On January 17, 2021, at the request of President Macron, a “Declaration of the Principles of Islam in France” was drafted by the CFCM – the representative institution of Muslims in France created in 2003 at the initiative of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
This charter aims to identify which Muslim associations and mosques do not support a republican Islam in France and to ostracize them politically.
For example, last month, a 2 million euro subsidy aimed at building the largest mosque in Europe in Strasbourg, was questioned because the project leaders had not signed the declaration.
The Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin said:
“There is nothing to negotiate with these people and we will mobilize all the levers of the state to prevent the installation of those who have not signed the declaration. This also applies to religious educational associations or schools that are not under contract. It would be unimaginable for these to be able to claim accreditation without having ratified the charter, and the controls will be very intense. “
The Muslims of the world need to see what exactly this charter says so they can understand the secularism that is being forced on French Muslims.
Here is the translation of the French:
Declaration of Principles for Islam in France
We, leaders of associations and federations, managers of Muslim places of worship, we commit ourselves by this declaration both as French citizens and/or as associative actors of the Muslim faith to respect all the rules laid down in the present declaration, called “Declaration of Principles for Islam in France.”
It is intended to provide a framework for the ethics and deontological rules that should structure the functioning of the National Council of Imams.
We solemnly proclaim our adhesion to this declaration intended to specify the foundations of our mission in connection with the republican values.
In doing so, we reaffirm from the outset that neither our religious convictions nor any other reason can override the principles that underlie the law and the Constitution of the Republic.
No religious belief may be invoked to evade the obligations of citizens.
This “Declaration of Principles” aims to outline the values to be transmitted to the faithful and to be shared with them, in the respect of the laws of the Republic and of Islamic ethics.
Aim of the Declaration
Islamic values and the principles of law applicable in the Republic are perfectly compatible and the Muslims of France belong fully to the national community. From a constitutional point of view, all citizens, whatever their religion, their beliefs, or their philosophical convictions, are equal.
From a religious and ethical point of view, Muslims, whether nationals or foreign residents, are bound to France by a pact. This pact commits them to respect national cohesion, public order, and the laws of the Republic. Through this declaration, the signatories are writing an important page in the history of France.
It contributes to the establishment of peaceful and trusting relations between the national community, in its diversity and plurality, and all Muslims living on the territory of the Republic, whether they are nationals or foreign residents. All signatories of this declaration commit themselves, in respect and dignity, to work for civil peace and to fight against all forms of violence and hatred.
Our mission and our commitment stem from our commitment as citizens and our faith. We carry out our mission within the framework of the principles and rules of the Republic which constitute the unity and cohesion of our country.
The principle of equality before the law obliges us to conform to the common rules and to make them prevail over all norms and rules including those resulting from our convictions and/or our religious interpretations.
Freedom is guaranteed by the principle of secularism which allows each citizen to believe or not to believe, to practice the religion of his choice and to change religion.
Thus the signatories commit themselves not to criminalize a renunciation of Islam, nor to qualify it as “apostasy” (ridda), even less to stigmatize or to call, in a direct or indirect way, to attack the physical or moral integrity of those who renounce a religion.
This reflects a respect for all opinions and expressions and above all an essential republican principle: the freedom of conscience.
God has given men the freedom to choose their ways and their convictions free from any constraint: “There is no constraint in religion” (Quran, 2 : 256), and has made it an expression of His will: “If your Lord had willed, all those on earth would have believed. Is it for you, then, to compel people to believe?” (Qur’an, 10:99)
Abusive proselytizing that oppresses consciences is contrary to the freedom of reason and heart which characterizes the dignity of Man.
Convinced that debate is often a source of enhancement and a bulwark against fanaticism, we accept all debates and we are opposed to all violence.
The signatories thus commit themselves to respecting article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. This article establishes the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The Islam of France is fully in line with the respect of Article 1 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.
The signatories thus commit themselves to ensure the respect of this principle through all their religious activities.
This Equality is also established in the Islamic corpus: “Surely, We have made worthy all the children of Adam” (Qur’an, 17: 70).
Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle also attested to in the Qur’anic text: Men are from the same original essence or soul (see Qur’an, 4:1).
We are therefore committed to ensuring that this principle of equality is respected in accordance to the laws of the Republic by reminding the faithful, within the framework of our educational role, that certain cultural practices that are supposed to be Islamic do not belong to Islam.
The Fraternity commits us from a religious point of view. Our ethics invite us to to show kindness to our fellow citizens, without distinction. We reject discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, health status or disability and call for every citizen to be respected for who they are and what they believe.
All forms of racism, discrimination and hatred of others, including anti-Muslim acts, anti-Semitic acts, homophobia, and misogyny are criminal offences. They are also the expression of a decay of mind and heart that no sincere faith can accept.
In defense of all the values set forth in this “Declaration of Principles,” the signatories commit themselves, in accordance with the laws of the Republic, to reject all crimes against humanity.
Within Islam, there are trends and interpretations that can diverge: they do not have a hierarchy.
The signatories of this declaration commit themselves to accept to debate and exchange with their co-religionists without disqualifying them by theological or political judgments dictated by theorists, ideologists, or foreign states.
It is a question of fighting against the ideology of takfir (excommunication), which is often the prelude to the legitimization of murder. In this way, we strive to avoid fitna (discord) and to promote exchange in a spirit of mutual benevolence.
We also call for openness and respectful discussion of the choice of our fellow citizens in matters of belief or religion, and this in our places of worship with our faithful, as well as within our families: “To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” (Quran 5:48)
Rejection of all forms of interference and instrumentalization of Islam for political purposes.
The present “Declaration of Principles” has the clearly stated objective of fighting against all forms of instrumentalization of Islam for political and/or ideological purposes.
The signatories therefore commit themselves to refuse to be part of any approach promoting what is known as “political Islam.” 
We fight with determination against any movement or ideology whose project diverts our religion from its true purpose and tries to create power relations and fractures in our society.
Thus, we pledge not to use or allow the use of Islam or the concept of ummah (community of believers) for local or national political agenda or for the needs of a political agenda dictated by a foreign power that denies the plurality that is inherent in Islam.
We refuse to allow places of worship to be used to broadcast political discourse or import conflicts that are taking place in other parts of the world. Our mosques and places of worship are reserved for prayer and the transmission of values.
They are not dedicated for the dissemination of nationalistic discourses defending foreign regimes and supporting foreign policies hostile to France, our country, and to our French compatriots.
The distortion of the religion consisting in instrumentalizing Islam for political purposes must be rejected with force and without reserve.
We affirm that the political order remains separate from the religious order. None of our organizations, none of our precepts can have for objectives to promote in France a differentiated treatment for the Muslims.
We commit ourselves to ensure more and more the financing of our places of worship by national funding. Any funding from abroad by a foreign state, a non-governmental organization, a legal or physical person must be in strict compliance with the laws in application and does not give any donor the right to interfere, directly or indirectly, in the exercise of the Muslim faith in France.
The signatories must clearly reject any foreign interference in the management of their mosques and the mission of their imams.
Commitment to Reason and Free Will
The objectives of a religion are to contribute to the universal values on which humanity is built. Muslim leaders, lead the faithful to reflection and help them to distinguish in the scriptural sources, what is applicable in the context of the French society.
We affirm that all the doctrinal schools of Islam have the same legitimacy and that it is up to each one among the faithful to forge his own opinion.
By an harmonious adaptation of these universalist sources to the realities of our country, we want to allow all Muslims to reconcile their religious practice and their civic commitment in order to live both in peace and serenity.
We also commit ourselves to fight through teaching and pedagogy against superstitions and archaic practices, especially those that claim to be “prophetic medicine” and that endanger the lives of abused believers.
Commitment to Secularism and Public Services
Religious neutrality, one of the principles of secularism, imposed on agents invested with public service mission, aims to guarantee a just service to citizens regardless of their religious convictions and to fight against religious proselytizing.
As for the users, they are not subject to this neutrality, but they are required in their religious expression, to respect the public order established by the law.
In particular, we recall the essential role of the teacher in our society and the importance of the school which must be preserved from the evils of society. In case of conflicts or disagreements, dialogue will be sought first and as a last resort, the courts are authorized to arbitrate disputes.
In order to preserve civil peace and harmony, we call for respect towards all citizens and in particular those who exercise a mission of public service and general interest.
Fight Against Anti-Muslim Hatred, Propaganda, and False Information
Muslims in France and the symbols of their faith are too often the target of of hostile acts. These acts are the work of an extremist minority that should not be confused with the State nor with the French people.
Consequently, the denunciations of a supposed state racism, including all postures of victimhood, are defamatory. They feed and exacerbate both anti-Muslim hatred and hatred of France.
Defamation and the propagation of false information are crimes. Their prohibition is a moral requirement: “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.” (Qur’an, 49:6).
In our country, which is too often targeted by propaganda that denigrates it, millions of believers go peacefully to the religious service of their choice and millions of others refrain from doing so in complete freedom. This reality that seems normal is unfortunately not established in many societies in the world today.
We call on you not to distribute books, pamphlets, websites, blogs, videos that propagate ideas of violence, hatred, terrorism or racism in any form whatsoever. Extremist currents rely on bellicose concepts, inciting violence and secession in speeches that harm French society as much as the image of Islam and Muslims.
We are working to educate youth in order to protect them from self-proclaimed imams who convey such a vision of Islam. We give priority to the French and Francophone corpus to allow a better assimilation of the concepts by the Muslims of France and a greater transparency of the discourse and we refuse any discourse emanating from abroad which aims, in all ignorance of the realities of our society, to create discord and divide us.
Respect for the Declaration
The signatories are aware that this charter commits them jointly and collectively. They apply its principles and values in their respective associations.
If at least two federations consider that a violation of the present charter is perpetrated, they can decide to open an investigation of which they define the content. After this procedure, an infringement is established if it is recognized by at least two thirds of the federations, by a written declaration.
It then leads to the exclusion of the offender from all representative bodies of Islam in France.
Done in Paris, January 17, 2021
- As Article 17 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights states, no one can justify a legitimate right to “engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights or freedoms set forth in the Convention”. ↑
- “All men are born free and equal in rights.” ↑
- By “political Islam”, the present declaration refers to the political and/or ideological trends commonly known as Salafism (Wahhabism), Tabligh as well as those linked to the thought of the Muslim Brotherhood and the nationalist currents related to it. ↑
- Concepts such as: al-wala wa-l bara (alliance and disavowal), takfir wa-l hijra (anathema and emigration), dar al-harb wa dar al-islam (territory of war and territory of Islam), etc. ↑