Officials of the Islamic religion presented to Macron, who received them on Wednesday evening at the Elysee Palace, the guidelines for the formation of a national council of imams responsible for issuing credits to Muslim clerics in France and withdrawing them from them when necessary, which the French President requested to form.
The French presidency said that Macron also asked Muslim leaders “to draw up within 15 days a charter of republican values that includes an affirmation of recognizing the values of the republic, and specifies that Islam in France is a religion and not a political movement.”
She also explained that the French president also requested that the charter “stipulate an end to interference or affiliation with foreign countries.”
The meeting and the idea of the council sparked widespread debate on social media platforms. French parliamentarian Dyard Eric questioned the effectiveness of the Council of Imams, pointing to “the internal divisions they suffer from.”
— Eric Diard (@DiardEric) November 19, 2020
“How would France react in the event that associations fighting anti-Semitism in any of the Central European countries turned into a target for the authorities that threatened to dissolve them,” wrote political analyst Francois Burgat on Twitter.
How would France react if, in such or such a country in Central Europe, associations fighting against#antisemitism became the target of the authorities, who would threaten to dissolve them? #CCIF #Macron #Darmanin #Slave #Islamophobia
– francois burgat (@frburgat) November 18, 2020
“Macron is not there to regulate religion, but he is there to support secularism and ensure its respect,” said journalist Dyke Odoi.
“I say that #Macron is not there to organize religion but that it is there to ensure respect for secularism “.@diaz_edwige , BN member of @RNational-off reacts to the meeting between the pdt and representatives of the #CFCM last night.
She was the guest of the 7:50 a.m. @franceinfo pic.twitter.com/FGYfwNRRCJ
— Daïc Audouit (@daicaudouit) November 19, 2020
On Wednesday, the French government put the final touches on a bill against what it calls “Islamic extremism”, announced by President Emmanuel Macron after the killing of the teacher who had shown offensive cartoons of the Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, to his students.
The project includes tightening control over the funding of associations and punishing incitement to hate online.
The bill, called the “Bill to Promote Republican Values,” criminalizes anyone who shares information about a person that causes his identity or whereabouts to be revealed to people who want to harm him.
The bill, drafted by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanan and Justice Minister Eric DeBon-Moretti, would require each child to be given an identification number to ensure they go to school.
He said Darmanan newspaper “Le Figaro”, on Wednesday, he “must save our children from the grip of the Islamists.”
The bill also aims to combat hatred on the Internet similar to that of the teacher, and to ensure the “prompt appearance” of the accused before the courts, Debon-Moretti told RTL radio.
The bill sets specific penalties for being subjected to state employees or elected officials on the basis of religion (or the threat of violence or harassment).
The bill states that every association receiving financial support must “respect the principles and values of the republic”, and foreign donations exceeding 10 thousand euros will be considered resources that must be declared for tax.
The text is keen to “ensure the transparency of the conditions of the practice of religion” by changing the 1905 law on the separation of church and state in splitting the financing of cultural societies in terms of enhancing transparency.
One of the chapters of the law also aims to avoid the control of what he calls “extremists” over mosques, and to prevent people from going to places of worship “in the event of a conviction for inciting terrorist acts or inciting discrimination, hatred or violence.”
“We will know who is financing who is on our lands and give more capacity to the government agency to track money (to prevent all unwanted flows,” Darmanan explained to Le Figaro.
With regard to education, the draft law provides for combating illegal association schools and ending home education for all children from the age of three “except for very limited reasons related to the status of the child or his family.”
Other chapters exist on prohibiting virginity certificates and strengthening the legal arsenal against polygamy and forced marriage.