“In a letter to Gérald Darmanin, French Minister for the Interior and of Religious Affairs, the Centre suggested that the CFCM statement may have negated French policy to ensure that Islam in France follows the Republic’s set of values, and could, even unwillingly, incite to further hate and violence against the Jews of France.”

Paris, 22 May 2021 

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, argued that the statement by Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the CFCM (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman / French Council of Muslim Faith), seems to go beyond its religious mandate in his calls on all Imams and Mosque officials across France to:

1) Devote Friday’s sermon to make known the relevance of Al Aqsa Mosque, the third Holy Site of Islam, and the city of Al Quds (Jerusalem) in the Muslim religion;
For interfaith value, a mention of the Holiness of the Temple Mount of the Jews and the Christian Churches would have mellowed the call.

2) Organize fundraising for the benefit of humanitarian NGOs’ operating within the Palestinian territories;
What audit and guarantee could be provided to prevent the final recipient being linked to Hamas or other terrorist groups?

3) Launch a large sponsorship campaign between mosques in France and Palestinian mosques, in order to provide the latter with assistance;
Ditto, as many Palestinian mosques are affiliated to Jihadists.

4) In partnership with humanitarian NGOs, launch a large sponsorship campaign between families in France and Palestinian families to provide aid and support, in particular to children;
Ditto. Of course, our heart goes out to the children, especially those who were used as human shields in Hamas controlled Gaza and the trauma of Israeli children under the rockets.

5) Multiply the prayers and invocations for the rest of the victims, the end of the clashes and the establishment of peace.
Once again, a missed opportunity to include the casualties on both sides as also a mutual hope for “the establishment of peace.”

As an interfaith organization, the Wiesenthal Centre works with Imams from France to the Gulf and through our Los Angeles headquarters. We would hope, in the future, to include the CFCM in a constructive dialogue.

“The CFCM seems to go beyond its religious purview by addressing political issues. This could be, even unintentionally, construed by French Islamists – already heavily influenced by the Palestinian narrative supporting Hamas – to mobilize Jihadist attacks against the French Jewish community.”

In a letter to Gérald Darmanin, French Minister for the Interior and of Religious Affairs, Samuels suggested that “the CFCM statement may have negated French policy, which is to ensure that Islam in France follows the Republic’s set of values... and could, even unwillingly, incite to further hate and violence against the Jews of France,” he concluded.

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“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)