Mr. Anouar Kbeish, President of the Foundation for the Muslim League in France
One of our primary roles is to promote authentic and open Islam
Muslims in France are a large community, as Islam represents the second religion in France, as it is one of the main components in France. One of the most important roles of Islamic institutions in France is the promotion of an authentic, open and tolerant Islam, and to be precise, moderate Islam, and one of the leading institutions in the field: And this dialogue with the head of the foundation, Mr. Anwar Kbeish, who touched on many of the files raised on the scene.
-You are the president of the Foundation of the Muslim League of France. Can you tell us more about this institution?
The Muslim community in France is one of the main components of Islam in France.
It was created in 2006, after the creation of the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) and the meeting of several leaders of the Muslim community in France who were not affiliated with any of the existing Muslim federations.
Today, it unites more than 300 mosques or places of worship in France,
The Foundation for the Congregation of Muslims in France assumed the presidency of the Ceasefire Committee for three terms. The Foundation also chairs several Regional Councils of Islamic Cult (CRCM) in France.
Your union has a religious dimension that gave it a spiritual role in society. What role does your union play? Has he reached an encouraging level?
The Foundation for the Congregation of Muslims in France has always worked to promote an authentic Islam, an open and tolerant Islam … moderate Islam.”
The Association of Muslims in France has also made it a priority to reach out to Muslim youth in France. The Foundation therefore wishes to help “immunize” our youth against all dangers of religious extremism.
With the current opening of the Bataclan attacks trial on November 13, 2015, the news in France shows that this role is essential and one of the top priorities for Muslims in France.
The Foundation of Muslims in France is also very committed and invests in interfaith dialogue. This is one of our priorities to promote mutual knowledge (perfumes) between the different religions in France.
– What are the obstacles you face? Is the support of the public authorities available?
In general, Muslims in France face an undeniable deficit in the image of French society.
The news of Islam and Muslims around the world, as well as the terrorist acts committed in France in the name of Islam, have led to a significant deterioration in the perception of our citizens towards Islam and Muslims.
However, we must not give up. This situation gives a heavy and historical responsibility to all components of Islam in France.
We must act as ambassadors of our religion, exemplary and with unwavering sincerity.
Dialogue with French society, as well as with public authorities, must be our priority.
As such, the public authorities understand the importance of this dialogue and are very available to maintain and develop it.
– France hosts a strong Muslim community with a strong Maghreb component. Does this numerical majority give you influence and support for your business?
In fact, France has the strongest Muslim community in Europe. Suddenly, the attitude and behavior of the Muslim component of French society is under observation and analysis in France and across Europe.
The gathering is famous for the presence of religious cadres, most of whom are of Moroccan origin. The fact that many of them are involved in the construction and management of mosques and places of worship in France gives us a special responsibility.
This does not prevent the institution of Muslims in France from being open to all the skills and good intentions to face the major challenges that Muslims in France must face.
– What is the current situation of Muslims in France and what is your focus in this field?
The situation of Muslims in France is unfortunately characterized by frequent controversies. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to worsen with the approach of the presidential elections in France, scheduled for 2022.
Our role, as Muslim federations in France, is to calm these debates and encourage Muslims in France to contribute constructively … and not respond to any provocation wherever it may be.
We must remember that Islam is the second religion in France. French citizens of the Islamic faith only aspire to live their spirituality in peace and quiet, while respecting the laws and values of the Republic.
We must therefore make a positive contribution to the discussions that shake French society, by demonstrating great openness and great listening skills.
– At the present time, we regret a split within the French Council of Islamic Worship? How did this split happen? What are the means that would allow the reunification of ranks for the benefit of society?
Since its establishment in 2003, the French Council of Muslim Worship has aroused great hopes among the Muslim community in France and among the authorities and among the public who hoped to finally obtain a legitimate and reliable interlocutor to move forward on various issues related to Islamic practices in France.
I had the honor of heading this institution from 2015 to 2017, and was able to gauge all the business opportunities and possibilities available to him to move things forward.
Unfortunately, this institution has been undermined by internal rivalries and power struggles that sometimes make partisan and private interests dominate the public interest.
Today there is a consensus on the fact that this type of representation is running out and that a comprehensive reform of the representation of Islam in France is necessary in order to be able to face the major challenges that lie before us.
Is the mission of some imams terminated for technical reasons? Is it related to other motives?
The past few weeks have already been marked by the termination of Imami’s mission. This came after sermons or comments made by these imams in their mosques.
This indicates once again the heavy responsibility of the imams in their guiding and guiding role towards the believers, especially the younger ones.
Of course we in France are in a secular republic that enshrines the separation of powers and the non-interference of politics in religion and vice versa. And imams, such as bishops, priests, or rabbis, benefit from the neutrality of the state