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France's Macron issues 'republican values' ultimatum to Muslim leaders

November 20, 2020 6:08 am
Protesters have condemned President Macron over his comments about Islam [Source: BBC]

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Muslim leaders to accept 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) a 15-day ultimatum to accept the charter.

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to create a National Council of Imams, which will reportedly issue imams with official accreditation which could be withdrawn.

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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.

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