“The Grand Mosque of Paris and its National Federation (FGMP) calls on France’s Muslims to vote en masse for the candidate Emmanuel Macron who, regarding Republican values and the strict application of laïcité, personifies the route to hope and confidence in the spiritual forces and citizens of the nation” said Dalil Boubakeur, the mosque’s rector.
Before the second round “which will determine the future of France and its minorities, all Frenchmen must remain united against the threat of dangerous xenophobic beliefs in order to sustain national unity,” Boubakeur added. The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) also tweeted for “Republican mobilization,” before the second round of elections.
The Grand Mosque of Paris will pull out of a new, state-sponsored Muslim foundation, criticizing “interference” in how Islam is exercised, at a time of simmering tensions surrounding France’s second-largest faith, its spokesman said.
The mosque, which represents some 250 Muslim associations, called in a statement for other Muslim groups to follow suit and “reject all attempts of stewardship” by the state.
“We’re happy to have the state create a foundation, but the president must be Muslim and it must be done in collaboration with Muslims, we don’t want it imposed,” said Slimane Nadour, the mosque’s communications director.
But Abdallah Zekri, secretary-general of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, an umbrella body, suggested the mosque was peeved that its head, Dalil Boubakeur, was not tapped as foundation president. “We need a foundation,” he said.
The annual CRIF dinner on February 23 was marked by absences of Muslim representatives, who decided to boycott the night following Cukierman’s remarks on Europe 1. “All violence today is committed by young Muslims,” even if “of course it’s a little minority of the Muslim community and Muslims are the first victims,” he had previously stated. Cukierman later clarified his statement, “I only shed light on the fact that all the terrorists who committed murders recently claimed Islam [as their religion], and that the first victims of these terrorists, are Muslims.”
Mohammed Mossaoui, President of the Union of Mosques in France and Dalil Boubakeur, President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, decided to skip the dinner. “I learned of this decision with deep regret,” said Mr. Cukierman before stating, “I called Mr. Boubakeur to try and change his mind…It was neither to amalgamate or to stigmatize. It had to do with the facts…I told Mr. Boubakeur that our long and sincere friendship must overcome this problem because what matters, it’s living together in harmony…Jews, Muslims, we are all in the same boat, I hope that contact will be quickly restored.”
The CRIF President was also criticized for stating in the same interview that Marine Le Pen was “irreproachable.” Cukierman later explained that Marine Le Pen was “irreproachable” from a legal standpoint. “But she is someone we don’t want anything to do with, for she has never distanced herself from her father’s remarks,” he concluded.
“The French Council of the Muslim Faith and French Muslims condemn with the greatest resolve the terrorist attack of exceptional violence committed against Charlie Hebdo. This barbaric act of extreme gravity is also an attack on democracy and freedom of the press.
Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families and we express our complete solidarity during this terrible ordeal.
In an international political circumstance filled with tensions fueled by terrorist groups unfairly claiming Islam as their own, we call on all those who are committed to the Republic’s values and to democracy to avoid provocations that only serve to add fuel to the fire.
Faced with this national tragedy, we call on the Muslim community to exercise the utmost vigilance against any possible manipulations from extremist groups of any kind.”
Dr. Dalil Boubakeur
President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith
The Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn “without any ambiguity” the brutality of jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq “that no cause, and certainly no religion, could justify.” Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, responded.
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue highlighted in a statement that the situation of Christians and members of the Yazidi community requires “a clear and courageous position on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims.” It stated: “Everyone must unanimously and unambiguously condemn these crimes and denounce the use of religion to justify them.”
Echoing the Vatican, the Great Mufti Chawki Allam, who represents the highest religious authority in Egypt, stated that the Islamic State is “an extremist and bloodthirsty group and is a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing their image, shedding blood and spreading corruption.”
Boubakeur also responded: “I hope that Muslim countries can leave behind their hesitation and cold indifference concerning the massacres of Christians and of Yazidis. It’s a case where Muslims must not be silent, it’s my personal belief.” According to Boubakeur, “Muslims are still not in a phase where they express themselves, they are in situations that may explain, but not excuse, their relative lack of expression about the work of radicals.”
Facing the chaos of jihadists in the Islamic State of Ira, France’s Muslim community has not stayed silent. Instead, it has voiced its support for the Christian and Yezidi minorities that are currently being persecuted in Iraq.
“Faced with the challenges of fanatics and extremists from all sides, believers and humanists from all cultures and religions must mobilize to bring together peoples and communities. It’s about building ‘bridges’ while some would build ‘walls’” affirmed Anouar Kbibech, president of the Rally of Muslims in France (RMF) when responding to the “jihadist threat” of the “so-called Islamic State” proclaimed in Iraq.
As they have already stated on numerous occasions, French Muslim authorities stress that Islam is a “religion of peace” and maintain that it must not be associated with any form of terrorism. “Any crime of terror is an attack against all of humanity” stated Kamel Kabtane, rector of the Great Mosque of Lyon and Laid Bendidi, president of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith (CRCM), addressing the acts of violence perpetrated by the Islamic State against Christian Iraqis.
Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), called on “Muslim countries to leave behind their cold indifference concerning the massacres of Christians and Yazidis.” The RMF stated that Islam is deeply committed to religious freedom as stated in the Quranic verse (2:256) “Al Baqara: no constraint in religion.”
July 16, 2014
Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, called for peace and “strongly recommends respect for places of worship” following the incidents on Sunday, July 13 in front of two synagogues in Paris.
His statement condemned the “misbehaviors” that “should not disrupt the lives of Frenchmen, no matter their religious beliefs.”
His speech came in the wake of a pro-Palestinian demonstrations responding to the current conflict between Israel’s government and Hamas, some of which ended in violence. “The current Muslim opinion concerning this conflict must remain calm and work for peace in this blessed month of Ramadan,” wrote Boubakeur. “The escalation of violence has already caused several casualties and we call for all national and international authorities to stop the violence,” he declared. The Great Mosque of Paris announced that it would hold a “prayer for the absent” to honor the victims. The mosque “called for all other mosques to do the same.”
The president of the Union of French Mosques, Mohammed Moussaoui believes that peaceful demonstrations in support of Palestinians are “legitimate and justified,” while reaffirming that “nothing justifies an action that harms our Jewish citizens, their institutions, or their places of worship. Such an action, strongly condemnable and morally unjust and unacceptable, would also affect the interest of the Palestinian people and the support that they could have in French public opinion.”
The president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, Roger Cukierman, expressed his “utmost concern” to Hollande concerning the demonstrations. The Jewish community views the incidents “as a break from the republican pact…the Jewish community feels isolated within its national community,” stated Cukierman after meeting with the president. “No pro-Palestinian supporter should confuse anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Because today there is identification between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.”
Five people were sent to criminal court for violence and for disruption of public order after the demonstrations on July 13.
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, rejected on Monday a mosque project funded by Saudi money. Estrosi intends to replace the project with a new nursery project. During a press conference, the mayor expressed that the religious site would not be compatible with his ‘Eco-Vallé project, which should attract businesses to the area. According to Estrosi, Dalil Boubakeur, the director of the Grand Mosque of Paris, expressed his support over his decision.
News Agencies – March 11, 2011
These articles outline the rector of the Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, and his position opposing the proposed debate on Islam by Nicolas Sarkozy.
News Agencies – November 11, 2010
Five alleged Islamic terrorists arrested in Paris this week were planning to assassinate the city’s leading Muslim cleric. All of the men, who are French passport holders, are believed to have returned from fighting British and American troops alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The murder plot against Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the French capital’s main mosque, was foiled at the eleventh hour thanks to a tip-off. Secret intelligence officers were able to move in on two Frenchmen of Algerian descent as they arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport from Egypt. Armed police arrested three other men from similar backgrounds in flats in the Paris suburbs the next day.
Boubaker has been under armed guard since last month after radicals issued threats following the introduction of a burka ban in France – a measure which many see as overtly anti-Muslim.
The foiled plot illustrates the growing rift between Islamic moderates and those prepared to kill and maim in the name of their religion, said Mr Boubaker.