The Muslims of France put the complete independence of the Islamic religion as a precondition for discussions on the organization of “Islam” in the country, Dalil Boubakeur, Paris Grand Mosque rector said.
“Muslims have the absolute freedom to practice and organize worship”.
In his speech at the opening of the Conference of the Islamic Federations of France, that was held on Sunday at the Arab World Institute, the Rector of Paris Mosque, Dr. Dalil Boubakeur, explained that “any attempt to amend the clear and essential relationships between religions and the state, or any intervention by the administration which must respect the religious freedom that is guaranteed by the European republican law and by the United Nations, will lead to fierce opposition from the Paris Mosque”.
“Religious freedom is a great public freedom and no one can abandon it.”
As is well known, the Paris mosque is partly financed by Algeria and is the first Islamic institution in France. It was founded in 1926 in the aftermath of World War I, as a token of recognition from France to Algerian Muslims who fell victims of the war in defense of France.
“Muslims who gathered in this conference are tired of many projects that aborted the organization of Islam in France, so they decided to work for themselves and for their own sake, in order to achieve real representation and the solid restructuring of Islamic religion”.
These statements can be understood as a direct response to the French president and a clear warning to the French administration, which wants amendments and changes to the organization of Islam and Muslims in France, amid accusations of prejudice to religious freedom.
He concluded by stating that the Paris Mosque defends the principle of equality of all religions under the 1905 Law (laity) which requires the State to remain neutral while ensuring separation and non-funding of religions, respect for freedom of belief and absolute freedom to practice and organize worship.
The conference concluded with a number of recommendations, the most important of which is that the Laical Republic is the guarantor of freedom of worship, and thus the Republic can not, in any way, determine the content of worship or religion.
The recommendations called on the French authorities to fight relentlessly the cases of hatred against Muslims and make use of the necessary means, and condemned the repeated scenes of hatred against Islam, and called on the Muslims of France not to surrender to provocations.
The Conference recommended that the funding and independence of the Islamic religion should be guaranteed through the French Associations for the Support of the Islamic Religion (AFSCM), which was launched last July.