Paris, MINA – French President Emmanuel Macron asked Muslim leaders to accept the ‘Republican values charter’ as part of a crackdown on radical Islam. On Wednesday, Macron gave a 15-day ultimatum to the French Muslim Faith Council (CFCM) to accept the charter.
Macron’s charter follows three attacks in less than a month. He has indeed defended French secularism in the wake of the attacks, including over the beheading of a teacher who showed a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad during a freedom of expression class last month.
The charter will declare Islam a religion and not a political movement, as well as prohibit foreign interference with Muslim groups. Last Wednesday, Macron and Home Minister Gerald Darmanin met with eight CFCM leaders at the Elysee Palace.
“Two principles will be written in black and white in the charter, namely the rejection of Islamic politics and foreign interference,” a source told the Le Parisien newspaper after the meeting.
The formation of the National Imam Council was also agreed upon. The CFCM itself has reportedly agreed to form a National Imams Council, which reportedly will provide official accreditation to withdrawable priests.
Macron has also announced new steps to tackle what he calls “Islamic separatism” in France. Those steps include a broad bill that seeks to prevent radicalization. The bill was passed on Wednesday.
There are a number of radicalization prevention measures including restrictions on home schools and harsher penalties for those who intimidate public officials on religious grounds, and giving children a statutory identification number to use to ensure they attend school. Parents who violate can face up to six months in prison as well as large fines.
Furthermore, there is a prohibition against sharing someone’s personal information in a way that will allow them to be found by those who wish to harm them. The French cabinet will discuss the draft law on December 9, 2020.
“We must save our children from the clutches of the Islamists,” Darmanin told the Le Figaro newspaper on Wednesday.
Samuel Paty, a teacher who was murdered outside his school last month, was the target of an online hate campaign before his death on October 16, 2020. The newspaper Le Monde has published an email sent between Paty and his colleagues days after he showed the Prophet cartoons in class.
“It’s really sad and especially because it comes from a family where the child is not in my studies and not someone I know. This is a dangerous rumor,” wrote Paty.
Paty later wrote in a separate email, that he would no longer teach on the topic. “I will choose another freedom as a subject to teach,” Paty said. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)