Key Muslim figures slammed the proposals. These disputes – over Syria, Libya, Nato, gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and Armenia – each have their own context and specifics, but they all stem from a French suspicion of Erdoğan’s ambitions to lead a revived Sunni Islam. On October 2, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, delivers a speech to present his strategy for fighting separatism. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, responded by saying France would not “renounce the caricatures”. It barely did so in Libya and didn’t do so at all with regard to its Russia reset. Le Train Bleu restaurant in Doha, “a quintessential Parisian dining experience” in Qatar, is for instance hurriedly re-sourcing its products. Having asserted that Islam is “in crisis all over the world today,” Macron has now gone further by proclaiming France’s staunch support for the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that originally enraged the young murderer. “Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country” His comments prompted a huge backlash from Muslims on social media, with French Academic Rim-Sarah Alaoune, tweeting: “President Macron described Islam as … “We need to free Islam in France from its foreign influences.”. Rabat – The Secretary-General of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, Ali al-Qaradaghi, has criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for his recent speech against Islam. Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) was one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. On 6 October, when Samuel Paty, a popular history and geography teacher at a school in a quiet Paris suburb, presented a copy of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that provoked the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine five years ago, he self-evidently had no idea of the tragic consequence for his own life, French society or France’s relations with the Islamic world. “0ur challenge is to fight against those who go off the rails in the name of religion, while protecting those who believe in Islam and are full citizens of the Republic.”. Incidentally, the day that Macron chose for this announcement was Oct 2. It would be easy to think that Macron, facing record Covid infections, might look at his in-tray and back off. ), For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com, Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Coronavirus updates: 'Explosive' surge in California; Trump appointee pushed herd immunity, 'we want them infected,' report says, Virginia GOP censures lawmaker who officiated gay wedding. He first proposed to reform Islam along French lines. A draft bill will be unveiled in mid-October but is unlikely to have sweeping effects before the 2022 presidential election. “We don’t believe in political Islam that is not compatible with stability and peace in the world.”. By championing freedom from religion while trampling freedom of religion, Macron is … LES MUREAUX, France (AFP) — French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a plan Friday to defend France’s secular values against radical Islam, announcing stricter oversight of … Islamic separatism, which Macron describes as a deviation of Islam, is “a conscious, theorised, politico-religious project, which is materialised by … (Updates with quotes, context throughout. “We need to build an Islam of enlightenment,” he added, referring to the philosophical movement that promoted the separation of church and state. Emmanuel Macron gives a speech on secularism on 2 October, before the death of Samuel Paty, in which he said Islam was ‘experiencing a crisis across the world’. To hear these figures mentioned in a political speech is quite something — it shows Macron is preparing for intellectual battle, invoking the Islamic adversaries of the extremists. He spoke of concrete actions such as training imams in France and curtailing homeschooling and the influence of foreign countries on France’s Muslim populations. In the Mediterranean, he equates Greek interests with those of Europe, leaving Germany to mediate. What was intended as a classroom exploration of the freedom of thought has turned into a mini-clash of civilisations. Various factions in Lebanon, whose political reform Macron is eagerly pursuing, issued statements calling for greater respect for religious sensitivities. Macron’s definition of radical Islam stops at French Muslims speaking in Arabic or other languages or wearing headscarves and other religious clothing. Days before Paty’s killing, Macron had made a controversial speech. A minority of the country’s estimated six million Muslims risk forming a ‘counter-society’, he said. But he appears to have done the opposite, ringing the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, with the Chechen origins of Paty’s alleged assailant in mind, to urge him to redouble Russia’s efforts to cooperate on terrorism. To underline his points, Macron chose to speak in Les Mureaux, a sprawling suburb northwest of Paris plagued by social and economic problems, where a policeman was gunned down during a wave of extremist violence in 2015 and 2016. French President Emmanuel Macron seems a worried man. In a landmark speech in October, French President Emmanuel Macron committed to defend secularism against Islamist separatism, adding that a … The ministry did not specify Macron's statement that is deemed disrespectful. Yes, Islam Is Facing a Crisis. Even before the incidents Mr. Macron had made a major speech about Islamist “separatism.” He aims to limit the sponsoring of imams by foreign governments. France is in the throes of a bloody struggle with what seems like the whole Muslim world. No, France Isn’t Helping Solve It. He also referred to the 1905 law on secularism that allows people to belong to any faith they choose, but he said, obvious displays of any religious affiliation won’t be tolerated in schools or the public service. “What we should attack is Islamist separatism,” Macron said at the beginning of his hourlong speech, which was supposed to tackle all forms of “separatisms” such as religious sects or the far right but ended up being only about Islamism. In a controversal speech in early October, before Paty's murder, Macron vowed to fight "Islamist separatism" with a new law that will "reinforce secularism" in France. Being tough on Islamist separatism, and paying a price globally, hardly wounds him with waverers on the right. It does not extend to regimes in the Middle East who commit massacres , murder journalists or imprison dissidents for tweets. A recent survey by the Odoxa pollsters showed the majority of voters support his proposed anti-separatism legislation. The French state is partly responsible for the “ghettoization” of communities where radical Islamists have taken root because it hasn’t paid them enough attention, he said. Domestically, he faces the first round of the French presidential elections in April 2022, and his challenge will come from the security-minded right, either the centre-right Les Républicains or the far-right Marine Le Pen, with whom he is neck and neck in the polls. A complex speech such as this does not take long to be distorted and become a source of grievance abroad, especially in Turkey, since as many as half of the imams in France are Turkish. A large number of people who responded to the Odoxa poll said they fear the new measures may deepen fractures in French society. He first proposed to reform Islam … It contained a number of proposals to regulate imams and mosques. Bruno Tertrais at the French Foundation for Strategic Research argues: “France itself does not always consult its allies or seek their support before taking diplomatic initiatives. A little over two weeks ago, Macron gave a landmark speech detailing his strategy to counter what he described as the ways radical Islam has infiltrated French society. A protest in Istanbul on Sunday, the day after the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, described Macron as mentally ill. He warns that the Nato alliance may become brain dead since Turkey, a fellow member, is ambivalent about the defence of western values. Macron has drawn angry responses from Muslim leaders and falls for boycotts on French products in the Muslim world after suggesting that "Islam is a religion in crisis" in a speech on Oct 2. Karman urged Macron to speak about Islam with respect and acceptance, instead of accusations against his citizens who follow the faith. (Bloomberg Opinion) -- French President Emmanuel Macron seems a worried man. In Syria, Macron objects to the Turkish attacks on the Kurdish YPG militia, France’s allies in the war against Isis. ... (PBUH) during a class on freedom of speech. His proposals include stricter oversight of … Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy harbored similar ambitions to “re-organize Islam,” and Macron said it was necessary to keep trying to “defend the republic and its values and ensure it respects its promises of equality and emancipation.”, “I don’t think we need a form of French-style Islam,” he said. Throughout the speech, Macron sought to assure Muslims that he’s not targeting Islam, saying things like, let us not fall into the trap laid by extremists “who aim to stigmatize all Muslims.”. France urges end to boycott of French goods as Macron defends Muhammad cartoons. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Earlier this month, the French President Emmanuel Macron took the stage at city hall in the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux to deliver one of the most consequential speeches of his career. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. After the murder of Samuel Paty, the French middle-school teacher murdered by a Muslim Chechen for including cartoons of Muhammad in a lesson on free speech, President Macron refused to condemn those cartoons, angering many Muslims around the world, for whom the Prophet is “the most sacred thing in Islam.” Macron doesn’t need to insult Islam to defend free speech Determined to resolve the 'crisis' of Islam, Macron and his supporters assume that the right to offend the devout is an essential step in the path to secular enlightenment. Ten days later, Paty was killed, allegedly by a Russian-born teenager of Chechen heritage, sending an electric shock into France’s long debate about secularism, or laïcité. The French calculation is that Erdoğan will succumb to pressure. A series of policy pledges to tackle what he calls Islamic separatism. ‘Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today’, says Macron, as he unveils plan to defend secularism. “Where we stepped away, they stepped in.” France’s colonial history meanwhile left scars that never healed. But to diminish his conflict with extremism into a narrow calculation of personal political advantage is to misunderstand his intellectual journey on secularism in office, and the way in which the issue is central to his foreign policy outlook including his attitude to Turkey, Russia, Nato and the Middle East. Emmanuel Macron recently announced that he wanted to end ‘Islamic separatism’ in France. He more and more openly sides with Armenia. President has become a hate figure in Islamic world over response to death of Samuel Paty, Last modified on Mon 26 Oct 2020 20.50 GMT. “Secularism is the cement of a united France,” Macron said in a long-awaited speech on Friday. Islamic separatism, which Macron describes as a deviation of Islam, is “a conscious, theorised, politico-religious project, which is materialised by repeated discrepancies with the values of the republic, which often results in the creation of a counter-society and whose manifestations are the dropping out of school of children, the development of sports, cultural and communal practices which are the pretext for the teaching of principles which do not conform to the laws of the republic”. His calculation will be that so long as he makes the final round, the left as before has nowhere else to go. He first proposed to reform Islam along French lines. Macron after all had tackled the debate about Islamist extremism before Paty’s death in his speech on 2 October on secularism – an hour-long address in which he attempted to be nuanced on how to integrate Islam and French secularism. Either way this is not a fight Macron is likely to abandon. Since then Macron has been described as mentally ill by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; his ambassador to Pakistan has been summoned to condemn incitement of Islamophobia; and from Sana’a to Riyadh he has become a one-man axis of evil. French products are the subject of a boycott. The call in some accounts took the form of a lecture, and in others an appeal to cooperate more closely in a common cause. Then after the vicious killing of … French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a trip on the theme of the republican reconquest and the fight against Islamist separatism … In a keenly awaited speech, Mr Macron said a minority of France's estimated six million Muslims were in danger of forming a "counter-society". The reaction to President Emanuel Macron’s speech on the need for an enlightened Islam provided evidence enough of this.Within days of his speech, schoolteacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on the street for showing the iconic 2015 Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Muhammad to his class. Many Europeans worry about Macron’s somewhat Gaullist, or France-first, approach. But Erdoğan will draw his own strength from the condemnations of Macron across the Arab world. In short order, events seemed to conspire to underline his point. Macron has long sought a reset with Moscow by joining forces against terrorism. He declared that “Islam is a religion that is in crisis today all over the world”, “plagued by radical temptations and by a yearning for a reinvented jihad which is the destruction of the other”. Macron’s clash with Islam: secularism or oppression? In Libya, his initial objection to Islamist influence in Tripoli’s Government of National Accord has morphed into a conflict with Turkey after Ankara sprang to the GNA’s aid. Last Friday, Macron announced a controversial plan against so-called "Islamist separatism" in the country. Amar Lasfar, the rector of the Lille-Sud mosque, said that much of what Macron outlined “doesn’t fall under the remit of the state.”. President Emmanuel Macron outlined new proposals he said aim to fight organizations and individuals that threaten the unity and secular values of the French Republic, chief among them: radical Islam. The comments risk alienating France’s large Muslim population, many of whom already feel singled out by measures such as a ban on veils in public schools. “We must help this religion organize itself so that it’s a partner for the Republic,” Macron said. In a speech in the western Paris suburb of Les Mureaux -- an area with a large Muslim population -- Macron claimed that Islam is "experiencing a crisis across the world". There is a broader context at play here which has to do with the nature of the French Republic. In the passage has proved most provocative in Turkey, he said: “Islam is a religion that is experiencing a crisis across the world,” in reference to Islamic State jihadism and also Wahhabism, the Saudi extremist ideology, and Salafism. After returning, Macron delivered a provocative speech about the crisis of Islam that quickly went viral around the world. By raising the stakes, and keeping them high, Macron is also trying to make others recognise they cannot stay neutral. Chems-eddine Hafiz, rector of the Paris mosque, described them as “gimmicks” in an editorial in Le Monde newspaper,and called for collective action rather than “a communication coup” before elections. “Macron has delivered his irresponsible inflammatory speech against Muslims and their religion to satisfy a group of fanatics so that they will vote for him,” she added. The statement sparked criticism among Muslims worldwide. Macron has been trying to counter accusations that he’s soft on crime, including militant Islam -- topics becoming so key ahead of local elections next year that he skipped a meeting of European Union leaders to make the speech. Macron Rolls Out Vision to Reorganize Islam in France. There were also balancing passages about the state as guarantor of the freedom of religion, economic disenfranchisement, and the French colonial legacy. Macron has been trying to counter accusations that he’s soft on crime, including militant Islam -- topics becoming so key ahead of local elections next year that he … Macron thanked ministers for their help in putting together the proposals, among them Gerald Darmanin, a conservative close to Sarkozy who was named interior minister in July. The Turkish lira is at a new low, and there are only so many fronts on which an autocratic leader can fight. But more importantly, Turkey is already in a number of disputes with France. On Monday, he explicitly joined the call for a boycott of French goods, and claimed: “It becomes more and more difficult to be a Muslim and live an Islamic lifestyle in western countries.” This has a long way to run. Macron Doesn’t Need to Insult Islam to Defend Free Speech (Bloomberg Opinion) -- French President Emmanuel Macron seems a worried man. Muslims have also been angered by Macron’s comments earlier this month that Islam is “a religion that is in crisis all over the world today”. Perhaps if Macron had nurtured ties with France’s eastern European Nato allies and EU members, he would have gained more early support for his stance against Turkey and more trust for his Russia diplomacy.”. His net disapproval rating as president is -24%. And when his attention was brought to an accusation in a tweet by far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon during a question-and-answer session that it was an anti-Muslim speech, Macron said, “I don’t have the feeling that my speech was against Muslims, quite the contrary.”, Yet the president depicted a grim picture of the state of Islam, saying it was “in crisis, including in countries where it is a majority religion.”. Radical Islam stops at French Muslims speaking in Arabic or other languages or wearing headscarves and religious... 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