British media is reporting that the French government is trying to stop a Turkish Islamist group from receiving a local government subsidy in connection with the construction of a “grand mosque” in Strasbourg. According to The Times’ report:
March 25, 2021 The French government has accused Strasbourg’s city council of assisting “interference” from Turkey by agreeing to subsidise a grand mosque being built by a diaspora group. Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, has ordered the state prefect to oppose a €2.5 million subsidy approved by the city’s mayor, claiming that the Eyub Sultan mosque is part of President Erdogan’s drive to expand his brand of politically oriented Islam. […]
It is being built by the Milli Gorus Islamic Confederation, a pan-European movement for the Turkish diaspora. The organisation, which has close ties to the Turkish government, has fallen foul of Macron’s campaign to curb the preaching of radical Muslim doctrines and halt the foreign financing of mosques and schools. It was among three of the nine branches of the French Islam Council that refused to sign a charter promoted by the government last January.
Read the rest here (paywall).
The Islamic Confederation Milli Görus (Confédération Islamique du Millî Görüs en France; CIMG) is the French branch of Millî Görüş, a Turkish Islamist movement founded by Necmettin Erbakan, Turkish President Erdoğan’s political mentor. Millî Görüş has called for an end to the secular regime in Turkey. The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) has reported on German government assertions that Erdoğan’s AKP party has intensified its relations with Millî Görüş in Germany as well as about CIMG’s rejection of the charter identified above. Other relevant GIOR reporting has included:
- This week, we reported that the German branch of Millî Görüş sold a book calling for death to those who insult the Prophet Mohammed and approving “light beating” for women at its bookstore before pulling the book from its shelves.
- In December 2020, we reported on Millî Görüş cooperating with DITIB, the French branch of the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, in France.
- In November 2020, we published an analysis about the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), which wrote the charter that CIMG rejected.