French Plans To Use State Funds To Build Strasbourg Mosque Causes Public Outrage

French Plans To Use State Funds To Build Strasbourg Mosque Causes Public Outrage. image: Wikimedia

French Plans To Use State Funds To Build Strasbourg Mosque Causes Public Outrage.

French plans to build a mosque in Strasbourg using public funds have sparked public outrage in the country. The interior ministry has accused the municipal authorities there of using public money to fund “foreign meddling” on French soil.

At the same time as President Emmanuel Macron wants to crack down on Islamic extremism, which he blames for a series of deadly terror attacks in France since 2015, the planned mosque in the eastern French city has found itself in the government’s crosshairs because it is backed by a leading Turkish Muslim group.

On Monday, March 22, municipal officials in Strasbourg, run by a Green mayor, approved a grant of 2.5 million euros to the Milli Gorus Islamic Confederation (CMIG), a pan-European movement for the Turkish diaspora.

However, the CMIG is one of three Muslim confederations in France that have refused to sign a new anti-extremism charter championed by Macron. Macron had asked the groups to commit in writing to renouncing “political Islam” and to respect French law, as he seeks to combat radical Islam which he sees as a serious threat to the country’s secular system.

The government has also drafted legislation that would force Muslim groups to declare major foreign funding and would give the state increased powers to shut down speech judged to spread hate or violence.

“We believe that this association is no longer able to be among the representatives of Islam in France,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said of the Milli Gorus group on BFM television. We believe that this municipal authority should not be financing foreign meddling on our soil,” he added.

Macron warned against Turkish meddling in France’s presidential elections next year, in an interview broadcast Tuesday. Relations between France and Turkey have been badly affected by recent disputes over the conflicts on Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh, and Turkish accusations of Islamophobia in France.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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