Political Islam has no place in France, says Emmanuel Macron

The French head of state traveled on Tuesday to Mulhouse, in Alsace, to deliver a speech on the fight against "Islamist separatism". He announced the gradual end of "detached imams"

In a speech devoted to the fight against “Islamist separatism” in France during a trip to Mulhouse, in the Haut-Rhin, Emmanuel Macron announced the gradual end of “detached imams” sent by other countries, such as the Turkey and Algeria, without specifying the date on which this measure would be applied. He also encouraged the number of imams trained in France. In addition to these 300 seconded imams, the Head of State also announced that the reception of the 300 or so “chanters” received each year during the Ramadan period will be ended.

To meet the needs of imams in mosques, France is currently hosting “seconded imams” from other countries and financed by them, under bilateral agreements. There are thus around 300 permanent staff, of whom 150 come from Turkey, 120 from Algeria and around thirty from Morocco, the main countries of origin of the 4 to 5 million Muslims in France. These religious form a small part of the number of imams in France – often volunteers or even itinerant – officiating in the 2,500 Muslim places of worship. This number is not precisely known but is estimated at around 1,800 imams.

Emmanuel Macron chose Mulhouse for these announcements, a city where the construction site of the immense An-Nour mosque stands, largely funded by a Qatar NGO. The head of state’s visit also took place in the town of Bourtzwiller, near Mulhouse, and populated by more than 15,000 inhabitants. Bourtzwiller has “real difficulties,” said Emmanuel Macron, citing the presence of “associations that advocated leaving the Republic”, “dropout, outside influences” … This is one of the 47 “Neighborhoods Republican reconquest “(QRR) of France, a system created in 2018 to fight crime and trafficking. With the recent increase in the number of police, brought to 22 against seven previously, “the atmosphere is calmer” and the residents “have more confidence” in the police, said Brigadier-General Bouizy Fathia.

“In the Republic, we cannot accept that we refuse to shake a woman’s hand because she is a woman; in the Republic, we cannot accept that someone refuses to be treated or educated by someone one; in the Republic, one cannot accept dropping out of school; in the Republic, one cannot require certificates of virginity to marry; in the Republic, one must never accept that the laws of religion can be superior to the laws of the Republic, it’s that simple, “said the President of the Republic.

Speech on “separatism”

Fighting against “separatism”, “our enemy”, without “making a plan against Islam”, which “would be a deep fault”: these are the main lines of Emmanuel Macron‘s statement during this trip to Mulhouse. “Political Islam has no place” in France and “Islamist separatism is incompatible with freedom and equality, incompatible with the indivisibility of the Republic and the necessary unity of the nation,” said the chief. from the State in a speech to local officials and residents of the Bourtzwiller district. This issue is politically sensitive to the approach of municipal elections.

As soon as he arrived in Bourtzwiller, a district of the big city of Haut-Rhin, the head of state insisted that this fight against “Islamist separatism” was not directed against Muslims. During an hour-long walkabout, he was arrested by young residents who regretted the “stigma” linked to this debate. “We must not stigmatize because we are all French and French, but we must not let people leave the Republic saying that it no longer brings its promises,” replied Emmanuel Macron.

After a lunch with the police in the neighborhood police station, Emmanuel Macron was to exchange views with social, cultural or cultural associations – such as the Zavatta circus workshop, citizen moms or the Base integration association – before to meet sports officials. He invited the young people to join them in the gymnasium, where he was to speak to announce the first steps.

This “field visit” is the first step in a sequence that will extend beyond the municipal elections of March 15 and 22, during which the head of state will detail the government’s strategy against radicalization and political Islam. .

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