A respect for secular values should be an expectation and requirement of all Muslims immigrating to the West (along with all other adherents of any faith tradition). Indeed, an appreciation for pluralism is a major work in progress toward the evolution of the Muslim faith tradition, in which pluralism and democratic values are rejected by its normative practice under sharia law.
The key for Muslims living in the West is to reject political Islam and practice their faith in peace and respect for their host societies, as other citizens do. The French government’s mode of intervention in the promotion of a “French Islam” is counter-intuitive, as it is injecting politics into a religion that needs to be de-politicized. What’s next? A British Islam? An American Islam? A Canadian Islam?
The French government is now in a panic to regain its equilibrium of political correctness after the widespread fallout over its burkini ban at several beaches. The ban was imposed due to riots that were breaking out over the wearing of the burkini, following devastating jihadist attacks upon France that shook its citizens to the core.
“France is now looking to revive a foundation to promote an “Islam of France” that trains imams in the history of the nation and its secular values – and better tracks foreign influence on French Muslims.”
Both stealth and violent jihadists are now laughing in the face of France’s confidence that it could simply train “imams in the history of the nation and in secular values,” once again revealing a complete misunderstanding of religious zeal and the nature of political Islam, which seeks to dominate and establish a global caliphate. Most imams know more about French history, and Islamic history, than they do. French authorities are not dealing with idiots; they’re dealing with knowledgeable people, and that’s what these authorities fail to understand.
France needs to reach out to the type of Muslims who reject any notion of sharia law, political Islam and victimhood. Muslims who sincerely reject these things consider themselves (and should consider themselves) patriotic members of Western democratic society, grateful for its freedoms, and ask for no special treatment. The Investigative Project reported on a group of them here, when they spoke out on Capitol Hill.
France’s kneejerk reaction to the media circus over the burkini places it further at risk for the incursion of stealth jihadists, who work toward the same goal as their violent counterparts.
From the Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum:
“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
While France is trying to extricate itself from appearing racist, intolerant, “Islamophobic,” etc., stealth jihadists will be all too happy to partake in sabotaging its “miserable house.”
“French government convenes Muslim leaders for talks on ‘French-style Islam'”, By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press, August 29, 2016:
PARIS, FRANCE — France’s interior minister convened Muslim leaders Monday to discuss a French-style Islam that honors the nation’s secular values, a task given new urgency after deep divisions surfaced over burkini bans in 30 French beach towns and after terror attacks that also stigmatized Muslims.
A high court struck down the burkini bans Friday, but the high-pitched debate that quickly seeped into France’s political sphere revealed raw tensions between the secular establishment and sectors of France’s estimated 5 million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.
The July 14 attack on revelers in Nice, the killing of a priest in Normandy on July 26 and the June killing of a police couple in their home – all claimed by the Islamic State group – have focused tensions on Muslims.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned in an interview with France’s Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix that if the political class cannot unite all French “the dynamics of division may prove dangerous.” However, he ruled out drafting a national law banning burkinis.
The daylong conference bringing together Muslim leaders, civil society and others is the latest step in creating an “Islam of France” that respects French secular values. Muslims must be “committed to a total defense of the Republic in the face of terrorism, in the face of Salafism,” Cazeneuve told the paper, adding French values must “transcend all others.”
In France, the interior minister is charged with maintaining good relations with religious denominations.
Furor over the burkini debate has highlighted contradictions within France’s strict secularism, The Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Ford reported last week:
Laicité is a founding value of the French republic, intended to guarantee the state’s neutrality in religious affairs. It is meant to ensure there is no such thing as a state religion, nor any favoritism, allowing everyone to practice their faith freely so long as public order is maintained. It was born of a lengthy battle between the state and the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the 19th century.
But as jihadist terrorists have struck repeatedly in France, and as social tensions have mounted, political leaders on both left and right have used the principle to constrain Muslims.
Veils are banned in schools and in all public institutions such as hospitals; the niqab, covering everything but a woman’s eyes, is illegal everywhere; a number of schools that used to offer Muslim (and Jewish) kids alternative choices when pork was on the canteen lunch menu have stopped doing so.
“What is at stake is very important,” said Abdallah Zekri, who heads the Observatory Against Islamophobia. “Firstly, we must end the arguments over the burkini, which make no sense.”
He told reporters that some people wanted to use burkinis to stigmatize Muslims, while politicians looking to France 2017 presidential race seized the issue “for vote-catching reasons.”
He also contended that humiliating Muslims “has facilitated the work of Daesh (Islamic State) recruiters” of vulnerable Muslim youth.
More French Muslims have joined the ranks of Islamic State militants than from other European nations – with at least 600 French citizens in Syria or Iraq, 160 killed, and 1,800 either considering or en route.
So far this year, France has expelled 15 foreigners considered a threat – six in August and more than 80 since 2012. Some 20 mosques or prayer rooms considered imbued with radicalism have been closed in recent months.
France is now looking to revive a foundation to promote an “Islam of France” that trains imams in the history of the nation and its secular values – and better tracks foreign influence on French Muslims….