The Council of European Muslims (CEM) has issued a statement criticizing French President Macron for a speech on combating Islamist separatism given in early October. According to the statement:
The recent speech by French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he presented his plan to combat what he called “Islamic separatism,” has sparked different reactions. The Council of European Muslims raises deep concerns over the negative implications of this speech.
In this regard, the Council of European Muslims affirms that:
- The council considers the use of the term “Islamic separatism” to specifically target the Muslim community offensive.
- As we strongly support the efforts fighting extremism, we also reject any threat to public and religious freedoms.
- By describing Islam as “a religion that is in crisis all over the world,” Macron has targeted all Muslims inside and outside of France and threatened the social coherence and peace.
Read the rest here.
In his speech, Macron proposed legislation requiring private schools to agree to teach secular values in an effort to combat the favoring of religious rules over republican laws among the country’s growing Muslim population. Other proposals include stricter control over foreign funding of mosques as well as requirements that imams are trained and certified in France. French PM Manuel Valls has recently said the law’s real subject was the battle against the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.
After the beheading of a French geography teacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class in mid-October 2020, the country’s government ordered a crackdown on groups accused of radicalism, carrying out dozens of raids and temporarily shutting down mosques. Following these actions, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that, as part of this crackdown, the French interior minister indicated he wants to dissolve the Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France, an Islamist influence operation with multiple relationships to organizations that are part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, a transnational Islamist network covered by the GIOR.
The Council of European Muslims (CEM), previously known as The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), is an umbrella group that comprises the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. The CEM has strong ties to Hamas and Hamas fund-raising organizations, and in the past, some of its member organizations have shown evidence of links with Al-Qaida. The FIOE has also spawned numerous other organizations, including the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and the Forum of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO).