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CONSEIL NATIONAL DES FRANCAIS MUSULMANS. Founded inFrancein 1989 and governed by the Law on Associations of I July 1901, the Conseil National des Francais Musulmans (CNFM) was reformed in 1992 and now consists of 190 associations with 14,000 members. Its council includes 40 members, either coopted or presidents of the most important affiliated associations. Its registered office is in Dole in the Jura, its president is Hamaloui Mekachera, and its secretary-general is Soraya Djebbour.

There are approximately 2.5 million French Muslims, most of whom are harkis and their children. Harkis are Muslim soldiers who fought in the French army during the Algerian war of independence and leftAlgeriato live inFranceat the war’s end in 1962.

The council acts as a lobby and is generally not directly engaged in politics. Although French Muslims have civil rights equal to those of other French citizens, the council seeks the end of social and economic discrimination against Muslims inFranceand the full integration of Muslims into French society. It obtains assistance for them in housing, education, and welfare, and it opposes xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism. The council militates in favor of “French Islamic institutions” that the government would acknowledge as equal to those of the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths. To this end, it has asked for the appointment of an imam as an army chaplain and for the reservation of areas within cemeteries for the burial of Muslims.

A branch of the council, the Convention Nationale des Musulmans Francais, which is more politically engaged, militates also for national and economic integration and seeks the creation of Islamic colleges and universities directed by French Muslims. Hoping as well for a change in the December 1905 law that has mandated a strict separation of religion from public life, it prefers the less rigid “concordat” system that had prevailed in Alsace-Lorraine since 1918.

It is the Conseil National that had been satisfied by a middle path. At the instigation of the French government, a Conseil Consultatif des Musulmans de France (Consultative Council of Muslims of France) under the presidency of Dr. Dalil Boubaker, the new chancellor ofParis’s mosque since the departure for Algeria of Shaykh Haddam Tidjani, was created in November 1993

The new chancellor is a French Muslim, deputy chairman of the `Ulama’ Conference and of the Habous (Religious Endowers) Society from 1987 to 1992. He is the son of the rector ofParis’s mosque, Si Hamza Boubaker (1957-1982), and his appointment was denounced by the Federation Nationale des Musulmans de France (FNMF) as nepotistic (although in reality it is because of his nationality). Indeed the institution of the Consultative Council under Boubaker’s aegis has the purpose to promote a “French Islam” and its worship, to oppose all “foreign extremism,” and to be a representative structure of Islam and a mediator between the government and the muslims inFrance.

The CNFM’s president, M. Mekachera, is among the twenty-five members, which also includes the leaders of several other organizations, such as the Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF), Union des Etudiants Islamiques (Muslim Students’ Association), Union des Veterans de France de Confession Islamique (French Muslim Veterans’ Union), Connaitre l’Islam (Knowledge of Islam), Tabligh (Faith and Religious Observance), and the rectors of the most important towns. This institution seems to make obsolete the CORIF (Conseil Religieux de I’Islam enFrance), created in 1990 by the French government. The FNMF has no share in the new council.

[See also Federation Nationale des Musulmans de France;France; Union des Organisations Islamiques de France.]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Le Rappel (Recalling). National newspaper of French Muslim communities, sold by subscription.

ANNIE KRIEGER-KRYNICKI

Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/conseil-national-des-francais-musulmans/
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  • writerPosted On: November 6, 2012
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