France: Muslim leader tells Macron not to meddle with Islam

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Macron said: “What I’d like to get done in the first half of 2018 is set down markers on the entire way in which Islam is organised in France” and “bring back what secularism is all about”

Clearly, then, he was talking about reasserting the separation of religion and state when it comes to Islam. But that was too much for the leader of the Muslims in France, Ahmet Ogras, who told Macron to back off. One would think that if the Muslims were in France to assimilate and become loyal, productive citizens, that they would have no problem with Macron’s statement. But they aren’t, and they aren’t going to accept any dictation from the President of the country. That ought to tell Macron something, but it probably won’t.

“INTERVIEW-Muslim leader urges Macron not to meddle too much in French Islam,” by Julie Carriat, Reuters, February 14, 2018:

PARIS, Feb 14 (Reuters) – A leading representative of French Muslims urged Emmanuel Macron not to meddle in the organisation of France’s second-largest religion, days after the president said he would try to redefine relations between Islam and the state.

The rebuke came from the leader of an organisation set up 15 years ago in a bid to defuse concern about radical preachers and foster a more homegrown form of Islam that would fit better with France’s traditional separation of church and state affairs.

“Everyone must stick to their role,” Ahmet Ogras, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told Reuters in an interview.

“The Muslim faith is a religion and, as such, takes care of its own household affairs. The last thing you want is the state to act as guardian,” said Ogras, a Frenchman of Turkish descent who has led the CFCM since mid-2017.

Macron, elected last May after a runoff victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen, said in a Feb. 11 newspaper interview he planned to revisit the way Islam was overseen.

“What I’d like to get done in the first half of 2018 is set down markers on the entire way in which Islam is organised in France,” he told the Journal du Dimanche. The priority would be to “bring back what secularism is all about”….

Macron has been under pressure to deal firmly with radical preachers and mosques since a wave of attacks in which Islamist militants killed more than 230 people in France since 2015….

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