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.