By Shweta Desai
PARIS (AA) – Three organizations of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) unilaterally denounced the "charter of principles" of Islam that reaffirms compatibility of the faith with France.
They expressed disagreement about the text because it risks “weakening the bonds of trust” as well as “undermine honor of Muslims.”
The Coordination Committee of Turkish Muslims in France (CCMTF) and Milli Gorus Islamic Confederation (CMIG) along with the Faith and Practice movement, announced Jan 20, that they have not signed the charter which was approved and presented to President Emmanuel Macron.
They demanded amendments to the text of the 10 point charter which Macron helmed as “foundational text for relations between the State, Islam and France."
"We obviously agree with the demand for non-interference by States, the non-instrumentalization of religions and respect for the Constitution and the principles of the Republic," a joint statement said. "However, we believe that certain passages and formulations of the submitted text are likely to weaken the bonds of trust between the Muslims of France and the Nation. In addition, certain statements undermine the honor of Muslims, with an accusatory and marginalizing character.”
The rejection of the charter comes as France is engaged in a bitter feud with Islamic countries, including Turkey, for offensive caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.
The three groups said the charter was approved without obtaining a full consensus of other integral components of the CFCM, including the regional and departmental councils, imams who will be affected by the decision. It cited the Great Mosque of Saint Denis de la Réunion, which is one of the founding components of the CFCM, has refused to sign this charter.
After weeks of internal disagreements, the CFCM, a national body of nine associations– said it reached an agreement on the text of the charter "rejecting foreign interference, political Islam, and certain customary practices and on respecting gender equality." The agreement would pave the way for the formation of the National Council of Imams which will have powers to authorize the practice of imams.
The council will curb the entry of imams from Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, and 300 imams may be expelled, according to a report published by the France 24 news outlet.
The three organizations said that although they are convinced that the imam’s council is beneficial, it should derive its legitimacy from the Muslim population.
It underlined the need for “a broad, democratic and participatory consultation” instead of customarily signing the text that the “community cannot calmly accept.”