French Muslim Council Says Violence In Name Of Religion Unjustifiable

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th October, 2020) Committing crimes in the name of islam can not be justified, Abdallah Zekri, the director-general of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), told Sputnik after an attacker armed with a knife killed two people by beheading and fatally stabbed another person in the French city of Nice earlier in the day.

France is experiencing national dismay in the wake of an increasing Islamic threat following the brutal murder of French history teacher Samuel Paty by beheading at the hands of a radicalized Chechen teenager in mid-October. The motive for the killing was the use of caricatures of Islamic prophet Mohammad by Paty to teach his students freedom of speech.

"It is unacceptable to approve of such actions. Even the prophet, if he was alive, I do not think that he would have approved that someone was killed for his sake ... Unfortunately, they kill in the name of our religion, and we become victims and hostages of these terrorists. And this is unacceptable," Zekri, who also heads the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) non-profit organization, said.

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed that the government would step up efforts to curb Islamic radicalism in the country. When asked about a law proposed by Macron to fight "Islamist separatism," Zekri said that he needs to read the law first before giving his opinion on it.

"We have not read this bill. They [the government] should send it to us. I am not saying that I support it. I need to read the bill to talk about it. I have already condemned the term 'Islamic separatism.' If there is separatism, you need to talk about separatism in the plural, because there is no Islamic separatism, there are many separatist movements in France," the CFCM director-general said.

Zekri added that by saying "we," he means all organizations that oversee religious affairs, including "Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant or any other faith."

"The President of the Republic, together with the Minister of Internal Affairs [Gerald Darmanin], promised to send us this bill so that we could review it, make comments, and, if necessary, make proposals," Zekri said.

When commenting on Darmanin's decision to monitor Islamist propaganda, Zekri said that he knows of a mosque in Marseille where a person is making speeches that are "unacceptable in Algeria, in Morocco, or in any other country. Why does he make them in France then?"

In conclusion, the CFCM director-general said that Muslims "want to live in peace" and the majority is suffering because of the statements made by a "few people."

The CFCM is the official elected body that serves as the interlocutor of French authorities in the regulation of Muslim affairs.