Islam: what does the report say that the second religion of France wants to reform

September 10, 2018

"We have to act, we have to get up, we have to lay hands on the Islamic religion." Monday over Europe 1, essayist and researcher Hakim El Karoui named the "moderate and silent Muslims". [à] to claim back Islam. "The man has just signed a report for the Montaigne Institute, which will be given to Emmanuel Macron at the time he expects a" framework "for this religion – the second in France -" s "exercises in a manner corresponding to the laws of the Republic, "said the head of state.

Also read the interview of Hakim El Karoui on the JDD in 2016: "Islam is the support of the revolt of some Muslims"

This is the "third report" in three years of Hakim El Karoui, said on its website the institute, a think tank that is considered liberal, who posted this document of 617 pages on Sunday online. But this one is not dedicated to Islam but to Islamism, one can read. His proposals nevertheless concern French Muslims who question their relationship with the Republic on the one hand and Salafism on the other. The called solutions – which are not necessarily new – are in any case already under discussion, and even more so if the executive power should oppose.

What is the purpose of this report?

Hakim El Karoui repeats it during his media interventions. He wants to calm the debate about Islam & # 39 ;, & # 39; without imagination & # 39; calls, he says, but especially not to the ostrich's policy & # 39; hide & # 39; & # 39; and stop. "When there is a problem, it has to be dealt with," he insisted on Europe 1. And the problem, according to him, "is the progression of Islamic ideology among Muslims in France", as he also said it on RTL Sunday night. The report in question is entitled "The fabric of Islamism".

That is why the rapporteur repeats this shocking figure: "about a quarter" of these Muslims would be "hostile" to republican values, especially the youngest. A result close to the 28% of the & # 39; ultra-Muslims & # 39; counted in an Ifop survey in 2016 and that the author supports this time through a quantitative analysis of social networks & # 39 ;, a field on which Islamic positions proliferate and in particular Salafism. The research therefore remains in the "production factories of Islamism" for a long time (Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, "Turco Islamism in Turkey" …) and emphasizes the "incredible" influence of these social networks in its expansion.

But the work of Hakim El Karoui is not necessarily unanimous. Representatives of the French Council for Muslim Faith (CFCM), the authority chosen by the government as a representative, but regularly criticized for lack of effectiveness, point to the lack of legitimacy of the researcher or the fear of this work. Moreover, "it is the Muslims who have to take care of their religion, it is not up to the state to organize it", AFC deputy Abdallah Zekri told AFP Monday.

What are his proposals?

For Hakim El Karoui the challenge is to reform Islam in France to counter this influence of Islamism that would be given priority. "Since we have activists on the one hand and no one says anything else in the front, they have an influence that far exceeds their supporters," says the essayist on Europe 1. The core of his project is therefore a new independent structure. to create "responsible for organizing and financing the Muslim religion". This is how the CFCM and even more the UOIF, who fights the man, ended with what would be "the Islamic Association for the Islam of France" (Amif).

This new institution, which would lay the foundation for a French Islam & # 39 ;, could therefore deal with the reforms that the Montaigne Institute has been implementing for several years – especially since a previous report of 2016, such as:

  • The creation of a "halal tax", a measure on which the new report does not rest, but which is always defended by its author. It would not be a tax levied by the state, but a levy administered by the association and would be inspired by the "kosher tax" of the Jewish community, administered by the rabbinates and allowing to certify products "kosher" .
  • The reorganization of pilgrimages to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. Nowadays tour operators are in a monopoly situation and the pilgrimage, which adds intermediaries, is getting more and more expensive, according to tour operators for executing the hajj – one of the five pillars of Islam. exposed Monday Hakim El Karoui.
  • With the proceeds of the halal market the association could then invest in the formation of religious frameworks, the construction why not some mosquesIt would also be a "useful service to the faithful" by pretending to be like "regulator" of financial flows, sometimes "opaque" in the Muslim community.
  • The report especially calls for the "mobilization of the Ministry of National Education", which would better teacher training on the issue of secularism. But also "rto promote the learning of the Arabic language "at school, to deal with "Arab courts in mosques [qui] For Islamists, the best way to attract young people to their mosques and schools. "" The number of students learning Arabic in high school and high school has been halved ", says Hakim El Karou, while it has been multiplied by ten in mosques.
  • The document proposes more generally to "the promotion of republican discourse ", especially on social networks. "The state must improve the knowledge of the ideological tenants and the political and social consequences of Islamism, it must help those who want to finance counter-representation initiatives in French," it says. By insisting on the diplomatic issue of this subject: France, and more generally Europe, must to cooperate more with the Maghreb and the Gulf Statesthe Montaigne Institute asks, in his opinion, the best way to get out of the logic to finance Islam from abroad and the most radical speeches, such as those in Saudi Arabia.

Will this report be repeated by Emmanuel Macron?

The publication of this new report, which in the first place is a reminder of the proposals that the Montaigne Institute has already submitted, comes at the right time. Indeed, until mid-September, the "territorial foundations of the Islam of France" were organized in every department under the auspices of the prefects to make new proposals. This meeting is in response to the request of Emmanuel Macron, who had declared before the Congress last July, that he wants to ask the Islam of France "a framework and rules" and this "coming autumn".

It is therefore up to the liberal think tank to participate in this debate and to convince the head of state of the relevance of his project. Will Hakim El Karoui be heard? "Maybe … I hope so, hopefully," he replied to Europe 1. This intellectual, former adviser of Jean-Pierre Raffarin Matignon must already know him well, Emmanuel Macron, both men and colleagues in the investment bank from Rothschild. El Karoui is therefore often represented as someone who has "the ear" of the president, even if he assures himself that he is not a confidant.

More generally, the Montaigne Institute is considered to be close to Emmanuel Macron, since director Laurent Bigorgne has been a friend for a long time since his studies at Sciences Po and advised him during the presidential campaign on education issues. For the time being it is not yet known whether the head of state will resume these ideas, but the priorities that he has already posted on this subject are in any case far from incompatible with these ideas. In a first official response, the Minister of the Interior, Gérard Collomb, in any case "welcomed" this "very thorough work" in a communiqué and took note of "very interesting proposals … that call for a meeting and a Mobilization of Republican Muslims in France ".