muslims france – IMOS Journal http://imos-journal.net/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 18:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://imos-journal.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/favicon.png muslims france – IMOS Journal http://imos-journal.net/ 32 32 Muslim community facing government repression ahead of French elections https://imos-journal.net/muslim-community-facing-government-repression-ahead-of-french-elections/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 10:40:44 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/muslim-community-facing-government-repression-ahead-of-french-elections/ [ad_1] TEHRAN (IQNA) – France’s Muslim community, the largest in Europe, is more than ever the scapegoat and the target of the French government’s repression. It comes as the French presidential election is only four months away. Nearly 100 mosques have recently been raided by the government, with at least two dozen closed so far. […]]]>


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TEHRAN (IQNA) – France’s Muslim community, the largest in Europe, is more than ever the scapegoat and the target of the French government’s repression.

It comes as the French presidential election is only four months away.

Nearly 100 mosques have recently been raided by the government, with at least two dozen closed so far. Earlier this year, a so-called ‘anti-separatist law’ was accused of essentially legalizing Islamophobia, as it tried to ban minors from wearing the hijab and forced the closure of not only mosques but Muslim NGOs as well. highly respected, such as the Collective against the French. Islamophobia.

The latest attack on the religious freedom of French Muslims has come under heavy criticism from foreign leaders and leading NGOs.

The dominant theme of the entire French presidential election has shifted to the far right, as condemned racist Eric Zemmour provided coronavirus-era France with almost nocturnal Islamophobic rants. Zemmour climbed to third place in the polls, giving Macron and other candidates the right to blame Muslims for France’s economic and political problems.

Zemmour resembles Donald Trump of the United States in that the two thrive on outrage, but there are significant differences: Zemmour’s career was aimed at being a part of the political scene and the conversation, and he benefited from the support from most elements of the French establishment all the time.

Since the onset of the Great Recession, the French political and media elite have stigmatized Muslims to a degree that has emptied the nation’s claim to be a world leader in freedom of religion, thought and expression.

The three most popular presidential candidates all appear to be trying to outdo themselves when it comes to Islamophobia, which has made Muslims in France expect state-sponsored racism to be even worse over the past four years. next months.

Source: Press TV

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Young Muslims Saying My Hijab My Choice Because French Politicians Are Obsessed With The Veil https://imos-journal.net/young-muslims-saying-my-hijab-my-choice-because-french-politicians-are-obsessed-with-the-veil/ Fri, 12 Nov 2021 05:30:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/young-muslims-saying-my-hijab-my-choice-because-french-politicians-are-obsessed-with-the-veil/ [ad_1] A woman wearing a hijab walks past a store in Istanbul, Turkey. | Representative image | Photographer: Kerem Uzel | Bloomberg Text size: A- A + The Council of Europe, a human rights body, was only trying to help. They recently launched a campaign to criticize headscarf bans in Europe. The campaign, which appears […]]]>


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A woman wearing a hijab walks past a store in Istanbul, Turkey. | Representative image | Photographer: Kerem Uzel | Bloomberg

Text size:

The Council of Europe, a human rights body, was only trying to help. They recently launched a campaign to criticize headscarf bans in Europe. The campaign, which appears to be a largely online initiative, featured slogans like #LetHerChoose. At least one of the graphics showed a Muslim woman as a paper doll wearing a headscarf; around her are various other outfits to choose from. Another hashtag used by the tweets called for celebrating diversity and respecting the hijab. Yet another shows a European woman of African descent and the slogan #MyHijabMyChoice.

According to the Council of Europe, the slogan came from several online workshops of the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations. According to him, “everyone should be free to wear what they want. Muslim women do not have the right to wear the hijab and are excluded from the workplace and education.

This is certainly true of France. Since France’s initial headscarf ban in 2004, the country has been obsessed with clothing, with zeal equal only to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The latter state wants to force women to wear the veil; France wants to force them out of the veil. The present moment is no different. As the Council of Europe’s Twitter campaign approaches, French politicians have made the veil almost the centerpiece of their policy.

Éric Zemmour, far-right television presenter and big favorite to challenge Emmanuel Macron for the presidential election, is an example. A few weeks ago, Zemmour visited a neighborhood around Paris that has a large Muslim population. There he got into an argument with a Muslim woman and asked her to “prove” that she was “really free” by removing the headscarf in front of him. The woman did as he asked, but of course Muslim women in France can never prove that they choose to wear the headscarf. Zemmour got what he wanted: a provocative viral news clip that ensured the news cycle in France was all about him for next week.


Read also: Mohammad Iqbal, who wrote ‘saare Jahan se achha’, made modernity a bad word for Muslims


It’s no surprise, then, that even a small Twitter campaign highlighting the silliness and racism represented by the ban could piss off a number of French politicians. A few days after the campaign started, some of them also took to Twitter. Eric Zemmour, the man who “hit the headscarf”, denounced the Muslim faith and called the campaign an “enemy of the truth”.

Marine Le Pen, the original right-wing prima donna of the French political establishment, was not far behind. She called the campaign “scandalous” and “inappropriate”, given that the French state is fighting for the right to denounce it. The French left, whose only point of agreement with the French far right is a collective hatred of Muslims, also denounced the campaign. As French criticism of the campaign gained momentum and sparked controversy, a Belgian member of the European Parliament intervened, saying he was “shocked” and that he would “always oppose” the initiative, which used the European freedoms to enslave women.

For its part, the Council of Europe has tried to remain strong. Some opposition would probably have been expected; after all, France’s obsession with the headscarf and its increasingly draconian measures is nothing new to anyone. However, when French Minister of Youth Saira El Haïry entered the conversation, arguing that one of the posters, which showed a divided image of a woman without a headscarf and the other party wearing it, seemed to encourage Muslims to wear the headscarf. , the Council of Europe admitted defeat and simply withdrew the campaign. They promised to have a better thought-out campaign next time.

It’s not just scarves. Let us not forget that at the beginning of the year the French government said it could investigate academics and professors who teach texts on critical race theory. Critical Race Theory is the study of history, society, etc. through the prism of race. Born out of the American civil rights movement and recently energized by the murder of George Floyd, his project is to study race as a social construct and to show how economic and legal policies are influenced by the views of the dominant social group, this who would be white person.

The French Minister of Higher Education soared when she came across a particular concept linking Islamists and leftists, and announced that all researchers and academics who teach concepts like this will be the subject of a investigation by his department.

Since then, thousands of academics have signed a petition denouncing this decision of the minister, stressing that it goes against the very French principle of “freedom”. It is not known whether these investigations into academics threatened by the Minister of Education are ongoing. It is clear, however, that many French politicians are extremely nervous about critical race theory ideas influencing the development of Muslim identity which sees itself as part of a racialized otherness instigated by whites. Such a reformulation would position the Muslims of France as the oppressed in the French context and the state itself as an instrument of oppression with a racist agenda.

It is a deplorable affair. Not so long ago, the French were pioneers, home to avant-garde ideas, art and philosophy. It all seems over now, as many on the left and right see bans and investigations as a way to maintain white supremacy. As many Muslim countries have learned, bans never work. The situation in France will probably get worse before it gets better, but the writing is on the wall; #myhijabmychoice was an idea proposed by young Muslims in student organizations across Europe. They are ready for change; bans can pause forward momentum, but can never stop it.

The writer is a lawyer and teaches constitutional law and political philosophy. Opinions are personal.

The article first appearance on Dawn’s site. It was published with permission.


Read also: Some clerics think they are above the Koran. It makes Indian Muslims sectarian and backward


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Campaign to promote diversity forced by France to remove the image of the hijab https://imos-journal.net/campaign-to-promote-diversity-forced-by-france-to-remove-the-image-of-the-hijab/ Wed, 10 Nov 2021 18:38:06 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/campaign-to-promote-diversity-forced-by-france-to-remove-the-image-of-the-hijab/ [ad_1] The campaign aims to stand up for diversity and tackle hate speech and discrimination against Muslim women wearing headscarves – but it hasn’t even been able to publish an image of a hijab. The Council of Europe has produced posters of a woman wearing a hijab as part of an online campaign launched on […]]]>


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The campaign aims to stand up for diversity and tackle hate speech and discrimination against Muslim women wearing headscarves – but it hasn’t even been able to publish an image of a hijab.

The Council of Europe has produced posters of a woman wearing a hijab as part of an online campaign launched on October 28 to promote diversity among women and respect for Muslims wearing headscarves.

This decision came after a general outcry from French public and political figures who find the campaign and its posters which implicate women wearing the hijab as “deeply shocking”.

The online campaign, co-funded by the European Union, was the result of two online workshops tenuous in September by the partnership between the Anti-Discrimination Service of the Council of Europe and the Forum of European Organizations of Young Muslims and Students (FEMYSO).

“This specific collaboration was in the form of online workshops with the aim of developing human rights-based narratives with various participants to counter anti-Muslim hate speech,” said Hande Taner, president. elected from FEMYSO to TRT World while indicating their long-standing relationship with the board given their work in favor of minorities in Europe.

The Council of Europe has posted posters on social media to raise awareness of ending discrimination against Muslim women.

The images tweeted involve various images of women in hijabs with slogans that read “Beauty is in diversity, like freedom is in the hijab”, and “My scarf, my choice”.

However, the awareness campaign backfired and was condemned in France.

“This has met with backlash due to the pressure created by the poisoned narrative around Muslims online by prominent French politicians, diplomats and lecturers,” Taner said.

Pressure

Far-right expert Eric Zemmour criticized the campaign, saying “Islam is the enemy of freedom. This campaign is the enemy of truth,” on his social media account.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, President Macron’s main opponent in the upcoming elections, has also reacted to the campaign.

“This European campaign to promote the Islamist veil is scandalous and indecent at a time when millions of women courageously fight against this enslavement”, she declared.

“It is when women take off their veils that they become free, and not the other way around,” she added.

“Remembering that women are free to wear the hijab is one thing”, noted French Socialist Senator Laurence Rossignol.

“But to say that freedom is in the hijab is another. It is to promote it. Is this the role of the Council of Europe?

For her part, the French Minister of Youth, Sarah El Hairy, revealed that one of the posters had deeply shocked her because she believed that the campaign encouraged the wearing of the headscarf.

“This is the opposite of the values ​​that France defends … France has clearly expressed its very strong disapproval of the campaign, which is why it was withdrawn today,” she added in an interview on French television last week.

On October 6, following France’s request and the backlash, the Council of Europe announced that it was removing campaign publications while seeking “a better presentation of this project”.

The council also said that the aim of the campaign, which is part of a project within the European Union (EU), is to raise awareness about respecting diversity and combating all forms of discourse by hatred.

“The campaign is in line with the values ​​and priorities of the Council of Europe and the institutions of the European Union, which also defend human rights and against hate speech,” said Taner, stressing that ‘as a member state of the two organizations, France should better adhere to the collective European values ​​of human rights.

“French Islamophobic harassment”

Hence the question: what values ​​does France defend?

Rayan Freschi, researcher at CAGE, explains that France has been an ideological laboratory of the West for centuries.

“Its political and philosophical framework is clearly not tolerant and inclusive: deep systemic racism has always been part of the DNA of the French Republic,” Freschi told TRT World while adding that Islamophobia in France is now state sponsored.

According to Freschi, France’s ideological structure – based on the Republic and secularism (secularism) is inherently fanatical towards normative religious beliefs and practices.

Hijab in this regard is the most controversial – and even rejected.

Therefore, this mindset paved the way for government pressure on the council to cancel its campaign.

Yasser Louati, a French human rights and civil liberties activist, told TRT World that French outrage comes as no surprise and it only further undermines the very notions of the Council of Europe than are human rights and civil liberties.

France has again proven that it has been the laboratory of Islamophobia which tries to normalize this open hostility to the visibility of Muslims in the public space. And this decision by France further confirms that the country’s hostility towards Muslims is not a hoax, ” Louati said while adding that it is a reality for millions of Muslim women.

“Basically, we are witnessing French Islamophobic bullying,” he added.

Previously, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons has been the subject of worldwide controversy by posting anti-Muslim cartoons involving depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, a move considered an insult to Islam.

(Maxim Shemetov / Reuters)

In response to widespread condemnation, France speech around the concepts of democracy and freedom of expression. However, regarding this recent campaign that cherishes freedom for Muslim headscarves, a different rhetoric has been adopted.

Yasser argues that the French conception of freedom contains double standards and is hypocritical when it goes against mainstream discourse.

You have freedom of speech when you dehumanize Muslims, when you make fun of blacks or immigrants. But we cannot make fun of Emmanuel Macron who pursues anyone who criticizes him or makes fun of him, ” he said.

Yasser draws attention to the anti-separatism bill approved by the French National Assembly which risks stigmatizing minorities.

“This anti-separatism law allows the government to shut down any organization on the basis of political disagreement,” he said, stressing that France further strengthens its position as leader of the normalization of Islamophobia in relation to the other western countries.

Paradoxical universality

Considering European values ​​in the context of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, Yasser indicates that these values ​​tend to be circumstantial in France.

Restricting efforts to build human rights-based narratives to combat discrimination raises the question of the universality of concepts of Liberty egality and fraternity which lay the historical foundations of France.

“French universalism is the ideological justification for its past colonial imperialism,” Freschi said while adding that the current French approach to Islam and Muslims is very much in line with its past. colonial.

In fact, he claims that for France, those who do not live by this worldview, like French Muslims, are deemed regressive and are simply not free – and this illustrates the paradoxical structure of French values ​​in the face of liberalism.

According to Yasser, France believes it can teach other countries abroad what they should and should not do in terms of human rights and civil liberties.

“But the current repression only shows that France is not a democracy as it claims it is,” he said, stressing that France should hold a mirror.

In this context, Taner argues that Muslims in France are exposed to one-sided freedom and the removal of campaign imagery is clear evidence of this.

In trying to silence this campaign of positivity and change, France is not just normalizing and legislating for anti-Muslim hatred in France, it is now exporting this culture of limiting freedom of expression to the rest of Europe. ”

According to her, despite French claims that her freedom applies to everyone, Muslims are not seen as equal or deserving of freedom.

“Any country that actively limits freedom of expression and restricts the rights of religious minorities is in fact not in line with European values ​​and violates fundamental rights.”

Source: TRT World


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France’s hijab ban – could it happen in Australia? https://imos-journal.net/frances-hijab-ban-could-it-happen-in-australia/ Tue, 02 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/frances-hijab-ban-could-it-happen-in-australia/ [ad_1] In an effort to counter the dangers of what he calls “Islamist separatism”, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a contentious bill last October. In his speech, Macron stigmatized the followers of the Islamic faith by expressing his fear that a minority of the some six million Muslims in France could threaten to form a […]]]>


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In an effort to counter the dangers of what he calls “Islamist separatism”, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a contentious bill last October. In his speech, Macron stigmatized the followers of the Islamic faith by expressing his fear that a minority of the some six million Muslims in France could threaten to form a “counter-society”. The invoice was debated back and forth between the lower house of France, the National Assembly and the Senate, and was ultimately adopted by a margin of 49 votes to 19. constitutional authority also approved the bill, striking down only two of its articles.

The “anti-separatism” law has many implications for the religious freedoms of Muslims living in France. These include strict control of places of worship and religious organizations, as well as the imposition of restrictions on home schooling for Muslim students. While it is beyond the scope of this article to cover all of these implications, one of the most controversial elements of the law is its extension of the so-called “Principle of neutrality” – which prohibits civil servants from wearing religious symbols, such as the Muslim hijab and expressing political opinions – beyond public sector employees to all private contractors of public services, such as those who work for transport companies .

Other amendments were also included in the original draft of the bill, which included a ban on long swimsuits (“burkinis”), as well as a ban on girls under 18 from wearing the hijab in public and mothers from wearing the hijab when their children go to school. These amendments were then canceled.

Despite the French government’s repeated insistence that these laws do not necessarily target the Muslim community, it is nonetheless clear that the “anti-separatism” law targets Muslims given its disproportionate effect on the freedoms of Muslim women.

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It is certainly difficult to understand why all A Western country that claims to uphold liberal values ​​and human rights – let alone a self-proclaimed stronghold of Western liberal values ​​like France – would attempt to interfere with the way women choose to dress. But France is not alone in its abnormal approach to Muslim dress. These same views, and the contradictions that accompany them, also exist in Australia. A recent study found that a third (33.7%) of respondents agreed that women should not be allowed to wear the hijab in Australia; the figure rose to almost half (48.9%) when asked to wear the niqab or burqa.

And while the Australian Muslim Rights Network was successful in his legal action against former Senator Fraser Anning, that does not mean that Muslims can be assured of full legal protection against bad political actors in the future.

Could similar laws be passed in Australia?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is, he may be a legal remedy, but it is limited. At the federal level, part 2 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) protects against discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, nationality and color. However, it does not protect people because of their freedom of religion or association. Protections against religious discrimination and defamation exist in only half of Australia’s states and territories.

There has been obvious pressure for reform by the state and the federal government to outlaw religious discrimination. The State Government of New South Wales has indicated his engagement to ban religious discrimination, but will wait until the Commonwealth’s Religious Freedoms Bill is passed by the federal parliament. New South Wales Attorney General Mark Speakman said the Coalition is making sure its laws “reflect the values ​​of the modern community” by introduce a bill to add religion state anti-discrimination legislation.

If these bills pass, it would be an important step for faith communities – including Muslims – across Australia. However, it is important to note that even though federal or state laws protect the right to the free exercise of religion, including the right of women to wear the hijab, these protections can easily be removed. suspended by federal law – as the Howard government did with the Racial Discrimination Act during implementation Northern Territory Emergency Response. Once the Federal Parliament has conferred a right or a right in a law, it is also competent, by virtue of the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, to withdraw this right or this right.

The greatest protection Australians could have comes in the form of a constitutional bill of rights. Currently, the only provision protecting religious freedom is contained in article 116 of the Constitution. Article 116 is not a source of personal rights and does not provide individuals with a legal remedy. The court usually takes a narrower point of view. Previous High Court decisions make it clear that this section does not constitute a constitutional guarantee of the right to freedom of religion and belief.

Section 116 cannot be used to defend general law violations who manage to discriminate against religion. It is not clear whether this article could be used to challenge cases where an Australian Prime Minister decides, for example, to ban the headscarf for “security reasons”, despite being an attack. clear against the freedoms of Muslim women.

What is the solution? Despite the political challenges surrounding the effort to secure a bill of rights – especially the one enshrined in the constitution – this may well be the only way for Muslim women to enjoy true religious protection and freedom in Australia. It is not just women like me who wear the hijab who would feel assured by this protection. All Australians should enjoy the protection of human rights.

Maryam Hashimi is a research associate at Australian Muslim Rights Network (A MAN). His research explores the intersection between Australian law and religion. She is also a research assistant and occasional tutor at Western Sydney University, where she is completing an LLM.

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Footballers attack the hijab ban in France with the collective ‘Les Hijabeuses’ https://imos-journal.net/footballers-attack-the-hijab-ban-in-france-with-the-collective-les-hijabeuses/ Tue, 14 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/footballers-attack-the-hijab-ban-in-france-with-the-collective-les-hijabeuses/ [ad_1] Hijab-wearing footballers in France have launched a collective called “Les Hijabeuses” to pressure the French Football Federation (FFF) to change its rules on headgear. According to Al Jazeera, the discussion about what Muslim women in France can and cannot do emerged in the country after the government led by Emmanuel Macron passed the controversial […]]]>


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Hijab-wearing footballers in France have launched a collective called “Les Hijabeuses” to pressure the French Football Federation (FFF) to change its rules on headgear. According to Al Jazeera, the discussion about what Muslim women in France can and cannot do emerged in the country after the government led by Emmanuel Macron passed the controversial “anti-separatism bill” which is due to become law on August 24.

French lawmakers tried to use the bill to formally ban the wearing of the headscarf in all sporting competitions, but it was reportedly ruled unconstitutional by lawmakers on June 9. The bill was proposed by the Macron government last year to fight “Islamist extremism” and strengthen “secularism” (secularism). However, the bill drew serious backlash for being inclined towards far-right politics ahead of the 2022 national elections and further marginalizing Islam, even though there are at least six million Muslims in France.

Paris will also take over the Tokyo 2020 Olympic relay for the 2024 Summer Olympics and France is the only country in Europe to exclude women wearing the hijab from most national sporting competitions. However, in particular, the law states that in international competitions, including the Olympics, foreign players wearing headgear are allowed to play. This again raised questions about the French government as it specifically targets its nationals who wear the hijab.

“Les Hijabeuses” led by footballers wearing the hijab

The movement, “Les Hijabeuses”, is led by Karthoum Dembelé and other hijab-wearing footballers around Paris who face challenges competing in France. In 2020, a group of researchers and community leaders from the Citizen Alliance founded the collective. Citizen’s Alliance is also campaigning against several social injustices in the country, according to the report.

More than a year later, the Les Hijabeuses collective has nearly 150 members and nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram and even organized a demonstration at the FFF headquarters on July 23. The group would have written several letters to the president of the FF Noël Le Graët with the aim of putting an end to the exclusion of Muslim women. However, they have yet to receive a response.

“We are all fighting for more inclusive football, which includes all women,” said Dembelé Al Jazeera. “We try to make people understand that we are female athletes. It is not because we wear the hijab that we should be excluded from the field … For the FFF, now, it’s time to wake up … I think they look more at our faces than our talent .

Image: Unsplash

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Les Hijabeuses: Muslim footballers attack the French ban on the hijab | islamophobia https://imos-journal.net/les-hijabeuses-muslim-footballers-attack-the-french-ban-on-the-hijab-islamophobia/ Mon, 13 Sep 2021 11:50:35 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/les-hijabeuses-muslim-footballers-attack-the-french-ban-on-the-hijab-islamophobia/ [ad_1] Paris, France – Since the age of six, Karthoum Dembelé has been playing football with his older brother and his friends between the cities of the Parisian suburbs. Huge football talents have exploded in these neighborhoods in recent years, including Pogba, Mbappé and Kanté. It was here, where street football is king, that Dembelé […]]]>


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Paris, France РSince the age of six, Karthoum Dembel̩ has been playing football with his older brother and his friends between the cities of the Parisian suburbs.

Huge football talents have exploded in these neighborhoods in recent years, including Pogba, Mbappé and Kanté.

It was here, where street football is king, that Dembelé fell in love with football.

But now, 19, her optimism has faded.

Not because of a lack of talent or injuries, but because of French politics. As a Muslim woman wearing the hijab, Dembelé is not allowed to play in most sports competitions in France, including football.

The French Football Federation (FFF) maintains the ban on the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols” despite the lifting by FIFA of its own ban on the hijab in 2014.

Debates over what Muslim women can and cannot wear have resurfaced in France recently with the controversial “anti-separatism” bill, enacted into French law on August 24.

French lawmakers attempted to use the bill to formally ban headscarves in all sporting competitions, although this was deemed unconstitutional by lawmakers on June 9.

The bill, proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s government last year, aims to tackle “Islamist extremism” and strengthen “secularism” (secularism), but it has been heavily criticized for leaning towards the extreme right before the national elections of 2022 and stigmatized Islam and the estimated 6 million Muslims in France, the most in Europe.

Paris takes over from Tokyo 2020 for the 2024 Summer Olympics and France remains the only country in Europe to exclude women wearing the hijab from participating in most national sporting competitions.

The law, however, stipulates that in international competitions – such as the Olympics – foreign players wearing a headscarf can play in France, so questions are mounting over why France is specifically targeting its own Muslim athletes wearing a headscarf. the hijab.

Les Hijabeuses – striving for inclusiveness

There is increasing pressure on the FFF to change its rules, amid calls for more representation on the pitch.

The movement is symbolized by a collective called Les Hijabeuses, led by Dembelé and other young footballers wearing the hijab around Paris.

Last year, a group of researchers and community leaders from the Citizen Alliance, who campaign against social injustices in France, founded the collective.

More than a year later, Les Hijabeuses has around 150 members and nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram. They staged a protest at the FFF headquarters on July 23 and wrote several letters to FFF president Noël Le Graët, demanding an end to the exclusion of Muslim women – but still have not received a response.

“We are all fighting for more inclusive football, which includes all women,” Dembelé told Al Jazeera. “We try to make people understand that we are female athletes. It is not because we wear the hijab that we should be excluded from the field.

“For the FFF, now it’s time to wake up … I think they look more at our faces than our talent.”

Eight members of the Hijabeuses pose for a team portrait before their training session, carrying the flag of the Alliance Citoyenne, the group of community leaders who founded Les Hijabeuses in 2020 [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

A founder, Haifa Tlili, told Al Jazeera that “the position of the FFF follows the general trend in France, which, since the 1990s, has seen an increase in Islamophobic discourse”.

“The problem is, they are objectified,” Tlili said, referring to how she thinks the FFF rule impacts Muslim female footballers.

“Women no longer want to be seen only as veils, but as footballers.”

“Forced to choose between the hijab and what we like”

The rules have been criticized by some as being intentionally vague – a way of perpetuating the exclusion of Muslim athletes.

Ask any Hijabeuse player and they’ll tell you countless stories of how they were targeted on the pitch.

Founé Diawara, one of the collective’s greatest football talents, was 15 when a referee told him: “Either take off your hijab and play, or stay on the bench.

“The worst part is that her trainer didn’t even support her. She was alone, ”said Dembelé. “I find it sad because we have to choose every time, between our hijab and what we like, between our dignity and just wanting to play a sport.”

The rules of the FFF stipulate that “the wearing of any sign or clothing ostensibly expressing a political, philosophical, religious or union affiliation” is prohibited in official games.

But on another page, he mentions that “the wearing of accessories (such as bandanas, hats, etc.) which do not involve proselytism and which respect the rules of hygiene and safety is possible”.

The Hijabs want to promote inclusive football for all women, and of its 150 members, many do not wear the hijab, like Zamya Khan, pictured here smiling. The collective welcomes anyone wishing to support the causes for which Les Hijabeuses are fighting. [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

This secondary rule forced footballers wearing the hijab to find subtle ways to play their favorite sport.

Bouchra Chaïb, a 27-year-old midwife and co-president of the Hijabeuses, says she managed to obtain a medical certificate stating that she had to wear a rugby helmet for health reasons during football matches.

But one day, she stepped onto a field with her helmet on, and a referee stopped her, saying she couldn’t play. Her trainer defended her because Chaïb was too shocked to answer.

“Between you and me, I know why you’re wearing that helmet,” the referee told him.

Chaib said the notion of “remarkable” religious symbols was “really vague”, both for players and officials, and could easily be used against Muslim athletes.

According to Rim-Sarah Alouane, an academic who studies religious freedom and civil liberties in France, the FFF rules are “deliberately ambiguous”.

Likewise, the “anti-separatism” bill is filled with “vague terms to justify restricting a freedom,” she said.

Authorities “still see Muslims and Islam through the lens of security,” she said – and the hijab is turned into a weapon as a symbolic enemy.

“In France, we still see diversity as a threat, even if football shows that diversity makes us stronger.”

Islamophobia as a gender, race and class issue

While the hijab ban may seem uniquely Islamophobic, experts say it cuts across issues of gender, race and class.

“The first separatism occurred when the state decided to build these large estates, to say [to the first wave of immigrants], ‘You are not part of our population,’ ”said Alouane.

A 2019 study by the Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France highlighted how Islamophobia is a form of sexist racism, reporting that 70% of victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes were women. In the same year, another report found that 44.6% of the French population viewed Muslims as a threat to national identity.

Bouchra Chaïb, 27, co-president of the Hijabeuses and one of its first players, is a goalkeeper. She said, ‘When I play with Hijabas, it’s like playing with sisters.’ [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

Chaib said she started wearing the hijab when she was 13 and had been discriminated against at school and at work since then, but hoped football would be different.

“In sports, I didn’t think I was going to be lectured about secularism, but I was, and it was a big disappointment.”

She felt “a constant feeling of rejection” that almost drove her to quit football altogether.

“You have negative feelings forming within you. You want to do nothing. You say to yourself: ‘Well I’m not going to register here, I’m not going to do that, I’m not going to do that, because I’m going to be kicked out, I’m going to be humiliated once again “, then you exclude yourself, from all over. “

But the collective and the bond between women gave him hope.

“You realize you have your place,” she said with a broad smile. “When I play with the Hijabeuses, it’s like playing with sisters.

On the way to representation

Chaïb was one of the first players to be selected for Les Hijabeuses, and now that the collective is growing, wants to inspire young Muslim women across the country.

Despite France’s large Muslim population, women wearing the hijab are a rare sight in public life and in sport, due, according to some observers, to national conversations that are often hostile towards Muslims.

“I would love to see a woman wearing a hijab playing football on TV,” Dembelé said. “I find it frustrating not to be represented in football.”

According to sports activist and journalist Shireen Ahmed: “There are generations of women who didn’t bother to play football because they just couldn’t move forward.

Ahmed, an expert on Islamophobia in sports, says that while athletes should ideally be seen as more than their outfits, having more Muslim players wearing the hijab goes a long way in normalizing diversity in the public eye.

“I am not arguing for the hijab, I am arguing for the choice,” Ahmed told Al Jazeera. “We ask women to be the best sportsmen themselves, and we don’t let them decide their uniforms.”

Les Hijabeuses regularly play soccer training in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris, where many young players grew up [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

She blamed not only the FFF but also FIFA for exempting France from its statutes.

“The practice of football itself and the charter, written by FIFA, are in fact violated by France,” said Ahmed. “FIFA is also complicit in supporting this.”

Responding to a request for comment, a FIFA spokesperson told Al Jazeera: “FIFA continues to monitor the situation regarding the application of the Laws of the Game within member associations.”

The FFF sent a statement to Al Jazeera, saying it “has a public service mission; he applies the laws of the Republic. It defends and defends the values ​​of secularism, living together, neutrality and the fight against all forms of discrimination, and does not authorize the display of ostentatious political or religious signs as part of the collective and public practice of football and its competitions. “

Roxana Mărăcineanu, France’s Sports Minister, did not comment due to a “very tight schedule”.

“If I were Le Graët [the FFF President], I would be most afraid of these young women, ”said Ahmed,“ because they will bring about change.

Back on the pitch, Dembelé, ready to play with a ball in his hands, said: “I would like to be this representation [to young girls], to show them that it is possible, and then they will be like, ‘I can do this, I can go far.’ “

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Les Hijabeuses: Women attack Western attitudes towards the ban on the hijab in football https://imos-journal.net/les-hijabeuses-women-attack-western-attitudes-towards-the-ban-on-the-hijab-in-football/ Fri, 09 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/les-hijabeuses-women-attack-western-attitudes-towards-the-ban-on-the-hijab-in-football/ [ad_1] Content Warning: Refers to negative treatment of the hijab and briefly mentions Islamophobia France’s controversial “anti-separatism bill” and the ban on the hijab in public spaces are provoking more and more discussion. Now, the ban has spread to the sports field, as Muslim footballers who wear hijabs are excluded from the pitches. The French […]]]>


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Content Warning: Refers to negative treatment of the hijab and briefly mentions Islamophobia

France’s controversial “anti-separatism bill” and the ban on the hijab in public spaces are provoking more and more discussion. Now, the ban has spread to the sports field, as Muslim footballers who wear hijabs are excluded from the pitches. The French Football Federation, known as the FFF, is a governing body that prohibits Muslim women from wearing the hijab during matches at home and abroad.. In turn, it is implied that the hijab is treated as an accessory that can be easily removed, rather than as a legitimate expression of religious belief. This introduces familiar stereotypes of Islam as archaic and incredibly conservative.

It is implied that the hijab is treated as an accessory that can be easily removed, rather than a legitimate expression of religious belief.

The rise of Islamophobia and general intolerance towards Muslims in France is well documented. Since 2011 with the niqab ban and the 2016 “Burkini Ban”, which prohibited women from wearing Burkinis on French beaches, the right of Muslim women to choose how to represent themselves, especially through clothing, has largely been reduced. control. In fact, there are many limitations placed on women wearing the hijabi, such as running for office, organizing a student union, and even volunteering for charity.. Earlier this year, the anti-separatism bill saw an amendment added – a ban on the hijab in public for girls under the age of 18. In response, a hashtag titled #HandsOffMyHijab has exploded on social media, with Muslims and non-Muslims alike expressing outrage over hijab control.

Interestingly, France claims that the purpose of the hijab ban is to fight “separatism” and the oppression of women. During the debate on the amendment in March, officials approved the bill and said it was in the best interests to resist symbols that “Means the inferiority of women over men”, the hijab apparently belonging to this category. Moreover, despite claims that the legislation is not intended to targets Muslims but maintains neutrality in public places, ensures the emancipation of religious fanaticism and reflects an attachment to common French values, it is hard to believe that the bill does not cause further division and hostility towards Muslim communities.

By forcing Muslim female footballers to choose between their hijab and their love for sport, there is a clear message of alienation

By forcing Muslim female footballers to make a choice between their hijab and their love for the sport, there is a clear message of alienation, their very existence being incompatible with French society. They are also unable to speak for themselves, instead of being continually defended by self-proclaimed “hero” characters who wish to free them from the so-called oppressive hijab. The irony is palpable. Speaking about her spiritual journey and her choice to wear the hijab, Leila Kellou expresses this contradiction, noting that some people believe that Islam forces women to wear the hijab and yet refuse to hear ‘real people wearing hijab. Many tweets demonstrate such inconsistencies with a user writing, “Forcing a woman to wear a hijab is wrong. Just like forcing her to take it off is wrong ”(@najwazebian).

In response to the ban, a group of hijab-wearing footballers known as “Les Hijabeuses” established themselves as an organization actively working against the principles of the FFF. The group formed a team of players, composed a Instagram page and network with other French teams to encourage young girls to get involved in football. Members also express how they wish to change perceptions of the woman wearing the hijab and aim to create a more inclusive environment on the ground. In addition, the group’s ambitions are modest: simply to share their love of football. It’s hard not to feel the enthusiasm that emanates from Hijabi women as they detail what football means to them. Karthoum Dembele explains how she likes “Everything about football”: “I love competition and I love to win. I like to share all of these emotions together. ‘

[These women] continually spoken by self-proclaimed “hero” characters who wish to free them from the supposedly oppressive hijab

Seen this way, Les Hijabeuses are less of a politically organized group with a grandiose statement to make, but simply women who love football and wear the hijab. Bouchra Chaib explains it best: “I’m not a woman wearing a hijab playing soccer, just a woman who loves soccer.” This highlights how Muslim women shouldn’t be defined just by their hijab, nor forced to champion a big message. These women are not just “hijab-wearing players” but “players” in general, and this is just as significant as the struggle against narrow definitions of hijab and Islam. Their presence is enough. As a predominantly male sport, this development of female participation is positive and inspiring. The hijab ban is not only contradictory, restoring the risk to individual freedom, which society claims to defend, but also threatening individual citizenship and human rights. In this way, the Muslim people are not treated as a valid French citizen and do not have access to the central ethical values: autonomy and self-expression.


Read more about Life & Style:

Face cover: the company’s double standard

Representation in Fashion: H&M and the Hijab

The burkini that broke the Internet

Malala on Vogue


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“We are treated like animals” – French Muslim women on the project to ban the hijab https://imos-journal.net/we-are-treated-like-animals-french-muslim-women-on-the-project-to-ban-the-hijab/ Tue, 13 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/we-are-treated-like-animals-french-muslim-women-on-the-project-to-ban-the-hijab/ [ad_1] Towards the end of her first year of medicine in Marseille in 2017, Nadia underwent a routine check-up before starting rotations at the hospital. The nurse examining her was staring at her openly, her face contorted in a scowl. When she noted Nadia’s weight, she deducted two kilograms from the reading on the scale, […]]]>


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Towards the end of her first year of medicine in Marseille in 2017, Nadia underwent a routine check-up before starting rotations at the hospital. The nurse examining her was staring at her openly, her face contorted in a scowl. When she noted Nadia’s weight, she deducted two kilograms from the reading on the scale, “because of the heavy clothing.” Nadia glanced at her outfit: a blazer and a skirt. But she knew what she really meant. It was the hijab, an ivory pashmina wrapped around her face, that was an affront.

It was only the beginning of a series of abuses. The nurse motioned to him veil, French for veil or scarf, and said: “Let your hair breathe, it will fall out wearing this all the time.” She told Nadia, a frequent blood donor, about a vitamin D deficiency that she did not have and told her to “get out of the house more, I know in your culture women stay locked up all the time. daytime”. When she left, Nadia barely resisted the urge to cry.

“Being a Muslim woman in France is judged every day, everywhere. When we go to the grocery store, people stare at us and feel embarrassed by our presence. Our children cannot speak of their faith for fear of being called terrorists, ”explains Nadia, who can only reveal her first name for fear of further harassment. “We feel very in danger, it becomes suffocating. We are not treated like real French citizens who work here, pay taxes and take care of the sick, but like animals that have no rights.

France is home to the largest Muslim community in the Western world, with just over 4 million people, or around 8% of the country’s total population. A third of the French team that won the 2018 World Cup was Muslim. It is therefore disconcerting that 44.6% of French people perceive Islam as a threat to national identity. The staunchly secular nation has long been at war with itself over its Muslim citizens, especially veiled women, who face increasingly blatant cases of Islamophobia.

On March 30, the French Senate voted in favor of a “bill on separatism,” a law which, if passed by the French National Assembly, would prohibit girls under 18 from wearing the hijab. in public. The controversial amendment triggered the viral hashtag #HandsOffMyHijab and drew condemnation from critics accusing the attempt to target France’s Muslim minority. Amnesty International has called for the “many problematic provisions” of the bill to be removed or amended.

It is the most recent development of the decades-long dispute in France over the headscarf. In 2011, France became the first country to ban women from wearing the niqab, or veil, outside of their home. Prior to that, French law prohibited “ostentatious” religious symbols in schools, including the hijab, oversized crosses, and kippahs. The 2016 “burkini ban” imposed by several coastal towns drew criticism from the UN for “fueling religious intolerance and stigmatization of Muslims in France, especially women”. According to the Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France, a nonprofit group that sought to combat discrimination against French Muslims and which was forcibly dissolved in December last year, 70% of Islamophobic acts and hate speech is directed against women. For many, the recent candidacy is another step towards diminishing the autonomy and agency of French Muslim women.

Lamya, a 23-year-old business student in Champigny-sur-Marne, in the Paris suburbs, knows many women who have stopped wearing the headscarf for fear of ostracism or unemployment. For those who keep their hijabs, she says, the alternative has been to drop out of college altogether.

“It’s no secret that wearing a hijab in France will make it difficult for you to find a job. Many companies still refuse to accept women wearing a hijab, Muslims lose their jobs for praying at work, ”said Lamya, who asked to use only her first name. “During my first internship, the manager who hired me told the CEO that I had an illness that caused my hair to fall out, so I could wear the hijab without commenting on it at work.

It is impossible to disentangle the importance of modern Islamophobia from France’s imperial heritage. The French occupation of predominantly Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East meant limiting the use of Arabic to the private sphere, and in Algeria, ceremoniously forcing women to remove their veils and burn them in a so-called manifestation of liberation from patriarchy. A colonial poster from the 1960s depicts a smiling woman unveiled among her veiled peers, with a caption aimed at tempting and ridiculing: “Aren’t you beautiful?” Take off your sails!

“Muslim women are always portrayed by the media, movies or politicians as oppressed women without any free will, and who must be saved. This conception is a Eurocentric point of view and a racist, sexist and Islamophobic definition of liberation, ”Fatima Bent, head of the Paris-based intersectional feminist and anti-racist organization Lallab, told VICE World News. “The argument for banning the hijab has nothing to do with liberation and aid for Muslim women, it is the continuation of a European colonial power which asserts its domination over a religious minority, which encourages the racism and reinforces stereotypes. “

Laila, who also asked not to disclose her full name, moved from Meaux, a city in the Paris metropolitan area, UK six months ago, after enduring decades of anti-Muslim abuse in the country his family had lived in for generations.

“Here, I see veiled bus drivers, veiled cashiers, veiled teachers. It seems unreal to me. I can go to the pool in a burkini, I haven’t swam for 12 years, ”says Laila. “On this side of the Channel, I see even more clearly the straitjacket that bound us, how we were not entitled to mundane things like swimming, working and studying in all fields.

Much of the rhetoric around the hijab in France is shrouded in feminist language. He rejects veils as a symbol of female subjugation, a notion that has been propagated by white and Muslim women. The European Network Against Racism found that Muslim women were forgotten, ignored and often belittled by traditional feminist structures. Many have pointed out the flaws in the argument: if feminism, reduced to its essence, is the right of women to choose, how can institutions invoke feminism as the motive for legislation that ultimately limits those choices?

“The laws are infantilizing. I think it’s a desire for domination. Since when do you release someone by telling them what to wear and what not to wear? Laila said. “This has no logic: we feel both the victim of a paternalism that wants to free us from a pseudo-paternalism, and at the same time demonized as if the sight of our veils could radicalize anyone who looks at us. They want to make us invisible. In fact, that’s the word: we feel invisible.

Bent believes that the French still consider being a Muslim and a feminist to be contradictory positions. She says: “French accounts still speak of ‘the Muslim woman’, as if we were a monolithic block. We are constantly denied in our plurality and it is totally dehumanizing. Muslim women must constantly negotiate their place in society and their humanity ”,

“Our voices, our experiences, our realities and our struggles as Muslim women living in France have too often been silenced,” says Bent. “Represented as a homogeneous block and reduced to a paradoxical silence: we never stop talking about it, but we never give them a voice.

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The French Senate voted to ban the hijab for minors in a plea by the conservative right: NPR https://imos-journal.net/the-french-senate-voted-to-ban-the-hijab-for-minors-in-a-plea-by-the-conservative-right-npr/ Thu, 08 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/the-french-senate-voted-to-ban-the-hijab-for-minors-in-a-plea-by-the-conservative-right-npr/ [ad_1] The French Senate passed an amendment that would make it illegal for girls to wear the religious veil worn by Muslim women. The measure will likely fail when it is debated in the National Assembly. ARI SHAPIRO, HTE: The French Senate has passed a measure that would ban anyone under the age of 18 […]]]>


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The French Senate passed an amendment that would make it illegal for girls to wear the religious veil worn by Muslim women. The measure will likely fail when it is debated in the National Assembly.



ARI SHAPIRO, HTE:

The French Senate has passed a measure that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from wearing the hijab in public. This is an amendment to a law that the government introduced to combat religious extremism. Another amendment would ban the full body swimsuit known as the burqini in swimming pools and public beaches. While unlikely to become law, they continue a debate among French lawmakers over Muslim clothing. And we’re joined by Eleanor Beardsley from NPR in Paris to discuss it. Hello, Eleanor.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What are these measures that the Senate voted on?

BEARDSLEY: Well, as you said, the most controversial would prohibit anyone – a minor – under the age of 18 from wearing the Muslim veil in public. And indeed, today, some senators proposed another amendment in the same spirit that the headscarf would not be authorized in national sports competitions, in particular on television. You know, these are amendments to a more important French bill. And I spoke with experts. They have no chance of becoming law. I mean, they should be passed by the lower house of parliament, which has already said it is against them. And even if they were passed, the country’s constitutional council would likely overturn them so that they had no chance of becoming law.

SHAPIRO: But they tap into a larger debate in France. Explain why Conservative lawmakers are introducing these measures if they have no chance of becoming policies.

BEARDSLEY: Right. Well, this is the presidential election next year. And these amendments were all proposed by the big French conservative party, which in reality is only limping along in the shadow of itself. He has been cannibalized from the left and the right. It is especially voters lost to the profit of the extreme right party of Marine Le Pen. And I spoke to political scientist Jean-Yves Camus. And here is what he said about it.

JEAN-YVES CAMUS: The conservative right sees that some of its former voters have gone to the far right, so they are trying to win back those voters. If they want to get those voices back, they must come up with at least as xenophobic legislation.

SHAPIRO: What do Muslims in France think about being caught in the middle of this political standoff?

BEARDSLEY: Well, Muslims feel stigmatized. You know, the law – the main law – it was proposed last fall after a French college professor was beheaded by a radical Islamist for showing pictures of the Prophet Muhammad in his classroom. You know, Muslims were very horrified by this. And the government, they feel like the government, instead of bringing everyone together, has sort of isolated them. This law is called the law to strengthen French values ​​and principles. At first, they called it the Law Against Islamist Separatism because the government said radical Islam comes from separatist Islam. And it was about, you know, underground schools where little girls wear the veil and the sexes are separated instead of gender equality.

So Macron spoke of developing parallel societies that would destroy the republic, and this law was to fight that. Muslims say they adhere to French values. They are French. And France is a secular country. It is to allow everyone to practice their religion equally. They say it is distorted, if not militarized, to somehow ban religion, especially Islam, which is more visible than other religions because of things like the headscarf. I spoke to Rim Sarah Alouan. She is a researcher on religious freedom and civil liberties. And here is what she told me.

RIM SARAH ALOUAN: It’s really a battle for the next elections. And what we are witnessing is what I have called the militarization of secularism. And with the upcoming elections, of course, that’s going to flatter the far right the most.

BEARDSLEY: So, you know, this law has a lot of criticism. Even Catholic and Jewish leaders have spoken out to warn against this. Many say that it is not about extremism, but that it is against religion. Nevertheless, he should pass.

SHAPIRO: Eleanor Beardsley, thank you very much.

BEARDSLEY: Thanks, Ari.

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French Muslim coordination body splits after extremist groups refuse to sign Macron’s anti-separatism charter https://imos-journal.net/french-muslim-coordination-body-splits-after-extremist-groups-refuse-to-sign-macrons-anti-separatism-charter/ Wed, 24 Mar 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/french-muslim-coordination-body-splits-after-extremist-groups-refuse-to-sign-macrons-anti-separatism-charter/ [ad_1] 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 […]]]>


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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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