The French Government Excludes The Muslim Faith Council
In a surprising move, the French government signed the death certificate of the French Council of the Muslim Faith and then did not deal with it, after nearly 19 years of partnership, a decision that was rejected and deplored by this council, which is headed by the French of Moroccan origin, Mohammed Moussaoui.
The decision was announced by the French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, in a program broadcast in partnership by Radio and Television Luxembourg “RTL”, the French TV channel LCI and the newspaper “Le Figaro”.
The French official said: “The French Council of the Muslim Faith, which is the consular representation of the Moroccan and Algerian Islam, has died. The French Council of the Muslim Faith no longer exists for the French authorities, it is no longer the representative of the Muslim community for the Republic”.
The decision was rejected by the CFCM, which issued a statement attacking the French Minister of the Interior: “This statement is unacceptable, neither in terms of form nor in terms of content”, and estimated that such a decision cannot be decided by a minister in response to a question of a journalist.
In the statement signed by the council’s president, Mohamed Moussaoui, the Religious Council clarified that it had not received notification of this decision, and considered the matter defective in the public authorities’ dealings with a representative body of the Islamic religion, and asserted that the Council would remain a representative of the Islamic religion before the various national and European committees, and the rest of other religions as well and will continue to communicate with public authorities on issues of concern to the Islamic religion and official ceremonies.
It is known that the Council of the Islamic Religion in France was established in 2003 and includes the various federations of mosques, but it has entered into a crisis of conflicts, since the French government announced its desire to establish a charter of principles for Islam in France, prohibiting the interference of foreign countries (…) in Managing Islamic affairs in France, and Paris’s endeavour to mould Islam in line with its political calculations as well, a charter that was rejected by some federations, before withdrawing from the Council.
The sudden decision of the French authorities comes after the success of the Grand Mosque of Paris, headed by the Algerian Chemseddine Hafiz, and three French Islamic organizations in electing the “National Council of Imams”, despite the rejection of the French Council of the Islamic Faith.
The achievement of the Paris Mosque was described as “historic” at the time and was considered a successful challenge to the French Council of the Muslim Faith, which expressed its rejection of this step, which withdrew from it the possibility of installing a parallel council on December 12, and tried to obstruct the inauguration of the elected council, through justice, but it failed.
With the election of the Paris Mosque and with it, a National Council of Imams, the rug was pulled from under the feet of the French Council of the Islamic Faith, because the elected council has the power to grant credits to imams active in France, who faced in recent years bargains by the French authorities, who want to form them according to considerations in line with their vision to run this sensitive sector in the former colony, and which are not necessarily consistent with the reality of the Islamic religion, rituals and beliefs.
Some of the media readings that were involved in these dramatic developments, saw the French authorities’ decision to consider the “Council of the Islamic Religion” dead, as a token of confidence by Paris for reconciliation with Algeria, especially since the decision came a few days after the visit of the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian to Algeria.