November 20, 2020

FRANCE: President Macron Issues Republican Values Ultimatum To Muslim Leaders. Response To France Ends Questions on Islamism. Global Outrage Over Macron Shows Exactly What Islamism Looks Like.

French President Emmanuel Macron says France 'will never give in'

BBC News, UK
written by Staff
Friday November 20, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Muslim leaders to agree a "charter of republican values" as part of a broad clampdown on radical Islam.

On Wednesday he gave the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) 15 days to work with the interior ministry.

The CFCM has agreed to create a National Council of Imams, which will reportedly issue imams with official accreditation which could be withdrawn.

It follows three suspected Islamist attacks in little more than a month.

The charter will state that Islam is a religion and not a political movement, while also prohibiting "foreign interference" in Muslim groups.

Mr Macron has strongly defended French secularism in the wake of the attacks, which included the beheading of a teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class discussion last month.

Late on Wednesday, the president and his interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, met eight CFCM leaders at the Élysée palace.

"Two principles will be inscribed in black and white [in the charter]: the rejection of political Islam and any foreign interference," one source told the Le Parisien newspaper after the meeting.

The formation of the National Council of Imams was also agreed upon.

President Macron has also announced new measures to tackle what he called "Islamist separatism" in France.

The measures include a wide-ranging bill that seeks to prevent radicalisation. It was unveiled on Wednesday, and includes measures such as:
  • Restrictions on home-schooling and harsher punishments for those who intimidate public officials on religious grounds
  • Giving children an identification number under the law that would be used to ensure they are attending school. Parents who break the law could face up to six months in jail as well as large fines
  • A ban on sharing the personal information of a person in a way that allows them to be located by people who want to harm them "We must save our children from the clutches of the Islamists," Mr Darmanin told the Le Figaro newspaper on Wednesday. The draft law will be discussed by the French cabinet on 9 December.
Samuel Paty, the teacher who was killed outside his school last month, was targeted by an online hate campaign before his death on 16 October.

Le Monde newspaper has published emails sent between Paty and colleagues in the days after he showed the cartoons in class.

"It's really distressing and particularly as it comes from a family whose child wasn't in my lesson and isn't someone I know," Paty wrote. "It's becoming a malicious rumour."

He later wrote in a separate email: "I won't do any more teaching on this topic - I'll choose another freedom as a subject for teaching."

Earlier this year, President Macron described Islam as a religion "in crisis" and defended the right of magazines to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Such depictions are widely regarded as taboo in Islam and are considered highly offensive by many Muslims.

Following these comments, the French leader became a figure of hate in several Muslim-majority countries. Protesters have also called for a boycott of French products.

In France, state secularism (laïcité) is central to the country's national identity. Freedom of expression in schools and other public spaces is part of that, and curbing it to protect the feelings of a particular religion is seen as undermining national unity.

France has western Europe's largest Muslim population.
Clarion Project
written by Shireen Qudosi
Tuesday November 3, 2020

Global outrage over Macron shows exactly what Islamism looks like.

If there is one silver lining that comes out of the horror show that has been 2020, it should be that moving forward there is no further question or confusion about whether political Islam, i.e. Islamism, exists or what it looks like.

As yet another Islamist attack unfolds in Vienna, the tragic series of events out of France in recent weeks that began with the beheading of a French teacher by an 18-year-old Chechen immigrant who arrived in France as a child refugee, followed by the global reaction of Islamist leaders and organizations to France’s reaction to the attack (including in the U.S.), offers a full picture of how Islamism operates on multiple levels.

As reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, in New York, a group of mosques planned to protest outside the French consulate over their outrage of what they called French President Emmanuel Macron’s “vilification of Islam.”

Reacting to the attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that France “will not give in to terrorism.” He labeled the latest attacks “Islamist and terrorist madness.” Macron also stood by France’s commitment to free speech and the “right to blaspheme,” including the right to publish cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

He said that while he could understand Muslim outrage over the publication of such cartoons by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, such outrage could never justify violence.

Macron was already in the crosshairs of French Islamists and their global compatriots for a speech he made on October 2 in which he stated that Islam was “in crisis globally.” In the speech, he announced a plan to tackle Islamist extremism in France.

In a statement, Majlis Ash-Shura, the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, wrote:
“The French President is directly provoking the Muslim world in his support of offensive and vulgar depictions of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Moreover, he continues to directly terrorize the French Muslim community by raiding private homes and mosques over baseless accusations in the aftermath of the attack against a French teacher.

Prior to this incident, President Macron was already on a crusade against Muslim communities and basic religious practices, in the name of secularization and assimilation. France’s targeting of French Muslims seeks nothing but to further alienate an already marginalized community through religious discrimination and continue their historical mission of ‘civilizing’ communities they deem to be backwards by their own standards.

The Muslim world will not tolerate such blatant disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and stands in solidarity with their French Muslim brothers and sisters.”
The protest took place Sunday, November 1. There was no mention of the subsequent French terror attacks, including a second beheading in Nice.
What exactly is the legacy of Prophet Muhammad?

Islam is what its followers practice. In my lifetime, Islam’s legacy has been deadly violence, rage and a dangerously obsessive fixation on identity and prophet-worship. And why is it Muhammad’s legacy when Islam’s origin story is as it’s believed, derived not from man but from God?

Qadhi’s message, like those of many of his peers, does not mention God. The focus is love for the prophet, and in his name, killing for the prophet. This is at its heart one of the most broken things about what Islam has become in the 21st century: Idol worship.

Whether it’s from scholars or political figures, this distorted understanding of what Islam is, fuels the behavior that attempts to use force and untempered emotion to shift the political needle. Often driving that needle is this idea of “Islamophobia” and the claim of victimhood status. It’s a tactic used strategically when it’s advantageous to the cause (pointedly, it’s never used when Islamist organizations silence other Muslims, or when China freely carries out a genocide against Muslims, to name two examples).

Outside the U.S., Islamist leaders of Muslim nations are using the same strategy to exact policy changes from the West. One of the biggest drivers of this narrative, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, called for a boycott of French products, a measure supported by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and the U.S. organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

CAIR is also pushing for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to investigate the treatment of the French Muslim community. The “treatment” CAIR is referring to is Macron’s clampdown on mosques that support the rhetoric of hateful imams, including those that posted content inciting anger against the now-beheaded French teacher.

How do Muslims understand Islam?

At the heart of this problem is that Islam’s “image” is currently managed and run by special interest groups, activists, hateful imams, politicians and other snake oil salesmen who are more interested in exploiting the West’s sympathy for what it sees as a marginalized community than they are in understanding and representing the teachings of the faith with stoicism, integrity and honesty.

This lot includes world leaders who use their global platform and power to act as warmongers under the banner of religious tolerance, as in the case of former Malaysian prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who said that Muslims have the right to “kill millions of French people.”

This mindset connects violent and non-violent Islamists — from lone attackers in France to a nation-state leader thousands of miles away. While some point to the events in France and label them a “jihadist mindset,” I argue that we have a bigger problem: the “Islamist mindset.” While of course, most Muslims don’t support or advocate for violence, many of them — after watching the events in France — question the right to free speech — not the killing.

Macron is right to fight the Islamist separatism currently tearing France apart. The good news is that he has Muslim allies — those who see Islamism for the poison it is — to do so. French-Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, president of the Conference of Imams in France, went on record last month to denounce the murders and to call Islamism a disease and a poison.

Egyptian liberal journalist Khaled Montaser called the attacks in France “our backwardness … the worst insult to the Prophet.” In the West, author and journalist Tarek Fatah offered a series of critiques including calling out the hypocrisy of Islamists, who the next day are in line for visas to travel and live in the same Western countries they condemn.

To challenge Islamism, we cannot let the violence and tantrums of Islamists, no matter how great their status is on the world stage, to dominate the narrative. The story of Islam is still being written, and for it to have space in the future world of people, it must be an Islam in which its adherents have evolved beyond the identity forged by Islamists.

Islamism is a distortion of the Islamic faith, and it’s been a thorn in the side of any meaningful and lasting progress within Islamic theology for centuries. In the West, Islamists have used Islamism to weaponize the faith, silence critics and curtail — if not attempt to completely annihilate — free speech.

The events coming out of France are a live demonstration of how Islamists operate — from activism to violence, across individuals, organizations and world leaders.
UPDATE 11/20/20 at 3:45pm: Added info below.

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