems to go beyond its religious competence by addressing political issues,” he said. “This could be, even unintentionally, interpreted by French Islamists – already heavily influenced by the Palestinian narrative supporting Hamas – to mobilize jihadist attacks against the community.”

In a letter to Home and Religious Affairs Minister Gerald Darmanin, Samuels suggested that “the CFCM statement may have negated French policy, which is to ensure that Islam in France follows the set. values ​​of the Republic … and could, even reluctantly, incite even more hatred and violence against the Jews of France. “

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“Two Gods” Review: A Powerful Documentary Study on the Black Muslim Community

Islam and Christianity are the two denominations mentioned in the title of “Two Gods”, but they are not opposed to each other, or even compared at all. Zeshawn Ali’s calm and compassionate documentary may center on a black Muslim community in Newark, but it presents a difficult and adaptable world in which people will take any shards of faith and grace they can find. For middle-aged Hanif, doing his best to lead a good and modest life after past turmoil, spiritual peace is found in a profession others might find unnerving: as a junior employee at a Muslim funeral home. He assembles the coffins and washes the bodies of the dead with equally painstaking patience, finding a serious but fulfilling sense of responsibility to these bodies in limbo.

But Hanif works just as hard to extend this duty of care to the Land of the Living, acting as a mentor and proxy father figure for two neighborhood boys with different issues. It’s the ebb and flow of his influence and connection with these kids that gives Ali’s astute doc – shot over several years, but focused on 82 minutes – his subtle narrative push.

After scouring the festival circuit last year in a low-key fashion, “Two Gods” will find a large and sympathetic audience when it premieres in PBS’s “Independent Lens” slot on June 21, a month after the doc was released. got its limited theatrical release in the United States. In its intimate portrayal of working-class black people trying to rebuild lives and livelihoods amid the obstacles of crime and prejudice, the film could rightfully double with Garrett Bradley’s recent “Time” – and not just because of its elegance and deep tones. black and white lenses. Yet his serene pace and worldview are distinctly his.

In Hanif, Ali found an unusually reserved but rewarding focal point for this kind of non-fiction character study. Tall and lean, with a gentle polite manner and understated body language, she is a gentle soul who works hard at this sweetness nonetheless. Tattoos on his neck and a sometimes distant gaze are lasting marks of criminal activity and prison time in his past; today his work and religion keep him gentle, even though he’s likely to explode old-fashioned hip-hop while building coffins in the otherwise hushed sacred space of the morgue. More proactively, he uses his reform experience to distance others from his past mistakes – teaching casket-making as both a useful craft and a sharp symbolic warning. In 12-year-old Furquan, a fatherless child with a cool head, the older man’s advice is a soothing relief from the physical abuse he suffers at home. For 17-year-old Naz, who is already engaging in illegal activities with ill-chosen friends, Hanif’s warning example may or may not strike in time.

But the burden of mentoring is not easily borne by the older man, not least because his own life is not quite in order yet, as poverty and social marginalization still plague him. At one point, he relapsed into drugs, putting his job, his place in the community, and his hard-earned spiritual recovery at risk. There are also upheavals for his young charges, as Furquan is moved to a safer home in North Carolina, while Naz suffers from a contact with the law that could change his life. Ali and editor Colin Nusbaum turn tumultuous years into brief minutes of screen time, economically distilling an arc of self-ruin and self-healing that Hanif has already experienced, probably more than once. The path to redemption is not precisely mapped out, perhaps because there is no well mapped path there: these men have to find stability in themselves, which is easier to say. what to do.

Ali works as his own cinematographer, capturing Hanif’s everyday reality in monochrome paintings that alternate between sharp focus and more blurry reverie. The rich contrasts of tones in the imagery may suggest warring spiritual and moral impulses in the film’s human subjects, but despite the title and the detailed observation of rituals and rhetoric in the black Muslim community, the religious commentaries are reduced to a minimum. There is a solemn respect here for the fragile inner peace of others: this sober and human film seems above all to be interested in the way in which this serenity is reflected in the world.

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French hijab ban risks further excluding Muslim girls from sports – EURACTIV.com


The French Senate’s vote this month to amend the country’s “separatism” bill aims to ban the wearing of the hijab in athletic competitions, which many say risks further excluding Muslim girls from sports practice. EURACTIV France reports.

The French upper legislative chamber voted in favor of amending the bill strengthening respect for the principles of the Republic include the following sentence: “The wearing of conspicuous religious symbols is prohibited for participation in sports events and competitions organized by sports federations and affiliated associations.

According to Faduma Olow Telegraph Columnist, this can be considered the death knell of athletic competition for young Muslim women wearing the hijab. While the ban is justified as a measure to advance women’s rights, it will have the opposite effect, Olow warned. “Thanks to the new French law, girls across the country will be even more excluded from all sports,” she said.

“France believes it is liberating Muslim women from a life of oppression,” said Olow, adding that “this inferiority complex that Muslim women are supposed to suffer from is absurd, insulting and the complete opposite of the empowerment “.

“Forcing women to wear certain clothes is an abuse of power,” but so is wanting to “regulate women’s bodies” by forbidding them to wear certain clothes, she added.

The veil ban, a step back for Muslim athletes

Allowing the wearing of the hijab in sport would in part facilitate the emancipation of Muslim women by allowing them to reconcile the practice of sport with their personal beliefs, Olow explained.

A few have already worn the hijab in competition. This includes American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who in 2016 became the first American Muslim woman wearing the hijab to compete and win a medal at the Olympics, and Britain’s Khadijah Mellah, who in 2019 was the first to win a race. of horses in the country. On World Hijab Day, February 1, Muhammad praised on Twitter the “hijab-wearing athletes who break down barriers and reach their full potential through sport”.

In football, on the other hand, while the International Football Federation (FIFA) has allowed Muslim female footballers to wear the hijab since 2014, the French Football Federation (FFF) continues to ban the hijab for secular reasons, thus remaining “the the only international body to exclude women wearing the hijab from sport, ”said Olow.

“No one will force us to remove it”

French footballers had already protested against the ban last year by creating a collective called The Hijabeuses, stressing that “secularism is not intolerance” and demanding “football for all”. “Do I have to choose between my religious beliefs and the right to practice my sport? One of them asked in a video posted on Youtube.

“No one has forced us to wear our headscarves, no one will force us to take it off,” an activist from the Citizens’ Alliance, an association that supports the group, told EURACTIV in reaction to the Senate vote. The ban on the French football federation would be “discriminatory, intolerant and unfair” and would deprive “hundreds of people of the practice of their favorite sport in competition”, lamented the collective.

However, the tightening of the rules by the French Senate – described as Islamophobic by Ibtihaj Muhammad – risks worsening the situation. “Girls will be excluded and their participation in sport – already at a great disadvantage compared to Muslim boys – will suffer from this regulation,” Olow warned.

“The message is clear,” she continued, asserting that “Muslims are welcome, but their visibility is not. And again, it is women who will be the most affected. “

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]

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French Muslim coordination body splits after extremist groups refuse to sign Macron’s anti-separatism charter


Head of the Great Mosque of Paris Chems-Eddine Hafiz. (Photo by Ludovic Marin / AFP via Getty Images)

Paris (CNSNews.com) – Nearly two decades after French authorities pushed Europe’s largest Muslim community to establish a coordinating body with the government, the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM) is falling apart, as four of its nine member federations are looking to create a rival organization, unhappy that other CFCM members refuse to sign a government charter intended to fight “separatism” in France.

The four federations said in a joint statement this week that they plan to create a new body to better serve the interests of French Muslims.

“The new representative body will embody the essential values ​​of an authentic and open Islam, in dignity and fairness, in perfect harmony with the values ​​and principles of the Republic,” he declared.

The four are the Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris, the Rassemblement des Musulmans de France, the Muslims of France and the French Federation of Islamic Associations of Africa, the Comoros and the Antilles.

Since 2003, the government has relied on the CFCM as its main interface with the State and regulator of religious activities. If the four federations succeed in launching their own association, the government could find itself facing competing Muslim interlocutors.

In a related controversy, Strasbourg city council this week voted to award $ 2.9 million in grants for the construction of what would become Europe’s largest mosque. The Eyyub Sultan Mosque is to be built by the Turkish Islamist group Milli Görüs (“National Vision”), a CFCM member federation which is supported by the Turkish government and operates mosques for the Turkish diaspora across Europe.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron launched a charter of the principles of Islam last year, aimed at regulating French Islam and ensuring that all Muslims respect the principles of secularism of the republic.

Among other things, the Charter called for the creation of a National Council of Imams (CNI), to oversee the training of Muslim religious leaders and their placement in mosques in France.

All CFCM federations were expected to sign the charter, but three of them – including Milli Görüs – refused to do so.

The head of the Great Mosque of Paris, Chems-Eddine Hafiz, affirms that the Islamists – “linked to foreign regimes hostile to France” – are trying to influence the formation of the CNI, and he therefore distances himself from the ‘initiative.

Franck Frégosi, expert in Islam and director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, felt that the split of the CFCM was not really surprising, following the refusal of three federations to sign the charter.

He said there were also likely rivalries between two key figures – Hafiz, who is associated with Algeria, and CFCM president Mohammed Moussaoui, who is from Morocco.

(Tensions between the two North African countries have recently increased. Algeria supports a government-in-exile of rebels fighting for an independent Western Sahara, three-quarters controlled by Morocco. Former President Trump admitted in December last of Morocco’s claims to Western Sahara, as part of Morocco’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel.)

In a statement this week, Moussaoui accused the four dissident federations of trying to stop the work of the council. He said the CFCM would soon begin consultations with various Muslim associations, “to find a way to create a new governing body to replace the current one.”

Meanwhile in Strasbourg, an uproar ensued after the council voted 42-7 in favor of grants to help build the massive mosque, which will include a library and research center – a project estimated at some 37 millions of dollars.

Critics have come from both right and left of the political spectrum, with many fearing that the federation involved, Milli Görüs, has refused to sign the government’s charter.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the project was too closely associated with the Turkish government and insufficiently independent.

The French and Turkish governments have been at odds in recent months. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led criticism against Macron after the French president last fall defended the right to display caricatures of Muhammad in officially secular France.

The vote in Strasbourg came shortly before Macron, in a TV interview, spoke of tensions between France and Turkey and warned of any interference from Ankara in France’s presidential election of the year next. Macron, however, did not close the door to improving relations with Turkey.

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French hijab wearers must navigate politics to keep their identity



Few subjects trigger as many reactions in French politics as Muslim women wearing the veil and headscarf, or the hijab, who once again find themselves at the center of the controversy as far-right leader Marine Le Pen has last week proposed a national ban on clothing on the streets and in public places.

The day before World Hijab Day, February 1, activists from the feminist group Nemesis, dressed in floating black burqas, organized a demonstration in front of the Trocadero, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. They were holding a large banner that read “France in 50 years”, visually affirming that it is the future of the country if the “creeping Islamists” are not brought under control.

“World hijab day is an ideological weapon aimed at trivializing the veil, it is a real insult to women who are forced to wear it. As identity feminists, we wanted to show the French the face of France in 50 years if the Islamists and their accomplices win, “the group said in a statement, adding that the Paris police had arrested the group’s president for this. peaceful action. “It’s not a fantasy, for our daughters, let’s fight before it’s too late,” they said.

France has some of the most restrictive laws in Europe against public display of religion and religious symbols. Girls in school are already banned from wearing the hijab, while full-face burqas were banned in public in 2010. Several municipalities have adopted a burkini ban prohibiting women from wearing full-body swimsuits. beaches, although this was later challenged in court and suspended but continues to be in force irregularly.

Nevertheless, clothing associated with Islam and Muslims is often attacked on the grounds that it is a “symbol of Islamic extremism and separatism”.

Still, a growing number of French fashion brands run by veiled women have popped up in recent years, selling modest fashion options ranging from hijabs and turbans to full coverings like jilbabs and burkinis. The 36th edition of “Oriental Fashion” week, which just ended, alongside Paris Fashion Week in January, featured kaftans, dressing gowns and wide-legged palazzo pants, illustrating well the growing clientele for such a fashion.

The popularity of these companies shows that beyond politics and discrimination, there is an ever increasing demand and a vast market to tap into in France, which is home to the largest Muslim minority in Europe.

“The bans imposed will not change the behavior of Muslims, quite the contrary. The more we ban such fashion, the more enthusiasm it arouses,” said Bassma Wehbe, founder of Nice designer Zaynab and online brand specializing in Islamic clothing. from comfortable designers. Its range of high-end bespoke clothing is designed to make veiled Muslim women “feel free and true to our religion,” she said.

“Many Muslim women find it difficult to put together practical and stylish sports and beach wardrobes by doing ‘the best’ with what they have on hand. So yes, there is a very large market to be conquered and the community has great purchasing power too, ”Wehbe said, noting that his brand’s hijabs recorded high annual sales, with demand for burkinis increasing during the year. summer time.

Myriam Garrigues, 32-year-old self-taught stylist and owner of Mimoza, a Toulouse-based brand that designs Islamic outfits for women, men and children, feels that interest is growing modestly thanks to the open-mindedness of the younger generation. . who has no desire to assert his identity and refuses to give up his choices as the older generations have done.

In her own experience as a veiled young woman, Myriam says she has never been the victim of professional discrimination even if her outfit has elicited negative reactions in some cases, almost preventing her from taking the final exams or entering university. “But, as long as the law allowed me to wear it, I was able to assert my rights. To do this, it is essential to know our rights and not be afraid to demand that they be respected” , she said.

Wearing the veil still comes at a high cost for many other professional women who are often forced to choose between their religious identity or their career.

A senior duty officer employed by a private airline, who prefers to be named Rachida in this story, remembers how her French boss was alarmed when she decided to start wearing the hijab seven years ago and refused to help him get a uniform with his head. coating, which was readily available in neighboring Britain. “He was like, ‘But why? You are so beautiful, so why the hijab?'”

Rachida then began to notice changes among the immigration staff at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The customs officer, who knew her familiar face, now regularly pointed the finger at her, while in the historic city center of Paris and on the Champs Elysees, she was arrested by the police who asked her to see her papers. “I didn’t understand why they were behaving this way, even though I’m at the airport for work every two weeks. And all of this only started to happen after I started to cover my head. “

While Rachida was fortunate enough to work in a company that supported her and allowed her to wear the hijab as part of her uniform, Yousra, another Muslim woman wearing the hijab who preferred to hide her real name in this article, said faced discrimination which led to her dismissal on two occasions. because of his scarf.

Once, while working in a women’s boutique in Paris, her manager refused to extend her contract, while at a subsequent job at a real estate agency, a client specifically complained about her headscarf. In both places, she was explicitly told that she could not work with her hijab.

A 2018 study by sociologist Hanane Karimi reinforces the general feeling that Muslim women in France are dissuaded from entering the labor market due to Islamophobia and discrimination, pushing them instead towards social entrepreneurship and employment. self-employment.

Karimi’s study found that the desire to “start her own business was both an expression of a refusal to negotiate the right to wear the hijab, which is integral to her identity as a Muslim woman, and a act of overcoming negative stereotypes. to which they are subject.

Yousra’s story is such that it confirms Karimi’s conclusions. A business school graduate, she made the headscarf an asset by creating her own real estate agency. “There are very few veiled women who work in real estate and Muslim or other religious clients contact me because they know that I have principles,” she confirms with a smile.

Rachida and Yousra admit that while things have turned in their favor so far, for many other French women wearing the hijab, the challenges of aspiring to a career and the inner struggle to stay true to their faith are made more difficult in the past. the current political context. environment. Both believe that if the situation in France worsens amid the rise of right-wing politics, they may have to immigrate to other countries.

Bassma also believes that the government does not have the right to prohibit women from wearing the hijab in public places because “it would have an impact on our freedom and our human rights”.

“When the government cannot solve the real problems like health care and rising unemployment, they try to create problems and tell people that they have a solution to solve them,” Rachida summed up his feelings about it. vis-à-vis the legislation proposed by the Macron government against the so-called “Islamist separatist” and the counter-bill proposed by Le Pen, targeting the entire Muslim population. “I won’t take my hijab off for Le Pen,” she said confidently.

Myriam has also noticed a change following debates over the government’s proposal that raises questions about young children wearing the hijab. She revealed that weeks after the issue was raised in the National Assembly in January, her brand was “entitled to scrutiny by authorities including the police, tax system, social security and labor inspector.” . “I guess it wasn’t an accident,” she reluctantly admits.

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French Muslim leader denounces refusal to sign a charter on republican principles


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The president of the Muslim umbrella association of France, the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), criticized three Islamic groups for their refusal to sign a charter intended to demonstrate that Islam complies with the principles and laws of France .

The Coordinating Committee of Turkish Muslims in France (CCMTF), the Islamic Confederation of Milli Gorus – both of which welcome Muslims of Turkish origin – as well as the Faith and Practice Movement, announced on Wednesday that they would not sign the charter. republican.

The president of the CFCM Mohammed Moussoui deplored their refusal, considering that it was “not likely to reassure (…) on the state of the representative bodies of the Muslim religion”.

The three groups criticized the charter in a statement, insisting that “certain statements are prejudicial to the honor of Muslims, with an accusing and marginalizing tone.”

Of the nine groups that make up the CFCM, five have already signed the charter.

The refusal to sign by certain members highlights the lack of agreement within the CFCM on the position of the faith and its faithful in France.

What is the charter for?

The document was approved on Sunday after weeks of sometimes acrimonious debate among Muslim leaders.

It was written at the instigation of President Macron, in a climate of fear and anger in France over the involvement of a mosque in the campaign which led to the beheading of the teacher Samuel Paty.

The intention was for Muslim leaders to agree on a text that would dispel the confusion over what Islam allows or prohibits, and assert that the faith conforms to the principles of the French Republic.

The charter aims to pave the way for the creation by the CFCM of a National Council of Imams to certify which imams are authorized to practice in France.

On Thursday, a government source suggested that the refusal to sign exposed the resistance of some groups to French Republican values, commenting that “their real faces were showing” and that “important clarification was made”.

Marine Le Pen, of the far-right RN party, called for a ban on any group refusing to sign.

What does the charter say?

The charter contains ten articles confirming the compatibility of Islam with French law. He rejects “extremist currents” within Islam.

The preamble declares that the religious principles of Islam cannot supplant the principles underlying the constitution and French laws.

Apostasy, discrimination, political Islam

In a key development, the text recognizes the right of a Muslim to change his religion or to reject any religion – which would have been the subject of considerable disagreement in attempts to reject the document, according to what Le Figaro newspaper described as anonymous sources.

Referring to the October murder of Samuel Paty, who used cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on free speech, the charter also recognizes the “essential role of the teacher in our society” and states that any disagreement with teaching staff should be resolved through dialogue or, as a last resort, in court.

The charter affirms that the equality of women and men is a fundamental principle “also attested in the Koranic text” and affirms that “certain so-called Muslim practices have no basis in Islam”.

The document rejects “any discrimination based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, state of health or disability”.

On the question of so-called political Islam or Islamism, the charter undertakes to “fight against the appropriation of Islam for political purposes, to create confrontations and divisions within society”.

The three groups refusing to sign are said to be particularly concerned about the definition of political Islam.

The statement states that religious buildings such as mosques will not be used for controversial speeches or for speeches about political conflicts taking place elsewhere in the world.

Foreign financial influence

Many federations within the CFCM are linked to the different Muslim communities in France, including Moroccan, Algerian and Turkish traditions. We are concerned about the influence of foreign countries which finance mosques in France. The charter stipulates that such buildings should not be used to promote “nationalist narratives” in favor of countries hostile to “our country, France”.

Alluding to anti-Muslim acts, the charter affirms that they are “the work of an extremist minority which should not be confused with either the French state or the French people”.

“Denunciations of so-called ‘state racism’ are akin to defamation and exacerbate both anti-Muslim hatred and hatred of France,” says the text.

“We call on our members not to distribute books, videos, blogs, etc. promoting violence, hatred, terrorism or racism, ”adds the charter.

The document is a historic first step towards the creation of a so-called Islam of France – an idea that has already been attempted by many French governments.

Such statements describing the relationship between a religion and French law are not new in French history.

Historians regularly cite Napoleon’s decision to address the relationship between Judaism and France in 1806. The process included a questionnaire addressed to Jewish religious leaders which became the basis of statements establishing the compatibility of Judaism with French law.

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3 French Muslim groups reject the Islamic charter



Three organizations of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) unilaterally denounced the “charter of principles” of Islam which reaffirms the compatibility of the faith with France.

They disagreed with the text because it risks “weakening the bonds of trust” as well as “harming the honor of Muslims”.

The Coordination Committee of Turkish Muslims in France (CCMTF) and the Islamic Confederation of Milli Gorus (CMIG) as well as the Faith and Practice movement, announced on January 20 that they had not signed the charter which was approved and presented to President Emmanuel Macron.

They called for amendments to the text of the 10-point charter that Macron described as “the founding text of relations between the state, Islam and France”.

“We obviously agree with the requirement of non-interference by States, non-instrumentalization of religions and respect for the Constitution and the principles of the Republic,” said a joint statement. “However, we believe that certain passages and formulations of the submitted 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 character and marginalizing. “

The rejection of the charter comes as France is embroiled in a bitter feud with Islamic countries, including Turkey, over offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

All three groups said the charter was approved without obtaining full consensus from other integral components of the CFCM, including regional and departmental councils, imams who will be affected by the decision. She cited the Great Mosque of Saint Denis de la Réunion, which is one of the founding components of the CFCM, refused to sign this charter.

After weeks of internal disagreements, the CFCM, a national body of nine associations, declared that it had reached an agreement on the text of the charter “rejecting foreign interference, political Islam and certain customary practices and on respect for the gender equality “. The agreement would pave the way for the formation of the National Council of Imams which will have the power to authorize the practice of imams.

The council will restrict the entry of imams from Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, and 300 imams could be expelled, according to a report released by France 24.

The three organizations said that although they believe the imam’s advice is beneficial, it should derive its legitimacy from the Muslim population.

He stressed the need for “broad, democratic and participatory consultation” instead of usually signing the text that “the community cannot calmly accept”.

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French Muslim groups strike blow at Macron’s anti-extremism charter


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Paris (AFP)

Three Muslim groups on Wednesday refused to support an anti-extremism charter pushed by French officials following a series of jihadist-inspired attacks, dealing a blow to a flagship initiative of the government of President Emmanuel Macron.

The charter rejects the “instrumentalization” of Islam for political ends and affirms equality between men and women, while denouncing practices such as female circumcisions, forced marriages or “certificates of virginity” for the newlyweds.

The French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), a body created almost 20 years ago to allow dialogue between the government and the Muslim community, widely welcomed the charter and five of its eight federations signed on Sunday.

However, the other three groups said on Wednesday that they could not join their colleagues.

“We believe that certain passages and formulations of the submitted text are likely to weaken the bonds of trust between Muslims in France and the nation,” the three groups said in a statement.

“In addition, some statements are prejudicial to the honor of Muslims, with an accusing and marginalizing tone.

Macron spoke out against the promotion of “political Islam” in France in November last year after a teacher was beheaded outside his school.

He had shown the students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a free speech lesson.

The attack sparked a crackdown on extremist mosques and Islamist associations, as well as a vigorous defense of French secularism.

Macron said this week that the charter offered “a clarification of how the Muslim community is organized.”

It will also provide a framework for a new National Council of Imams which will be responsible for monitoring imams practicing in the country.

The future of the charter is now uncertain.

The three groups – two of which are Franco-Turkish organizations and the other which describes itself as an educational and cultural group – said they would only be ready to register after a “broad, democratic and participatory consultation” .

“To adopt this charter, we must recognize ourselves in its content. It would not be useful to sign a text that our community cannot calmly accept”, they wrote.

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