For Emmanuel Macron, difficult quest for an interlocutor representative of Islam in France

The President of the Republic received Thursday the members of the forum of Islam of France which aims to take over from the French Council of Muslim worship.

by Sarah Belouezzane

He wanted to receive them with great fanfare at the Elysée. As if the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron who welcomed Thursday, February 16, the members of the forum of Islam of France (FOIF), a structure launched a year ago to organize dialogue with Islam, wanted A file brought so far by his Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin. As so so, by organizing this one day of national strike against the pension reform, he wanted to remind the French that the affairs of the country continued to be managed. In this case, those of an Islam with which the State has trouble finding the right communication methods.

eager as he repeats, in many areas, to show that he knows how to “walk on his two legs”, Emmanuel Macron tried with the creation of this platform, not to send a security message to the citizens of this confession. FIROF, we explain to the Elysée, is indeed called from the base, therefore at a departmental level with representatives who come from it, in order to work on the concrete problems of French Muslims.

Thursday, the groups that have been working for a year in four flagship subjects have made their conclusions and formulated proposals on four main themes: the training of imams, the security of places of worship, the management of chaplains and finally understanding by Local cultural associations of the separatism law and their relationship to law.

If no shattering announcement has been made, advances seem to have been allowed by this forum, in particular with regard to the difficulty of access to Muslim associations in bank accounts. According to Sandrine Mayen, rapporteur of the law group on the law, 22 % of them explain that they have found a closed door when they wanted to contact banking institutions. 27 % saw their accounts closed. The FIROF allowed to try to remedy it “the opening of a dialogue with the Directorate General of the Treasury and the French Banking Federation” in order to facilitate these complicated relationships.

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For the rest, it is for the moment mainly practical guides for Muslim organizations, sometimes of very small size, which have been developed. We have also been made proposals in particular on the status of imams which will have to be redesigned. But the essential Thursday was not only there.

Because in addition to these technical sites which of course have their importance, the FORIF, wanted permanent by Emmanuel Macron, is mainly intended to take over from the French Council of Muslim worship (CFCM), created in 2003 by Nicolas Sarkozy, in his function of the dialogue body between the government and Islam of France. An institution that will have lived and to which many criticize its incessant divisions and the too strong presence of a foreign influence on the federations which compose it, with in particular Algeria, Morocco and Turkey in line.

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/Media reports cited above.