Photo:On Islam
Photo:On Islam

Paris, 18 Jumadal Akhir 1436/7 April 2015 (MINA) – Demanding respect for French Muslims, leaders of the religious minority used the occasion of Le Bourget annual convention to condemn recent attacks perpetuated in the name of Islam and also reject “barbaric” acts of militant groups.

“As Muslim citizens, we denounce terrorism, we denounce (any act of) barbarity,” Amar Lasfar, the President of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP), On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

We are loyal with respect to our country that is France. We love God, we love our prophet, but we also love the French Republic,” insisted Lasfar.

Held from Friday, April 3 to Sunday April 5, the weekend gathering of the country’s Islamic Organizations offered French Muslims a platform to discuss several topics of interest, including recent decisions taken by the Interior ministry against radicalization.

“Muslims are often accused of not sufficiently denounced violence and terrorism, as if they were directly responsible, and that’s wrong,” echoed the president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) Dalil Boubaker.

Three months after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo, Muslims have repeatedly rejected violence falsely committed in the name of their religion.

“Islam is not an immigration Islam is Islam a national who is entitled to the same extent as other communities in France to the recognition and reputation of the French population,” he said.

Boubaker denounced a form of guilt that would require the faithful to repeatedly denounce the attacks, “as if the violence and abject terror had something to do” with the Islam.

Seeing the Charlie Hebdo attack as a betrayal of Islamic faith, leaders from Muslim countries and organizations joined worldwide condemnation of the attack, saying the attackers should not be associated with Islam.

Later on, French Muslims called for criminalizing insulting religions amid increasing anger around the Muslim world over Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish new cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The National Observatory Against Islamophobia said over one hundred incidents have been reported to the police since Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 7-9.

About 147 anti-Muslim attacks have been carried out during January after Paris attacks, besides 26 anti-mosque attacks, according to the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM).

Moreover, a Muslim father was stabbed to death in his own home in southern France this week by a neighbor who claimed to be avenging Charlie Hebdo.

Last February, an 8-year-old Muslim schoolboy was interrogated by French police after refusing to take part in a minute’s silence in honor of victims.

Le Bourget has become a fixture in the French calendar, a chance for Muslims to meet, hear speeches from intellectuals and scholars.

Thousands of Muslims came in droves to the annual gala, going through a miscellany of books and items on display, attending lectures and vying in contests for the memorization of the Qur’an.

Thousands of Muslims from across Europe attend the annual activities, with young women in their unmistakable hijabs and enthusiastic young men making up the bulk of attendees.

France is home to some six to seven million Muslims, the largest Muslim minority in Europe. (T/P006/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)