Algerian media is reporting Nagib Azuergi, co-founder and president of the Union des Démocrates Musulmans Français (UDMF), a French Muslim party with ties to Islamists, has announced his run in the 2022 French Presidential Elections. According to the ObservAlgerie article:
November 20, 2021 “Faced with the dangerous identity shift that our politicians are taking, from the confines of the left to the extreme right, I have decided to engage in this race towards the Élysée, by running my candidacy for the 2022 presidential elections” writes Nagib Azergui on November 17 on his Twitter account to announce his candidacy for the next presidential election in France. A message accompanied by a video in which the founder of the UDMF explains his motivations. [Translated from French original using Google.]
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In a statement on the UDMF website, party leader Nagib Azuergi said he ran to save France from “sinking inexorably into generalized decay,” lauding citizens who refused to “sink into fascism” and calling for calling on his followers to support his campaign. The UDMF also published a Youtube video announcing Azuergi’s candidacy.
Azergui co-founded the UDMF shortly after the 2012 French Presidential Elections, citing the failure of the Socialist government led by François Hollande to fight against the identity politics “carried out for several decades in France.” In the 2019 European elections, the party was able to secure over 29,000 votes, most of them in the communes of Garges-lès-Gonesse and Mantes-la-Jolie in the Parisian suburbs. In 2015, it had won a seat on the municipal council of Bobigny, also located on the outskirts of the French capital.
Although UDMF claims to be a non-denominational, secular, and “deeply republican” movement, several French politicians and journalists have accused the party of “communitarianism” and stoking divisions within French society. In early 2020, Bertrand Xavier, president of the Hauts-de-France region, accused the party of trying to implement gender segregation in public baths and said they believed in the inequality between men and women, to which the UDMF responded by announcing a defamation lawsuit against Xavier.
In a 2013 blog post on the party’s website since deleted, UDMF called secularism a “barrier to Islam,” which served as a “model of absolute and perfectly incoherent intolerance.” In April of the same year, a post on the UDMF blog, titled “Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia: when (sic) History repeats itself,” compared the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo to anti-Semitic publications of the 1930s. In November 2015, just days after the Islamist terrorist attacks on France, the UDMF campaigned against rising Islamophobia on the streets of Paris. The party has also come out against the ban of the hijab in schools and campaigned on developing Islamic finance as well as the French halal market. In its program, the UDMF proposed a law banning the dissemination of hate speech against the Muslim community, allowing the French Ministry of the Interior to “dissolve all Islamophobic associations or groups.”
The UDMF delegate in Gennevilliers, Abdelmajid Aodella, stated on his Facebook page that he was a graduate of the Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines, a Muslim higher education facility in rural France set up by the Council of European Muslims and its French member Musulmans de France, both organizations representing the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in Europe. Farid Omeir, head of the UDMF list in Circo Lyon Sud, has uploaded images supportive of the late Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi to his Facebook profile.
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) has long covered the activities of European political parties with ties to the GMB. This includes a November 2021 report about the Dutch Muslim party DENK, which introduced legislation allowing Utrecht municipal officers and police auxiliaries to wear the hijab as part of their uniform. In November 2020, the GIOR was among the first to report that a parliamentary candidate for the Dutch Greens party was likely the daughter of one of the most important leaders of the GMB in the Netherlands.
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