Macron hails French Muslim charter against extremism

French President Emmanuel Macron praises French Muslim leaders after they agreed on a “charter of principles” aimed at combating sectarianism and radicalized teachings blamed for a surge in jihadist attacks in France in recent years.

The charter offers “a clarification of how the Muslim community is organized,” Macron says after a meeting with representatives of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), his office says. It will also provide a framework for a new National Council of Imams that will be responsible for vetting imams practicing in the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on January 13, 2021. (Francois Mori / POOL / AFP)

“This is a clear, decisive and precise commitment in favor of the republic,” Macron says, hailing “a truly foundational text for relations between the state and Islam in France.”

Macron had urged the council to act against “political Islam” in November, after the killing of Samuel Paty, a teacher who was beheaded outside his school after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed as part of a free-speech lesson. The attack prompted a crackdown against extremist mosques and Muslim associations, along with a vigorous defense of French secularism that is seen as increasingly under threat from radicalized Islamic teachings.