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New French Imam Supervisory Body Includes French Global Muslim Brotherhood Leaders

March 22nd, 2021 13:55

French media is report­ing that the Nation­al Coun­cil of Imams, a new­ly estab­lished super­vi­so­ry body over­see­ing the train­ing of the country’s imams, includes two French Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­ers. Accord­ing to the L’Alsace arti­cle:

March 9, 2021 Under pres­sure from the gov­ern­ment, the Mus­lim faith con­tin­ues to take steps to bet­ter orga­nize itself. After the char­ter of the prin­ci­ples of Islam pre­sent­ed this Jan­u­ary by the CFCM (French Coun­cil of the Mus­lim Faith), comes the Nation­al Coun­cil of Imams. It is intend­ed to super­vise the recruit­ment of min­is­ters of reli­gion, to “label” the imams in a way, but also to accom­pa­ny their train­ing. (…) At the start, only five fed­er­a­tions are part of what is still only a draft of the nation­al struc­ture. Each has two rep­re­sen­ta­tives. [Trans­lat­ed from French using DeepL.]

Read the rest here.

The arti­cle goes on to state these rep­re­sen­ta­tives include Fran­co-Alger­ian imam Mes­saoud Boumaza from the Musul­mans de France (MF), and Lar­bi Bechri, Sci­en­tif­ic Direc­tor of the edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ty Insti­tut Européen des Sci­ences Humaines (IESH) in Château-Chi­non, which was co-found­ed by MF’s pre­de­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion. Both orga­ni­za­tions are tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a transna­tion­al Islamist influ­ence net­work cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR).

The Nation­al Coun­cil of Imams was set up after pres­sure from the French gov­ern­ment to free the country’s imam edu­ca­tion from for­eign influ­ence as part of a broad clam­p­down on Islamism. In Octo­ber 2020, the GIOR report­ed that French Pres­i­dent Macron had held a speech announc­ing a tougher stance on groups accused of rad­i­cal­ism, car­ry­ing out dozens of raids and tem­porar­i­ly shut­ting down mosques. A 2018 study on Islam­ic insti­tu­tions in France con­clud­ed that Islamists have an “intel­lec­tu­al monop­oly” over pub­lic debate among Mus­lims in France and that the state should inter­vene to lim­it for­eign influ­ence over worshippers.

Oth­er report­ing by the GIOR about Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups try­ing to influ­ence French pol­i­tics regard­ing Islam has included:

  • An Octo­ber 2020 report that the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood had warned Mus­lims against trav­el­ing to France, aid­ing Turk­ish boy­cott efforts after France had pledged to tack­le Islamist separatism.
  • A Novem­ber 2020 analy­sis of how for­eign and transna­tion­al actors, includ­ing Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups, are influ­enc­ing France’s offi­cial Mus­lim rep­re­sen­ta­tive body.
  • A Novem­ber 2020 report that the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood had issued a state­ment con­demn­ing Macron, accus­ing him of Islam­o­pho­bia and warn­ing his nation, was steer­ing towards its past colo­nial racism.
  • A March 2021 view­ing rec­om­men­da­tion of a doc­u­men­tary exam­in­ing how a Qatari char­i­ty described as the “reli­gious soft pow­er of Doha” is fund­ing numer­ous Euro­pean Islam­ic Cen­ters, includ­ing those in France.