Islamophobic populism worries Muslims in France’

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  • STRASBOURG, France

Praising Strasbourg Municipality in northeastern France for offering 2.5 million euros ($3 million) for the construction of a mosque, Bekir Altas, secretary-general of the Turkish-Muslim association IGMG, expressed concern at the rising Islamophobic tendencies driven by political exigencies.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency during his visit to French city Strasbourg near the German border, Altas also dismissed accusations against the IGMG by the politicians.

He said that the construction of the Eyup Sultan Mosque in Strasbourg, near the German border, will continue, even as its completion needs an additional 8 million euros ($9.6 million). The total construction cost has been pegged to 30 million euros ($36 million).

Altas said that his organization has received donations from all over Europe for the construction of this mosque that included a historical contribution of 2.5 million euros ($3 million) by the Strasbourg Municipality.

“With this decision, they specifically stated that there was no discrimination between Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Islamic religious communities,” he said.

President of Eyup Sultan Mosque Association Eyup Sahin told Anadolu Agency that in October 2020, they had requested financial assistance from the Strasbourg Municipality for the construction of the mosque and that the municipality accepted this request in March 2021.

Sahin said after this move created controversy, they decided to withdraw the request for assistance because elections were approaching and some politicians had turned the mosque into election propaganda.

He said that 70% of the construction of the mosque was completed and that the construction would be completed in a year.

Altas, said as presidential elections were due in France in 2022, Muslims do not want to become instrumental in the conflicts between the two major political parties in the country.

Imposition of charter populist decision

He stated that the imposition of the “charter of principles” of Islam in France, which they refused to sign because it alienates Muslims, is one of the populist decisions taken by the government.

“The state does not interfere with the internal affairs of religious communities in accordance with the principle of secularism. The state has no say in how a religious community will train and approve its imams, and in what values it will do its work,” he said.

He said that they faced accusations and criticisms despite carrying out their work transparently and within the framework of the law. Altas mentioned that Interior Minister Gerald Moussa Darmanin has drawn a profile that does not reflect the truth about IGMG.

He said that Darmanin’s actions against the Muslim community were not normal. He said the controversial bill against separatism does not concern Muslims only but all religious communities as it violates the 1905 law on secularism.

“The religion-state relationship is being reshaped through Muslims. We see that we are actually in the process of how the understanding of secularism will be in France,” he added.

“We see that we are actually in the process of how the understanding of secularism will be in France. Will, there be an understanding of secularism in France that excludes religion from the public sphere, or an understanding of secularism that cooperates with religious communities,” he said.

Eyup Sultan Mosque will be the biggest mosque in Europe when the construction is completed.

Built according to Ottoman architecture, on 15 acres of land, the complex will include a mosque for 3,000 people, conference halls, a school, and a library, as well as a 600-vehicle-capacity car park and a bicycle park-AA

2 COMMENTS

  1. Muslims are not fit to live in a modern world. Their extremist thought process has raised Islamophobia. I think every muslim family must ask themself weather they want to follow Quran 100% in their life time. If answer is yes then that family should live in Middle east.
    Foreign countries should allow only those muslims who follow religion at their home.

    • @secular Hindu aka Hindu gutter rat…

      I see you’re posting your anti-Muslim hatred again. The reality is that Hindus are hate filled, backward, superstitious creatures incapable of humanity and belong only in pig pens as thats the level at which the majority of operate. This is you Hindu are super spreading covid all over India like the undisciplines filthy rats that you are. Hinduism is an extremist ideology, a brahmin death cult based on fairy tales of flying monkeys, blue spacemen, genitalia worship. Wherever the Hindu goes, backwardness follows. This is why modernity is incompatible with Hinduism. It is a failed cult only present in India and failed its people.

      Islam is universal which is why most Muslims aren’t Arabs. Muslims brought civilization to you Hindu savages, instead of being grateful,…you engage in hatred. All Hindus should be kicked out from Muslim countries for permanent ghar wapsi back in the Hindu toilets of India where they can eat cow excreta like happy clowns. Hindus who want to become human beings must leave Hinduism. Foreign countries should keep Hindu rats out, they bring hatered, disease and low standards.

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