Imam of Nîmes: We can no longer tolerate murders in the name of religion
The hatred shown in the beheading of Prof. Samuel Paty is cultivated in Islamic schools and in French mosques by self-proclaimed imams. A reform of Islam is urgently needed: real elections for the French Council of Muslim worship: elimination of hadiths; erode the Islamist ghettos in the peripheries; launch a conference of all Muslims to fight terrorism. Islam is used as a political tool to put pressure on the country
Paris (AsiaNews) – Pain at the beheading of Prof. Samuel Paty, but also a profound criticism of radical Islam, which pours a culture of hatred into mosques and suburbs. Faced with this latest assassination and the growth of fundamentalist Islam in the country, Prof. Hocine Drouiche proposes new elections for the French Council of Muslim Faith, which is not representative of the Muslim population in France; the elimination of the hadith [the sayings of Muhammad, drawn up many centuries after his death, which are the basis of the sharia-ed], a national meeting of Muslims to outline teaching and theology compatible with republican modernity. For the vice-president of the French imams, fundamentalist Islam is used by internal and external enemies of France as a tool to blackmail the country.
Yesterday, meanwhile, demonstrations with tens of thousands of people were held in Paris and other cities in France to express respect for Samuel Paty and support freedom of expression, the value for which the teacher died. The police have traced the identity of the killer, the young Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov. The police also arrested about ten people, including the father of a student of Prof. Paty, who had launched a campaign against the professor on social media, guilty of having shown a satirical cartoon on Muhammad and of having invited Muslim students to leave the class, in case they were offended. The invitation was interpreted as a sign of racism and Islamophobia.
Like all our compatriots, we are all targets of this Islamist terrorist attack that struck our country last Friday.
My thoughts go first of all to the family of this man, this martyred professor and teacher of the Republic, slaughtered in his role as educator by a blind and murderous fanaticism that is gaining ground in our country every day.
The entire republic is being attacked at its very foundations and it is peaceful coexistence that is the target. All French Muslims must understand that their religion is also tainted by this heinous crime.
I ask all Muslims of good will to revolt against the immobility and corruption of their illegitimate representatives who do not propose any solution to solve this serious problem that threatens the stability of our society and its future.
The millions spent against radicalization have failed to totally eradicate the virus of religious hatred. This is nurtured directly and indirectly by an active, penetrating, separatist and anti-republican political Islam.
The government should immediately cancel the last undemocratic elections of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Worship). This non-representative institution has unjustly monopolized the representativeness of Muslims since 2003. The irony of fate is that this institution was created and made official at the time by a state decision.
Young Muslim voters, as well as republican imams who have the capacity to make proposals and reform our representative institutions, were not informed about the elections and therefore were not able to make their voices heard.
How long do we still have to accept that imams reject all of our republican values, given that this is at the very heart of the problem?
These self-proclaimed Imams, who have no theological and secular formation and who moreover have become the extremist religious reference of thousands of young people!
How can we admit that after all the attacks that have killed hundreds of our fellow citizens since 2015, and even before that dark date in our history, no extraordinary meeting of the imams of France has been held to study the causes and propose solutions to stem this terrorist drift?
We need to immediately criminalize the Islamist ideology that fights the values of the republic and whose actions increase hatred and discredit all republican Muslims who aspire to nothing more than to live in peace, within our republic one and indivisible.
It is imperative that we foster greater cultural and social diversity in our peripheries to escape from the voluntary ghettoization found on the outskirts of our big cities.
This ghettoisation has favored the development of an Islamism of brotherhood [the Muslim Brotherhood]. This is fertile ground where certain imams sow their hateful and grossly anti-French ideology. This is precisely the fertile ground of separatism, to which the president of the republic rightly referred in his last speech. Without freedom of conscience and free will, life together makes no sense.
Muslims who practice their religion in a dignified and free way thanks to the protective values of our secular republic, cannot think of enjoying the freedoms offered by our republican institutions, when these are convenient for them, and reject them when they are no longer convenient.
Without a voluntary and profound reform of the fanatical and separatist speeches and sermons, broadcast by certain imams in their mosques, the situation will only worsen. We need to act as soon as possible.
Certain texts of Islam itself, in particular the hadith, must completely disappear from the religious field in order to pacify speeches and fight hatred towards non-Muslims, a hatred that also develops towards secular and republican Muslims.
We ask for a national conference, which brings together all Muslim actors without exclusion, to take historical and radical decisions that will change the current situation at a structural level for Islam in France, but also at a theological level, to fight the virus of separatism and the terrorist temptations that divide us.
We must admit it and say it loud and clear, naming our enemies clearly: yes, France is hit by various internal and foreign forces whose main objective of revenge is to settle political and cultural accounts with our country. For this, they use a misguided Islam, exploiting Muslims as a means of pressure.
I ask all French people to remain united and in solidarity and not to fall into the trap of hatred of these separatist criminals.
* Vice-president of the Conference of Imams of France. Former candidate for leadership of the Grand Mosque of Paris