News Agencies – June 17, 2011
As the Council Election for the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) approaches on 19 June, the organisation meant to represent Islam here is torn apart by rivalries, boycotts and bitter attacks. It appears that incumbent Mohammed Moussaoui will be returned as head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), but a boycott by the two rival Muslim federations competing with his Rally of French Muslims (RMF) group makes the victory a hollow one.
The campaign has also fuelled the ethnic tensions crippling French Islam, which is split among factions backed by Algeria, Morocco and Turkey and others who oppose any meddling from the Muslim countries that they left behind. The voting method used, which allocates electoral college delegates to each federation according to the total floor space of its mosques around the country, was the reason Moussaoui’s rivals gave for the boycott. The broader reason for the boycott is that French Muslims of Moroccan origin, although fewer than those with an Algerian background, are generally more devout and — with encouragement from Rabat and Moussaoui’s RMF — are building more mosques.