French Muslims Agree on “Code of Principles”

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It was announced that a consensus was reached on the “Code of Principles of the National Imams Council”, which caused a crisis among Muslim representatives in France. Meeting with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, 3 representatives of the French Islamic Council (CFCM) announced that they had agreed on the statute that created division for a long time.

The umbrella organization of the Muslim community in France, the federation representatives of the French Islamic Council (CFCM) came together at the Ministry of Internal Affairs after the disagreements on the “National Imams Council Code of Principles” requested by President Emmanuel Macron and the crisis it created. CFCM President Muhammed Moussaoui, President of the French-Turkish Muslims Coordination Committee İbrahim Alçı and Paris Mosque Rector Şemseddin Hafız, together with Minister Darmanin, completed the study of the statute containing the rules that Muslim associations in France must comply with.

“The harmony of Islam with the Republic”

After the meeting, CFCM made a written statement, “This charter, which is the source of a crisis within our organization, was presented to the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin on Saturday and ‘a very important progress’ was made. The text contains important points: It is denial of exploitation for political interests and cutting off the influence of foreign countries on the worship of Muslim people in France; ensuring gender equality and rejecting certain practices (such as virginity testing) seen in Muslim society. After his approval, a meeting with the President will be requested for the official establishment of the National Imams Council.

Will be announced with Macron

The participants, who gave information to VOA Turkish, stated that the CFCM will meet with other federation representatives tomorrow (Sunday) to discuss the agreed text. CFCM and President Macron are expected to meet next week and sign the Code of Conduct with the National Imams Council.

On Monday, the government will begin to discuss the “political Islam and anti-discrimination bill” in the specially established Parliamentary Committee. The draft will be discussed at the General Assembly in early February.

President Emmanuel Macron, at the meeting he held with CFCM representatives at the Elysee Palace on November 18, asked that the Code of Principles, which includes the education of imams in France and the rules to be followed by all Muslim institutions, be prepared simultaneously.

The work initiated after this meeting turned into a crisis when the rector of the Paris Mosque, Şemseddin Hafız, accused the representatives of the National Vision Federation representing a part of the Turkish Muslims with the Communiqué close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Trying to prevent the project from falling to the ground due to this internal crisis, Minister of Internal Affairs Darmanin brought together the 3 parties that were in dispute.

What has changed in the Charter of Principles?

The 10-point National Imams Council Charter of Principles, “Freedom”, “Equality”, “Brotherhood”, “Refusal of foreign / foreign intervention”, refusal of the instrumentalization of Islam for political purposes “,” which was determined at the end of the study conducted by 9 Federation representatives affiliated to the CFCM It includes titles such as “reason and free will”, “commitment to secularism and public services”.

Among the 5 items that caused the crisis among the participants, the most controversy was the “definition of political Islam”. At the beginning of the work, Hafez and a group of representatives insisted that religious movements such as “Wahhabism, Salafism, and the Muslim Brotherhood” should be written openly. Notification and National Vision were opposed to naming. The names of these religious movements were removed in the final version of the text. The term “rejection of political Islam” was replaced by the phrase “refusal to instrumentalize Islam for political purposes”.

The section “denial of the apostasie of those who abandon the religion of Islam” in the previous text was also removed. Instead, the phrase “Respect for all ideas and beliefs” was put.

Another controversial item, expressions such as “ensuring gender equality and banning the virginity test” changed in the text. Equality between women and men was clearly stated in the text, referring to the “Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of equality of dignity”. However, articles such as “female genital mutilation” or “forced marriage” turned into simple footnotes. The virginity test was removed from the text.

9 mosques were closed

In the aftermath of jihadist terrorist attacks in France, the government continued to work on laws and regulations, while also intensifying control over mosques in the country. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on December 2 that, following the new action plan on the inspection of mosques, 34 mosques and places of worship were investigated across the country, 9 of which were closed for administrative and security reasons. The newspaper Le Figaro stated that the ministry will investigate 89 new mosques and that 10 Muslim associations are at risk of closing.

The government previously closed the Seine Saint-Denis, Sevran, Bobigny and Pantin mosques, which it found to be using radical and hate speech.

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