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Erdoğan-Connected Turkish-French Organizations Reject Charter Aimed At Fighting Radicalization

January 28th, 2021 14:18

French media is report­ing that two Turk­ish-French orga­ni­za­tions with con­nec­tions to the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment have reject­ed a “char­ter of prin­ci­ples” writ­ten by French Mus­lim lead­ers and endorsed by Pres­i­dent Macron and which is intend­ed to fight extrem­ist teach­ing blamed for a spate of jihadist attacks. Accord­ing to the Le Figaro report:

Three fed­er­a­tions of the French Coun­cil of Mus­lim Wor­ship (CFCM) said Wednes­day in a state­ment that they refuse to sign the “char­ter of prin­ci­ples” of Islam in France as it stands, believ­ing that some pro­vi­sions risk “weak­en­ing the bonds of trust” with Mus­lims. “Some pas­sages and for­mu­la­tions of the sub­mit­ted text are like­ly to weak­en the bonds of trust between Mus­lims in France and the Nation,” deplored the Fran­co-Turk­ish asso­ci­a­tions CCMTF and CIMG France as well as the rig­orist move­ment Faith and Prac­tice. Claimed by Emmanuel Macron in the wake of his offen­sive against “sep­a­ratism”, this char­ter was ini­tialed on Sun­day Jan­u­ary 17 by five of the nine fed­er­a­tions of the CFCM after weeks of inter­nal cri­sis. After its for­mal adop­tion, it was hailed on Mon­day by the head of state as a “clear and pre­cise com­mit­ment to the Repub­lic”, fol­low­ing a meet­ing at the Elysée Palace.

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Accord­ing to the same arti­cle, the Char­ter aims to com­bat sec­tar­i­an­ism and rad­i­cal­ized teach­ings blamed for a surge in jihadist attacks in France in recent years while at the same time “stat­ing clear­ly that the prin­ci­ples of the Mus­lim faith are per­fect­ly com­pat­i­ble with the prin­ci­ples of the repub­lic.” The arti­cle explains the objec­tion which the groups have to the charter:

The Coor­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee of Turk­ish Mus­lims in France (CCMTF) as well as Mil­lî Görüs (CIMG) and the Faith and Prac­tice move­ment, close to the Tab­ligh preach­ers advo­cat­ing a rig­or­ous reli­gious prac­tice, demand “a broad, demo­c­ra­t­ic and par­tic­i­pa­to­ry con­sul­ta­tion” of their base before sign­ing a text whose spir­it they nev­er­the­less wel­come. “In order to adopt this char­ter, we must rec­og­nize our­selves in its con­tent. It would not be use­ful to sign a text that our com­mu­ni­ty can­not serene­ly accept…”

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French media has called The Coor­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee of Turk­ish Mus­lims in France (CCMTF) a “front” for DITIB (The Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs), which oper­ates about 250 of the 2,500 mosques in France, employs imams paid by Turkey, and preach­es a Turk­ish nation­al­ist Islam loy­al to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan.

The CCMTF pres­i­dent is Ahmet Ogras, a founder of the Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID; for­mer­ly Union of Euro­pean Turk­ish Democ­rats), a lob­by group serv­ing the Turk­ish gov­ern­ing par­ty AKP and which oper­ates in sev­er­al Euro­pean countries.

The Islam­ic Con­fed­er­a­tion Mil­li Görus (CIMG) is the French branch of Mil­lî Görüş, a Turk­ish reli­gious and polit­i­cal move­ment found­ed by Necmet­tin Erbakan, Erdoğan’s polit­i­cal men­tor, and which has called for an end to the sec­u­lar regime in Turkey. The GIOR has report­ed that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment is assert­ing that the AKP has inten­si­fied its rela­tions with Mil­lî Görüş in Germany.